WordPress.com is a blog web hosting service provider owned by Automattic, and powered by the open source WordPress software. It provides free blog hosting for registered users and is financially supported via paid upgrades, "VIP" services and advertising.
The site opened to beta testers on August 8, 2005 and opened to the public on November 21, 2005. It was initially launched as an invitation-only service, although at one stage, accounts were also available to users of the Flock web browser. There were over 56 million individual blogs with the service as of October 13, 2012.
Registration is not required to read or comment on weblogs hosted on the site, except if chosen by the blog owner. Registration is required to own, or post in, a weblog. All the basic and original features of the site are free-to-use. However, some features (including CSS editor, domain mapping, Domain Registration, Removal of Ads, Website Redirection, Video Upload, and storage upgrades) are available as paid options.
In September 2010, it was announced that Windows Live Spaces, Microsoft's blogging service, would be closing, and that Microsoft would instead be partnering with WordPress.com for blogging