I have been working for Automattic, who offer a free, hosted version of WordPress at WordPress.com, for several months now. I’ve been a WordPress.org (self-hosted) user for years (I have 9 WordPress sites now), and I wasn’t as familiar with the free, hosted service and all the features that it offers (including the excellent support by my colleagues, ahem).
Often when I recommend to friends that they get started on WordPress, I suggest they sign up for a site at WordPress.com so they can see how they like the interface and the features of the WordPress software.
One of the first things I hear is this myth: on WordPress.com, I can’t have a custom theme, so I can’t have a beautiful website.
Besides the fact that there are 100+ themes to choose from (and I’ll do a post on my favorite themes in the future), many with customizable backgrounds and headers, you can have a beautiful website on WordPress.com. I wanted to showcase some of the websites I’ve seen on WordPress.com that have made their sites beautiful using one of the default themes as a base and customizing the site with just the Custom CSS upgrade (currently $15/year) – so that’s free, unlimited hosting (!) plus a beautiful site for $15/year. Pretty cool.
I don’t want to convince you that WordPress.com is the best home for your new site (I have several .org sites that I love) but I definitely want to disspell the rumor that you can’t have a beautiful site on WordPress.com.
Read my article on Infinite Styles with Custom CSS on the WordPress.com News blog.