Chapter 2. Signing Up with WordPress.com

In Chapter 1, you took a big-picture look at WordPress and the sites it can build. Now, you’re ready to partner with WordPress and start building your own web masterpiece.

But not so fast. Before you can create even a single WordPress-powered page, you need to decide where to put it. This is the challenge of WordPress hosting, and as you found out in Chapter 1, WordPress gives you two perfectly good choices:

  • The WordPress.com hosting service. This is a wonderfully free and supremely convenient service for web authors who want to build an ordinary blog and can live with a few limitations (described on Choosing Where to Host Your Site).

  • Self-hosting. This option requires you to install the free WordPress software on your own web host, which is a little bit more work (but still not much hassle). Self-hosted sites are more powerful and flexible than WordPress.com-hosted sites—they let you show ads, use plug-ins, and create completely customized pages that go far beyond ordinary blogs.

In this chapter, you’ll get started with WordPress.com. But if you want to give self-hosting a whirl, skip this chapter and jump straight to Chapter 3. No matter which route you take, the paths converge in Chapter 4, where you’ll begin adding content, refining your site, and developing the skills of a true WordPress wizard.

Tip

If you’re still divided between the convenience of WordPress.com and the flexibility of a self-hosted site, you can review the key differences ...

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