I’m looking to start a small scale website and venturing into Wordpress. I’m torn between using Wordpress.com and paying a monthly fees vs getting a local provider to self host Wordpress images. While it’s cheaper to use a local provider, I’m worried about spam and hacks, which I am guessing I don’t have to worry if I use Wordpress.com.
Are those spams and hacks pretty prevalent? I’m hoping that if my website is not popular (it probably won’t) I should be able to run it for a year as an experiment. Any thoughts would be appreciated, especially if you have any experience with this.
Self-hosted is gonna require more mental energy and time from you, no doubt about it. You’ll need to be in charge of keeping it up-to-date (or setting up a system to do so for you), making sure that updates don’t break your plugins/themes, and that kinda thing. I’d also recommend some tools like Akismet, Better WP Security, etc., to help keep down common spam and intrusion tactics. And, of course, if you break it, you’ve got to be the one to fix it!
All that said, I strongly prefer self-maintained for the level of control and power it grants, even if I just tend to use that 90% of the time to correct weird PHP bugs from my plugins and shit like that, haha.
And being small isn’t necessarily protection, just FYI. A tiny Drupal site I ran for myself that wasn’t really linked anywhere eventually got found by spambots, who used my comments sytem to send spam mail somehow, getting me a very nasty warning from my webhost to improve my site security, since I’d gotten their mailserver blacklisted by a couple of ISPs!
I’ve done the Wordpress dance many times, mostly self-hosted. I’m old and cranky now, however, and the minutes I spend trying to unblock myself from spam and unhack Chinese hackbots – those are minutes of my life I can’t get back. I strongly suggest going with Wordpress.com or an alternative, like Squarespace. If you have a strong interest in hacking Wordpress and writing your own plugins, etc… then self-host.
I do self-hosted Wordpress on a VPS, which I also use for hosting voice chat and running a game server or two. Haven’t had any issues yet, although it isn’t like I run a very heavily trafficked site. Sensible moderation defaults plus Akismet have taken care of any spam, and cautious plugin use has kept me from any pwning of which I’m aware.
I think I’m somewhere in the ballpark of $3-4/mo with SpeedySparrow, who’ve been very helpful, if not exceedingly fast. Plus $10/year for the domains. It’s. . . acceptable!
But definitely an acquired taste. WordPress.com’s basic plan at $6/mo is more expensive year-over-year, to be sure, if but if you’re not hurting for ~$30/year and don’t want to do a bunch of crazy advanced stuff to your site, it’s hardly a bad deal.
You also could check out A Small Orange for hosting. I’ve used them for things here and there for many years. Their customer support always has been excellent. Alternatively, if you want to really dig into technical weeds, you can get a $5/month droplet over at Digital Ocean and go to town.
You really don’t want to mess with them. It’s a huge time sink. You may do everything necessary and correct to secure your site and still get hacked. Once the hackbots find your site, they eventually will bring it down if you don’t spend a lot of time and energy to prevent that.
Wordpress requires a min 1GB so it has to be $10/month which does not make sense unless one really one a lot of freedom in customisation. Looks like my best option is $6/month for the WP personal package. Thanks @clay.
I get you from the onset, Tim. But I don’t see the $12/year domain name option in Wordpress.com anymore. I think they have changed it to $6/month, which is very expensive, well, as compared to free in Wordpress.com without custom domain.