My latest personal project was to migrate and update the site of my kung fu school. My sifuÂ had asked me for input on the website since the original administrator was moving to a different hosting provider. Ideas were thrown around, and I suggested moving the site to a WordPress configuration.
There were two roadpaths with WordPress: have it hosted on WordPress.com, the commercial enterprise owned and started by the same people who created WordPress; or use WordPress.org which has the downloadable free, open-source blogging platform software. After having used WordPress.org for years and years, I decided to explore the WordPress.com option.
There are differences between the “com” and “org” incarnations of WordPress. I have been a user of WordPress for years, running it on my own hosting provider (actually sharing it with someone else). I had also signed up on WordPress.com (for an Akismet account) and thought, at the time, that it was very limited. I do not know what changes have taken place since then but I explored the options available, and liked them better than the base package Google Sites or Windows Live provides.
All I did to migrate my school’s website was create an account, set up some pages, picked a theme, uploaded some files, copied content, created a new banner image, and then mapped the domain. I didn’t have to worry about back-end administration like databases, backups, disk space, themes, and so on. I can do the same thing on my own, but I didn’t want to take on those responsibilities at the time.
WordPress.com already provided everything (or nearly everything) I had done with my own blog andÂ Youth A.C.T.’s website and not to mention that most features are free right from the start. AÂ simple website doesn’t need much more than that. However, as feature-rich as WordPress.com is, they are still rather limited in terms of how much control you can exude over your site.
After some initial discussion with my instructor, we determined what we wanted in the website and the feasibility of implementing ideas. I decided that it would be best to move the school’s site off to its own WordPress-hosted service where we could control the site on a deeper level. This largely meant being able to utilize other themes not available on WordPress.com, install plug-ins that suited our needs, and being able to customize the look and feel.
The new (new) site has up and functional for a few weeks now. A lot of people I solicited for feedback have said it looks very nice and professional (their opinion, not mine) and that information is much easier to find. I can’t take complete credit for what I did; WordPress has great community support and dozens of plug-ins and themes, and the authors deserve lots of thanks for their efforts.