WordPress.com, the hosted blog service developed by the WordPress team (the gears running this site), is now out of private beta and is public.
I’ve been using the service for about two weeks now (but I’ve only posted to once so far, to my detriment). My reaction is split down the middle, as I stated in my lone post at jasonclarke.wordpress.com:
1. The blogging interface in hosted WordPress is vastly improved, while looking quite similar (and that’s outstanding from a usability standpoint). Especially appreciated are two key features: the “add category” functionality and the “upload/add images” function.
2. Alternately, two major drawbacks made the WordPress hosted service largely undesirable for me. One was the inability to edit your templates- even font faces and sizes were blocked. The other was the inability to map a domain to the service.
Unfortunately, neither of my major cons have been addressed with the WordPress public launch. But I know that offering customziable templates has to be on their horizon; it’s only a matter of time. One major advtange of the service that I failed to mention in my initial review: the comment spam blocking seems to be around 1 million times better than it is for me on my installed version of WordPress.