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Why WordPress: Ownership

Why should you use WordPress? Because it’s awesome. There are a ton of reasons why WordPress is a quality platform for building websites. Here’s the latest entry in our Why WordPress series:

There are a lot of free website platforms out there. If you’re building a blog or even a basic website you have plenty of choices. But one big advantage that WordPress offers is ownership.

You can set up a presence on Twitter or build a Facebook page and have great interactions with your audience. But you don’t own those platforms. Facebook can change the rules on you at any time (and they have). And suddenly that interaction with your audience is gone, or severely compromised.

Even other platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, Blogger, Posterous and others have the same hidden downside. Tumblr may seem like a simple and easy place to set up shop. But you don’t own the shop. Tumblr does. That means you’re at their mercy. That’s not a good place for your primary online presence to be. It’s fine to use any of these other services as outposts online, but you need to own your base of operations.

That’s what WordPress makes possible. You download the software and install it on your own host. You own the space, you own the url, you own the software. Nobody can pull it out from under you or change the rules. You don’t have to worry about some new timeline being rolled out or a new privacy issue. Nobody can change the design but you.

The web may seem like a fast moving world where nobody thinks long term, but the web already has a lengthy history (the web is 20 years old and the Internet is over 30). And if you’re going to be online, you need to be thinking longterm. Will Facebook be around in five years? Probably, but will it still be at the height of popularity and the best place to be for your brand? Who knows. But five years ago MySpace seemed like a great idea.

Letting someone else own your site isn’t a risk you should take. You need to own your base of operations online. Have all the outposts you want on other people’s sites, but you need a home base and you need to own it. WordPress makes that possible.

(Note: WordPress.com offers free hosted sites that you don’t own. To take advantage of full ownership, you need to use WordPress.org and buy your own hosting.)

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