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blogging, WordPress.com, WordPress.org, self-hosting

Why can’t my blog just live happily ever after here?

My blog has felt unsettled lately. I’ve been trying to decide whether I should make the move to WordPress.org and self-host, or keep it here on WordPress.com.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly happy where I am—at the moment. WordPress.com is easy to use, has plenty of themes and widgets, and has a great community feel since it’s a social platform in and of itself.

I never considered self-hosting when I started my blog, because I didn’t see the purpose at first. After watching my dad and Zack make the shift over to self-hosting, I realized how much control they have over the appearance and SEO of their blogs, but also how much work it is.

They both swear by it, but it makes sense for their needs—my dad has a real estate website and blog, and Zack likes having control over every design element.

Here are my questions:

Will I use WordPress.org to its full potential? I’m not very strong with HTML, and I don’t have a strong desire to have a lot of plug-ins or to change my fonts.

Will I lose followers/struggle getting new ones? At the moment 95% of my followers are from WordPress.com. I’ve connected with other runners and fitness bloggers via the WordPress Reader, because it’s like a community. Bloggers can easily check out my latest post in their Reader on WordPress.com. Having to subscribe to my blog via email might act as a barrier to some people, where overflowing inboxes will swallow my new post notifications and therefore reduce my reach.

Is it necessary to make the move? I started my blog to document my journey to become an ultra-runner and to get involved in the See Jane Write community. I don’t know if my blog will ever grow enough for me to worry about monetizing it, and right now I’m OK with that.

On the flip side, if I do decide to self-host in the future so I’m able to add affiliates and feel the need to have more control over the look and feel of my blog, it’ll be a lot easier to make the move now while my blog is still new. If I put off switching because I simply don’t see the need for it now, I will end up creating a lot more work down the road and I might feel even less inclined when I have more content and (hopefully) more followers.

Lately, I’ve been leaning toward the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset. If I don’t have any major complaints right now, why not stay put?

Plenty of successful bloggers are on WordPress.com. Not that I’m saying my blog will be successful, but you get what I mean. I hope.

Has anyone made the shift over to WordPress.org or decided against it? What guided your decision? Any input or advice is appreciated!