Choose Your Platform: Self-Hosted WordPress
The first thing you need to decide before you start a blog is which blogging platform do you want to choose. The platform covered in this post, is WordPress.org (self-hosted aka owned by You.)
I. Pros of WordPress.org (Self-Hosted)
A. Itâ€™s extremely customizable with all of the different themes available. A very simple way to define a theme, is like saying it’s your layout. There’s so much more included in a theme beyond looks, trust me, you want wordpress themes in your blogging corner.
B. Depending on which theme you have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is built into your blog OR if your theme doesnâ€™t come with SEO built into it, then you can get a FREE plug-in that will allow you to plug-in all the SEO. SEO is what allows your blog to be â€œcrawledâ€ or searched by Google, Yahoo, Bing, & other search engines. You want this for your blog.
C. Considered to be a very professional platform on which to blog. And it lets people know you are serious about this whole blogging gig because you are willing to invest some money (and your time) into your blog!
D. Great customer service. WordPress & your web host will work with you & try to do anything they can to make your experience with them the best.
E. Great commenting forms that come with the installation of WordPress. This was so important to me because I never felt like Blogger allowed me to have a great interaction with people.
F.Â Self-Hosted blogs mean that you own your blog. Let’s compare it to owning a home versus renting a home. When you blog on Blogger, your actual blog is owned by Google, but all of your content is owned by you.Â Just like when you rent a home, the landlord owns the actual structure, but you own the furniture. And just like as a renter, you can be “evicted” from your Blogger blog (unlikely that it will happen, but worth knowing just in case.)
A Self-Hosted blog is just like owning a home. You ownÂ everything,Â the domain name, the internet space & the content. No one can shut you down, except you!
G. Plugins, plugins, plugins. Want people to be able to share your blog to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, etc? Thereâ€™s a plugin for that. Want to put up a slideshow of pictures on one of your menu pages for a portfolio? Thereâ€™s a plugin in for that. Donâ€™t want spam comments anymore? Thereâ€™s a plugin for that. Want an about me section in your side bar? Guess what? There’s a plugin for that. See where I’m going with this….There are so many different plugin options that can make your blog better.
II. Cons of WordPress.org (Self-Hosted)
A. It costs money because instead of renting the house you are â€œbuyingâ€ the house. Â Meaning, you are buying your own piece of internet real estate. There are a lot of great places to buy hosting, here are some I recommend:
Dreamhost,Â BlueHost, HostGator, & RFE.
It also costs money if you want to buy a premium theme. But there are so many free themes out there that you can upload a free theme to your blog & then buy a premium later if you want.
Some great themes are:
Genesis framework themesÂ (this blog is built using a child theme on the Genesis Framework.)
B. There are no more cons to a self-hosted wordpress blog. Thus the reason I spent the money switching mine over.
So much better, isn’t it? Just wish I had switched over earlier!