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An in-depth comparison the differences between hosted sites and self-hosted WordPress-powered sites from the experience of testing on self-hosted then trying to migrate changes to


The eternal conundrum of which to choose for WordPress CMS hosting — free & automated vs. self-hosting with the WordPress Open Source software? Recently, Susan Langenes of Collage Creative and her friend & associate Faddah Wolf took on a job updating a small business web site for a client who wished to stay on From the chosen theme update on a self-hosted test site with WordPress, we attempted to replicate it on using the customization tools available. We’ll go over both WordPress’ official, as well as our own assessment of the pluses and minuses of both choices, the limitations and capacites of what’s allowed on, and both the pitfalls and triumphs, as well as best practices learned, as we experienced the customization tools offered firsthand. We’ll also see how the experience of customizing a site differs from what we know and love in free and open self-hosted WordPress vs. customization options on – even when (seemingly) using the exact same theme (read: perhaps they are not all that similar as they seem!).

Speaking experience

Susan Langenes has much experience in front of audiences as an accomplished Musician and Arranger, as well as always happy and ready to share with and tutor friends on her tips for customizing CSS and WordPress themes as a Web Development and Graphic Design virtuoso. Faddah Wolf has been in the tech industry for 25 years and has presented and represented software companies at conferences like MacWorld, as well as various User Groups, and also does comedy at various local stand-up open mics and showcases.


  • Biography

    WordPress web designer/developer/consultant/engineer.

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    Faddah Wolf

    186,000 mi/sec productions & contract work with Collage Creative


    Faddah Steve Yuetsu Wolf, a man with just too damn many names, is a 60s/70s throw back ever posing the question to Porpsters, “why all the hating on the hippies?” Though he has a Performing Arts BFA degree, he has been tinkering with computers, software and gadgets since 1987. He has done tech support, QA and various forms of software engineering. An early beta version of his name appears in the “thank yous” to the Yes mid-90s album, “Talk,” for assisting in pulling the midi info on their hard drive back from the depths. Whether he should be thanked or damned for doing so depends on how you feel about the band/album. He also has practiced zen meditation since 1996, which is partly responsible for the growth of his name, and in the last two years has become quite the yoga junkie, preferring his prawna deep fried.

    He has been a Burning Man Black Rock Ranger and led meditation sessions out there at the “playa zendo.” He also is quite a fan of the music Django Reinhardt (the French Gypsy Jazz Guitar Player, not the web programming language), and gave a talk on Gypsy Jazz, as well as music performance, at Portland’s Ignite 9. Thankfully, no one in that audience seems to have been harmed by this experience. His writing can also be found on the blog,, and he keeps threatening to do something with, the latter based on the twitter account. His musings can also be seen at various comedy Open Mics and Showcases around greater Portland. He also refers to himself as “pleasure activist” and “beer snob.” Oh, and he has fallen deeply in love with Portland as a transplant; for it’s strong coffee, stronger women, tasteful micro-crafted beer, and it’s wild, Open Source Heart.