If you are like me – who has blogged with wordpress.com for free for years together, then I am sure you would have wondered sometime or the other if you should upgrade with wordpress.com.
To start with, wordpress.com is amazingly simple and excellent blog hosting site. Anyone will be flattered with the features, themes and widgets and everything! In the beginning, you will just think “What more do I need? “..Its only after few years, your mind will start pestering you for more features and widgets or themes. That’s when you begin to wonder – should you upgrade with wordpress.com to get add-ons or should you start afresh with wordpress.org? (If you haven’t read the wordpress.com vs wordpress.org from support, then you have to read that first here!)
When to go with wordpress.org?
If you are already a regular blogger and have blogged already for few years and if you want to start a new blog, then without any doubt, you should go for wordpress.org blog. Purchase your down domain name and hosting space. Then install the wordpress.org software and then whoa! you have got everything that you can imagine – with the unlimited plug-ins and widgets available, you can do almost anything you want! You can even convert your blog to a full fledged commercial website and do business out of it!
But if you are like me, who has blogged already in a particular site and wants more for the same blog (not a new one!), then you need to think a little before spending money!
Once you have started hosting your blog at wordpress.com for free, all you can do is to purchase your own domain name and map your existing blog to this new domain name which itself would cost around 17$ per anum. With other upgrades you can get videopress, custom CSS, etc etc. But I am just focusing on the domain name and other plugins, widgets and theme features. So, I am not really concerned about other (video, custom css, private users, etc) upgrades available with wordpress.com.
So, even with this domain name and mapping done with wordpress.com, all you have got is just the same blog in a nice URL. Nothing else! Absolutely nothing! You are still hosting your blog with wordpress.com which means:
- You cannot upload / install your own themes
- You have only the same limited widgets
- You don’t have access to those innumerable plugins and other features of wordpress.org
Basically you still do not own the full control of your blog!! Still all the limitations you faced with your wordpress.com blog are there. Only that you have got a nice URL that too, for a cost of 17$ per anum. If you want just the nice domain name, then this is it! This is the option you gotta choose.
But if you want the nice domain name + wordpress.org features for your existing blog, then you have got this another option for almost the same cost: You can purchase your own domain and hosting space from any good web-hosting company. You can get this for as cheap as 5$ per month (5$ would come only when you purchase it for 3-4 years at a time. If you purchase for just a year, then they would charge it at 9$ per month!) from a good hosting company. For that 5$ you have got a nice name and also hosting space. Now, you can install wordpress.org at your site and import all the contents of your existing blog (by exporting the contents at your existing wordpress.com blog) at wordpress.com. With this done, you will have 2 blogs with different urls but the same content – one hosted with wordpress.com and the other hosted by you! Now, all you gotta do is, just do a offsite-redirect at wordpress.com at the rate of around 12$ per anum so that people landing at your.wordpress.com blog will be automatically redirected to your-self-hosted-blog.com. This option is again for almost the same cost! Nice.. Isn’t it?
With the self-hosted wordpress.org blog, I even can install the Google analytics and track my readers. I can find out how many unique visitors are visiting my blog and from which part of the world are they and what browser they are using and much more! Google analytics will definitely help me improve my blog quality and tweak my posts for my readers! I can install my own themes and get different look whenever I want! But then, I should also take care of the spam filtering, backups and other such silly admin stuff! Also, I need to take additional care about SEO and such..
As usual, I am still confused and thinking if I should really do this.. Well.. I have been thinking about this for quite sometime.. Sometimes I feel it would be great to have it hosted by my self.. But other times, I feel this free blog at wordpress.com is also great – with lots of new themes & widgets & other features (like sharing with twitter, fb, stumble, etc) coming up, I feel happy about this as well!
Hmm… still thinking.. How about you?