Having your blog on WordPress.com
Let’s not get confused. WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS) for blogging and publishing platform powered by PHP and MySQL. There is only one version and the current one is version 3.2.1.
What differentiates WordPress is the method of hosting. It could be hosted on WordPress.com or self-hosted on a web host.
When your blog is on WordPress.com is basically free and if it’s self-hosted than you have to pay the web hosting fees.
Depending on the amount of traffic you get, it can cost USD$7.95 to as high as USD$270 monthly.
Here are the reasons:
- It’s Free.
- No technical details to worry about.
- No need to worry about bandwidth or number of visitors to the site.
- No need to bother about upgrading the core files.
- Practically zero comment spam.
The best reason to use WordPress.com is when you are doing it the first time. You’re new to it and would like to get your feet wet without any risks.
You can also connect your blog to popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo and Messenger.
Social sharing is also enabled for Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon.
I must admit I still have blogs that I regularly update on WordPress.com. I could, if I wanted to, move it to a self-hosted setup.
I didn’t because I don’t want to worry too much about the technical issue like upgrading and plugins compatibility.
If you’re willing to pay, WordPress.com offers an upgrade to a Pro version. It costs only USD$99 yearly and this is what you get:
- Domain Name & Mapping
- 5GB Space Upgrade
- No Ads
- Custom Design
Personally I think it’s quite a good deal because if you were to get the features individually, it’ll cost more.
If you’re not satisfied with the free themes, you can buy themes offered in WordPress.com. Currently there’s 20 of them and I’d expect the number to grow. The price ranges from $45 to $100.
If you get the domain name and mapping, you could even configure for a google apps email address.
One of my blogs, http://gazaliahmad.com is running on WordPress.com. I got the domain name and mapping for it. I’ve also have a customize email address for it. It’s gazali at gazaliahmad dot-com.
I may upgrade to the Pro or just simply buy a premium theme.
Why not WordPress.com
Are there things not to like on WordPress.com? Here are the list:
- Stuck with the templates (or themes) that WordPress.com provides.
- No modifications of core files.
- Ads-supported though sparingly.
- Can’t run an email marketing list.
I think that the limitations aren’t that significant. The reasons for not allowing third-party plugins or modifications have something to do with security.
On self-hosted WordPress blogs, plugins are the main method of hacking into the blog. The most recent is the TimThumb Plugin exploit. The other source is when the blogger or site owner fails to update the core files or plugins regularly. Finally one more method is through misconfiguration of the WordPress install.
The ads that do appear are quite minimal and sometimes never at all. If it get’s unbearable, I can always pay to get rid of it.
I don’t know about you, personally I hate those pop-ups that ask for your names and email address in exchange for a free something. That’s why it’s really a non-issue with me.
The disadvantage of using WordPress.com is becoming less insignificant. If you’re willing to pay $99 yearly, it nearly even out having your own self-hosted WordPress website.