January 23, 2011

0 WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org?

 Now that I’ve convinced you that WordPress is the way to go, you have another choice to make: self-hosting or hosted version?

Hosting your blog on WordPress.com

WordPress.com (Figure 1.1) hosts WordPress blogs for free. Hosting your blog on WordPress.com frees you from having to get your own hosting space and making sure that your Web server has the software that  WordPress needs to run. It also means that your blog is ready for traffic spikes associated with popular posts. The team behind WordPress.com takes care of all the back-end stuff (patching servers, upgrading software, and the like) and leaves the blogging to you.

Keep a few things in mind when you host your blog on WordPress.com:

• WordPress URL. The URL of your blog will be something like www.mygreatblog.wordpress.com. If you’re going to host a blog for professional reasons, you may not want to advertise the fact that
you’re using a free service.

• Extra cost for advanced features. WordPress.com offers some advanced features such as domain mapping, which allows you to point any domain to a blog hosted on WordPress.com (getting around the amateurish URL), but you have to pay for these features.

• No access to code. Given the nature of WordPress.com, you have no access to your blog’s code. You can’t modify the way your theme looks without paying a little extra, and you can’t upload your own custom theme.

  WordPress.com offers a bunch of plugins for your use, but you can’t upload your own plug-ins, so if you’re interested in using one that isn’t available on WordPress.com, you’re out of luck.

note You can use your own plug-ins when you buy a VIP WordPress.com package, which starts at $600 a month. If this blog is your fi rst  one, however, I don’t recommend going that route.

WordPress.com is a great option if you’re looking to get into blogging with WordPress but don’t want to make a big commitment. Registering is free and easy, and you’ll be up and blogging in no time.

This post concentrates on the other option: hosting your own installation of WordPress. That being said, much of the content of this book (especially the chapters about posts, pages, and links) is valid for both blogs hosted on WordPress.com and self-hosted blogs.

Hosting your own installation of WordPress
Your other option is downloading the WordPress code from WordPress.org and installing it yourself. Because you’re hosting the blog yourself, you decide what plug-ins you’ll use, and you have complete control of all the fi les. What’s more, pointing a domain to your installation won’t cost you anything extra (above and beyond your Web-hosting bill and registration
fees, that is).
This option gives you the most control of your blog, but it does come at a price: You’re responsible for everything. You have to maintain backups of your blog and make sure that your blog is ready for a sudden surge in traffi c, and you won’t have anyone but yourself to blame if you screw something up.

Hosting your own installation of WordPress won’t be much of a challenge
if you’ve maintained a Web site before. If you’re new to Web hosting, you’ll
have a learning curve (but you have this book to help you!).


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