No, this is not an announcement that I am abandoning my little piece of WordPress.com. It is a thought or two about the assumption that WordPress.com will provide a subset of WordPress. In particular, while one’s own installation of WordPress allows an incredible amount of tailoring with regard to themes, plugins, etc., WordPress.com will not.
I previously referred to WordPress.com as a “gateway drug.” Well, what happens when someone has got hooked on WordPress via their free WordPress.com blog, and feels it’s time to get their own place? In other words, they are willing to do some of the work previously done by site admin in order to have full access to the flexiblity of WordPress.
My main point is that the way out of WordPress.com should be well signposted. There should be very clear and explicit instructions as to how to export from one’s WordPress.com blog and import in to one’s new site.
That new site might not be free. In fact, the “exit package” might include pointers to recommended hosts. This part of the package might look similar to the WordPress.org hosting page. As the page points out, some of these hosts have already shown willingness to give some of the hosting fees back to WordPress development.
Hey, this “first one’s free, kid” approach to blog hosting is looking better all the time…