We still have regular discussions about whether you can use the WordPress.com plattform to build your website and/or blog, or if you are better to go for the self-hosted version WordPress.org.
You have to make sure that you don’t violate WordPress’ terms and conditions, so I thought I would share with you what WordPress says themselves about which kind of blogs are welcome to use WordPress.com – the version where you don’t have to worry about backups and software updates ;-).
There are many different types of blogs on WordPress.com, and they span over 100 languages. You can browse our tags to get a sense of the topics covered by WordPress.com bloggers, or take a look at these examples of popular blog categories:
- Personal: This is the broadest category and includes blogs about personal topics like politics, music, family, travel, health, you name it.
- Business: Professionals ranging from realtors to lawyers and stock brokers are using WordPress to share their expertise, and companies have discovered the power of blogs to personally engage with their customers.
- Schools: WordPress is a great way for teachers and students to collaborate on classroom projects.
- Non-profits: Foundations, charities, and human rights groups find our blogs to be great tools to raise awareness and money for their causes.
- Politics: Members of parliament, political parties, government agencies, and activists using our blogs to connect with their constituencies.
- Military: Members of the military blog to report what they see happening in various parts of the world and to stay in touch with their families.
- Private: Some people make their blogs private to share photos and information within families, companies, or schools.
- Sports: We’ve got teams, athletes, and fans using blogs to express and share their passion for various sports.
- How-to, tips and reviews: There are lots of blogs that share tips and reviews about cooking, games, music, books, movies, and so on.
Blogs that violate our advertising policy or fall into one of the following categories are not allowed on WordPress.com:
- Scraper blogs: Blogs that take content from other blogs and re-publish it without permission (this is sometimes called scraping). If a blog contains stolen content, it’s gone!
- SEO blogs: Blogs that are written for search engines instead of humans. These blogs are dedicated to trying to fool Google and other search engines into ranking them or the sites they link to highly. WordPress.com is not meant for this type of activity.
- Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. Here is a thread in the support forums that talks more about which affiliate links are OK or not OK.
- Warez blogs: Blogs that promote pirated copies of ebooks, software packages, music, movies, games, etc.
- Automated blogs: Blogs that are generated by computers, including randomly generated blogs, blogs that re-publish press releases, marketing material, search engine results, link dumps or any other mass-produced content.
- Personal attack blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of attacking an individual or group of individuals are not welcome on WordPress.com. We have a particularly low tolerance for anonymous bloggers who make personal attacks without standing by their words with their real name.
So, I hope the above will help make your decision on whether to use WordPress.com or WordPress.org a little easier. Please let me know your thoughts either by leaving a comment or at our next workshop, and give me a shout if you’re not sure or have any other questions.