WordPress.com and the F-Word

I want to relate WordPress.com to a certain 4-letter work beginning with F… yes, of course I mean free. WordPress is free/open source software, so you can change the source code if you wish.

My experience of WordPress as free (as in freedom) and open depends just as much on my having control of my main blog in terms of themes and plugins as its does on my having access to the source code of WordPress itself.

WordPress.com takes the free (as in freedom) WordPress code and adds to it free (as in beer) hosting. That’s great. But in doing so, it doesn’t give me as much freedom as I am used to with a WordPress blog.

This is not a complaint. I understand the reasons for the restrictions on theme and plugin use.

I’m just concerned that people may be interested in WordPress for the freedom and control it gives the blogger, sign up at WordPress.com, and find that it doesn’t give them the control over themes and plugins that caught their interest in the first place.

In other words, I don’t want the reputation of WordPress.anything to suffer if people come to WordPress.com with unrealistic expectations. I think that it’s a great site for a starter blog, or for a sample of WordPress basics.

So I hope that:

  1. Efforts to set realistic expectations about WordPress.com continue. This post is such an effort.
  2. Migration paths from WordPress.com to WordPress.elsewhere are identified.

Andrew, posting here for the first time in a while… that’s the problem with having too many blogs.

Update: this thread on the WordPress support forum is an example of what I posted about above. 

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