2017/08/02

[Blogging for Beginners] To Host or Not to Self Host?


Everyone has their own take on this one.  The point of this blog post is to lay out the pros and cons and leave the rest you the reader.

I've had experience of both, free hosted and self hosted blogs.  I would say that it all depends on your circumstances and whether your blog is a personal or business blog.

Make up your own mind with the information below:


Self Hosted Blogs
  • You need to purchase your domain name and hosting service, in doing so you'll have the advantage of freedom over your website you can do this with Bluehost for as little as $3.95 per month.  Search here for a domain today with the handy tool below:
  • You can customise your site to your liking.  Making it look more professional, attracting more visitor's.
  • You have the freedom to place banners/advertising on your site.  Some free hosted sites will limit your advertising, or not allow any advertising to feature on your website or blog with Dreamhost for $9.95 per month.
  • I used Hostgator to self host a website I had for a business a couple of year's ago, they offered a great service with hosting packages starting at as little as $3.95/month.
  • Domain names can cost around $1.20 per month.  For a business that's a cheap overhead.  My choice was Fasthosts, again I received a great service and would highly recommend them.   Hostgator, I can't say enough about them, they offered a great service and were always on hand when I needed them.
6 Great Reasons to Go Self-Hosted

Different people choose different platforms for various reasons.  If you're in a situation at the moment where you feel like you want to take the plunge and start your own blog, and have the money to do so, I'd recommend the self hosted route.

Even though my current situation is with Blogger, there are many advantages to having your own self-hosted website.  Check out those reasons below:

1. Custom Domain Name

Having a catchy name for your blog is great but when its tied up with blogspot.com or wordpress.com it takes a bit more remembering.  Having a .com name makes your blog name short and sweet and easy to remember.  Having a short catchy name goes a long way when someone is trying to remember a post from your blog.  Grab your own domain name here:

2. Site Customisation

You have a larger choice of templates when you buy a self-hosted blog.  There are thousands of themes and plugins to create the blog you want.  Wordpress has become one of the most popular platforms to use.

3. More Features through a Self-Hosted Blog

Free blogging platforms can be pretty limiting, but with self-hosting you get things like one-click installs, access to analytical data, site back ups and FTP access.

4. Multiple Blogs Under One Roof

If you're interested in starting more than blog you can purchase one self-hosting package with unlimited websites at your fingertips.

5. More Space

Many self-hosting packages come with unmetered website space, so you don't need to worry if you're website is too big and have to start paying for extra space.

6. Tailored Email Address

You can create your own email address to match your website.  Giving you an edge with your competitors.

Free Hosted Blogs
  • There are plenty of choices out there but the top two are Blogger and Wordpress.com.
  • A lot of people use a free blog host to share their family photo's and video's. I use Blogger because it's a great platform for my writing.  Some say free hosted blogs are under the 'amateur' category, I would disagree with that one, and leave that for you to decide.
  • You have restriction's placed on you, but again that will depend on what you're using it for.
  • You're given an URL that will include the blog hosting name.  In my case it includes .blogspot.co.uk.  I haven't had any problems with that, but if you're setting up a business and have products or a service to sell, then purchasing your your blog name is a good idea and will look more professional.
  • Customisation is limited if you have an idea about how you want your website to look.  Using a free hosted blog you may struggle with this.
  • If you're planning a business website and have product's to sell, some people may not take you seriously if your using a free website.
  • I like Blogger and use it because it suit's my needs.  Don't let anyone sway you into using something you're not comfortable with.
2 Really Good Reasons to Use a Free Hosted Blog

1. No start up cost involved.  Anyone can start a blog, you don't need money to start a blog.  Especially if you've never blogged before.  It's the best way to start!  You can experiment with your blog layout, get a readership.  Read more from my book Powered By Blogger:  Start a Blogger Blog and Make Money Online.

2. You can start a blog with little to no website knowledge in a short period of time.

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