After a long while managing my own instance of wordpress, I have finally moved my blog over to wordpress.com. This site gives you wordpress hosting for free, but I opted for the additional paid option to use my own domain. Cost me $10 a year to put up my future blog URL - http://blog.sandipb.net .
There are quite a few limitations from using this hosted service. For one, they have a very limited set of themes for you to use, and most of these themes are non-fluid(i.e. the web page layout doesn’t reshape to the size of your screen). The few widgets that are available are quite limited in use as I haven’t found a way to configure them(e.g. the Flickr one).
But the biggest advantage I see about moving my blog here is the peace of mind. I have been forever terrified of keeping my blog software updated to the latest version lest some attacker finds out that I am out of date, and uses a known vulnerability to crack my account. With this hosted service I am sure that at any point of time my software is always secure(and any intrusion would atleast not be happening in my server ;) ).
To put all my old content here, I had to first upgrade my old blog to the latest stable version of wordpress. Then I used the new option to export my blog content to the XML file. I found that the XML file is too bloated because comments marked as spam were still figuring in the content). So I deleted all comments marked as spam, and then run
mysqlcheck on the comments table. The XML file shrank to the size I expected it to be. I then imported the content into my account at wordpress.com and the blog was as good as new. Apart from the minor irritants I mentioned, I was quite impressed with how easy moving content is right now.
To get my own domain, I added a subdomain to my existing domain, and pointed that in my domain settings. I was asked to pay up the money, and after the payment the domain was added to my account.
The default setting was to redirect all traffic coming to my new domain to the xxx.wordpress.com account. But a click was all it took to make my personal domain as the main URL for my blog.
My biggest grouse currently is that markdown (which was default in earlier versions) is not enabled in this blog. So I have to painfully change all my blog entries using Markdown to HTML.comments powered by Disqus