There is a lot of talk about whether or not bloggers should host their own blogs or have their blogs hosted. It’s helpful to define these terms and then look at each of their pros and cons:
- Self-Hosted Blog: With a self-hosted blog, you pay to have your blog hosted through someone like BlueHost (I highly recommend them), GoDaddy, or Fat Cow.
Pros and Cons to Paid Hosting
- Ownership:You own everything about your blog – from the content to the design.
- Control: You can customize any part of your blog. You are in control of every aspect of your design and have the freedom to make your blog exactly the way you want it.
- Branding: With a self-hosted blog, you’ll have your own domain. Readers will likely remember your URL of www.YOURDOMAIN.com better than trying to remember if they needed to add the Blogspot, WordPress, etc. extension to that.
- Credibility: Think about it – would you be likely to take www.newyorktimes.blogspot.com as seriously as you would take www.newyorktimes.com.
- More affiliate approval: If you’re looking to make money with your blog, know that there are some affiliate programs that won’t work with your blog unless it has its own domain.
- Control:While control can be a good thing because you can fully customize your blog the way you want it, it will take some time to study and learn the software to do this. It’s not that this is a difficult task, just know it does take time and effort.
- Cost: You will have to pay to host your own blog. There are several web hosting companies out there to choose from – many with great customer support. Depending on the service you select and the company, hosting your blog will cost you anywhere from just under $100 a year and up.
Pros and Cons to Free Hosting
- Cost: It’s free! If you’re looking to just blog as a hobby and you don’t mind having that .wordpress. or .blogspot. in your URL (www.yourdomain.wordpress.com), having your blog hosted might be for you.
- Ease of use: Since you don’t have as many options for customizing your blog, set-up and maintenance is simpler.
- Control: You won’t be able to customize your blog as much as with self-hosting. You will be restricted to a fairly generic template. Also, you will only own the content that you write, none of your design.
- Limited monetization: Some free blog hosts will limit approval of affiliates on your blog.
- Generic URL: You’ll have that added .wordpress. or .blogspot. in your blog URL.
Which should you choose – paid or free hosting?
This really depends on what you’re wanting to do with your blog. If you’re just wanting to blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends or as a hobby for yourself and you don’t want to invest any money, then having your blog hosted for free might be the option for you. However, if you’re wanting to use your blog to make some income and your goals are more business-oriented, hosting and owning your blog is probably the better option. If your plan is to blog long-term and you’re wanting to put the hard work into monetizing and promoting your blog, you’ll want to think long and hard about who you want to own all your hard work – the site hosting your blog for free or you (when you’re paying to host it yourself)?
Where to pay for hosting
- Blue Host – I am a big fan of Blue Host as a blog hosting company. They have hosted all of my blogs and I have been very impressed with their service and product. They are very quick in their responses to questions (their online chat help option has been very useful on those days when I’ve been working on my blog late at night and had a question). To date, I honestly do not have any complaints about this company and would highly recommend them.
- GoDaddy – If you’re looking for a company that offers you multiple options with your hosting package, GoDaddy may be a good place to check out. They have several options and can customize your service plan to meet your needs.
Blogelina wants to pay for your hosting
Everyone who participates in Blogelina’s online class, Profitable Blogging for Beginners, receives a FREE year of web hosting – no strings attached!