Your Own Domain VS .WordPress.com?
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?
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
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)
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)
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.