I haven’t posted on this blog in quite a while. And I just recently moved it (this week) from my own self-hosted WordPress platform to a hosted WordPress.com platform. I’ve been struggling with this decision for a couple of months, particularly since, in addition to being a librarian, I am a web developer, so being able to showcase my own code tweaking ability and to control the design and functionality on my own websites is important to me. But, in case you don’t already know, I actually publish a handful of blogs — including a food blog and a hiking blog that now generate so much traffic that I am shelling out quite a bit of money each month for virtual private server hosting due to higher demands on PHP memory and load time. So, I’ve had to start migrating my “less popular” blogs and sites off that VPS (or pay more money) in order to allocate more resources to the food and hiking blogs. While I am fine with attempting to monetize my hiking and food blogs to help off-set hosting costs, I would not feel ethically right about doing the same to a blog that primarily serves library, educator, non-profit and open source communities. Plus, I seem to spend most of my “blog time” tweaking code under the hood of my WordPress blogs instead of actually blogging. At least I have co-authoring help from my husband on the food and hiking blogs — not so on this blog. And while the highly visual nature of the content on those other blogs justifies a lot of time customizing the design and functionality, my professional blog does not. Advantages of Switching:
- I have one less site that requires me to stay on top of code and database maintenance.
- I can now allocate more VPS resources to my higher traffic self-hosted blogs.
- I can easily migrate my content back to a self-hosted WordPress site, if desired.
- I can now take advantage of the WordPress.com social blogging community.
- I am still supporting “open source” since WordPress.com runs on the same platform as WordPress.org, it’s just managed by someone else.
- I now have the opportunity to learn more about blogging on WordPress.com, which is important when I teach blogging workshops (I need to have a good understanding of all major blogging platforms, to best serve my learners).
- I will hopefully have more time to actually blog, instead of spending most of my “blog time” under the hood tweaking code.
Disadvantages of Switching:
- I am unable to use my beloved highly customizable premium Thesis theme.
- I can’t tweak my own code, except for the CSS (I paid for this $30 upgrade). Right now, I still feel like my hands are tied behind my back.
- If I wanted to monetize this particular blog (which I don’t), I have very very limited ability.
I should state that if I weren’t still publishing other self-hosted WordPress blogs that allow me to really push my coding and database management skills, I would have felt it imperative to keep this blog on a self-hosted platform because I think that skill set is critical to working as a techie librarian. You can be sure to see the “look” of my blog changing a bit over the next month or so as I experiment with how much I can customize a hosted WordPress.com blog and theme. But, hopefully, you’ll actually see a lot more blogging here, too.