There has recently been some confusion over the issue and types of WordPress blogs. Here is a brief summary to help you understand which is which, what you can do with each, to help you choose your ideal WordPress blog system.
Free WordPress.com Blogs
WordPress.com blogs are free. There is no advertising or pay-per-post money making activities allowed. Free is free and has restrictions on content, but traffic is unlimited. You can choose from many WordPress Themes to change the look of your site at any time, and many Themes allow customization of the sidebar content.
WordPress.com blogs offer “extras”, optional paid upgrades and extras are available such as increased storage space, customization of your blog’s appearance, domain mapping, and more.
You can purchase a domain on WordPress.com, which is actually “domain mapping”. You buy the domain name and WordPress.com maps it to a free WordPress.com blog. However, the terms of service still apply and you cannot put ads or pay-per-post posts on your free WordPress.com blog even if it is redirected through the domain mapping feature.
WordPress.com VIP Hosting
If you like the features of WordPress, but want total control over your blog, including adding advertising, you can choose the WordPress.com VIP hosting. It is designed for businesses and high volume sites, and not everyone is accepted into the program. It costs several hundred dollars a month but you can do ANYTHING you want in accordance with the VIP hosting terms of service.
The Full Free Version of WordPress
If you want total control, but your budget has limits or is unlimited, you can put the free full version of WordPress on any paid hosting site which works within WordPress requirements and do whatever you want in any way shape and form with few restrictions. WordPress offers a list of Web Hosts which meet the requirements and work well with WordPress blogs. This choice allows you total freedom and total control over your blog.
Importing, Exporting, and Switching
You can import and export into a WordPress blog (any of them) to and from most popular types of blogging programs. You can take your WordPress.com free blog content with you when you leave it, or leave a full version WordPress blog to have a free WordPress.com blog whenever you want.
WordPress is that versatile.
So which one do you choose?
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.