WordPress.com

I was bored and curious, so I made a blog on WordPress.com. WordPress.com is another free blog hosting site, using WordPress (multi-user version) as the blog software/publishing platform.

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.

Another point against WordPress.com is that they do not allow JavaScript, so Flickr badges, StatCounter code, or anything else that uses JavaScript is out.

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?

  4 comments for “WordPress.com

  1. 26 January 2006 at 08:10

    I use Neureal.com for hosting, and Dotster for registration. They’ve both been really good.

  2. 26 January 2006 at 12:15

    I’ve used Revolution Hosting since 2001 for my hosting – it’s nice and cheap has all the features you could want. I recently just switched from my own hand coded blog over to WordPress 2.0 – mostly to try it out – and it’s a great system, super easy to manage.

    I’d say go for getting your own domain – at least so you can have full control over your site. Backends and site management are easy. ;)

  3. 27 January 2006 at 06:29

    My brother is my web provider, and he’s great. But I don’t think he’s providing webhosting to the public. :)

    He recommended GoDaddy for domain name registration, so that’s what I used. That’s the cheap part of the whole thing, of course. It ran me less than $10 to register a domain.

    I use WordPress 2.0 and it’s great. I like the flexibility it offers, the easy plugin architecture, and the fact that I can go in and mess with the code any time I want, to do anything that I can figure out.

    But I agree, it’s hard to justify spending money on a blog if you have no income from it.

  4. 25 February 2007 at 10:54

    Bluehost or Dreamhost would be fine for hosting (I even think Dreamhost is recommended by WordPress) and Namecheap or GoDaddy for domain registration.

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