Choosing a blog platfrom for your organisation can seem difficult with all the different choices available in the marketplace. A recent survey by Pingdom shows that WordPress is the blogging platform of choice for 48% of the world’s 100 most popular blogs.
Of this 48% – 39% are self hosted and 9% are hosted by WordPress.com itself. This is a 53% increase in WordPress popularity amongst top bloggers since the last Pingdom survey over 3 years ago.
Self Hosting Vs Hosting Service
WordPress.com is brought to you by some of the same people who work on WordPress, the open source blogging software. WordPress.com is a hosting service that utilizes the same WordPress software that anyone can download from WordPress.org.
With WordPress.com, the hosting and managing of the software is taken care of by the team at Automattic. With the freestanding open source WordPress software, you need to “self-host” ie: install it on your own web server or a 3rd party web hosting provider.
There are pro’s and con’s to each approach.
Self hosting allows your organisation to fully customise the WordPress installation on your own website address with no cost for the software package. It also means you can run your website from a computer server that is physically inside your organisation or a 3rd party web hosting provider whose servers are located in Australia.
This means your website will be faster for Australian visitors and subject to Australian law, rather than being subject to USA law if it was hosted by WordPress.com or another 3rd party web hosting provider located in the USA.
However there will be ongoing costs in internal/outsourced staffing time maintaining the WordPress installation and applying security upgrades. Local Australian hosting also tends to cost more than USA web hosting.
A 3rd party web hosting service like WordPress.com is in essence a software as a service (SaaS) provider.
They host all your website files and the database which contains the website content as well as automatically maintaining the wordpress installation by upgrading to new releases and applying security patches.
In practical terms this means you can have a more hands off approach so your organisation needs to spend much less time, effort and money on maintaining your own private web server.
However as your website is hosted overseas it may be subject to US laws. Also large web hosting companies provide a big target for hackers, disgruntled customers etc who could cause your website to be unavailable because your web host service has been attacked by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS).