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Your Own Domain VS .WordPress.com?

self-hosted-wordpress

So a big question a lot of people face when they first start blogging is how to set up their blog. Should it be self hosted on your own domain or can you get away with just having a .wordpress.com domain?

What’s the difference?

A WordPress.com blog a is a free blog that you set up. Its all hosted by wordpress themselves. To have a blog on your own domain you need to buy the domain (about $10), get it hosted (from about $7/month) and then upload the wordpress platform (most hosts will do this automatically for you). WordPress.com blogs are a limited version of the self hosted wordpress available at wordpress.org and give you a domain name like yourblog.wordpress.com

So which do you choose?

WordPress.com

Pros:
Free!

Quick and easy to set up

Requires almost no technical knowledge

Posibility to gain traffic through WordPress “Blogs of the Day” or Blogger search bar (very limited traffic in my experience).

WordPress handles backups

Cons:
Cant upload plugins (this is a major).

Limited to the standard themes (70+ themes and growing… slowly)

Can’t run adsense => can’t make money with adsense

Can’t edit your theme or any other part of the blog.

Your Own Domain (wordpress.org)

Pros:
Can upload plugins

Thousands of themes to choose from online (free and paid)

Complete control of your theme.

Can run adsense and profit from your blog

More professional on your own theme.

Can add it to your existing website (eg yourwebsite.com/blog)

Great community

Cons
Costs

More technical to set up

You need to handle backups yourself

Traffic spikes might cause your hosting to crash (5 Things You Should Know About Making The Digg Front Page)

My 10 Cents

I used a free platform for a grand total of 1 week before I realised I couldn’t make any changes to my theme or add plugins so I made the switch. I think owning your own domain has value and looks less amateur than the free blogs plus I wanted to run adsense. To be honest it took me a while to learn how to set up my blog an get it working as I like (heck I am still changing things) but I think there’s good value in having your own domain.

If your not very technical and you want your own domain I recommend you either ask a friend to help or pay someone to set it up for you. However if you like learning and want to have a go it’s not too tricky to figure it out and a good learning experience.

Stay tuned and I’ll put together a guide that covers the whole process See below for a free guide to get you through the whole process, you may want to download it now and save it for later.

What do you think.

Are free blogs a good place to start and then move on?

Should you set up your own domain from day one?

Or can your survive on a free blog forever?

Leave a comment with your thoughts.

Edit: Here’s the guide I talked about.

Setting Up WordPress on Your OWN Domain

Setting Upr WordPress

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29 Comments »

  • Bekki Buenviaje said:

    I just started a blog last month, and I have been thinking about this very question all week! Thanks for outlining the pros and cons.

    Reply

  • Tim Scullin said:

    That’s another good reason to set up on wordpress, great SEO structure.

    Reply

  • Tim Scullin said:

    Good Luck!
    Check out the post installation tips in the Setting Up WordPress guide.

    Reply

  • Allister Sinclair said:

    Very good article. I think wordpress.com is a nice tutorial for the real thing.

    Reply

  • Mariano said:

    As Dave Keys mentions, SEO is a HUGE reason not to host on WordPress.com. If you’re going to be using your blog as a revenue generator, there really isn’t any other choice than to host it on your own. Fortunately, the investment really isn’t all that big and is totally worth it if you’re looking to build a revenue stream out of your blog, or even to get more easily found by people seeking out the topic about which you’re writing.

    Thanks for the informative post, I appreciate it!

    Reply

  • Tom said:

    Tim, I just found your site. Thanks for all the good info.

    I just started my blog on wordpress.com and have hit the wall on customization as you shared. I paid for hosting a few years ago but couldn’t get past all the “Geek-inese” of the CPanel. And the service had lousy tutorials. Which company, if you know, has the best support/tutorials?

    I am looking forward to digging into your site some more. Thanks again.

    Tom Kaye

    Reply

  • dhan said:

    I’m thinking of migrating from free wordpress to the self-hosted version but right now I want to focus on building up my content.

    Reply

  • Grace Brown said:

    It is also easy to backup and transfer all your websites from one server to another server if you have cPanel installed’.’

    Reply

  • Madeline Morgan said:

    What company is the best Domain Registrar? i’ve heard that Godaddy and Moniker are the best.:;`

    Reply

  • Gem said:

    Great and helpful post. I have a wordpress on my own domain. But I also have a blogger account and love the ease at following blogs and how you can see how many followers a people has. Is there anyway you can have a followers section on your own domain name hosting a wordpress? Thanks

    Reply

  • Mariana said:

    I haven’t read all the comments, so sorry if this is a repeat… but…

    Then there’s the third option, which I am considering. Using wordpress.com for it’s ease of use (the limited features may actually prevent me from wasting too much time on our site!), but mapping it to our own domain for 10 bucks a year. Again, can’t run Adsense… but I’m not sure that would be appropriate for a design company anyway. The bigger issue, is that I can’t have FTP access. We like that for backups and transferring large files to clients, etc.

    So then I looked at adding another 5 euro charge and taking our host up on the offer of subdomains. Then we could map wordpress to one of the subdomains, and maintain FTP at the main site. What do people think? Is this stupid? Should I just jump into WordPress.org? I know I will love it, but that’s the problem… I do have other work to do! :)
    -Mariana

    Reply

  • Scabies Natural said:

    This brings our the cons and the pros very nicely, thanks for this post. I agree with mostly all of that !

    Reply

  • Siddharth said:

    in the start i too had this dilemma ,but now im on the right path of blogging.This is great blog post and ur pictures added to ur blog related to ur blog post is very creative .thanks for the share .

    Reply

  • Travel Planners said:

    I don’t understand why the wordpress.com is not allowing the monetization modes to the platform like blogger.

    Reply

  • Devilslab-Your Guide to stay updated said:

    Using self-hosted wordpress is really very good because by using wordpress.com account we can make necessary changes that are helpful for seo.

    Reply

  • Charlotte Hughes said:

    domain names should be as short as possible and easy to remember, i alway use Godaddy when signing up new domain names-.:

    Reply

  • Ear Infection Treatment : said:

    it is always great to find a domain that has the same name as the product that you are trying to promote.-*

    Reply

  • Track Jacket · said:

    godaddy is not always the best registrar, the private registration of godaddy is too expensive ”

    Reply

  • Josue Worton said:

    Great story! Will take a good amout of time to examine your blog.

    Reply

  • Cross Country Running Shoes said:

    picking a good domain name is enssential for ranking good on search engines .”-

    Reply

  • Seducenow said:

    Thanks tim ,
    VERY USEFUL informations.
    i’m gonna host it on my own.

    Reply

  • Jasmine said:

    Definitely eatmice.com, it sounds really cool! That said, of course, it would be much better to use your own domain.

    Reply

  • Jimmy said:

    HI, Tim Scullin Thanks for sharing that…….I think that a blog On your own Domain is better than WordPress.com….there is no limitations…….but for begginers WordPress.com is a googd platform to start…..

    Reply

  • muhammad waqas-19883 said:

    i think my own domain is better than it.there i can put ads according to my requirement.and no unwanted ads

    Reply

  • scooter parts said:

    I confine snack up adopt a piss to your blog incalculable times. The added articles are incredibly captivating and interesting. I unswerving to signup during your rss deck discernible, so I can be in vogue keeping advised of your forward editorials.

    Reply

  • Angelina said:

    WordPress.com is good………Its totally free………no tension for hosting or something else…

    Reply

  • Shubham said:

    In my opinion self-hosted wordpress blog is good (if you can afford the expense)! As you have everything of your own! And you’ll not to depend on wp.com anymore! (wp.com is good for starters)
    Regards

    Reply

  • Free dating said:

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again!

    Reply

  • Tactical Holsters said:

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    Reply

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