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Should You Blog On (WordPress)

When it comes to WordPress blogging, many new users want to “eat their cake and have it too.”

In other words, many want some of the freedom of using a WP centric host without having to sacrifice on server space, deal with various plugins or even pay a monthly fee for hosting.

Although (which is owned and operated by Automattic) does provide users with free hosting, many complain over the inability to use their own ads or being forced to pay a large fee in order to upload videos.

For those of you seeking to embrace a WordPress Centric host without having to shell out the big bucks, you might want to consider using a service under a highly prized domain name.

What Is

Believe it or not, is the largest WP centric host outside of the walls of, with the former site boasting over 2 million users.

Started in 2004, the site has provided users with an alternative to, with comparable prices for premium features such as the ability to customize the appearance (via CSS), as well as the ability to pay for more space by the gigabyte.

While closer to in spirit than other WordPress centric services (like or BlogOnCloud9), does offer a few advantages over its rival.

Dude, Where’s My Ad?

Contrary to popular belief, does actually allow bloggers to generate revenue off of their own ads, although bloggers need to have a minimum of 25,000 monthly page views.

Worse, users are required to split the revenue 50/50 with Automattic, as well as limits you to only two advertising platforms (Google Adsense and Skimlinks). on the other hand allows bloggers to use any advertising group upon their site provided they purchase a “no ads” upgrade for $30/year which allows them to run any ad network and (most importantly) keep 100% of the revenue generated.

Media Uploading Is Included

Although supports video, audio as well as image uploading, in order to receive access to the former two services users will need to purchase a VideoPress (which costs $59.97/year) and a space upgrade (priced at $19.97/year), respectively. on the other hand allows users to upload both audio and video files to their blog without having to pay an extra fees or upgrading services.

While the latter does limit you as to how large uploaded media files are (25 mb per video or audio), it should be enough to satisfy amateur podcasters and aspiring video bloggers.

Space Wars

When it comes to providing initial space, provides users with 2 GB of free hosting compared to’s 3 GB.

However, when it comes to upgrading, offers users more GB’s for their money by offering users 10 GB, 20 GB, and 30 GB of space for $20, $50, and $90 a year, respectively. however offers 8 GB, 18 GB and 28 GB of space for $19.97, $49.97 and $89.97, respectively. To Automattic’s credit they do offer users even more space (up to 103 GB in fact!) while their main rival stops at 30 GB.

Where Fails

Although for the most part match’s or exceeds (especially when it comes to themes, custom CSS pricing, etc.), there are a few disadvantages that may convince WP bloggers to stay within Automattic’s arms.

Unlike their rival, does not provide bloggers with any defense against spammers outside of manual moderation, allowing any spammer to declare open season upon your commenting threads and actually win.

Users can not utilize services like Akismet or even a third party plugin, which means users will have to dedicate a large amount of time weeding out comments.

Also upgrading to a custom domain (via mapping) is also much more expensive than their rival, costing $18/year with which is much more expensive than Automattic (who only charges $12/year).

Should You Blog On

Users seeking an inexpensive way to problog upon WordPress without dealing with the hassle of servers, plugins, etc. should consider as a serious option.

While the service wouldn’t satisfy a geek like me, it should appeal to those wanting more freedom with their blogs (especially those seeking to generate revenue) without having to pay a monthly fee for hosting.

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Categories: General
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  1. Jeffro ) says: 11/30/2010

    Users can not utilize services like Akismet or even a third party plugin, which means users will have to dedicate a large amount of time weeding out comments.

    Ouch. That’s a deal breaker if I ever read one. How could any of the users of be happy with no built in anti spam measures?


  2. Ryan ) says: 12/1/2010

    What makes you think they’re not using anti-spam measures? They could easily have something running behind the scenes that you can’t see. Or did you ask them?

    No spam protection at all would be a little crazy IMO.


  3. Darnell Clayton ) says: 12/1/2010

    Hey Ryan,

    Unfortunately from all that I could gather, they do not (at least according to their FAQ answer). Basically its the “default” WP spam settings, which is as good at stopping spam as a screen door is at stopping rain water on a windy day.

    I’ve contacted them to see if they will consider alternative measures for dealing with spam.


  4. Ryan ) says: 12/1/2010

    Well that seems a little crazy considering how easy it is to hook up some basic spam protection. Even a paid upgrade would be better than nothing.

    They probably can’t provide Akismet for free because of the high costs involved, but it could definitely be available as an upgrade and a captcha could be used for freebie sites. Anything has to be better than the default WordPress setup for handling spam.


  5. Ryan ) says: 12/1/2010

    That knolwedgebase article does not actually say they don’t use other anti-spam techniques BTW, it just mentions extra ways users can block it. I’d guess they have some sort of spam blocking system running behind the scenes which is picking up the bulk of it … or at least I hope that’s the case or their users will be getting swamped.


    • Darnell Clayton ) says: 12/1/2010

      I hope so too Ryan, but after creating an account and logging in I couldn’t find any way to block spam beyond the default settings.

      Hopefully it’s a home brew solution, but it’s very difficult to tell.


  6. greg urbano says: 12/1/2010

    great set of pros and cons for anyone approaching that decision soon


  7. Ramona ) says: 12/1/2010

    I think any serious blogger should get a domain name and a self-hosted blog. No matter how good these systems are, nothing beats the total freedom your own hosting gives you.


  8. emlak haber says: 12/7/2010

    Well that seems a little crazy considering how easy it is to hook up some basic spam protection. Even a paid upgrade would be better than nothing.


  9. Angelica ) says: 12/8/2010

    I have several wordpress self hosted blogs but I will NEVER EVER quit that address i luckly got at

    Do you have any idea how rare it is for me to get something with my name (without numbers or alternate spelling)?’s support is slow as hell. But the domain keeps me there. Untill they come up with a better service, i will keep blogging outside…


  10. mable says: 11/3/2014

    At the end of the day it is ‘horses for courses’. If you are a serious blogger then you will undoubtedly want to have all the bells and whistles that a self hosted wordpress domain offers. If on the other hand you simply run a personal blog for your own amusement then free platforms such as will probably suffice.


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