Hello all! I'm considering entering into the WordPress community, but have some questions first.
I already blog at http://www.SimpleMakes.com My blog is hosted by Google's free Blogger/Blogspot service. I purchased the domain name from eNom, through Google. I access services like my email address using Google Apps. I can get to technical stuff from eNom, most of which I don't understand.
If possible, I would like to move my blog to WordPress. The plugins seem so much more powerful (and less buggy) than what I'm dealing with on Blogger. I would like to:
1) keep http://www.SimpleMakes.com as the domain that my blog publishes to, and the one that's in the address bar the whole time visitors click around my site.
2) not have to buy a $5+ a month web hosting service (can't afford it at this time... later, perhaps)
It would be preferable if I could keep:
1) my google-mail @simplemakes.com e-mail address.
2) permalinks to my current posts, even if I have to manually change all the post web addresses (I have less than 25 posts up)
3) comments already on these posts, or else a link to them at the top of the comments list
Is this possible? I've read posts and forums about switching from site.blogspot.com to wordpress.com; I've read about changing custom domains to point at wordpress.org-hosted blogs (but they were not purchased through google, or else they purchased monthly web hosting); etc. But can I register for a simplemakes.wordpress.com account, change my domain settings to point at that site instead of simplemakes.blogspot.com, and then use a wordpress.com-hosted http://www.simplemakes.com with my google-apps-purchased domain name?
Is the "mapping an existing domain name at $10/year" advanced feature an option? If so, after my year of domain-registration through Google Apps runs out, could I switch to the "Registering a domain name with WordPress at only $15/year" option?
If I use wordpress.com instead of wordpress.org (which requires paid hosting elsewhere, right?), what limitations would I encounter?
Thank you for any and all help. I'm not a technical professional, but learn fast and am willing to work to understand.