Goodbye wordpress.com, why I’m self hosting

I did start this blog on wordpress.com. If your wanting a decent blog with reliable hosting where someone else takes care of all the details, that’s great. But when I tried to purchase a premium service to use a domain name on my blog, I ran into problems and ended up self-hosting.

To use an existing domain name on your blog, they ask you what the domain name is. They then check the name servers for that domain name, and they refuse to continue until the name servers are pointing at them. When you have done all this, apparently you can add extra DNS records for your domain – for example, an MX record for your email server.

Firstly, why does wordpress.com insist on being the name server for my domain? I already have a perfectly good name server. Why can’t I just change my A record to point to wordpress.com?

However, the thing that pushed me into self-hosting was that while I was going through this sign-up procedure (they warn it could take several hours), my email and all my sub-domains would be off-line, and there was nothing I could do about it.

It basically means that if your trying to move an existing domain onto wordpress.com and downtime is a problem for you, you can’t do it. I’m about to look at CMS’s for several local charities. I would like to consider wordpress.com because small charities tend not to have a staff member who can look after software installs, and if you have to pay someone to look after your WordPress then wordpress.com is a decently priced option from the experts. But this one issue may mean I can’t.

So I ended up hosting this blog on a Debian server, where a fantastic package made setting it up easy (as always).

6 thoughts on “Goodbye wordpress.com, why I’m self hosting”

  1. Reading your spiel up there, it all sounds very complicated, and I’m struggling to understand what the problem is……my website url is as given, but in case it doesn’t appear to your blog readers, http://www.phonedupnshutup.com is my WORDPRESS domain name, the guy who sorted it for me is Ants from Strathclyde University and he did both computer structuronics and web design……my website seems like a far simpler success than yours, James, I don’t have any complaints, it’s all going smoothly, and wordpress is beautifully kool…….my Facebook friend Natalie Clarke has just completed an absolutely gorgeous wordpress website, don’t see a prob there either.

    1. Basically, if you move an existing domain name onto the wordpress.com hosting service you have to take all other services (such as email) on that domain off-line while you move. The WordPress software is great, it’s just an issue with how the hosting service provided by wordpress.com works.

      1. …….it seems reminiscent of the problem of a shop that has roadworks going on around it for a week……they feel like they’ve lost custom……..obviously some business persons could also feel like they’ve lost a crucial contact, which could have been more thoughtful on someone’s part.
        Another problem Ants & I came upon was choosing a theme, when we put the theme on, it obscured some of the my 52-page treatise, uploaded in sections……at the points where one section closes and the reader moves onto the next, words become obliterated……..I’ve often wondered if someone, like Natalie or yourself, might sort that for us.

        1. Yeah, good metaphor. This losing business problem could be sorted out …
          Sounds like the kind of thing a programmer/designer could sort, but don’t know if I’ll ever find time, sorry :-/

  2. I know it’s different beast, but tumbr’s process to setup a custom name was quick and straightforward, u just need to point an A record to their IP. Sounds like wordpress have just made the thing a bit too complicated.. like u say, u’ve already using a name server that does the job, why be forced to change.

    I’ve already got domains spread across multiple registrars last thing I need is to have to spread them across multiple name servers aswell lol!

    @ste101, @theradhouseteam

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