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3 Big Reasons You Should Be Blogging With WordPress

Why WordPress Is The Choice To Power Your Blog

Are you using self-hosted WordPress to power your blog?

If you’re not, it can feel a little lonely. Seems like everyone is using WordPress – nearly 20% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress, and it’s all you hear about in blogging circles.

Why are so many bloggers obsessed with WordPress?

You’re probably wondering… What makes it so great? Do you have to use it? Aren’t there any alternatives you could use instead?

Well, it’s true that WordPress isn’t the only blogging software out there. Plenty of alternatives exist, and many are easy to use and don’t require you to buy your own hosting.

But if you’re serious about blogging, self-hosted WordPress is the best choice for your blog.

Here’s why.

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3 big reasons you should blog with self-hosted WordPress

There are a ton of benefits to using WordPress, but they can be boiled down to three categories:

  1. Professionalism
  2. Community
  3. Control

1. Professionalism

Here on Blogging Wizard, we’ve published posts in the past about the pros and cons of different blogging platforms such as Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr, or Medium.

But you won’t find them on our site anymore, since we’ve decided to recommend WordPress only.

Free blogging platforms have one obvious thing going for them: they’re free!

But there are just too many downsides for us to recommend them. The #1 reason you should not be blogging on a free platform is that it looks unprofessional.

Your visitors can tell you’re using a free platform. Whether it’s because of the generic-looking themes, tell-tale widgets in your sidebar, or credit links in the footer, it’s quite obvious when you’re blogging on a free platform.

And it gives a very unprofessional first impression.

Unfortunately, many of your visitors won’t take you seriously when they see that you’re not willing to invest in your blog.

WordPress gives a more professional impression to your visitors than an obviously free blogging platform. When they visit your site at www.yourname.com instead of yourname.myfreewebsite.com, it looks so much more professional and trustworthy.

2. Community

Compared to other blogging platforms or software, WordPress is supported by an enormous online community.

No matter what you want to do with WordPress, or what obstacles you encounter, it’s easy to find help.

In fact, just googling “WordPress help” yields 542 million results.

Chances are, your question has already been answered online. There’s likely even a tutorial or walkthrough for it, or a plugin that will provide the exact functionality you need.

And if not, it’s easy to find a forum or site where you can ask for help, or a developer you can hire whose rates are within your budget.

3. Control

Another crucial feature of self-hosted WordPress is its incredible flexibility. You have the control to do whatever you want with your website, unlike with free blogging platforms that severely limit what you can do.

With self-hosted WordPress you can:

  • Choose from thousands and thousands of themes, including official themes from WordPress.org, or premium third-party themes, or even create your own custom theme.
  • Modify your site’s code, so you can change whatever you want, including customizing the text of your footer credits, switching fonts or colors, or even changing the whole layout of your site.
  • Install plugins. Plugins are one of WordPress’s most important features. They make it easy to change or add whatever functionality you want, making WordPress infinitely flexible and allowing you to create a one-of-a-kind website. You can easily find a plugin to grow your email list, build a landing page or almost anything else.
  • Monetize your blog. Often free blogging platforms don’t allow you to implement third party advertising or monetize in other ways. If you want to monetize your blog by selling direct ads or sponsored posts, or create a premium membership site, you’re probably going to be limited by a blogging platform’s terms of service or technical restrictions. With self-hosted WordPress, you own your site, so you can monetize it in any way you want.
  • Control your own site and content. Many free blogging platforms include a clause in their terms of service that state that they can immediately delete your entire site without warning if you violate their terms of service. They may even have ownership of your content. With self-hosted WordPress, you retain ownership and control of everything posted. (Still, you should make sure to backup your site!)

Are there any downsides to using WordPress?

The cost of self-hosting and the process of setting up your site are the two issues that usually hold bloggers back.

How much does a self-hosted WordPress site cost?

WordPress.org blogging software itself is 100% free to download and use, but you’ll need to buy your own domain and hosting in order to use it.

A domain name will usually cost around $10-15 per year.

Hosting costs can vary widely depending on the type of hosting you buy, but you can find hosting for as little as $5 per month.

So, you’re looking at a minimum of about $70-75 per year to run a self-hosted WordPress blog.

I would argue that if you’re serious about blogging, all the benefits listed above are more than worth that price. And if you’re monetizing your blog, you can easily cover the costs of running your site within the first year.

Technical know-how

This is one of the big reasons that many bloggers stick with free blogging platforms.

It’s understandable; setting up your own domain and hosting and installing WordPress can be a bit intimidating at first if you’re not sure where to start.

Once it’s all set up, though, WordPress is just as easy to use as any free blogging platform. (You can sign up for a free account at WordPress.com to get an idea of what the dashboard looks like.)

The truth is, it’s not all that difficult. If you can use a computer, download and install software, and figure out other simple computer-related tasks, then you’re capable of setting up your own website!

How you can get started with self-hosted WordPress today

Ready to get started on your own self-hosted blog?

Here’s what you need to do, in a nutshell:

  1. Buy your hosting & domain: A good host to start with is InMotion Hosting, because they have reasonable prices for shared hosting for new bloggers. For security purposes we recommend purchasing your domain from a separate company like Namecheap.
  2. Install WordPress: InMotion Hosting is also a good choice because they provide one-click installation of WordPress & have affordable pricing. Check out this tutorial on WP Superstars to see how to get started. Alternatively you could go for a WordPress specific host like Traffic Planet Hosting (aff).
  3. Start blogging! If this is your first blog, check out Adam’s article on 15 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Blogging. If you’re migrating your blog from another platform, you can easily import your content.

Are you using self-hosted WordPress?

Have you ever used another blogging platform besides WordPress? What prompted you to make the switch?

Share your experience (and tips for new WordPress users) in the comments below.

About KeriLynn Engel

KeriLynn Engel is a copywriter & content marketing strategist. She loves working with B2B & B2C businesses to plan and create high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience. When not writing, you can find her reading speculative fiction, watching Star Trek, or playing Telemann flute fantasias at a local open mic.

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  • I love reading why people should use WordPress. Great article KeriLynn! Passed it along!

    Bren

    • Hi Bren, thanks for checking out Keri’s post!

      – Adam

  • WordPress really is the bee’s knees! You explained why nicely KeriLynn.

    Amazing how the software itself is free, and all you need is a domain and host. Pretty incredible considering the control you get. Your ability to design a site that looks really sweet. I’m a big fan. :)

    Looking forward to sharing this post. Thanks for inviting KeriLynn to guest post, Adam!

    Have an amazing week,

    Matthew

    • Thanks for dropping by, Matthew. Glad you enjoyed Keri’s post!

      Great point – I really like how much control WordPress gives for the price.
      Years ago I spent so much time trying to build websites in Dreamweaver. After 5 minutes of trying WordPress, it’d blown my mind at how easy building a website had become.

      Thanks for sharing. Have a great week ahead.

      – Adam

  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    Hi, KeriLynn and Adam,
    I’m a firm believer that every blogger should use WordPress for the reasons you stated.

    I completely agree that it’s just as easy to use as any free platform. I was able to learn what I needed to know quite quickly when I was a beginner blogger!

    Thanks,
    Sue

    • Hi Sue!

      I’m with you. I had a similar experience when I first started.

      What I love most is how well supported it is. I used tried another CMS years ago but almost every plugin available (which wasn’t many) was out of date and didn’t work with the current version. And there were just a few themes.

      Now, we can do almost anything with WordPress. It makes it so easy for us to do cool things with opt-in forms, social buttons etc.

      Thanks!
      Adam

      • Sue Anne Dunlevie

        I totally agree, Adam!

        Sue

  • Great post KeriLynn!

    I got on Tumblr about a year ago as a “hobby blogger”. After awhile I decided that I wanted to try my hand at more serious blogging. After doing a little research it was very apparent that WordPress was the way to go. It does have a little bit of a learning curve, but it’s quite easy after you learn the basics.

    I’m launching my blog next week (so stoked). My audience is hobby/beginner bloggers so I was very curious about this post. It’s good for me to have these things fresh in my mind.

    Thanks!

    • Hey Eli,

      Thanks for checking out Keri’s post!

      Tumblr is a great starting point. Love the simplicity of it, but you’re right, when you’re going down the route of starting a serious blog, WordPress makes sense.

      I started out trying to cobble together HTML sites with Dreamweaver, couldn’t believe how much easier the process was after I switched to WordPress!

  • I use WordPress with ClickFunnels-Awesome 1-2 combination. Also use Inmotion for web hosting on reseller plan for my 100+ domains. Inmotion has 24/7 PHONE support-a rare support feature in that space.

    • That’s a great combo, Mark. Still haven’t checked out ClickFunnels yet, but I’m hearing great things!

      • Get the 14 day free Clickfunnels trial. The plug in for WordPress is Awesome. I made this funnel that I plugged into WP in minutes. http://AudioPersonals.com
        You do need WP for the blogging
        .

        • Thanks Mark, will do. That landing page is looking really smart!

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