Can I use a 17th Avenue theme with the WordPress.com Business Plan?
For many years, WordPress.com prohibited third-party themes and plugins on their platform. In 2018, WordPress.com introduced a "Business Plan" for $25/month that allows themes and plugins. We are frequently asked if our themes will work on the Business Plan, and here is our answer:
Yes, our themes do technically work on the WordPress.com Business Plan.
HOWEVER, we cannot provide theme support, customizations, or installation services for sites using the WordPress.com Business Plan. If you choose to install a theme on WordPress.com, you are doing so at your own risk.
The reason: Since WordPress.com does not allow backend hosting access, it's risky to troubleshoot issues or perform theme installation. If your site were to break (for example, due to a plugin incompatibility) there would be no way for us to fix it for you and you would be left with a nonfunctioning website. WordPress.com support would need to remotely disable the plugins/theme causing the problem, which means your site could be down for a substantial period of time waiting for support to respond to the issue. Until WordPress.com provides backend site access (FTP), we can't provide support/services for WordPress.com sites.
All of that being said – you're more than welcome to install a theme on WordPress.com if you are comfortable taking the risk. The risk is minimal, since "site-breaking" issues are relatively rare, but certainly not unheard of and we want you to be aware of all possible outcomes.
It's also worth mentioning that the WordPress.com Business Plan is significantly more expensive than hosting for a WordPress.org site. If you are considering purchasing the Business Plan, we highly recommend going with WordPress.org instead! Click here for our guide to getting started on WordPress.org. Shared hosting from Bluehost or SiteGround is as low as $4/month, versus $25/month with the WordPress.com Business Plan.
If you're already using WordPress.com and would like to switch to WordPress.org, click here for the WordPress moving guide.