If you’ve ever considered starting a blog, you have probably been advised by friends and fellow bloggers to use WordPress to start your blog. That’s with good reason. WordPress blogs are flexible, customizable, and easy to use – all great things when starting a blog, especially if you are a beginner. But there’s an important decision you’ll have to start a WordPress blog before you dive in.
When you start a WP blog, you’ll have two basic options. You can either have your blog hosted on wordpress.com and have your blog’s name listed as the subdomain, or you can use wordpress.org. Let’s look at the differences, as this is a very important decision.
The first option is free, while still offering most of the flexibility and customizability that WordPress offers. You can start your blog, create and publish posts, promote your site, and build a following. However, it’s imperative that you understand that when you choose this option, WordPress technically owns your content. What does that mean for you? It means that they can, at any time, for any reason, take down your blog. It’s rare that this will happen, but it’s possible, so it’s something of which you should be aware. The larger problem with hosting your blog on wordpress.com is that you don’t have your own unique domain name. This may seem like a small thing, but look at it this way: Does it sound more professional to have your domain be called www.myblog.wordpress, or www.myblog? If you want to have the kind of professional image and cache that your blog deserves, the choice should be clean. To boost your blog’s professional potential, the second WordPress option is probably the better choice.
Opting to use wordpress.org instead of wordpress.com, you can have your own domain name, which will serve as your unique online identity. Yes, you’ll have to pay for your domain name through a hosting service, but think of it as an investment in your business. You’ll also get all of the features offered to the free accounts, but with the important added benefit of maintaining complete control over your content with no fear of it being shut down by WordPress.
Whichever option you choose when starting your blog, WordPress makes starting up your blog easy. Their instructions will walk you through the process. Once your domain name is chosen and your blog is set up, you can choose from a seemingly endless array of templates, plugins, and other options to make your little corner of the online world truly your own.