This was a joint project with Mark Gotobed of Dodo Computing.
If self-hosted WordPress was both inexpensive and maintenance free, then I doubt I would even consider the alternatives.
What’s most likely to scare people away from using WordPress is the fear that they will lose their website if it is hacked, they make a mistake or something breaks. This is why it’s important to have a contingency plan.
You can minimise the danger of your site being hacked by keeping your plugins up to date. The WordFence plugin has a number of security features which include emails to tell you when an update is required. When you log into your WordPress dashboard you’ll be prompted to carry out the update, which is easy to do.
However, it’s impossible to 100% guarantee that your website will be safe.
Many hosts keep backups so, if something did go wrong, then your host may be able to simply replace your site with a copy taken before the problem occurred.
However, you should also be keeping your own backups in case this isn’t possible.
WordPress.com could be thought of as a watered down version of WordPress but in a secure, fully managed environment. Sometimes you may not need all the power and flexibility of self-hosted WordPress and would prefer not to have to maintain your website yourself.
Much as I like WordPress, I realise that some of the alternatives could also be good choices for building a website. I decided to make a test site to compare a few of the popular options. This post concerns self-hosted WordPress and WordPress.com.
Self-hosted WordPress is flexible and customisable. It can be extended, using plugins, to suit a variety of different types of site. But, if you choose to use it, then you should accept that you will be responsible for maintaining it.