I’m not really sure why it took me so long to move from a self hosted WordPress.org setup onto WordPress.com. Probably just inertia, a holdover from when I first set up WordPress on DreamHost back in 2005, before WordPress.com provided the fully featured hosting platform it is today. And before I had the ability to do my playing in a local dev environment on a laptop instead of needing to use the DreamHost servers.
Over time my self hosted WordPress installs all ended up using my WordPress.com account in one way or another, either for Akismet spam protection or for all the great features provided by JetPack, so it makes sense that I just use WordPress.com, cut out the middle man so to speak. Plus it is a lot cheaper. While I’ve got the bare bones hosting over at DreamHost, it is still more expensive than free. Well, mostly free if you don’t worry about the $13 annual fee to map the domain. And the occasional ad that will get fed into my posts. If I do ever decide I’m tired of the ads or want some of the more advanced options (like unlimited posting and storage) from the Premier plan, $99 a year is still a good value. True, I have less “control” and flexibility of the overall environment, and no longer have a hosted sandbox in which to play, but that leads me to the second reason I don’t really need a separate host any longer.
At WordCampUS 2015 in Philly back in December I learned how to set up my MacBook for local WordPress development using Varying Vagrant Vagrants (VVV), including both working on the core and doing some theme / plugin development. I did a little of the former while in Philly, and have been playing around with the latter on and off since. It occurred to me over the weekend (no idea why it took so long) that this was my sandbox, why bother with all the hassles that come along with an online hosting service, especially one that I don’t use for any real “production” sites.
A long way of saying, Brett’s Phrontistery is now hosted on WordPress.com. Just thought I’d let you know.
ps. It is also worth mentioning that all pages from WordPress.com hosted blogs are automatically served as https, leveraging the free Let’s Encrypt service. DreamHost provides the ability to configure Let’s Encrypt certs on the site, but it is not one of their one-click installs.