Many self-hosted WordPress users are under the impression that because they have their own installation of WordPress that allows them to use plugins, themes and edit their CSS and other files freely they do not need a WordPress.com account. The truth is, if you’re running a hosted WP.org blog on a public server there are plenty of reasons that you should have an account, if not a whole other blog on WP.com
Akismet – Akismet is the popular spam blocking plugin from Automattic which filters out SPAM comments and other unwanted postings. In order to install and active the Akismet plugin you need a WordPress.com API key. This is partly to prove to the database that you are human. The API key that WP.com gives you can be found on your profile page.
Free Blog = Free links – Lots of people set up multiple blogs on WordPress.com as microsites with teasers to promote their categories, tags and individual posts which provides them with more links and traffic. You could potentially set up a minisite linking to each one of your hosted blogs.
Network blogs come with traffic built in – Because WP.com is on a network of hundreds of thousands of active blogs, it recieves incomparable traffic compared to what your hosted blog gets. There are a lot of features on the network to get visitors browsing through other blogs too. WP.com also optionally adds related posts from blogs across the whole site which gives you more targetted visitors just by participating.
Open ID source – You can use any yourname.wordpress.com address as an open ID povider allowing you member access to many other sites and services. An Open ID is like a membership key that signs you in to trusted sites that you want to become a part of, but don’t want to bother signing up and confirming your email address.
These are just a few of the reasons that bloggers with hosted WP blogs should sign up to WordPress.com. It can also be a great way to find and connect with blogs that are related to your niche. What are your reasons for using WordPress.com? Do you have any creative or original ways that you use the site? Share your tips and ideas for WP.com with the Blogging Tips community.