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).