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 | , , , , , | 3 Comments