In this post, Jerry Low from Web Hosting Secrets Revealed shares some useful insight about free Vs self hosted blogging.
It’s common that bloggers often face dilemma when it comes to blog hosting. Should you host your blog on its own domain and hosting? Does a third party platform limit a blog’s development? Is hosting my blog on its own hosting financially wise? Unfortunately, I don’t have the right answer for you as there is no one-fit-for-all solution in this situation. The dilemma, however, can be solved by you after careful considerations on pros and cons of both options.
To start our evaluation, let's check out what are the plus (and minus) points for a blog hosted on a free platform.
Pros and Cons Free Blog hosting
So what’s good and bad with hosting your blog on a third party platform like WordPress and Blogger?
What's good about hosting a blog on a free platform?
Free of Charge: Blogging platform like WordPress and Blogger offer blogging tools and hosting spaces with no cost at all. Anyone of us can run a free blog online as there are no worries on bandwidth cost and storage space.
Easy Maintenance: Setting up a free blog is very simple and there is little work to be done besides writing (as there’s no hosting server to be maintained).
What's bad about hosting a blog on a free platform?
Branding Disadvantage: Generally speaking, blogs hosted on a free blogging platform are harder to promote. The long ugly URL (like exampleblog.blogspot.com) is hard to remember plus free blog often give the image of ‘amateur’. It is, however, worth mentioning that we are not lack of success example in free blogs - SethGodin.typepad.com, BrandAutopsy.typepad.com, and PhotoshopDisasters.blogspot.com are some of the highest trafficked blogs on a free platform.
Lacks of Flexibility: As free blogs are hosted on a free platform, bloggers don’t get much control over the host settings. Limitation in functional (ie. use of cgi-bin and .htaccess) and designs (ie. Navigation bars on blogger) are always the factors that drive bloggers away.
How About Blog On Its Own Domain and Hosting?
Blog with its own domain and hosting has exactly the opposite pros and cons of a free blog. Domain registration fees and hosting costs are the basic expenditures for a blog with its own domain/hosting. More over, you will need to spend extra time working on your blog setup and maintenance.
On the other hand, there’s more flexibility and branding power with an independent blog. As you are spending on your own hosting, you get better control over your hosting features and configuration. Blog with its own domain also projects a better image.
Conclusion: What Is Right For You?
Summing things up, we can now see that a free blog is most suitable for those who just wish to write and share their knowledge/interest in certain expertise. A free blog is right for you whenever you do not wish to spend extra time and money on your blog. Also, a free blog is the right choice whenever monetization is not your primary concerns.
Alternatively, a blog with its own domain and hosting is best for those who can afford a little extra time and money. As an independent blog has better potential in term of profitability, it should be the choice of bloggers who wish to make money online.
Last piece of advice: Blog ownership
Just before you conclude to go with any of the options, note that the blog ownership is a point that often neglected by most bloggers. Running your blog on its own domain and hosting is like living in your own house; on the other hand, a blog hosted on free platform is like renting an apartment – you’ll never know when you will get chased out! What if the website that offers free blogging platform is sold or shut down? Be warned that you will lose your entire readership when this happens to your blog.
As I am writing this, there are plenty of hosting services come with less than $5/mo and domain registration is just $10/year. So in case you can afford an extra $10 per month and are serious about your blog, why not start your blog from a better position with its own domain? In case you need help in web hosting, check out these hosting reviews based on my real experience.
Guest post from Jerry Low of Web Hosting Secrets Revealed where the basic thrust of his website is reviewing web hosting companies. For web hosting newbies, you are recommended to read his web hosting guides.