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self hosted vs WP.com

  1. Newbie question: please excuse the ignorance
    I've spent weeks researching and self-tutoring and finally found a theme I think I want to use to start a blog (non-commercial use); I will certainly have questions. Can someone please tell me the differences/pros and cons to downloading directly from WP.com vs self-hosting? I see answers to specific themes on the forum but also see responses telling self-hosters to use WP.org. What make one or the other a better option? I'm interested in using the Sight theme and their support looks almost non-existent but I really like the look
    Thanks

  2. Hi there,
    Here is a detailed support document explaining the differences between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. Check it out and let me know if you have any specific questions about the two versions. I would happy to help. Good luck!

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

  3. Hi and thanks for the amazingly quick response; I'd like to pick your brain a bit more:

    Obviously, as a total newbie, the WP.com option sounds better due to not having to play with code, add plugins, etc. After thorough self-tutoring for a month I feel that the theme is the last and most important part. Having looked at hundreds of expat blogs, (similar to what I want to start) and reading many web articles and reviews, I'm impressed with many of the themes from the popular developers like TheThemeShop etc but many of them require self-hosting.

    Oddly, even with 290+ themes, I only find a few that have the look and feel of most of the expat blogs I've seen. I love "Oxygen" but it seems a bit overwhelming to start until I get enough content and some followers. My second choice is "Sight" for instance, but I see it's an old theme with virtually no developer support yet it does have a great look and gets good review, albeit from awhile ago. Would you suggest not choosing it due to it's age even though the features and look match my needs?

    If you self-host, it seems many of them provide great support. But WP.com forums also seem very good. When would you use the WP forum vs. contacting the theme developer yourself?

    Thanks again

  4. Hi!

    Unless you have purchased a premium theme(or are using the self-hosted version), you won't be able to get support directly from the author.

    However, when using the WordPress.com forums, you should easily be able to get support for whichever theme that you choose. If you can't decide between the different themes, I would worry less about the support aspect and more on whichever theme you prefer for your blog.

    There are several volunteers and staff members always looking to help so the forums are a great place to ask questions and receive support.

  5. The simple way to make the decision is to look at what you actually want from the blog, ultimately. Narrow it down. "I want to get famous" or "I want to help my store communicate with its customers" or whatever. Post it here. We can tell you then whether the turnkey WP.com is the best solution or whether you need WP.org.

  6. Hi again

    My bottom line is purely personal; no business needs whatsoever; goal is to share our experiences through great writing, lots of pictures and occasional small YouTube videos of our experiences. Hope to gain readers that enjoy my writing, are in a similar situation or would hope to be someday. It will be an expat blog with a slightly different angle than most of the others since we are not from Gen X or baby boomers (we're somewhere in between).

    My needs are relatively simple: responsive, 2 column layout, post slider, custom header, featured posts and perhaps post formats. Since I don't know squat about coding and would rather not worry about spam, maintenance or backing up, I guess I should spend a bit extra and get the $99 premium since I do want a domain, CSS upgrade and more than 3 Gb to hold lots of photos.

  7. However, when using the WordPress.com forums, you should easily be able to get support for whichever theme that you choose.

    Not accurate - the only themes that are supported are themes that are running on WordPress.COM blogs when the blog is really hosted here -

    If you buy a theme from somewhere else for your WordPress.ORG install you can't get any support here

  8. Right @auxclass. I should have been more specific but the OP had asked about two particular themes that are supported on the WordPress.com blogs, so by "whichever," I had meant either of the two.

  9. Yes, I understand that the support is only for WP.com hosted blogs.
    Guess I just need some clarification that for a total newbie the WP.com is a good choice. I do understand the differences now and since I will not be at the point of much customizing for a long time, I guess I should find a theme on WP.com that is suited for an expat blog and suits the needs I have outlined above. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be very appreciative.

  10. Many of the themes here are also used on WordPress.ORG installs, but it is a different version of the theme and is not supported here - so I always try to be very specific

    The OP is still struggling after what seems like a month of research - so a .ORG install would probably be a struggle - but @Raincoasters advice to tell us exactly what they want to do with the blog is the best advice - the more specific the OP can be the better

  11. The OP is still struggling after what seems like a month of research - so a .ORG install would probably be a struggle - but @Raincoasters advice to tell us exactly what they want to do with the blog is the best advice - the more specific the OP can be the better

    I'm struggling with choosing the theme and the platform because this is brand new to me. So please be patient and bear with me. I have spent a month on self-tutoring this because I would like to understand what I'm doing rather than just jump. Not having the benefit of an internet for half my life, this does not come as automatic to me as today's generation.

    I have outlined what I hope to do earlier in the thread; If it's not specific enough, please let me know and I'd be happy to provide more input.

  12. want to use to start a blog (non-commercial use);

    Sorry - that is all I see for what you want to do - that is not much - all of my sites are "non commercial" - they cover, general pictures, boating safety, places I worked in Alaska and I Admin a blog for friends that have retired and traveling.

    So please a bit more detail

  13. Here is some more detail:

    I wish to be the sole administrator. The topic will cover the following:

    My wife and I have chosen early retirement at ages 49/43 due to my being laid off rather than search for another job. Unlike others, we have worked 20+ years and have tried to save enough cash but since we want to try expatriation, we decided to give Malaysia a try. The blog will start out covering the research we did in various countries and some financial aspects of retiring early. It will also cover the time leading up to the transition which does not come easy to our generation.

    We can't go until April 2015 due to visa age restrictions. (the visa details and all the reasons for going will be covered also). Once we get there, I intend to post daily on anything and everything that we see/do/experience.

    The format would be about a 60/40 mix of text to pictures/galleries/video. Nothing complicated; very little CSS editing, prefer a style that's mostly workable out of the box that has good resolution and some features I mentioned above. The intended audience is those that:
    1) want to retire early and would consider expatriation as another option to staying in the USA:
    2) enjoy relatively concise writing on said topic,which is my strong point along, with decent amateur photos (from my wife)
    3) want to follow this experiment because we have no clue if it's the right decision due to a number of issues, especially the heat and humidity and the fact that our generation doesn't tend to retire at our age due to massive financial concerns. Many would do fine if they tries a much less expensive developed nation
    4) existing social media friends and relatives

    That's about it; thanks

  14. Hi there,
    See here for details of all 3 WordPress.COM plans http://store.wordpress.com/bundles/ offered by WordPress.com.

    See here for details in regard to all WordPress.COM available upgrades. http://en.support.wordpress.com/upgrades/

    Note that the WordPress.COM free plan and the WordPress.COM Premium plan do not allow you to upload your own themes or plugins. WordPress.com blogs cannot be equipped for eCommerce transactions unless they have the $299. per year Business upgrade. http://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/ecommerce-is-now-available-on-wordpresscom?replies=1 See here for ecommerce details http://en.support.wordpress.com/ecommerce/

    A self-hosted WordPress site might be right for you. WordPress.ORG offers free software that you can install on a web server. You can upload and install themes and plugins, run ads, conduct ecommerce and edit the database. Learn about the differences here. http://support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/

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