Starting off with blogging with wordpress.com
From time to time I get the following question “can I start with wordpress.com hosting then transfer it over to self hosted WordPress later” ?
The short answer is Yes!
The long answer is Yes, but might not be the best of idea’s if you have not started your blog or site and are asking the question. If you are planning to start a personal blog or site without much inspiration to conquer the masses then a wordpress.com blogging platform is your way to go, but if you are planning to have anything remotely commercial with your site / blog then you should at least get your own domain and point it over to wordpress.com. Doing so will require you to join the Premium Features of wordpress.com and start to cough up a few dollars. So if you have opened your wallet already, then you might as well go pro and get your own domain and some simple hosting to go with it. As you might already know, I use Dreamhost for all small customer blog and sites, and starting out with self hosted WordPress has a handfull of advantages :
- Choose from any available theme free or commercial , I love to recommend themeforest for great themes with a small price.
- You can install any plug-in you wish.
- Easy to upgrade and move to another host if your site gets really big.
- Use your own domain name
- Have your own email address on your domain name and even start to work with Google Apps (Yes – I recommend it).
- From an SEO standpoint you have some really neat tools and features that are not available on the wordpress.com platform
- Host the site in your own country on local hosting servers, especially important for non US blogs.
- You can edit the CSS and make small modifications to the theme when required
- Get your self hosted WordPress installed for FREE with blog-install.com
These are just a few points off the top of my head, I am sure that I can add a few more.
There is one nice little feature that comes with the wordpress.com “Premium Features” – VideoPress, it costs about 60 bucks a year and will allow you to stream and manage HD video on your blog. Usually I would just point you in the direction of youtube or vimeo , but VideoPress does have a list of nifty features that might be worthwhile if you go heavy on video.