If you are thinking about starting a blog or you are exploring republishing options for a current one, here is my quick take on how it has been going for me since using wordpress.com for my blog.
When I first decided to start a blog over two years ago; like everyone else, I had to spend some time trying to figure out what platform to start blogging on. I did my Googling/research and the options were many. In fact, I first started my blog on WIX because that is where I had several other websites already, like my virtual secretary service website and our family charity website. Soon after I got started, the limitations of WIX for bloggers became evident and I quickly sought another option for my blog before I had gotten too far with posting.
WordPress.com is an all-in-one website building platform that is free to get started with. It uses shared hosting which is set up automatically for you when you sign up. Shared hosting means that there are other person’s and businesses websites sitting on the same server as yours. This is not a big deal when it comes to using the service from a large and reputable website building platform like WordPress.com and so far I have never experienced any downtime for my blog or issues accessing it.
There is A LOT of information on the internet about whether to use, or not to use, wordpress.com for blogging – but here is the deal – wordpress.com is a platform specifically designed to accommodate the many goals and needs of the world’s bloggers. WordPress.com is feature-rich and packed with plug-ins to help you achieve whatever your ultimate plan is for your blog whether that be to reach more viewers with a positive message or to earn some extra cash or to turn blogging in to a full time income.
In my experience, I have mostly seen recommendations to use wordpress.org and I fully understand why some individuals and companies would prefer the options that you can get from using it like the ability to self-host, which is the biggest perk of using it that you will find stated around the internet in recommendation posts for the .org option.
Although installing and using wordpress.org is absolutely free, you must be prepared to budget for hosting the website on a server and to get any really great theme expect to spend at least $35 (and often additional payments for theme updates or support). WordPress.org is great if you have some tech experience or someone who can help you set it up and keep on top of managing your server and other techy tasks that you will have to do on your own – whereas wordpress.com handles all of that and you can concentrate on creating great content for your blog.
The reasons I would recommend wordpress.com for new bloggers (or bloggers who would like to get started blogging for the best value for money), who are not techy enough to configure servers and the rest of the complexities of self-hosting OR, who simply want to focus on blogging and not have to stress about touching base with your server provider for any reason or renewing an SSL certificate are that wordpress.com:
- 100s of premium themes and plugins: A theme is the overall look and design of your website, it will define the colors, placement of images, banner types and so forth – wordpress.com offers numerous free themes and once you upgrade to a paid plan you will get access to splendid premium themes. Upgrading your wordpress.com account can cost as little as $4 a month with one year FREE domain name of your choice which is also automatically configured for your website right after you upgrade – it really cannot get any easier. The plugins are like extensions to make your blog even better, plugins can range from form customizers to widgets, popups, landing pages, membership profiles and more.
- WordPress.com Reader: WordPress.com also offers something I have not found with any other website building platform – a little social hub dubbed “WordPress Reader”.This is where you can publish blog posts for other wordpress.com users to read and interact with. I will never forget when I got my very first blog post view and subscriber which found my then super new blog on the WordPress Reader. As you can imagine that really encourage me to keep writing and working on my blog. The WordPress Reader community is supportive and filled with advice, it is the perfect launch pad to help a new blogger gain experience and confidence blogging.
- Blog income and monetization: Contrary to a lot of information you will find on the web – it is very much possible to monetize your blog with wordpress.com. You can use all the usual monetization practices such as affiliate links, selling virtual products and courses, accepting sponsorship and so forth and there are numerous payment integration options with paid plans. You are also automatically enrolled in the wordpres.com referral program where you can earn credit towards your wordpress.com annual fees.
- Reliability & Reputation: The WordPress brand is the most trusted website building platform in the world – it has really revolutionized the options for website building. There is virtually no down-time for your site which means you do not run the risk of losing site visitors if your site is not accessible due to whatever reason caused by the host. There are over 70 million websites worldwide built on either of the WordPress platform options, this speaks volumes about the WordPress reputation and how WordPress resonates with bloggers and businesses around the world.
- Limitless Support: Getting your wordpress.com questions answered is as simple as typing the question in to Google – WordPress has so many happy users that there are millions of articles, videos, forums and expert help available for free online in addition to the support given by WordPress itself. Ultimately, you are never alone in your blogging journey with WordPress.
- Everything else: I could really go on and on about my experience with wordpress.com but I think you now understand why I am a fan. The flexibility to build my site with easy to use tools and switch to more advanced editing when needed is a plus; the in-built security of sitting on a server owned by the world’s most reputable website builder creators is a plus; the complimentary SSL certification which ensures that Google will give better rankings in its searchs; the super easy setup of my domain which I got FREE for the first year after signing up for the paid plan; the speed of loading AND great pricing options in addition to all the great perks above are all excellent reasons to get started with your blog on wordpress.com
Blogging is truly such a wonderful experience, I get to meet new people everyday who look to me for advice on all sorts of things or who I can look to for advice and encouragement. There is always room on the web for another great blog so if you are planning to get started on yours then please do and feel free to send me a link to it so that I can enjoy your content, interact and share!
Have a fan-ta-bulous rest of your week and if you have any questions I am always an email or posted comment away!