WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

I like to have freedom. I like to do my own thing.

What does that mean at this moment? I want to be able to customize and do whatever I want on my blog. I feel constrained by what I am able to do within my free WordPress.com blog. Each time I try to expand and add functionality, I find I am not able to do so because I am using WordPress.com. So I have decided to figure out what I need to do to switch to WordPress.org.

My questions:

  • Do I need to learn CSS? I found an online site that has exercises to help you learn CSS. Am I am able to easily do it without learning any new technical language?
  • Can I easily shift my content from WordPress.com to WordPress.org through my domain provider?
  • Do most domains have an easy interface connected to WordPress.org?
  • If I switch to WordPress.org, will it be hard to customize my site? Should I hire someone to customize it?
  • Is there anything I would miss if I move to WordPress.org? Should I stay on WordPress.com?

Those of you that are bloggers out there in the blogosphere, what are you doing? There seem to be so many different widgets and functionality I can partake of if I expand my horizons away from WordPress.com.

Please share what you know and have learned. I need tips, ideas, and comments on taking this leap.

Serendipity: Freshly Pressed

I am in awe and so grateful. I could never have imagined the serendipity of being Freshly Pressed. For those of you that might not know what that means, my blog post last Friday made it on the homepage of WordPress.com.

Freshly Pressed snapshot

It means a lot to me. I have had over 6,000 hits to my blog in the last 3 days. I am very grateful for all the individuals that liked and commented on my post. I have not had the opportunity to respond to many of the comments, but will be doing so in the coming days. Thank you to everyone who has been following my blog these past few months and the many, many more that are now following it.

Last December I was laid off. I had worked for the same company for over 11 years. It was a bit of a shock at first. After a few weeks of exploring my options I realized that after 11 years in corporate communications, I needed to spend more time on my own personal voice and brand. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I was often selected for my class to participate in what was called the “Young Author’s Conference.” We had to write and illustrate our own story and make it into a book. I have not been successful in finding out if this program still exists in Indiana, but for me it was a prized event. After being selected for my grade in my school, I joined other kids at the conference where we listened to a known author (that I can remember) and then broke out into our age group and read our stories in front of our peers from other schools. It was a bit scary for me to read my story, but I definitely remember being proud to be selected.

In high school and college I did not write creatively other than whatever essays I had to do for school. Looking back I wish I would have had someone to encourage me to continue to write, as I often think it would have been good for me to take creative writing classes in college, and pursue more of those types of endeavors. I have been writing creatively off and on for the past 11 years, and increasingly so in the last 1-2 years. All in my journal, never shared with others.

Which leads me to today. My purpose for starting Random Olio was that I felt I needed a more personal portfolio of my writing abilities in addition to the experience I have had in the corporate sector. What I did not know is that I would fall in love with blogging each day. While I have always been considerably conscious of my surroundings, and have always watched the interactions of those around me, my eyes and ears are even more keenly aware. These days I will be running and an idea to write about will pop into my thought. Or I will be in the shower or walking to a meeting. There are so many opportunities for the creation and sharing of ideas as long as one is open to exploring them!

I had no idea when I started this blog over 4 months ago that I would want to keep it up after finding work. I do. I am here and I am not going anywhere.

Thank you again to everyone for sending such heartfelt support and love these past few days. It means a lot.