Choosing Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

January 26, 2013 | No Comments Yet

Image: frontandsocial

Just like in any other choices that have to be made regarding online presence, the choice between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is decided by the purpose for which a blog was created.  The two options have their respective advantages and disadvantages.  It is really up to the owner to decide which one works best for his purpose.

The use of WordPress.com is quite attractive for those who do not like complicated procedures.  It is easy to set up, the blog’s technical maintenance work is adequately covered, the blog maintains availability in spite of high traffic as it can be found in different servers, and blog contents are automatically backed up.  These and some extra traffic can be obtained from being part of the WordPress.com community.

With these benefits however come certain limitations such as the inability to upload a custom theme and plug-ins as well as inability to modify the PHP code.  These WordPress.com disadvantages are the very advantages of using WordPress.org.  Technically-minded bloggers specifically prefer these very benefits.

Opting for WordPress.org presents several disadvantages including the need to pay for a good web host, need for more technical knowledge for setting up and maintaining, and the responsibilities that come with self-hosting.  Self-hosted blogs need to address concerns about stopping spam, creating and maintaining back-up, and updating to the newer versions of WordPress as they get released.  Bloggers who opt to choose the self-hosted way must take care to avoid mismanaging the web server that may lead to losing the blog itself.  Security, control, and choices are just some of the many considerations before making a decision.

 

 

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WordPress Theme: Duotone

January 31, 2011 | No Comments Yet

You might remember the smart, color-matching photoblogging theme released by Automattic called Monotone. As a holiday gift to WordPress.com users, an updated version called Duotone has been released, with the following new features:

  1. Manually choose your blog’s background color instead of automatically doing so
  2. Edit three widget areas at the bottom of the theme
  3. Display EXIF data from your photos

WordPress.com users can enjoy this theme instantly, but for self-hosted users you’re not left out: download the theme here. View the demo here.

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WordPress Plugin: Vote for Plugins

May 18, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Vote for Plugins lets you help contribute to the WordPress.org plugin ratings without having to leave your admin panel.

The WordPress.org plugin directory has a neat rating system that lets users rate plugins both on overall quality and on compatibility with specific WP versions. However, its usefulness is stymied by poor integration with WordPress itself. To try to remedy that, I’ve created a plugin that lets you vote on plugins directly from your Dashboard.

Once installed you’ll be asked for your WP.org account details so your vote can be counted. Then at the plugins list, you can indicate whether a plugin you’re using works or is broken, and give it a rating from 0 to 5 stars.

Vote for Plugins is an easy candidate for canonical plugin or even a core feature, considering the useful information it can add to the community.

Download Vote for Plugins

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Matt Mullenweg WordCamp SF keynote & Mashable interview

May 3, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WP Tavern has posted notes from Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word at the 2010 WordCamp San Francisco. In it, Matt emphasizes the growth of WordPress into one of the most popular content management systems today: from the admin interface, to the number of plugins, to the upcoming features in WordPress 3.0: WordPress MU merge, menu navigation system, custom post types, and more.

Roughly 74% of WordPress sites are being used as blogs and content management systems. This is up from about 40% last year. It’s the fastest growing use case of the software. About 80% of people are making money from WordPress. 22% WordPress is their day job. 18% from custom development and hosting, 12%.

Other things to take from the talk:

  • A new default WordPress theme will be created every year. This year’s Twenty Ten features custom post headers and backgrounds.
  • WordPress should be as accessible as possible: the Post By Email feature will be turned into a canonical plugin.
  • WordPress.org will be redesigned.
  • Release cycles will go from 3 per year to 2.
  • On security issues: Automattic will work with web hosting companies to help protect its WordPress users, via a mailing list, security checks, and a list of best practices.

Mashable also conducted an interview with him, which covers pretty much the same things discussed at WordCamp. Watch it below:

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WordPress in Google Summer of Code 2010

March 30, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress is once again participating in the annual Google Summer of Code, whose application period just opened. For the unfamiliar, GSoC gives initiatives for student developers to work on open source projects (such as WordPress) in preparation for their foray into real-world software development.

Here is this year’s list of ideas for WordPress:

  • BuddyPress
  • GlotPress
  • bbPress
  • Media
  • Widgets
  • Blog Import/Export
  • User Roles
  • Template Versioning
  • Comment Moderation
  • Move WordPress
  • Enhance Profiles.WordPress.org

The WP GSoC also gathers some of the biggest names in the community to act as mentors to the participants. IRC chats will be held on March 31, April 3, and April 7 to interact with them.

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WordPress.com goes real-time with PubSubHubbub

March 5, 2010 | No Comments Yet

PubSubHubbub or PuSH is a new protocol that makes publishing go real-time: instead of readers like Google Reader or Netvibes checking a website RSS or Atom feed every so often for new content, PubSubHubbub “pushes” the new content into the stream as soon as it is published. That feature has been enabled on all WordPress.com blogs.

WordPress.org users can also enjoy PubSubHubbub with the PuSHPress plugin available in the Plugins Directory. This turns your WP blog into a hub of its own that can send updates directly, without going through another hub.

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WordPress Multi User becomes WordPress Multi Site

January 8, 2010 | No Comments Yet

The road to the merger has begun. And the first step is a pretty major one: WordPress Multi User (WPMU) has now been renamed to WordPress Multi Site (WPMS). I mentioned in a previous post that the WPMU term “multi-user” in the context of a typical WordPress install could be confusing, so it’s great that they got this out of the way immediately. “Multi-site” is much better.

Another major change that’s been made: the old WPMU term “Site Admin” has also been renamed to “Super Admin”—again, to erase confusion between WordPress single-user and multi-site jargon.

These and other important topics were discussed in the January 7 WordPress Dev Chat on IRC, and WordPress Tavern has a fantastic report on it. Some tidbits:

  • There is no ETA on WordPress 3.0 yet
  • WordPress MU MS 2.9.1 is just around the corner
  • Work on The Merge has begun
  • Canonical plugins “need a community of developers like the core to survive”
  • Priorities for WordPress 3.0 include: The Merge, menus, custom post types, the new default theme, core plugin integration; Media “will not happen” in said version
  • WordPress.org will be redesigned starting “sometime in late February”

Exciting times for the future of WordPress, and it’s all happening this 2010!

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TypeKit for WordPress.com, WordPress.org, and WordPress MU

December 23, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Good news for WordPress users looking to unleash the typography aficionado within: custom font embedding service TypeKit has released support for all flavors of WordPress.

For WordPress.com, it’s already built in:

Log into your WordPress dashboard and click on Appearance in the left-hand navbar. There, you’ll find “Typekit Fonts” with a place to add your Kit ID (available under “Embed Code” in the Typekit Editor). That’s it — you’re ready to go. You can choose fonts from our rapidly growing library to add them to any of the WordPress themes to give your blog a distinct look.

For WordPress.org, there are a couple of plugins you can use from the official directory.

For WordPress MU, there’s a special plugin you can use as well.

This is great news for both the web design and blogging communities: through plugins and integration with TypeKit it’s now a lot easier to incorporate the next big thing in creating more beautiful websites.

(Via WPLover)

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How to use the WP.me URL shortener for self-hosted WordPress

December 21, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.com users have enjoyed the WP.me URL shortener since August, but here’s a neat discovery for self-hosted WordPress users, courtesy of the folks at WP Tavern: if you upgrade to WordPress 2.9 and install the WordPress.com Stats plugin, you can get to use WP.me too. Once you type in a post title, a “Get Shortlink” button will appear right beside the “Edit” button for the post permalink. For example, the clicking on said button gives us the shortlink http://wp.me/pely2-Aq.

What do you think of the requirements? Stats buffs probably won’t mind grabbing yet another analytics plugin if they haven’t already. But upgrading to WordPress 2.9 this early might still be discouraging.

What exactly is more attractive about choosing to use WP.me over, say, native post ID-based permalinks instead? Probably the number of characters you can save with a much shorter URL.

But take note that both Google and Facebook have just rolled out their own URL shorteners in goo.gl and fb.me. Seems like the URL shortening arena is getting more serious competition than ever.

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WordPress Plugins Directory adds user-voted compatibility checker

October 28, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.org Plugin Directory compatibility feature

WordPress plugins listed at WordPress.org’s official plugin directory now have a new feature for compatibility checking. It uses the naturally-helpful WordPress community to gather statistics on how compatible a plugin is for a certain WordPress version. Weblog Tools Collection reports:

Normally, the plugin information within the FYI box tells you which version of WordPress is required and which version the plugin is compatible up to. Unfortunately, the version the plugin is compatible up to is not updated that often which is why some plugins which state that they only work up to WordPress 2.5 end up working with the latest release.

[…] The beauty of this system is that it leverages the community in order to figure out what works with what. However, just because it works for the majority of users is no guarantee it will work on your particular setup. But using these statistics, it should make it easier to figure out whether the issue is with the plugin and WordPress or with your setup.

One of the biggest fears users have when it comes time to upgrade WordPress is whether their plugins will work on the newest version or not. There are a large handful of people who upgrade to the latest version of WordPress as soon as it’s released and the hope is, these folks will visit the plugin page and report their findings for others to take advantage of. If more users see that their plugins work on the newest version, they are more likely to upgrade.

It’s not yet on all plugins, and it doesn’t appear yet inside details screen when you install from within your WP admin, but expect that to change soon. After all, this feature is still in beta.

But the biggest advantage, as WLTC notes in the last paragraph above, is key here. WordPress-powered sites often stay outdated and unable to fight off security attacks because their owners fear for incompatible plugins breaking their site. This checker should help quell those fears. And of course, this is a great incentive to make sure you’re grabbing plugins from the most legitimate source out there.

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A WP.com sneak peek?

August 13, 2009 | 1 Comment

A few months ago it was announced that Automattic purchased the highly-coveted WP.com, and people have since wondered what it would be used for, since it still redirects to WordPress.com. Now Hack WordPress has discovered get.wp.com, which bears a fully-loaded campaign page for WordPress.com and WordPress.org alike.

In all probability the page on the subdomain get.wp.com will get moved to wp.com itself, but does that rule out the possibility of WP.com becoming a shorter domain alternative for hosted WordPress users? I hope not!

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VideoPress launches on WordPress.com

May 14, 2009 | No Comments Yet

VideoPress is a new upgrade feature created by the Automattic team for WordPress.com that lets users create high-definition streaming video for their blogs. It’s also great for video podcasting since it crunches all the necessary work you: videos are iTunes and Miro compatible, and they play in the right frame rates you uploaded them with.

Although there’s no official word yet on when this will be available for self-hosted WordPress sites, you’re advised to create your own WordPress.com account to take advantage of the plugin and then embed the created videos on your WordPress.org blog.

Plus, the VideoPress framework is open source, so we can expect to see more free-flowing improvements to it in the future.

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WP.com now redirects to WordPress.com

April 28, 2009 | 3 Comments

Matt Mullenweg has announced Automattic’s recent purchase of the wp.com domain, which now redirects to WordPress.com. He also asked users of the hosted WordPress platform what they should do with the domain, and in this age of microblogging, built-in URL shorteners seem immensely useful. Some people are also saying they should just come out with its own microblogging service altogether.

Of course the top answer in the comments would have to be using wp.com as a shorter alternative for blog URLs. Over at The Blog Herald, Thord Daniel Hedengren points out that a bigger issue here: a branding problem between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Users are having a hard time understanding the difference between WordPress and WordPress. I keep getting questions about how to do this or that for their WordPress blog, and “why can’t I ping that service?” and so on. Because far from all WordPress users that are looking to enhance their blogs understand that they are using the hosted version – wordpress.com – and not the stand-alone one, of course being wordpress.org.

You know what you have to do, Automattic, and I’ll spell it out for you just so we’re really really clear on this.

Rebrand wordpress.com to wp.com.

Now please.

What will WP do?

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WordPress.org’s Showcase section promotes WP-powered sites that push the envelope

November 1, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Those who wonder whether WordPress should be used for more than just blogs might think twice with the launch of Showcase, a new WordPress.org section which features “some of the best and brightest WordPress users, who are using it to do a whole lot more than blog”.

WordPress.org, WordPress.com, WordPress.com VIP, and WordPress MU users are all welcome to submit their sites. Screenshots are updated almost in real time.

This is definitely a gallery-type site I’d want my site to be featured in! It’s great that WordPress is adding more features to strengthen its user community. I sure hope many Philippine sites make the cut.

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WordPress App for LinkedIn adds your blog to your professional profile

October 31, 2008 | No Comments Yet

If you’re networking professionally at LinkedIn, you’ll be pleased to know that you can now add your WordPress-powered blog to your profile with the WordPress app. Just look for it in the Application Directory, add your blog URL, and you’re all set. Your recent blog posts will now be displayed on your profile.

Users of both WordPress.com (hosted) and WordPress.org (self-hosted) can use this app, so don’t hesitate! Why use LinkedIn? It’s a great way to build your professional network online.

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WordPress.com redesigned

August 13, 2008 | No Comments Yet

WordPress.com redesigned

Hosted platform WordPress.com just got a design refresh, as announced by Matt Mullenweg via Twitter last August 11.

You’ll notice that while WordPress.com and WordPress.org sport similar design elements now (since version 2.5), the content of their homepages differ greatly. The former features posts from the users’ blogs, while the latter boasts of the blog software’s excellent features.

Which one do you prefer? It’s like comparing apples to oranges. I do, however, would like to see WordPress.org aggregate content from self-hosted blogs too. Wouldn’t that be exciting?

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