So this is a question I get asked all the time – on which platform should I start my blog?
Sometimes I still feel unsure about left and right, but I have been blogging for more than ten years, so I have a lot of feelings about the platform of my choice. I used to have MySpace (remember?), then I loved tumblr (I still do actually), then I thought I went pro with WordPress.com and eventually I realized that the Holy Grail for blogging and/or building a small business is indeed on WordPress.org. I actually love it so much that I made it my job!
Now obviously this is my personal opinion and it might not be true for everyone. As always – you do you. But I will tell you why I think it’s really important to start the right way:
- WordPress.org lets you host your own blog
This matters because it gives you a whole lot more freedom and security. You can back that baby up as you please and you have full control over what is going on. It does cost a bit of cash, but plans start at 3,99 USD a month and its definitely worth it.
- There are currently more than 56.000 plug ins for WordPress.org
To be honest when I started out I had no idea what my blogs would one day turn into. I think this is very common – creative work is fluid and always evolves over time. Having this huge amount of choice when it comes to functionality means you can make the wildest stuff happen once the glorious idea enters your beautiful mind. You can find anything from newsletter integration to sparkle effects in the plug in database, so I would advice to keep your options open. WordPress.org is a community-driven project, so there will always be exciting new developments.
- Its easy to find support for WordPress.org
Because its such a huge, free and open-source blogging tool, you can find countless specialised developers who will be able to help you should you ever need it. And if you want to teach yourself, there are forums and tutorials for absolutely everything.
- You can upload your own themes and change the code yourself
So this might sound scary at first, but WordPress.org let you make changes to your code which might come super handy one day, you just never know. Also you can choose from a wide variety of themes and frameworks, while on WordPress.com you can only choose between 200+ different themes.
- It’s much easier to start a business with WordPress.org
Many WordPress.org themes integrate with shop systems like Woo Commerce, meaning that if you ever want to sell info products like ebooks or courses, you will have all the tools you need and wont have to pass a fraction of your sales onto a market platform.
6. Your design options are unlimited
To me, that’s the most important point – you have full control over every.single.detail of you blog. From the colour of your menu to the effect of your image slider, it’s all 100% you. I think your online home should reflect who you are, even if you “just” want to have it as an online diary for now.
Don’t feel bad if you still feel that WordPress.com is the easier option for you right now. Its free, you can get started with a few clicks and you are able to buy some premium features like your own domain name, video hosting and custom colour schemes as you go along.
It’s also not impossible to change to WordPress.org from WordPress.com later if you want to, here is a guide. I just feel that, if there is any way you can, it’s a good idea to start in a way that means the sky is the limit.