Hosted v self installed WordPress

I was replying to Webby’s comment but it was getting too long and involved for a comment so I’ve moved it here.

Disclaimer: these are first impressions – I’ve been using WordPress for less than a week – more experienced wordpressers are very welcome to chip in with opinions (do, please!) and when I find errors later I’ll come back and update this.

Both hosted services
– Both the Blogsome and WordPress.com interfaces are very similar to the self install wp. You have the dashboard where you write/edit posts, manage comments and so on.

– You can write additional pages (About me, etc.) quickly and easily.

– You have a small range of useful plugins but for security reasons these are limited.

– Allows file upload of jpg, jpeg, gif, png files (300 KB per file limit).

– The dashboard is again familiar but with a different (and much improved) colour scheme.

– Uploading pictures is very easy, I like that it’s part of the writing a post dashboard rather than separate (as with blogsome).

– No adverts (yet).

– No mention of plug-ins but they might be added when it’s out of beta.

By the way, Robert Scoble now has a wordpress.com blog, I think you’ll find this post interesting.

One thing to note with wordpress.com is that I can’t see any way to edit the theme (a dealbreaker for me). Hang on, Robert Scoble has edited the banner so it must be possible. Hmmm. Perhaps he has special privileges or has used a different theme that allows theme edits? I’ll know more when I have a chance to fiddle with my father’s wordpress.com blog (I’m still at the “but yes you DO want a blog papa!” stage) And of course, it’s still in beta.

Aside: another interesting wordpress.com blog – Lorelle on WordPress.

Update: I’ve just been reading the wordpress.com blog, here’s the post on editing themes:

Can I edit my templates?

We are definitely mindful of making everything more customizable for our users, but at the same time we don’t want people to have to look at HTML and CSS code, which is antithetical to the purpose of WordPress.com. If you want complete control over your enviroment, you’re probably better off running WordPress on a great web host of your own, but if you really don’t want to worry about that sort of thing just stick around and we’ll be adding more customizability as time goes on.

Self install

The thing that impresses me most about this self-install is the speed. Blogsome hosted sites can (but not always) be a little slow in page load and TypePad certainly has speed issues so it’s a revelation to see how quickly these pages load – even though all of the graphics are still linked to the Typepad servers (but I’m working on that).

– You can set up any plugin that takes your fancy.

– You can sign up for your own google ads and whatnot.

– You can upload files to your heart’s content (.mov, .mp3, .wav, etc.). If you’re interested in podcasting then self install would be the way to go I think. But of course that could change as podcasting gets more mainstream.


You know, I have all three dashboards open (WordPress, Blogsome, WordPress.com) side by side right now and I’m once again impressed by how much both free hosted sites have to offer and would definitely recommend either of them to anyone starting up their own blog/wanting to have a look at WordPress before committing.

Of the two, I prefer wordpress.com (assuming that there is or will be a way to make presentational changes to themes as you can with blogsome.com). blogsome.com because everyone wants to make changes, however small. And if they’re limiting it to just 7 or 8 themes then it’s going to get very boring very quickly.

Many people would find that WordPress.com/Blogsome meets all of their blogging needs and they’d not have to even think about paying for hosting and intalling wordpress “proper”. You can even have your own domain name and use redirect. I was going to suggest that you could buy one of the “webby” domain names and use a hosted wp service but the .net/.com/.fr/.de etc. are all taken [webby.be is taken too… wat een mooie hondje ;-)].

There are quite a few WordPress users on the (soon to be transferred) blogroll so if anyone feels like chipping in with advice for webby, feel free!

18 Responses to “Hosted v self installed WordPress”

  1. Em³
    October 15th, 2005 17:52

    I’m not sure I’d have bothered with WordPress if it didn’t have the ability to customise themes and add plugins (the ability to add my own html “tags” for frequently used code, e.g. to display images in post, is a godsend even if it doesn’t seem to work on other peoples’ installations).

    From what I’ve seen of v1.6, I’d definitely recommend self-hosting – setting up WordPress is an absolute doddle, not at all a scary prospect. Honest.

  2. webby
    October 15th, 2005 19:49

    Thanks for taking your time to answer my questions.
    It’s been helpful :)

    Looks like Blogsome,at this stage,is the better host for WordPress.
    But only because WordPress.com doesn’t seem to have the possibillity to edit and fiddle around with the themes.
    And that’s one thing that makes blogging so fun…making or editing a theme to your liking.

    Oh…and at Blogsome they do have adds (Google text-adds), but they’re nicely tucked away in the sidebar and quite small too.
    And their TOS allows you to remove them if you want.

    But you know,an “invite only” blogging community does make you feel a bit special :p

    Thanks again daisy.
    You’ve been most helpful.

    You even took the time to look up webby domain names (and yes it’s a cute dog :p )
    The domain name I wanted though is upsndowns.com but it’s already been taken *sad face*

  3. daisy
    October 15th, 2005 21:14

    Thanks Em – tweakers of the world unite!

    Webby, you’re most welcome, it’s good fun to sit down and think about the various options open. I’m really disappointed to find that wordpress.com don’t plan to allow layout editing in the near future (except if your name is Robert Scoble :-)). I wanted to use one of my father’s wonderful photos as a banner on his new blog but that won’t be possible dammit.

    Still, I could always offer any new invites on Ebay, this auction raised $10.01!

  4. Vickie
    October 15th, 2005 21:30

    You are back! I am so excited, I could dance!! Daisy-OH-Daisy….welcome back. Yayyyy! (Dances about.)

  5. briggy
    October 15th, 2005 21:56

    a new girl on the block eh?

  6. Lorelle
    October 16th, 2005 05:31

    As one of the lucky ones working on a wordpress.com blog, you are getting a chance to see the future of blogging and to help make WordPress the best product it can be.

    I really don’t think it is totally fair to compare Blogger, a fully functional blogging service, with the new ALPHA (not beta) test site that is wordpress.com, run by the exciting WordPressMU. I think of wordpress.com as something like a big experiment.

    In order to work in a “controlled environment”, users have to be protected from themselves. The WordPress Support Forum is overloaded with people asking “I borked my Theme” and “I changed the template and now it won’t work.”

    Take away the tinkers, and those using wordpress.com get to push WordPress as a blogging tool (not a web design frenzy) to make sure it works for all types of blogs doing and saying a wide variety of things. People are writing recipes, showing off photographs, doing podcasts, and all kinds of uses from within a controlled environment, allowing the developers to solve the problems that come up with regular blogging.

    I think it’s a brilliant idea and I take it seriously. The developers are getting the feedback from the users and they are making changes. Every day I notice a new thing. It’s very exciting to be working on cutting edge stuff.

    Who cares if I can’t tweak my Theme right now. This is state of the art development and I’m having a blast pushing it to its limits.

    Aren’t you?

  7. daisy
    October 16th, 2005 07:04

    Hi Lorelle, thank you for taking the time to comment.

    I was actually comparing blogsome.com and wordpress.com, both free hosted wordpress services. I agree that it would be inappropriate to bring Blogger into the equation.

    I also agree that there is definitely a market for a non-tweakable blogging service and I do see your point about concentrating on the blogging (and the content) rather than the design but I stand by my wish for wordpress.com to offer the ability to be able to tinker with layout IF the blogger so wishes – I don’t think that wordpress.com can succeed without that.

    It might then be an idea to offer a two tier service (I’d call it Tweakers and Non-Tweakers but I don’t think the name would catch on ;-)).

    You also say “The WordPress Support Forum is overloaded with people asking “I borked my Theme” and “I changed the template and now it won’t work.”” Yes, I’ve seen the forum. For me, part of the appeal of blogging is the community that one builds up. We’re very lucky here to have a group of knowledgeable, supportive people happy to help out in any “bork crisis” but I realise that not all bloggers have that backup – nor would they want to be in a position to need that help, are more than happy to take an off the shelf design and run with it.

    I don’t know what the figures are but I’m sure that there are at least as many bloggers looking for editable templates as there as not. WordPress.com has huge potential, I hope that they’ll be able to cater for both sets of bloggers.

  8. briggy
    October 17th, 2005 14:29


    which tunnel is that at the top of your page? why did you pick it?

  9. daisy
    October 17th, 2005 14:46

    I think I took that picture on a recent trip to Station V864 on a recent trip to Mars, substation 4, but I might be wrong. I’ll ask the nanobot to reassign that memory mode later and get back to you.

    p.s. I owe you an email, actually lots of emails but a thank you one in particlar.

  10. Luan
    October 17th, 2005 18:39

    Hi Daisy,
    I am a part of a team, which recently developed an application for easy blogging called Qumana. There are many great features to it, one of them being a drop pad where you can drag and drop data and then edit it later. You can also make money through ads by using our new feature ‘AdGenta’. You can check it out on our site http://www.qumana.com please do mail your feedback to luana@qumana.com. Thanks.

  11. daisy
    October 17th, 2005 21:42

    Thank you Luan, I’ll have a good look at qumana this evening.

  12. zeno
    October 17th, 2005 23:08

    It took me twenty minutes to get the anagram… Dr Who (that’s what it says in MY head).

  13. roger
    October 28th, 2005 10:49

    [blockquote]Who cares if I can’t tweak my Theme right now.[/blockquote]

    I know alot of our users do.

    Thanks for nice comments on Blogsome.

  14. rajeev
    October 30th, 2005 16:43

    I am on blogsome now and I also have a wordpress.com account. I have a spare invite to it as well – so feel free to aks.

    Coming back to the point, I am reluctant to move to wordpress.com cause I have customized my theme and I woudn’t want to lose it. Atleast lemme import it.

    One good reason to move TO wordpress.com is that their XMLRPC.PHP is updated version with the new escape() function, thus fixing the pesky
    backslash problem.

    For the time being, http://kreaper.wordpress.com is a test blogsite for flock and other stuff.

  15. Mavis
    January 11th, 2006 06:06

    I just wanted to pop in and say hi… so… Hi!

  16. SuzyQ
    January 12th, 2006 18:38

    Great post. Nice job.

  17. Roger
    May 6th, 2006 22:25

    Just in case anyone trips on this old thread – Blogsome is now running a distributed system so it is faster now than when this thread was written. Also we’ve fixed the pesky xmlrpc problem – so it now works fine from any of the offline blog editors.

  18. daisy
    May 8th, 2006 09:49

    Thank you Roger. I’ve set up a couple of Blogsome.com blogs for friends and have noticed the improved performance recently – as if Blogsome could get any better!

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