The advantage of hosting one’s blog on WordPress.com is obviously that it uses WordPress. WordPress.com is great for newbie bloggers and for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with code. WordPress is quite user-friendly, it is easy to get to work with for the uninitiated, it has a lot of features, and there are loads of nice-looking templates available.
It has a host of standard features that Blogger lacks. The ability to categorise posts and blogroll links is one. Another is a basic, integrated blog stats counter. Another feature that Blogger doesn’t have is the ability to make stand alone pages which are not part of the continuity of your blog entries.
The version of WordPress that WordPress.com provides is less feature-filled than if you downloaded WordPress for use on your own web server, but it is still powerful.
The major missing feature is the inability to alter the blog’s template code. I am accustomed to tweaking the Blogger template to suit my needs. Granted, I don’t do anything too fancy, and creating a template from scratch is beyond me, however I like the flexibility to edit the code.
WordPress.com does not allow you to associate more than one blog with one author, which is something that Blogger allows. I don’t have the need to author multiple public blogs at this point, however it would have been nice if WordPress.com offered the option.
One thing to note is that the WordPress.com hosting site just went public just last Autumn, after a period of being invitation-only. They are still making improvements and developing features. I’m going to keep an eye on them. If they offer an automatic import/export feature, I may take another look. WordPress offers enough features as standard that I would consider moving from Blogger (though I would miss my Bloglines blogroll).
On a related note, from time to time I consider paying for hosting services, getting my own domain, installing WordPress, and blogging from my own site. Learning the ins and outs of the backend would be something to look forward to, kind of. I am not schooled in the ways of programming or the technicalities of web site management, but surely it isn’t too difficult, is it? Having said that, it’s not as if I have a large audience or that I make any money from doing this, so I dont know if I can justify the recurring expense. It would be a nice project, though.
For the elites in the audience, do you have recommendations or warnings about specific web hosting services?