A little technogeekery for the non-technogeeks.
SarcasticMonkeys.com is a WordPress blog. That means that I use the WordPress software to create, post, and manage this website. The WordPress software is open-source and can be downloaded for free from WordPress.org.
DreamHost is my hosting provider. Not only do they host the domain – SarcasticMonkeys.com – they host all the sub-domains that I have created, including Shae.SarcasticMonkeys.com, TBQ.SarcasticMonkeys.com, and SarcasticMonkeys.com/Sammy.
As you can see, having a hosting provider provides me with more flexibility and control. There are also some sub-directories you can’t see in my account that I use to store different things. I have a couple of websites that I play with – but I’m the only one who knows they are there. (If you’ve found them, let me know!)
The disadvantage of this strategy is that I have to keep the software up-to-date. While DreamHost makes this very easy (the video at the top shows how it’s done), it is still another step I have to take.
The easier path is to use WordPress.com. One of the reasons I went to my own hosting provider was because I wanted my own domain name. This wasn’t possible through WordPress.com.
Now it is. And this makes WordPress.com much more attractive. It is also – in most cases – much less expensive. If I’m only using my hosting provider for one domain, it only costs $15/year through WordPress.com. That’s less than two months hosting with most hosting providers.
WordPress.com also has a lot of built-in features, including stats, that can only be done through plug-ins with WordPress.org software. Working with plug-ins can be very time consuming.
I have also used Blogger.com and all the Googleness that it has.
But if you are considering beginning your own website, I would recommend looking at WordPress.com.