A blogging journey – from WordPress.com to WordPress.org (Blog Post)
Blogging has become an expensive hobby. Once upon a time about six years ago I had set up as a free wordpress.com site. A few name changes later, then domains caught my attention. This was followed by a personal plan and different themes. More recently, as I am back on a blogging phase – frustrations at the lack of control, plugins and other .com woes. After much deliberation and reading up on it, it overwhelmingly seemed to be a wise move to self-host and shift to wordpress.org. A couple hundred pounds later, hours of googling and here we are – curious and perplexed at this world.
WordPress.com to .org
If you don’t know much about blogging – this doesn’t really mean much. What is the big deal – a change from a .com suffix to .org? Aside from the fact that it took ages to search how to’s, I suppose it came down to limitations. Some key differences are:
WordPress.com: – Your content subject to WordPress.com T&C
– Starts off as a free subdomain on their site (eg anonymuss.wordpress.com) .
– They deal with security, maintenance etc (user friendly).
– Less headaches/responsibility, but also less customisation and control
WordPress.org: – You self host the website (you pay a website host)
– Can work out more cost-effective in the long run depending on blogs intent .
– You are responsible for maintenance, security, updates.
– More responsibility and control, but more ownership and a world of possibility
This, and the whole decision making and considering which host to go for, is of course very simplified.
A blogging journey – six years on
It casts back to this blogs creation – what was the real point? I like the experimentation, and a few days ago spent $25 worth of ad credit from Stumbleupon. I saw an instant spike in stats in a day in a view to gain a larger audience. Although those views didn’t translate into engagement – what made me decide to try it? There comes a point whereby it is not just a personal space with dreams of organic growth based on what you write alone. Eventually, there will reach the point about strategies or tactics to increase a following and to see what works. That becomes a transition of taking a hobby and creative space and seeing it as an income potential.
Dilemma of an online self
anonymuss.com is overall pretty undefined. It is my personal space. It is pretty niche. One day it may be a book review, the next a random as hell blog post such as this. WordPress.org and self hosting seems to have opened up a world of possibilities, yet at the heart of it I still don’t know what I want from it. Looking at traffic, growth, SEO, advertising – these were things I hoped I would never do. A dilemma between a part of me that wants my pieces recognised, shared, gaining a following – and the part that would rather just have a personal space that lurks in the shadows. The desire for tweaking, and advertising traffic and clicks for views fundamentally takes from its original creative space. Yet the more you invest into it, the more the expectation there is to get something out of it.
A personal touch
Whereas before it was a case of tweaking for creative impact, it may later be tweaking for Mr Google Results.The question always comes: do you make money from the site, to which the answer has for years been no. Not many can really understand spending time and effort for something where there are no real visible fruits for toil. The more it becomes geared towards business, the less it becomes a personal space. It seems to be selling out a hobby. Yet owning the website, having that dominion and so many options is a blank canvas of creativity. What the canvas is used for or how it is utilised – that is something I’ve yet to find out myself.
Is there a point in changing?
It took me a while to make the move. After initially feeling overwhelmed, there is a new world that is open through .org. For a business, the answer would be simple. For a casual blogger it can be more difficult. If it is a website you can barely dedicate time to, wordpress.com can seem far more feasible and quick. Yet for future-proofing (if it is something you may want to make money from in the long haul, or invest more time in), and for those more interested in the creative process – it could well be worth it.
Bloggers, get in touch. Very curious to hear your self-hosting (or not quite yet) experiences!