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The Org Switch

I’ve been pondering the idea of switching from WordPress.com to a self hosted WordPress.org blog for a while. But more so lately. There are some obvious pros to doing this, from my point of view anyway.

  • Get rid of .com’s Google Ads
  • Put my own ads on to make a little money
  • The ability to embed javascript tools
  • Get a proper Flickr Widget
  • Install Disqus commenting

Click here to hear audio.

There are some cons too. Hosting will set me back about $40 a year. Extra work phaffing around with platform upgrades and the (albeit shallow) learning curve. The possibility of my RSS feed breaking. Dot Org is a more powerful platform, but its capabilities aren’t really the selling point for me beyond the pros I’ve listed.

I have also been unable to find a theme that I really, really like. One that kicks my current theme’s butt. It has to be clean, aesthetic, customisable, and free. I will ponder on, and welcome any thoughts that passers-by might have.

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8 thoughts on “The Org Switch

  1. You may find self-hosting to be a chore you’d rather be without. I did. I self-hosted for years, but as my traffic grew, I found I had to spend upwards of $50/month for proper hosting, and even then I had problems with traffic spikes. And then there was the interminable fiddling with the code, and building my own themes, and making small/big changes to them here and there, etc. I wanted to be done with all of that and just write. WP.com is great for me that way.

    You can also make money with Google ads at WP.com, provided you cross over a traffic threshold. I believe the current limit is 20K-25K views/month. Then you can apply to share the profits 50/50. I do it, and it works out great for me.

    I agree, the selection of themes isn’t adequate, and most of them have these really thin post columns and nasty color schemes, but they are launching more themes every month. And I think they’re working on ways to make themes more customizable.

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    • $50 a month seems steep. I’ve looked up a few potential hosts, and unlimited space and bandwidth can be had for $0 or little more.

      But I can imagine the tinkering you have to do. I am an infernal tinkerer, which won’t help!

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      • You must not have had real-world experience with the “unlimited space and bandwidth” part. I did… And when your WP site spikes in traffic, the CPU usage goes up much faster than the bandwidth usage. Notice that’s not unlimited, and it’s not even mentioned in those ads. Expect your site to go down hard and often if you get any decent amount of traffic.

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      • Fair comment Raoul. I have had hosting before, but I don’t get the sort of traffic that troubles bandwith, CPU usage or webspace limits! But you never know, I could become famous one day, and then I’d be screwed!

        I’ve added a bit of audio to the original post, which gives a reason more for my WP.com frustrations, but I do agree, at the end of the day, WP.com does what it does extremely well.

        Without giving away the sort of earnings you personally achieve through the 50/50 Google Ads sharing program, can you give an idea of what can be made?

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      • That all depends on the amount of traffic you get, and the likelihood that someone will click on an ad. There are many websites out there that will show you how to write and what to write so you generate more clicks, but I stay as far away from them as possible.

        I write about what I like, and when I like, and how I like, and if someone happens to click on an ad that shows up next to one of my articles, so be it. The amount of money I make is somewhat proportional (generally speaking) to the amount of traffic I get.

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  2. Kim G says:

    I use Firefox with Adblock, and I had no idea there were even ads on your blog. Are there ads on Tales of Zapata Street? Most other blogs?

    I have to confess that I was ok with ads on websites until they started jumping around, blinking, and consuming more computing resources than I was. They just about made it impossible to read whatever it was you were trying to read, and slowed the entire machine to a crawl.

    So I banished them. I don’t regret it.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we’ve been using adblock so long, that we’ve forgotten to even notice the blank spaces where they should be

    Like

    • WordPress.com stick ads on randomly to help pay for the service. Which is fair enough I guess. Blogger doesn’t, but some Blogger bloggers choose to put ads on and reap the reward. You really have to have a pretty high visitor rate for it to be worthwhile though.

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