What You Need to Know Before You Start a WordPress Blog
If you've been considering starting a blog, you have probably run into people telling you that WordPress is the way to go. After all their blogs are flexible and easy to use, and yet they offer endless options for customization. You may have heard about people who make money by blogging and selling adspace on their websites and you've decided that you want a piece of the pie. Obviously blogging is not a get rich quick answer to all of your money woes, but it can be a fun way to earn some extra cash. If you're considering using WordPress for your blog there are a few things that you need to know before you sign up.
When you choose to start a WordPress blog you basically have two different options. The first option is to have it hosted by wordpress.com and have your blog's name as the subdomain. This option is free and still provides most of the flexibility that WordPress can offer. You get to start your own blog, publish posts, and build an online audience. The downfall to this option is that because you are using WordPress to host your blog they technically own your writing. This means that they can take your blog down at any time and for any reason. Although this rarely happens it is still a cause for concern. The larger disadvantage to having WordPress host your blog is that you do not have your own domain name. This severely limits the growth potential of your blog. After all, does it sound more professional for your blog to be named http://www.yournamehere.wordpress.com, or http://www.yournamehere.com? The answer should be obvious. If you want to maximize the potential of your blog it is far better to use the second option that is available through WordPress.
By using wordpress.org instead of wordpress.com you can ensure that your blog will have your domain name, and that it will be easily recognizable as yours. When you start your website using wordpress.org, you have the added expense of purchasing a domain name through a hosting service such as godaddy.com or bluehost.com. Obviously this costs a bit of money up front, but it makes sense if you think of your domain name as an investment in the future of your business. Using a hosting site with your own domain name means that you own the content and can determine what you publish and how you market your website. You still have all of the flexibility and support that WordPress offers along with the added bonus of having complete control of the content that you put on your website.
No matter which option you choose, WordPress provides detailed instructions for getting started. Even if you are choosing to purchase a domain name and use an outside host the process for getting everything set up is very easy. WordPress publishes that they have a 5-minute install that will get you up and running in no time. The customizing and templates are easy to use and thousands of plugins are available that will enable you to professional looking website exactly the way you want it, even if you do not know anything about web design.