Option 2, WordPress.com : Simple and Free

If you missed the first article Getting Started with WordPress. You may want to check it out first.

wpcom

WordPress.com is a great place to start if your new to blogging and WordPress. It is free, at least for the basic service, but you’ll have to live with some limitations. In today’s post we’ll discuss the limitations, some options (for $$$) to overcome many of them, and how to sign-up and get started.

What You Get and What You Can Pay For

WordPress.com offers users and easy way to get started, and for free, but pay attention to what you get or you could be disappointed.

  1. WordPress.com Address (like yourblogname.wordpress.com) – Not a big problem, just a little less personal than www.yourblogname.com
  2. 3 gigabytes of storage – A generous amount of space unless your hosting photo galleries or video
  3. Dozens of gorgeous themes” – this is a deal breaker for me. I’m a graphic artist and love the challenge and pain of producing my own masterpeice. The free account is limited to the provided themes, so you may end of looking just like another blog.
  4. Integrated status system – this is a very good feature, and it’s also available as a plug-in for the self-hosted WordPress site.
  5. Spam technology – a nice general purpose spam blocking tool. This tool is also available with the self-hosted WordPress distribution, and to use it, you’ll have to sign-up on WordPress.com.
  6. Extensive language support.
  7. Public/Privacy options – Setup up your blog as public, public but not indexed by search engines, or take it private where only members can access.
  8. Sidebars, widgets and comments
  9. Possible Advertising – Here what the site says… To support the service we may occasionally show Google text ads on your blog, however we do this very rarely. You can remove ads from your blog for a low yearly fee. In the future you’ll be able to show your own ads and make money from your blog.
  10. Ability to upgrade to “Premium Features” like extra storage, template customization via CSS, NO ads, and unlimited users – these features will cost you a few $$$ but provides a growth path for you blog.

OK, maybe I sound a little negative, but really this is a great value for the free features. It allows you to get your feet wet with minimal investment. So, throw caution to the win and get start right now (Sign-up Here). I do feel that the premium features are not worth the money you pay. A good shared-hosting package will cost you the same amount of money, give you tons more space, and virtually unlimited flexibility.

How to Sign-Up

Signing up for a free blog is simple.

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to http://www.wordpress.com/signup (or just click the link)
  2. Enter a unique Username (must be at least 4 characters)
  3. Add a Password, then confirm it (And write it down for later… if your the forgetful type)
  4. Enter a valid Email Address. You need this to receive important administration notices.
  5. Agree the the Legal stuff
  6. Choose “Gimme a blog!“, or just obtain a username. If you’re just signing up to get the free anti-spam plug-in, choose “Just a username, please”
  7. If you choose to create a blog, fill out the Blog Domain, Blog Title, Language settings and Privacy status.
  8. Click “Signup
  9. Update your profile’s First Name, Last Name, and Bio and click “Save Profile
  10. Check your email to activate your account. An email should show up in your mailbox thanking you for signing up with a link to activate the account. Simply click the link, your web browser will load, and “Your account is now active!” should appear.
  11. Finally, go to http://www.wordpress.com and sign-in, click your blog listed just below your Username and begin customizing and blogging.

Well, that about it. A good way for a first time blogger to begin with little or now investment. The next post will cover Option 1 : Do-It-Yourself. (Alright, I know I did them in the wrong order, that’s just the way it worked out.)

Posted on March 19th, 2009 in WordPress Basics | One Comment

One Comment

  • clunsford says:

    I hope this article is helpful, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them here.

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