Free site comparison: WordPress.com versus Wealthy Affiliate

wpvswaOnce you get into Wealthy Affiliate and start  building a website with the free SiteRubix utility, you immediately ask yourself, “Hey this looks like WordPress!” Well, it is WordPress too, but not really. An apple-to-apple comparison is not possible. There is a more significant value proposition with Wealthy Affiliate, but this all depends on how savvy you are, what your goals are, and how willing you are to learn and work. Both platforms will require significant investments in terms of commitment, time and effort. Wealthy Affiliate though has owners Kyle and Carson to help you along. Labman is there too along with an engaged community, and if you are lucky, the person who introduced you to wealthy affiliate is a helpful sort too.

This does not mean you are on your own with WordPress.com. Google is your friend, and there are tons of resources and community to support you, but if you like some leadership and tutoring then the scales tip in favor of Wealthy Affiliate. You will not need another resource at all.

Both free offerings give you just enough to get going, but if you are adventurous and want to leverage more features you will have no choice but to consider the paid options. I say just enough to get you going, but it does not mean that the free offerings are the same. So what is different?

The look and feel of the sites are determined by something called a theme. The free theme choices are different. Wealthy Affiliate provides a theme called screenr for free which is not even an option in WordPress.com. (It is available for download if you have a local WordPress.org install, but that is not the subject of this post) WordPress.com does have more free themes to choose from though.

Wealthy Affiliate provides plugins for search engine optimization (SEO) and pages for search engines to ignore (like the privacy policy). To get full SEO features still requires further cash, but it is not essential. Kyle teaches you that in one of ten free training videos and explains all you need to be dangerous. To get anything SEO at WordPress.com would need a subscription to the business plan ($24.92 per month).

The free WordPress.com shines when it comes to social media integration. It is all there (for beginners anyway). Wealthy Affiliate needs a premium subscription (first month $19 and $49 per month after that) to get access to the easy tools.

Earlier I mentioned the value proposition. As the name Wealthy Affiliate implies, there is an affiliate program attached. WordPress.com has three payment plans in addition to the free plan: Personal ($2.99), Premium ($8.25) and Business mentioned before each offering different features. Once you are a Wealthy Affiliate member there are no further in-app purchases required, it is full featured.

So why pay nearly double ($49 vs. $24.92) for the full featured Wealthy Affiliate. Well, it is simple. Through the affiliate program, you can earn back the fees by referring others and make a tidy income on the side or full time. Of course, this can be achieved through WordPress.com too, but you will have to figure it out how the hard way.

Start exploring the options for yourself and share what you know in the comments section. If you can add to the conversation – critique, coaching, and sharing are welcome. I love to hear from smart people like you.

Go to Wealthy Affiliate here.

Try WordPress.com here.

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