Making preparations now to make it easier later
February 5, 2009 8:20 AM   Subscribe

What free blogging service will let me eventually and easily move over to a domain of my own in the future?

What I mean is this: Right now I want to get into blogging, but I don't have the cash to get a domain in the near future. Eventually, I'd want to move my blog from to or (or whatever it ends up being).

Any blog platform recommendations, keeping this in mind?
posted by flatluigi to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I did this with WordPress with minimal effort. and it's working perfectly.
posted by parabola01 at 8:25 AM on February 5, 2009

Yep, wordpress - the interface for the hosted service and self-hosted version is near identical (the self-hosted version lets you manipulate the appearance far more), and you'll find it a total cinch to either:

a) redirect your domain to your account (i.e. no need to self-host)


b) export your posts and load them onto a fresh install of Wordpress.

One warning if you self-install, Wordpress updates all the bloody time and you need to keep up with the updates to keep your install secure. I didn't and got hacked.

It's pretty easy to do with this automatic upgrade pluging (it's not fully automatic, but does reduce the update process to a half-dozen mouse clicks).
posted by Happy Dave at 8:29 AM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by gonzo_ID at 8:49 AM on February 5, 2009

With you can start with now. Then, when you have $20/year, you can register a domain ($10) and use it for your blog ($10). Wordpress will redirect requests from your old URL to your new URL. From there, you can move to self-hosted wordpress, which I think is only worth doing if you want to customize it heavily, or put ads on it. I've only experimented with the export/import process, but it seems to work pretty well.
posted by Good Brain at 9:21 AM on February 5, 2009

You can do this with Blogger, if you don't mind the blogger bar across the top. My blog used to be and now it's, with very little fuss during the transition.

I believe that I could export the whole blog, pay for hosting elsewhere, and get rid of the Blogger bar, but I haven't tried and don't know how tricky that would be.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:35 AM on February 5, 2009

Thank you all! I'm going to go for wordpress.
posted by flatluigi at 9:57 AM on February 5, 2009

corpse, you do know that you can remove the Blogger navbar, right?
posted by JaredSeth at 11:58 AM on February 5, 2009

Blogger is my favorite.

It doesn't have the same community for plugins and themes that wordpress does, but the fact that I didn't have to install anything on my server was a big plus for me. Also a plus, from one page (blogger dashboard) I can update 2 different blogs on my server and one blog. And when I'm fiddling with things it's super easy to go back and forth from domain hosting to blogspot hosting.

I don't know how these things compare to wordpress, though. I just know that as a reader I prefer blogger blogs.
posted by itesser at 12:58 PM on February 5, 2009

An addendum to Happy Dave's Post:
Wordpress has integrated automatic updates with the 2.7 update. Now you just need to press a button in your control panel and it updates automatically for you. Same with any extra plugins you have installed
Here's the post that talks about all the awesome new features of 2.7
posted by Redmond Cooper at 2:09 AM on February 6, 2009

Holy crap, really?

That makes me exceptionally happy.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:16 AM on February 6, 2009

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