How You Know it’s Time to Move from to is an incredible service for non-technical folks to create a website quickly, but there may come a time when you outgrow what it offers. In this post I’d like to share exactly how to know when it’s time for you to move from to

Wait, there’s a difference?

If you’re scratching your head right now and wondering why I’m talking about vs, it’s because there are two ways you can work with WordPress. First, there’s the fully-hosted Second, there’s the self-hosted version whose software is available for free at

The distinction may sound strange at first, but based on your goals, you’ll likely have a preference for one or the other. is an excellent option if you want to get your website or blog online quickly, you don’t require custom web development, and you’re happiest if you never have to look at a line of code.

It’s also completely free (although there are some paid upgrades available).

Here’s the intro video for my Essential Training course. If you think is for you, check it out. 🙂 is great for those who need fully custom websites and like complete control over the design and code base. This option also gives you the freedom to work with the web host whose services best fit your needs (here are my web hosting recommendations).

While the software is free, the cost of custom design, development, and web hosting services can be costly.

In short, is limited, but it’s simpler and more cost-effective. offers total freedom of use, but it comes with greater responsibility and cost.

3 ways you can know if it’s time to move on

As awesome as is, it’s possible that your needs can outgrow the service. While is free and there are some paid upgrades available, these basic truths apply: vs

With you have:

  • Limited theme options
  • No plugins (Update: As of August 2017 now allows for plugins)
  • Limited storage on the free plan
  • Pay to remove ads
  • Very little technical control, if any

With you get:

  • Full theme customization
  • All plugins allowed
  • Storage is only limited to what’s provided by your host
  • Run your own ads (or use affiliate programs)
  • Full control over your database and theme files

The reality is that for many (many!) people, the limitations of don’t bother them. In fact, those limitations could be seen as benefits for those who want a more streamlined experience without the hassle of technical details.

That said, how do you know when it’s time to move on? Ask yourself these questions:

1. Customization

Are you frustrated with the lack of customization options? In other words, have there been times when you’ve said, I wish my site could do this or I wish my site could do that? If so, just ask yourself how critical it is to your business that your website have those capabilities? If  it’s very important, it’s time to move on.

2. E-Commerce & Membership

Do you want to sell things on your site or maybe build a membership site? You can’t do either of those things with, but you can create highly customize e-commerce and/or membership sites with

3. Monetization

What about monetization options? Do you want to run an Adwords campaign or participate in affiliate networks without restriction? There are guidelines that dictate the use of these things on and if you’ve found yourself hitting up against a wall there, maybe it’s time to move on.

How to move from to

Should you decide that moving to is right for you, here are instructions to guide you.

Also, there are many professionals (like me!) who make their living creating custom websites and one of them could also help you with the transition.

At the end of the day, both and are amazing tools that put the power of self-publishing into the hands of millions of users and that’s an incredible thing.

6 thoughts on “How You Know it’s Time to Move from to”

    1. Hey Mollie!
      WordPress has documentation for that process here -> One of your first steps will be to choose a host. Here are hosts I recommend. For you, I’d probably go with Flywheel as they do site migrations for free (although you might double-check with their sales team that that is available for .COM to .ORG and not just .ORG->.ORG.


      p.s. That link to Flywheel is an affiliate link, so just visit directly if you’d rather not use my link. 🙂

  1. Hey Carrie, this post actually answered some of my questions. I started my blog 12 days ago. I started with as I was not willing to invest money. I was wondering if my account will get Adsense approval with .com or not. And I’m getting few views ( almost 500), so would you recommend to migrate it or I should continue for now and do that later when I get regular visitors?

    1. Hey Charmy,

      Glad it was helpful. It looks like you can use Adsense with, if you’re on their Business plan.

      Are you at 500 views a day/week/month? If it were me, I’d wait until I reached some sort of critical mass that justified either 1) paying for a Business plan or 2) migrating to .org.


  2. Hey there! I read your article and found it useful. My blog is currently on as I wasn’t willing to put in any cash getting started. The blog currently generates about 10K views per year, do you think I should shift to .org, or wait a bit more?

    1. Hey Nabeeha, glad your site is gaining traffic. The bottom line is: is there anything you want to do with your site that you can’t do because you’re on .com? If so, then maybe time to move to .org. If you’re not frustrated with your current capabilities, no need to trouble yourself with a move. 🙂

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