Thinking about leaving WordPress.com

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

When I started this blog earlier this year, I wasn’t sure how big this would get. It started as primarily a way to release my creative energies and a place to rant when something annoys me. Back in the good old days of the web, I had a website over on Geocities that took about 5 years to get up to 12,000 hits. This was back in the primitive days when Notepad was the HTML editor of choice, but it set my expectations for traffic at this site.

Well, in less than a year we are closing in on 17,000 hits for Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind. This is much more than I ever expected, and thank you to all the readers for stopping by my little pit stop on the information superhighway. However, it makes me think that we might be outgrowing WordPress.com, our blog hosting provider.

The obvious advantage to WordPress.com is cost – it’s free! But with the lack of cost, there are some disadvantages, including:

1. Lack of customization. WP has a handful of templates that you can use, and a limited number of “widgets” that can be used to add features to the site. As such, most sites on WP look pretty similar.

2. No affiliate links or AdSense allowed. Claiming that they are trying to stay true to their free roots, WP doesn’t allow bloggers to post affiliate links or Google AdSense text ads to their site. While I didn’t start the blog to make money, I don’t appreciate being told I can’t at least try to make some cash from my efforts. I don’t want to make this an ad farm, but I see nothing wrong with having a relevant affiliate link as part of the site or a particular article.

3. Limited traffic reporting. From the admin page, I can see the number of hits per day for the site as a whole and individual pages. I can also see some search terms used to find the blog. I can’t see detail of where a visitor has clicked within the site, time spent, etc. With better traffic reporting I could gear my blog better to reader interests.

If there are any other bloggers out there, do you care to offer some advice?


November 8, 2007 - Posted by | About | , , , , ,


  1. every blogger has different needs and wants. if you’re looking to place ads on your blog, wp.com is definitely not for you. blogger would be a better choice. you can also consider downloading the wordpress software and setting up a blog on your own hosting, then you can add ads as well.

    as for lack of customisation, well there’s the paid option for css upgrade, and you can do some customising if you have css knowledge. that said, blogger’s better in that sense because you can edit the css for free if i’m not mistaken, besides having more freedom from a customising point of view overall compared to wp.com

    Comment by sulz | November 8, 2007

  2. Regarding advertising. Are you aware of this?
    To support the service we may occasionally show Google text ads on your blog, however we do this very rarely. In the future you’ll be able to purchase an upgrade to either turn the ads off or show your own ads and make money from your blog. http://wordpress.com/features/

    As wordpress.com is already running adsense and contextual text ads on our blogs. Assuming you are willing to pay for an advertising upgrade when it is available, the question then becomes this: Have you considered how much additional advertising you might wish to have and what the impact of increasing that amount it may have on your readers?

    As I have both wordpress.com blogs and hosted wp.org installs I can assert without hesitation that there is inexpensive, quality hosting available. (I’m paying $25 per year for hosting for a blog on my domain through A Small Orange). You can download a vast variety of free templates from http://wordpress.org and you can edit them to suit your needs. http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/05/07/wordpresscom-vs-wordpressorg/

    The css customization option costs $15 per year and that allows you to change the style sheets as many times as you want during that year. This amounts to an expense of 4 cents per day.

    In the final analysis if neither the wordpress.com option or the wordpress.org option suit you there are other free blog hosts that you can move to.

    Best wishes 🙂

    Comment by timethief | November 10, 2007

  3. Thanks for the great information i was able to get my new blog up last week. Thanks again! Keep up the great work with your blog. Also i found a coupon that will get up to $93 of hosting per year. I was able to save $57.24 with the coupon. Coupons Thanks again for the great info!

    Comment by Johnathon McBride | December 8, 2007

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