WordPress.com Top 10 Features


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WordPress.com is a free web-blogging service which uses WordPress CMS software as their blogging platform. Here are the free blog feature list : http://en.wordpress.com/features/

Before starting a blog in wordpress.com , I tried some CMS softwares offline. I used Joomla, Drupal, Vox, Plone, etc. WordPress CMS matched my exact needs. Self hosting was a tedious task with the work of creating content as well as an extra burden of administration. I decided to go with the free blogging services. I registered with blogger.com and spent some time testing it. Although it is feature rich with allowing editing theme XML, CSS, allowing JavaScript, Flash embeds, but somehow it was not a match for me. At last I finally tried wordpress.com . After starting it felt a bit bad as there was no manual theme customization options which became a habit that time, no free CSS editing, no JavaScript, and had limitations. As time passed, I was getting into wordpress.com the more I discovered the features and adjusted myself, and started to post more content. At last I am now fixed in wordperess.com, and mapped a domain with their domain upgrade feature.

I have used wordpress.com for a good amount of time. I have found some features of wordpress.com which I felt was the best. Note that I will be talking about wordpress.com feature and not only wordpress CMS software.

  1. Simplicity and Clean Interface

    The main feature I find in wordpress.com is its simplicity. The interface is very simple. The dashboard you can have a look at your overall blog state, the stats, top posts, google blog search links, your latest activity, comments, etc. Even the dash-board has a mini editor, which you can use to make small posts. The collapsible panel on the left side makes it very easy to navigate to administrate the blog. The composer has a simple rich text formatting editor as well as an HTML editor with proofreading feature, and autosave draft. Apart these, the simplicity has been achieved by enforcing the limitation of editing themes, entering JavaScript, php etc, although you can edit the theme CSS file after buying a CSS upgrade. This helps the blog author not to bother about the themes, and the blog features, and do more on the contents. But limiting these is compensated with excellent collection of sidebar widgets, classy themes, and shortcodes. Keeping the interface simple, and the blog management simple, the blog author can concentrate more on the content. Although a lot of people complain about the limitations of embedding flash, JavaScript etc. but if some one needs to so much fine tune a blog or site, then it would be better going self hosted. As for me Simplicity is the best feature of wordpress.com.

  2. Akismet

    Akismet is a spam filtering service. It filters link spam from blog comments and spam TrackBack pings, and it is the best of the lot. At first it is difficult to understand the importance of Akismet, but as time goes on and comment starts to come, it is clearly visible that without Akismet, a person would go mad manually reading and deleting spam comments. Akismet does an excellent job with blocking spam comments and track backs. A very few spams get passed through it, but Akismet is constantly updating, it gets better. Recently wordrpess.com has introduced Akismet Stats, which can be accessed from the left side panel Dashboard -> Akismet Stats, where you can have a look how Akismet is doing. You even don’t need any configuration to make it run. Thanks to Akismet it has blocked over 2.5k 13.7k 67k spam comments in my blog (till now). For larger blogs with a lot hits, and large viewer base it would not be able to survive without Akismet. Check out more here : http://akismet.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akismet

  3. Support

    It would be injustice if I did not list the Support within top three. WordPress.com has three levels of excellent support system, which definitely will solve your question or answer your questions in a snappy.

    • Support Website

      First, most of the problems, and questions you have about wordpress.com could be found in the support website. The help articles are written in a very simple way. I have most of my questions answered from this support site, and I believe it would be the same for others. And most importantly the support articles are updated. Link : http://en.support.wordpress.com/

    • Support Forum

      Second, the wordpress.com forum is the next step of the support system. Here also searching the forum with your question would get most of your answers from the existing posts. This is one forum I have seen, which is super fast. After posting a question answers comes very quickly, even within 5 minutes your problem might get solved. The excellent performance, and quality of the forum is a result of users, volunteers, providing support, and ofcource WordPress.com staffs. Link : http://en.forums.wordpress.com/

    • Contact Email

      If still there is some problem/question which did not get solved/answered by any of the above ways, which should be very rare, then you should go direct to the head quarters and get the question answered …. contact wordpress.com . Contacting administration of some website is painful, as a lot of times answer comes after you have solved the problem, or forgot about you have ever emailed them, or even often results in no reply. WordPress.com email contact support is different. I have experienced manual reply with an answer within 1 day, and even within 10 minutes. This email contact is really fast. Link : http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

    • IRC Channel

      Yet another way to get support is the freenode IRC chat channel.. Here you can get in live communication with the wordpress.com guys. This channel is not that much responsitive, but definitely some serious issues and questions gets resolved very fast as the problem is directly sent to the wp guys. To know more about the IRC wordpress.com channel on freenode read this post: WordPress.com IRC Channel

    This support system is one of the simplest, fast, and the best I have experienced. But as the forum rules say, if you have a question, first check the Support website, if it is unsolved, search the forum for similar posts, if still it is unsolved, ask in the forums and wait for an answer, and in the worst case contact email support.

  4. Reliability

    Unlike other free hosting service wordpress.com is very reliable. It has fast servers which is capable to handle huge about of traffic, and many redundant data servers to backup your valuable blog. So you can make sure your blog is accessible 24×7 and even if some server fails, your blog won’t.

  5. No Lock-In : Blog Export and Import

    What ever you do in the blog will not lock-in your data. You can export your blog contents in a wordpress XML format and preserve it offline. You can restore your blog with this file easily in wordpress.com, or on your self hosted wordpress blog. Also it is easy to migrate from other blogging system to wordpress. WordPress supports a lot of other blogging software export files, which you can import and transfer contents of your old blog. Link : http://en.support.wordpress.com/moving-a-blog/

  6. Shortcodes

    Shortcodes are small keywords in your blog post which is recognized by the wordpress CMS system and replaced with corresponding complex and long html syntax when generating the webpage, saving a lot time copy pasting and writing tedious html codes. For example you can see the sourcecode shortcode in a lot posts in my blog, which formats a code in a certain programming language. The digg shortcode is used to make the digg button appear in this post. You can embed YouTube Videos, Vimeo Videos and a lot. There is a range of shortcodes available in wordpress.com check the list here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/shortcodes/

  7. Tag and Category Structure

    Probable this is the main feature for which I felt that wordpress.com was best for me, is the category and the tag structure. A post can be assigned to some tags, which are keywords describing the post, and the posts could be assigned to categories, which you can broadly categorize your blog post. You can assign a post to more than one categories also, which many CMS doesn’t allow and strictly maintain the difference between tags and categories. You can have hierarchical categories and structure them as needed. If in some point of time you feel that you need to convert a category to a tag, or the reverse, then you also can do Thus blurring the difference line between Categories and great flexibility is achieved and blog posts can be easily organized. Link : http://en.support.wordpress.com/posts/categories-vs-tags/

  8. Updates

    You always get surprises from wordpress.com . Every month you get a lot of updates, including new themes, new blog features, update to existing features, and all. Currently wordpress has given a wave of new themes. It is always updating, and providing new features, and killing bugs. Read the wordpress.com blog to get the picture : http://en.blog.wordpress.com/

  9. FOSS

    Wordpress.com runs on a Free and OpenSource Software; the WordPress.com CMS, and licensed GPLv2 under So it comes with the basic four freedoms.

    • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
    • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
    • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

    Read the Free Software Philosophy : http://www.gnu.org/ . As a FOSS supporter this is also a feature which comes in the top

There goes the features which I feel the best in wordpress.com . But wait, the title reads “WordPress.com Top 10 Features” ! I ask the readers to comment and tell about what is the best feature for them in wordpress.com , and help me decide the 10th point. Also please let me know what are your views.

Update

02.04.2011 : The freenode #wordpress.com IRC channel contact method is added in the Support point.

About phoxis

Homo-sapiens
This entry was posted in GNU+Linux+FOSS, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to WordPress.com Top 10 Features

  1. RandomizeME says:

    Preaching to the choir, dude :-)

  2. jay.me says:

    Hi Arjun, I like your new header. =)
    I think WP is cool for the reasons you have listed. I like the new themes they have come out with recently. I really like the great support. The first time I asked a question it was answered quickly, and by TimeThief!

    • phoxis says:

      Thanks, I made the header in GIMP (as normal). Probably i will be soon posting a guide to make such effect.
      Actually i am really liking the recent themes which are coming out, and that is because they are wide enough to my my needs, and also they are very clean with the wordpress-ish touch. The support is no doubt, within the top three. Even yesterday i recieved an email from the wordpress staff Raanan, in reply to a comment i made on the new 301 page redirect update in wordpress.com and answering the question personally. The forum has excellent volunteers, and @timethief is one of them :).

  3. timethief says:

    @Arjun
    Oh my and here I am many questions later knowing that I was unable to answer jay.me’s question on the support forum today.

    I think that if you were to expand your excellent listI would add three things to it.

    (1) I approve of how wordpress.com supports authors, artisans, and artists when it comes to marketing their own creations. And I believe the “no blogger initiated advertising restriction” and “limitations of types of blogs” keep wordpress.com relatively free of spammers, scammers, sploggers and palarigraists. This is not to say that I’m so niave as to believe there aren’t any at all. I report them when I find them and Staff act very quickly on all TOS violations. However, the very fact that the unethical behaviors driven by greed that are so common on other blogging platforms are not common here at wordpress.com makes me proud to be a member of this community.

    (2) We do get traffic from the wordpress.com global tag pages. Many people from beyond our own blogging community use the global tag pages every day to locate blogs of interest and visit them.

    (3) My third addition would be the strong sense of community at wordpress.com that I don’t experience among wordpress.org bloggers. Having a wordpress.org install is like having a stand alone island. Having a wordpress.com blog is much more like being a member of a community.

    I know saying “great post” sounds lame but yours really is a great one. :)

    Best wishes always,
    TiTi

    • phoxis says:

      How did i forget about point (1) you have described. Now that is true. I personally believe, some amount of enforcement is needed, especially for the beginners, because they tend more to play with the XML formatting, CSS stuff widgets, JavaScript etc, than to create some content. And such beginners don’t come into wordpress.com as they know that wordpress.com does not allow editing XML, CSS (for free), and JavaScript etc. So most of the wordpress.com blogs are with very good content. Apart from the beginners, spammers, sploggers are for sure kept apart for the same cause as you have described.

      I partially agree with point (2) . I don’t know about other blogs, but i rarely get visits coming from the wordpress.com global tags, probably the contents are uncommon, and not so popular ones. Popular tags gets attention, the newer rare does not get much. It would be great if wordpress.com includes a random list of not-so-popular blogs.

      As for point (3), personally, i have not much experienced much community work, or a reader group with my blog. This might be because my blog is too new, or the contents are too boring. But probably posting more mainstream topics, keeping computer science apart, would help creating a good reader base in my blog. But i have seen great community and reader groups in other blogs, like at your place, at @Jayme’s place and i agree with point (3) . For wordpress.org blogs, i know how it feels, i tried self hosting with a free service, it indeed feels like on the moon, and exposed to all the dangers (hackers, spammers etc.).

      I think it will be good to include point (1) and point (2) into the post. Lets see if and what other readers has to say.

      It was excellent to hear from you that you liked this post.

    • jay.me says:

      Hi @TiTi, it wasnt that important anyway, thanks for the information you did offer =)

    • phoxis says:

      Hello again,
      Don’t you think @timethief ‘s point (1) and point (2) are interrelated ? Because wordpress.com has some limitations, doesnot allow ads, no Javascript etc etc, which is considered as a negative point, sploggers, spammers, phishing sites, and all those crap site creators doesnot get attracted to wordpress.com. So this ‘negative’ feature filters out the bad population, and thus automatically what we get is a good community.

    • jay.me says:

      Hi Arjun,
      I dont know, I thought those limitations (no java) were because of security reasons. If not for that I might like to use it occasionally. –I dont care for blogs with lots ads personally, but to each his own. =)

      • phoxis says:

        If there was JavaScript support then i also might make some use of it. And if there was JavaScript, then you could see a lot of bloggers insert bad code in their site, also buggy code does bad things. There are a lot things to be considered before introducing the feature, most importantly to see if it would be misused or not.
        But it would be great to see wordpress.com come up with JavaScript update.

  4. timethief says:

    Good grief! I spelled plagiarists wrong in my comment above. How embarrassing. :(

  5. nobody is perfect timethief, well i’m bloody close but that’s for another discussion. :-)
    Good post.

  6. phoxis says:

    Hey everybody, What do you think about the new feature added today ? Customizable menus : http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2010/05/29/new-custom-menus-feature-and-a-few-others/
    I have to use it for some time to get into what it actually offers.

  7. timethief says:

    @Arjun
    I have played around with it a bit but because I’m using Inuit Types all I’m playing with is the custom menu widget.

    • phoxis says:

      I find this feature very good. Because you can actually hand pick the links and menus and put them in the header which is spotted first and gets an overview of the site. And it is not just a page list. As you can see i have installed it with this blog also. And i believe it to be more continent for the user find this menu helpful.

      One thing is that a link to the gravatar profile, or any other profile can be inserted into the menu, and thus pointed to some external profile page directly, without a need of creating a about page. Although i am sticking to a custom about page.
      And i have recently moved to 2010, and thus can use this :)

  8. Hyder says:

    I found new wordpress mu site http://www.mblogi.com anyone review about it, im waiting for reply

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