WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org. To Switch, or Not to Switch?

I’ve had this blog for a little over a year now, and I’ve never experienced a “big break.” I haven’t become famous over night, and although my stats improve every day, my readership is confined to my Facebook friends and my family. I may seem stats-obsessed, but the truth of the matter is that I want to reach more people.

For a while, I’ve been contemplating moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. At first, I just wanted my own domain name, ActuallyAllie.com. But then I realized I wanted a different theme, and that I wanted complete control over that theme. I wanted to be able to use plugins. I wanted a professional-looking website that included a static home page, a contact form, a resume and a blog.

On WordPress.com, most of this is not possible. And if it is, it requires a fee.

WordPress.org, on the other hand, is free. Web hosting is not – it would cost about $5 a month, depending on my host – and the time it would require for me to make the change is not, either.

I’ve read a lot of websites that say that if you want to blog as a hobby, you should use WordPress.com. I’ve been “hobby-blogging” for a year now, and I want more. I want to become a professional freelancer with an impressive personal website. And I don’t think WordPress.com can do that for me.

But I’ve also read that the change from .Com to .Org will be difficult, a long process. Most sites, like Problogger recommend that you start with .Org. I’ve already made the mistake of starting with .Com.

What the Change Will Mean for Me

If I do end up making the change, I will have to:

  • Export my blog as an XML file
  • Find a host site, such as Bluehost
  • Learn a bit about CSS in order to customize my layout
  • Use an FTP server
  • Basically, do everything myself

Plug-ins will make it easier for me. I also have a few friends, such as @tridnguyen and @samkottler, who have experience in creating websites, and may be able to answer any questions I have. What’s most important to me, really, is the next category.

What the Change Will Mean for You

Readers, the change would mean that you would have to make some changes, too:

Also, I would not be part of the WordPress.com community, so “likes” and “reblogs” would not be possible. If you follow me on WordPress.com, your Reader would not accurately depict my site updates. You will probably have to use Google.com/Reader or an RSS feed in order to follow me.

My Question to You

I will not make the change if it is too much of a hassle for my readers. Therefore, I’d like to know, what are your thoughts on my switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org? Why should I do it? Why shouldn’t I do it? And most importantly, would you be willing to re-follow my blog at its new domain name?

Let me know by commenting below or contacting me.

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7 comments

  1. […] WordPress.com Vs. WordPress.org. To Switch, or Not to Switch? (actuallyallie.wordpress.com) Share this:tweetMoreDiggEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in Blogging Tips, Blogging Tools, Blogging Tutorials, WordPress.com Tips, WordPress.org and tagged self-hosting on August 31, 2012 by timethief. […]

  2. Hi Allie, It sounds like you figured it out: Org is your future. It would allow you to do more, the switch would scratch an itch. I would follow you, yes. And it sounds as if you might lead your current close circle of readers to new cyber worlds.

  3. […] WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org: To Switch, Or Not to Switch?  […]

  4. I’ve had thoughts about moving too. Sometimes I feel like I have outgrown the possibilities of WordPress.com. But I love being part of the community here, and I’m sure I get a lot of traffic from the Reader. What about starting a sister blog that is self-hosted? You have a great following, and I bet your loyal readers would click over to your other blog. You could take that blog in a new direction and branch out into new topics. The Problogger book (I read it too!) says it’s easier to post once a week to five blogs, than five times a week to the one blog, and I guess I can see the logic in that.

    1. Hm, I might consider that — it could be sort of a niche blog. Either way, I’m definitely moving over to WordPress.org eventually! As I keep saying… Haha. Thanks for reading!

  5. As I new blogger , I am already thinking should I start up as .com and then move over – or should I start with .org straight off the bat? I blog full time – want to make a bit of money – but also very much like the community aspect, the support – and that fact that you can learn as you go with .com! Hmmmm….

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