After several hosting hiccups in the last few months, I have been considering moving back to the free version of WordPress available at WordPress.com.
(The hosting service will remain nameless for now as they have been responsive in fixing the problems, if only they’d prevent them happening…).
As you’ll see on the sidebar, I have been carrying out an advertising experiment first using Pubmatic and now just with Google Adsense which means that for the first time this blog features a strip of (hopefully discreet) ads. I’d like to keep the experiment going on the free WordPress.com service, but reading the WordPress.com FAQs it seems that Google Adsense/Adwords are not permitted.
That’s not entirely true, as those using the VIP service are allowed to include ads. They do of course pay $500/month for the privilege and only if they are deemed famous enough to be accepted into the VIP club. WordPress themselves do also occassionally use their own Google Adsense on your blog.
My advice would be to those looking to make money via WordPress blogging is to build up your audience using the free WordPress blog, while forking out the c.$15 a year for the domain and $10 a year for the domain mapping service. Once your blog reaches sufficient scale to justify using an Adsense or equivalent service, then upgrade to a hosting package. The cheaper hosting packages do run the risk of going down should your blog get Slashdotted or Dugg, so it pays to do your research into your bandwidth allocations.