I know wordpress.com free hosting is way more restrictive than wordpress.org, but there are two main things I’d like to know about what we can do—your recent post on font icons, can these be used on .com? And also I wanted to put a publisher-created countdown in my sidebar (flash) and obviously .com doesn’t allow flash for security reasons, is there anyway around this?? I’m not sure what all of .com’s capabilities are, so not sure if I’m missing out on a few tricks…
Since WordPress.com is a free, shared platform, it has a lot of restrictions for security reasons.
No external stylesheets
You cannot include ANY external CSS stylesheets. Sadly, that includes Font Awesome Icons. When using font awesome, you have to include the stylesheet of the fonts, which is an external stylesheet. But this is not allowed on WordPress.com.
No Flash, iframes, or embeds
You cannot use any Flash applications or embedded pages, which includes iframes. These are blocked for a reason, so if your publisher countdowns don’t come in any other non-Flash format, there’s no way around it. You can’t even put the Flash banner on another site and show it through an iframes, because iframes are not allowed either.
No changing layout HTML
In WordPress.com, you can pay for an “upgrade” that will allow you to customize the CSS, but there is no way (paid or not) to edit the HTML of a theme. You can use HTML in posts and widgets, but you cannot change the HTML of the core theme files.
If you want more freedom and control, go self-hosted
WordPress.com does have an audience, but it’s typically for people who want to avoid as much tech stuff as possible. They just want a blog that’s super easy to set up and doesn’t require any maintenance.
But if you want the freedom, control, and plethora of plugins that people rave about, go for self-hosted WordPress.org.