When starting a blog website, there are a number of options to choose from. One of the most popular blogging platforms available is the WordPress blogging platform. This is due to the ease of use, the abundance of add-on programs (called Plugins) and the strong development support of the platform itself. However, one of the biggest decisions with WordPress is whether to use the free WordPress.com hosted version, or to have a free self-hosted WordPress installation on your own server. While using the online service hosted at WordPress.com is really easy, after a while you begin to realize that there are limitations to what you can do with your blog. Using a self-hosted version gives you a lot more flexibility, especially in terms of plugins, customization and theme choices.
WordPress.com allows the use of a few specific plugins and themes and a few small customization features, but with a self-hosted WordPress installation the options are indeed endless! As of the writing of this article, there are over 6800 plugins and over 1000 themes available Sherry Dyson . This does not account for the extensive number of “premium” themes and plugins that are also available, which can transform a standard WordPress blog into a full fledged content management system website.
In addition to the additional plugins and themes available, you get the advantage of using your own WordPress hosting, which gives you additional flexibility and security. Flexibility comes in the options of structure, domain names (including additional domains for each install) and the ability to host your own email accounts with your blog. Security comes in knowing that no matter what, you are in total control of your WordPress account, so no matter what WordPress.com decides to do in the future (like change features, charge for hosting, etc) you can still do whatever you want to do.
Of course, with a self-hosted WordPress installation, you do have more responsibility. This includes making sure that your WordPress site is configured properly (and optimally), is secured against hacking and that everything remains up to date. The good news is that updating and upgrading is pretty much a point and click function, with only the occasional need to mess with files directly. Security does require some additional attention however. Although WordPress itself is a fairly secure software, there are system settings that many people do not know how to address which could leave your website vulnerable to attacks. The good news is that if you are willing to either do some homework, or pay a small fee for someone to do it for you, you can secure your WordPress website quite nicely.
All in all, a self-hosted WordPress website will give you more flexibility in options, more choices in plugins and themes and provide you with more control over the future of your website. Given the choice between the two options, unless you are totally scared of making decisions in hosting and configurations, the self-hosted version of WordPress is the best option available.
Google will be introducing its new search engine named Google Caffeine. It is going to be more like double espresso if they have things working they way it is intended. More than just an updated engine, Caffeine is really a spanking new search engine with all new formulas and calculations and factors that affect your site. In other words, if your web site WAS optimized, it might not be when Caffeine rolls out.
Google’s spokesperson, Matt Cutts, previously stated that Caffeine will be rolled out after the holidays. They were being kind and didn’t want web site owners and masters of the web universe to have to work feverishly to revamp websites in lieu of celebrating. The other consideration of course was to not disrupt holiday internet buying for on-line retailers. Thank you for that.
There was a beta version available over the summer but it is not available now. Web site owners and operators will have to begin digging into the documentation and testing to learn how to adjust to keep their websites from falling from grace.
There are some little secrets that are already known that you should prepare for. The newest contestant in search engine optimization is SPEED. That’s right – speed. If you have a slow loading site or a flash introduction that takes a bit to wind up for play, this will penalize your site rankings. Anything else such as large improperly sized graphics or complex navigation systems can also slow your site down.