Since we’re in Blaugust, lets talk about blogs. I don’t know about you guys, but I am never really satisfied with my blog layout. I don’t know why, but I see awesome looking blogs like Mama Needs Mana or Tales of the Aggronaut and mine just seems like fail. I don’t think it really is fail, but I suppose that’s a little bit of the perfectionist side of me. In the past I’ve tried both Blogger and WordPress, and I LOVE WordPress. I had a WordPress blog set up at Battlepriestess.com a long time ago, but funds grew short so I ended up canceling that domain/site and moved over to the free WordPress.com instead.
I really like WordPress.com – if you’re on a budget it is great as far as having a lot of good free themes and some basic customization. For a fee, you can upgrade WordPress.com to give you unlimited storage and amazing customization. Last year I paid $30 to get CSS/HTML customization, which worked great and is budget-friendly. However when I went back over the weekend to update/renew that, I found that the $30 option is no longer there. It’s all been rolled into the $99/year premium package with a bunch of other frills that I don’t really need.
So now I’m shopping around. It turns out that I can get a hosted WordPress.ORG setup, with whatever theme, customization, and storage I want, for around $3.99-$4.99/month, which is still cheaper than $99/year, and includes a free domain that I can hold on to. Given the competition, I’m not sure who the WordPress.com premium package is marketed to. You still can’t use your own themes or Google Analytics, so perhaps it’s for people who want more options but are ingrained at their WordPress.com blog address.
I’ve decided that if I can hold out for all 31 days of Blaugust, my reward to myself will be a splurge on a site with a WordPress.org setup. I’ll probably end up spending about $100 by the time I get a nice theme and all that, but at least I’ll be back on my own domain and not under the thumb of WordPress.com. What say you guys? If you have a blog, what host do you use and would you recommend them to others?