This blog is done with an installation of WordPress on my own site. Why would one choose to set up one’s own installation of WordPress, instead of doing one on http://www.wordpress.com/ or http://www.blogger.com/?
- Control – I decide on the plugins and the styles. I can tweak the code if I like. I can customize a theme.
- Ownership – photos, text, other content – no question of ownership on a self-hosted blog. No waking up one day to find out your blog was banned by Blogger or WordPress.com (it seems this has happened to others).
- WordPress offers good spam protection with Akismet. You can also get this on WordPress.com, but you can’t advertise on WordPress.com, so you have limited choices if you want to monetize your blog.
- Integration with the rest of your site (if you have a “rest of your site”) is seamless. Same domain, easy to click around. If your blog is on a separate site, this weakens your search strength.
- More control over commenting: I set up nested comments and Subscribe to Comments. Others have used a plugin that gives a person five minutes to edit a comment.
- Too Many Choices – some people don’t need or don’t want all the options in life.
- Upgrades and installations are done for you.
- Blogger has some nice widgets that I haven’t seen on WordPress blogs. (But then WordPress has widgets not on Blogger, and you could write your own – or could you?)
- Cost – One does have to pay for web hosting and domain hosting. But if you are a serious business, the costs are minimal (You can get a free domain for life with a good web host that is only about $100/year).
- Moving an already existing blog can get technical and detailed.
A middle ground between the two choices might be to put your blog on WordPress.com initially, when you are starting, but buy your own domain name. That way, if/when you do decide to switch to self-hosted WordPress, you won’t lose your readership, because they will automatically be re-directed to your new blog when you re-direct your domain name.
If you are in business but not technically-oriented, you can choose a web hosting company that offers a lot of technical support. And you can pay a technical person to optimize your blog for searches, customize your theme and do updates. Although updates on WordPress have gotten SO easy, that this is no longer an issue to deter someone from installing WordPress. The admin panel is easy to use, too.
Did I miss anything? Questions?
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