WordPress is an open source and free blogging software. Two variants abound;
WordPress.com are blogs hosted by the company that gave us WordPress, Auttomatic. Recommended to beginners with little knowledge of what goes on behind the scene of this blogging platform.
– WordPress.com is the safer way to go. There are a lot of mechanisms in place to make sure that you don’t accidentally break it or prevent it from working the way it was intended to.
– While no online platform can be regarded as impregnable, this is probably as safe as you can get. All of the technical maintenance work is taken care of by some of the best hands — Setup, upgrades, spam, backups, security, etc. Believe me, it is a scary world out there.
– It is free, with 3GB space to play with. This is more than enough. Diary of a Geek with over 300 posts uses less than 100MB of web space.
– Some of the best sites also use wordpress hosted blogging; CNN .
– Yes, your blog will be in the form of, say, artwales.wordpress.com but with $18 per year, you get to use a domain name of your choice.
– Inability to use your themes or plugins. You are restricted to a bunch of boring free and premium themes. However, from a security sandpoint, this can be viewed as a strength because most hacks into wordpress blogs are not via the blogging platform itself but through loopholes in these themes and plugins. Timthumb readily comes to mind.
– You can not monetize your blog with adsense and the likes. However, wordpress has its own home brew called Wordads.
– ads, though few, are present. You pay $30 per year to remove this.
These are self hosted blogs. You subscribe to a web host to host your blog.
– You have complete control over the look and feel of your site
– You can install any WordPress theme or plug-in to extend the functionality of your site (believe me, this is a very powerful and inexpensive way to add functionality to your website)
– Some level of skills is required to manage your blog satisfactorily.
– Careful, you can easily break something
– You need to manage your own backups. (However, there are free plugins to automate this easily.)
– Themes and plugins may contain vulnerabilities that can be exploited.
– You pay hosting fees.
In part 2, we would discuss some basic steps to secure your WordPress.org blog.