to its own domain using wordpress.org. But I don't know if this is the right thing to do.
I know we'd get our own domain name, we'd be able to put in podcasts and to embed Google Maps, and design the thing ourselves. But I heard the following here
: "Wordpress.com has vastly, VASTLY more drawing power than an independent blog using WP software, because of the global tag pages."
1) For a blog that's hoping to get its own fans, but which is in the arts and currently helped by author searches, is that "drawing power" essential to us?
2) We're going to do the domain name upgrade in Wordpress.com before switching. However, will we be able to get wordpress.com to forward people to the relevant pages on the new domain if they're typing in our old URLs?
3) Where do I go to find someone to design us a blog using wordpress.org (I'm not skilled enough to do it myself, and the stupid college won't cough up the time or money) and how much should it cost?
4) Perhaps, for a beginner, wordpress.org isn't right for me. Is there a free blog-hosting service, like wordpress.com, but which doesn't demand that the design is one of their themes, and which allows for I-frames and podcasting?