TechCrunch calls the growth of the WordPress blogging platform, as announced today at WordCamp, “Awesome.”
It doesn’t surprise me at all that U.S. unique visitors to WordPress.com have roughly tripled in the last year to 20.9 million per month, while Typepad.com has only increased about 20 percent to 7.2 million. The two platforms were roughly equal a year ago.
But what wasn’t equal was the value proposition. WordPress.com offers 3 gigabytes of free storage and unlimited bandwidth, and for $45 a year you can customize the CSS, buy an extra 5 gigs of storage (and the ability to upload mp3 files so you can host podcasts), and map your blog to a domain or subdomain of your choosing.
You’d have to spend at least $299 a year on Typepad.com for anything approaching this functionality. And the cheapest, entry-level package price on Typepad.com is $49.50 a year.
With Typepad you can get a two-week free trial, but with WordPress.com you can blog for free almost indefinitely. And even with upgrades that would give most people as much functionality and capacity as they could possibly need, the cost for WordPress.com is still less that that for the stripped-down version of Typepad.
It all adds up to powerful incentives for new bloggers to start with WordPress.com, because all it costs them is their time to learn.
And that doesn’t even take into account the free, open source WordPress.org software you can download and install on another server for even more functionality.