Therefore, our new series will focus on the ins and outs of WordPress. I have dozens of WordPress blogs, which means that I know the strengths, and the weaknesses, of WordPress for writers.
Your first decision must be, which WordPress you’ll run. You can choose between the free, hosted version, and hosting WordPress yourself, on your own domain.
The free, hosted wordpress.com
The simplest option is the free, hosted version of WordPress — available at wordpress.com. If you’re unfamiliar with WordPress, it’s a great choice. However, do be aware that there are serious limitations if you’re using the free version.
However there are those limitations… Here’s the primary one, from the Terms of Service:
Termination. Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.
This means precisely what you’d think it to mean: Automattic can shut down your wordpress.com blog at any time, and you can’t appeal the decision.
Could this happen to you? It’s doubtful, as long as you follow the TOS. Do be aware that it could happen.
The other limitation is that Automattic can run ads on your wordpress.com blog if it chooses too. You can opt out of advertising, but you’ll pay for the privilege.
I think of wordpress.com as the hobbyist’s version of WordPress. If you’re a completely new writer, then it’s all you need. You can sign up, and start blogging in minutes.
The free version is also good if you’re a completely new WordPress blogger. You can play around to your heart’s content, without worrying that you’ll break something.
WordPress on your own domain
You can install WordPress on your own domain. While the WordPress script is free, you do need to buy a domain name and hosting. The domain name will be roughly $10 per year, and you can buy good hosting for around $5 per month. So, moneywise, it shouldn’t break your bank.
Installing WordPress is easy. Most hosting providers have numerous scripts you can install on your domains. wordpress.org is such a script. You can install with a couple of clicks, and you’re ready to blog, with all the pleasure, and none of the pain, of the hosted version. 🙂
There are some pains to hosting WordPress yourself.
* Spam, lots and lots of spam (manageable, with plugins);
* The temptation to tinker. WordPress is endlessly customizable. If you have the temperament, you’ll find it impossible to stop fiddling (I’ve trained myself out of this, over the years), when you should be focusing on content;
* Updates. Although you can update WordPress automatically, sometimes it doesn’t go well, and you’ve got a dead blog. Your hosting provider is unlikely to help. You installed WP, their attitude is, you fix it. This means you’ll need to hire someone to do it for you.
So, you have two choices. Which one for you?
If you need to ask, get a free hosted blog. If you’re ready to host WordPress yourself, you won’t need to ask. 🙂
Celebrate. It’s the Merry Christmas Treasure Bundle!
Happy Holidays, dear Writer…
It’s time to present our Christmas goodies again, to ensure that you get the treats which will make 2012 your best writing year ever.
I’ve chosen your guides carefully: create the income you want, and work the hours you want… from your kitchen table, or your living room sofa.
Explore the Merry Christmas Treasure Bundle, for a wonderful 2012.