There really are so many different things to learn with WordPress and with all the new plugins and add-ons coming out on a daily basis – you really will always be learning new things on the WP platform.
Use WordPress Self hosted V’s WordPress.com hosted website
This is basically whether to have your own hosting and cPanel type account or whether to sign up for a free WordPress blog, where your address would be something like www.bluewidgets.wordpress.com.
There really are advantages from both sides here. In terms of having more control and freedom then definitely hosting your own site would be better. This would also give you the option to have whatever domain name you want. Whereas with the self hosted WordPress version you would need to have wordpress.com at the end of the URL.
Advantages of WordPress.com Website
– Free Hosting (up to a maximum of 3gb)
– Automatic updates and backup of your WordPress site
– Hacked WordPress Sites – This will be taken care of by WordPress when using the free version whereas on a self hosted WordPress site you will need to deal with the security aspect and make sure that you are running the latest WordPress version etc.
Disadvantages of WordPress.com Website
– You are not allowed to monetize the website (affiliate marketing, AdSense etc..)
– Do not have ability to add plug-ins etc
– Do not have the agility to make CSS and .php modifications
– You will also have WordPress advertising on the website
I think that both types of WordPress installations can be useful for different applications, but generally I would only use my own hosted WordPress site as it really does give a lot more freedom and also the ability to monetize the site is important.
For people that do not wish to monetize their site in such a way it can also be slightly off-putting to a potential customer if WordPress adverts on the site and so therefore I only really see it as viable in a few situations using the self-hosted version of WordPress.
There has been a large growth in people converting their HTML websites to WordPress theme’s nowadays so they can have more control over updating and expanding their websites. Again this would not be possible using the free version of WordPress which is another rather page stumbling block when trying to grow and expand your web presence.