This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.
On my last post, I went over the 6 simple steps on how to start a blog.
I actually had several readers email me because they still weren’t sure whether they should go with WordPress.org or WordPress.com. In fact, they also asked about some of the other free blogging platforms.
So I figured that the best way to answer this is by writing a post and sharing the reasons why I chose WordPress.org.
1. My Own Domain
Having my own domain is important to me.
Using WordPress.org, the domain for my blog is www.pennywisedollarwiser.com.
If I had signed up with WordPress.com, my domain would have been pennywisedollarwiser.wordpress.com.
And it would have been the same thing if I had gone with any of the other free blogging platforms:
- Tumblr – pennywisedollarwiser.tumblr.com
- Blogger – pennywisedollarwiser.blogger.com
- Weebly – pennywisedollarwiser.weebly.com
Now I do know that WordPress.com, Tumblr, Blogger, and Weebly do allow their users to use custom domains as well. However, due to their pricing, restrictions, and/or limitations, it just did not make sense for me to even consider using these blogging platform outside of the free option (which is to be set up as a sub-domain as indicated above).
2. My Own Domain Email
Continuing on with the importance of having my own domain, having an email address on that domain allows me to attain a professional look and feel.
As part of my hosting package with Bluehost, I am allowed unlimited domain-branded email addresses. An example of one of my domain-branded email address is the same one I provided on the Contact page – email@example.com.
Interestingly enough, even if I had opted to use a custom domain with the other blogging platforms, their hosting services would not have included email hosting – which meant that I would have needed to use one of the web-based email providers such as Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, or Gmail. While these options are all fine for personal emails and correspondences, it does not provide the same level of professionalism as a domain-branded (company-branded) email address.
3. More Monetization Options
There are more monetization options with WordPress.org simply because there are less restrictions.
Using a self-hosted WordPress.org blog means I can earn money displaying advertisements from any third-party ad network of my choice. I can also put as many or as little ad units per page as I feel is appropriate.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, only allows WordAds (the official WordPress.com advertising program) and restricts all third-party ad networks such as Google AdSense, OpenX, Lijit, BuySellAds, and Vibrant Media.
While Tumblr, Blogger, and Weebly do not indicate any restrictions on any third-party ad networks, it is unclear whether they actually support all ad networks. They do, however, restrict the number of ad units per page.
Using a self-hosted WordPress.org blog means I can put as many or as little affiliate links as I feel is appropriate.
The other blogging platforms do allow affiliate links, but, unfortunately, their terms and conditions around affiliate links are a bit vague and can be quite subjective. For example, you are allowed to have affiliate links as long as your site’s primary purpose is to create original content and not to drive traffic to affiliate links. The problem is who gets to decide and determine that.
4. Ability to Keep My Blog Running (And Keep My Content)
What can I say? My self-hosted WordPress.org blog makes me feel safe. I know that my blog and content will be available as long as I decide to keep the site up and running.
With the other blogging platforms, I cannot say that with the same certainty and confidence .
With WordPress.com, their Terms Of Service (TOS) states that they “may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.” Now I’m certain that WordPress.com will not just randomly terminate access without cause or notice. However, it is simply not a risk that I am willing to take.
Tumblr is owned by Yahoo, who is up for sale. So who knows if there are any plans to keep Tumblr around.
Similar concern with Blogger. Blogger is owned by Google – and while we know that Google is not going away anytime soon, I do have a concern that Google may decide to discontinue Blogger one day.
So these were my reasons for going with a self-hosted WordPress.org blog.
Which blogging platform are you going with? Share your thoughts with me in the comment section below.