As you have probably noticed, more and more bloggers have been switching from the Blogger platform to WordPress (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C). Some of this has to do with the constant problems Blogger has been having both with their big outage two weeks ago and with their on going commenting issues (which seems to have been ignored thus far). Another part of it is that bloggers are realizing extra potential of a WordPress blog. Features such as nested comments and the ability to easily reply to individual comments, more powerful and robust themes and better SPAM filtering are just a few of the reasons why a WordPress blog might be for you.
WordPress, however, comes in a couple different flavors which I think causes a bit of confusion and apprehension. So, I’m going to try and clear that up really quick. There are mainly two versions of WordPress: WordPress.COM and WordPress.ORG.
WordPress.Com is essentially a direct competitor to Blogger. To create a WordPress.Com blog, all you do is create an account and boom you have a blog. There is a plethora of options available on the administration side to customize the look and feel of your blog. However, you are constrained to use the plugins and themes available and are unable to add your own.
Now, the slightly more confusing part – WordPress.Org. WP.Org is free software that anyone can download and install to create their own independent blog. The blog itself will function and be administered much like a WP.Com blog, however there is a bit more setup involved. Because WP.Org is a software product and not a service like WP.Com, you are required to have your web hosting space in order to host WP.Org. While the WP.Org software is free, the hosting space is not and will generally run $5-$10 per month and is available through numerous companies (eg. BlueHost, DreamHost, etc.)
However, because a WP.Org is hosted by yourself, you gain full control over the blog. You have basically limitless possibilities when it comes to themes and plugins to customize your blog. In the case of WP.Com, they offer a standard set of themes and plugins which are free to use, but you aren’t able to customize outside of their set parameters. With WP.Org there are 1000’s of plugins and themes for pretty anything you can think of available to add to your blog.
So, that is a quick and dirty comparison of the WP.Com and WP.Org. If you want to read up some more on the topic, check out http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/.
My Offer to You
So, why am I telling you all this? I want to offer YOU a WP.Org blog on the cheap. After talking with Mandy @ Caratunk Girl, we have come up with a great offer for you. By pooling together our resources, we can offer you a WP.Org account for around $10-$15 per year rather than $10-$15 per month!
What’s the catch? Well, there really isn’t one.
The way most hosting services work is that you pay a monthly fee and are able to host as many websites on the account as you want. Well, there is no reason everyone needs to have their own hosting account. Instead, my plan is to purchase some hosting space and then can offer WP.Org blogs to bloggers who want to make the switch.
While I would personally manage the hosting account and get the WP.Org software installed for your blog, you would still have complete and full control (and privacy) over your blog just like you do now. But instead of being stuck with a flaky, limited Blogger or WP.Com blog, you would have a full fledged WP.Org blog to customize to your heart’s desire.
I know what you are thinking. You already have a well established blog and you don’t want to lose all your hard work. Don’t worry! WordPress.Org offers a tool specifically designed to import your Blogger posts, comments, and categories into your new blog. There will be some initial setup to get your WordPress.Org blog looking the way you want, but trust me, it’s an easy process. And if you get stuck, I’m sure that myself, Mandy or any of your fellow WP.Org users would be happy to help.
How does that sound? Would you be interested? If so, let me know. The more people we can get involved, the cheaper the cost would be per blogger. Still have questions? Just ask and I’ll do my best to answer.