Yesterday I was at Digg.com and there was buzz over WordPress.com that is already out of beta and is now open for registration. Of course I look at the website and I saw that it is now open for registration. Without wasting any minute, I registered some subdomain and I looked inside its features.
At the Dashboard, the topmost options are: Write, Manage, Links, Presentation, Profile and Options. It seems like an early version of WordPress 2.0.
Write includes Write Post and Write Page. Under this option you can write your entries and pages as usual. The way the options are presented are now different. There\’s no more \”Advanced Editing\” feature because everything is already there at your own disposal. Even the upload image is now in the Write Post section which makes image upload a lot more convenient. After you have uploaded your image, the upload form will automatically create a thumbnail and when you drag it to your visual rich editor it will be added immediately in your post. If you click the thumbnail it will create \”Link to Image\” and \”Use Full Image\” that you can drag to visual rich editor too. \”Link to Image\” will create a link to your image while \”Use Full Image\” will use the full size image instead of the thumbnail. You can delete the image using \”Delete\”. Categories can be easily added on-the-fly in Write Post as well. Options like Trackbacks, Custom Field, Password-Protect, Post Slug, Post Status and Post Timestamp are also available here.
In Manage section, you can manage your posts, pages, categories, comments, referers and spam protection using Akismet.
Nothing has changed in Links. Here you can manage links, add links, organize links in categories and import links.
Presentation is very limited in WordPress.com version of WordPress because it only allows you to choose from pre-defined list of themes. Currently there are only 9 available themes. However the default WordPress theme can be altered using \”Current Theme Options\”. Unfortunately, this is limited to header only. If they will add theme editor similar to Blogspot and Tabulas, that would be awesome. This is also the disadvatange of WordPress.com because you cannot add plugins and advertisements in your account… for now. Perhaps in the future version of WordPress.com, those options will be available.
Under Profile, (take note it is singular) you can only modify your account. It\’s just a single user account. This is very disappointing because WordPress is well known for its multi-user support while this version of WordPress in WordPress.com does not support multi-users. Well, that\’s probably a way of enticing users to get a full version of WordPress at WordPress.org and host their own blogs.
Options allow you to customize your general settings, similar to previous versions of WordPress. It irriates me that you cannot change the e-mail address used in administrative purposes. Once you registered your blog in WordPress.com, there\’s no way to edit the initial e-mail you used in registration! What if you are going to hand your blog over to someone else? Your e-mail is stuck in that blog. Although you can change your e-mail under Profile section, I think that users should be able to edit the e-mail used for admin too.
So in summary, the only thing I don\’t like in WordPress.com is its inability to edit templates, no multi-user and fixed admin e-mail. Adding plugins is not really necessary but I really thought this free blogging service supports multi-users and template editing because I was too familiar with WordPress already and I thought it comes by default. Having no option to edit the admin e-mail is just annoying. These shortcomings are very disappointing for a seasoned WordPress user but new bloggers will find WordPress very attractive. And because it is very new you might be able to reserve your own subdomain. Take note however that once you have created your subdomain, there\’s no way to delete them yet, and you can\’t register another blog using an email more than once, so be careful on choosing your subdomain.
WordPress.com is very new, so expect that it will have more improvements within several months. In the meantime, WordPress 2.0 Beta is already out, so if you want to try it, download it from WordPress.org and install a test blog now.