For newbie bloggers, WordPress.com provides a quick turnkey way to get started. But once your blog is generating traffic, you may begin to chaff at the restrictions WordPress.com imposes.
In this post, learn 10 of the most common signs that you should consider moving your now-popular blog from WordPress.com to a self-hosted blog on WordPress.org.
But First, A Word About Blog Migration
It is natural to be a bit hesitant to migrate your blog if you are not familiar with the “behind the scenes” of blogging platforms.
Happily, today’s web hosting providers are experts at common tasks like WordPress to WordPress migration, and they will be able to guide you through the process. Many web hosting providers now offer full service migration so all you have to do is keep on doing what you do best – writing great blog posts.
Sign #1: You want to monetize your site and have control over the terms.
There is a reason so many budding bloggers aspire to be where you are now – the owner and operator of a popular, well-read and perhaps even viral blog. Along with readership and web traffic comes the chance to monetize your blog. Monetization can include affiliate links, third-party ads, sponsorships, sales of products and services and much more.
WordPress.com only offers one way to monetize a blog, which is through its own ad service. And most blogs don’t qualify for that service. And those that do could be earning more with a simple move to a self-hosted WordPress.org site.
Sign #2: You are tired of being nickel and dimed for extras.
Not only can opting in for extra WordPress.com services to improve your blog’s functionality cause accounting issues, since you are getting charged for one thing one month and another thing the next month, but it can also add up quickly.
Sometimes, after sitting down and figuring out how much you are actually spending for the “free” WordPress.com’s extra services, you may just find that a move to WordPress.org and a self-hosted site is cheaper!
Sign #3: You are ready to seamlessly integrate your web services.
WordPress.com seamlessly integrates with very little (outside of other WordPress.com offerings, that is, each of which are offered for an additional extra fee – see Sign #2).
If you are ready to integrate your email with your blog and your website with your online store, you are ready for a move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and a self-hosted site.
Sign #4: You have your eye on some cool third-party plugins.
To date, WordPress.com disallows the use of any third-party plugins. Plugins are amazing tools to automate vital tasks like running site backups, creating membership lists, optimizing for e-commerce and growing your blog.
With a move to WordPress.org and a self-hosted blog, you can install and run plugins to your heart’s content.
Sign #5: You want to have control over your own site uptime.
WordPress.com controls all sites hosted on WordPress.com. As one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world, load times can get sluggish during peak periods. This has happened several times during WordPress.com’s growing pains, and will only continue to happen as more and more bloggers sign on.
By moving to a self-hosted WordPress.org site, you can take advantage of faster load times and greater uptime statistics.
Sign #6: You want to be the boss of your own site.
WordPress.com has some pretty strict terms of service. Of course, most newbie bloggers don’t read these terms of service very closely (they are boring and long and you just want to get to blogging already!).
But after you have everything up and running, a scan through the TOS can be an eye-opener. WordPress.com reserves the right to shut you down at any time and for any reason without any notice at all. Yikes! If this sounds both scary and unfair to you, you are likely ready to move your blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org site instead.
Sign #7: You want to have a serious online store.
The only way you can sell your own products or services online with WordPress.com is via a Paypal plugin. And you can’t sell any services or products created by anyone other than yourself, the blog owner.
For the type of flexibility building a serious e-commerce enterprise requires, you will need to move your blog to WordPress.org.
Sign #8: You want to get rid of WordPress.com’s ads.
Unless you pay $30 a year, WordPress.com will show their ads on your blog and you can’t do anything about it.
But if you want to use your own ads, or simply get rid of their ads without having to pay more to do so, only a wordPress to wordPress migration from WordPress.com to WordPress.org will help you make that happen.
Sign #9: You want to host a podcast or stream music from your blog.
Unless you are willing to pay for extra storage space on WordPress.com, forget about posting streaming audio of any kind.
But when you move your blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org provider, your storage space will come as part of your service.
Sign #10: You want a more customized look.
WordPress.com is a very limited online home when it comes to creating a truly customized, unique look for your blog. But with WordPress.org, there truly is no limit to what you can create!
If you can see your own situation in any (or all) of these 10 signs, chances are good you are ready to move your blog to WordPress.org. Your new web hosting provider can help you with both the migration process and also the integration of all the different features you want your blog to offer. By the time you have gone through this process, you will be ready to hold your own online alongside other successful bloggers.