Given that our American neighbors are celebrating the declaration of their independence today I figured I will post a declaration of independence for this blog. As of today this blog is no longer hosted on WordPress.com. Instead, FreeDB2.com is not hosted on self-managed on an ISP account (on Site5.com). What does this switch mean to those of you who follow this blog? Nothing really. You should not see any changes. The url for the blog will remain http://FreeDB2.com and I’ve migrated all posts and comments from the existing blog to this new blog.
So, why this change? First, I’d like to say that I think WordPress.com is great. With absolutely no money you can have a very capable and customizable blog in no time at all. If you have something to say you can use WordPress.com to get yourself a podium on the web to speak from within minutes without paying a single cent. And since this is the same philosophy as DB2 Express-C i.e. “free” this appeals to me. Roughly over eight thousands new blogs are started on WordPress.com every day. So, why change? As great as “free” is, sometimes paying money makes sense. WordPress.com is quite flexible and allows one to use variety of templates and even widgets to customize the blog. However, if you want to do a bit more like use custom CSS or to use your own domain name like FreeDB2.com you have to buy inexpensive upgrades. No big deal; I actually did do that to have FreeeDB2.com as the url for the blog. Unfortunately what you can not buy are plug-ins and WordPress has a pretty significant ecosystem of plug-ins that help you do anything from getting a better handle on your blog visitors through Google Analytics to getting greater exposure for your blog with search engines. There are 2,842 plug-ins listed in the WordPress Plug-in directory.
To me, being able to use plug-ins justifies paying extra to host WordPress software on my own ISP account as opposed to a hosted WordPress.com account. We already host DB2onRails.com with an inexpensive shared hosting plan on Site5 so, adding another blog there is actually not costing any extra money since we still have capacity to spare. Not that paying extra $5 per month would make me go broke.
So, in the next weeks and months, I plan to make the most of the newly found independence of this blog. Some of the plug-ins I plan to use will be invisible to those of you that follow the blog. Some will be visible and hopefully, will deliver a better reading experience. Please let me know through your comments how this experiment is working out.