The Ultimate Fight Off: Free vs Self-hosted blogs
Many people like to write and share their experiences online. Maybe you are a traveler and like writing about the wonderful places you have visited, or you love cooking and want to share your unique recipes with the world. It has never been easy to do this and setting up your own blog is something thousands of people all around the world are doing on a regular basis.
Blogs are slightly different from regular websites in that they are much more personal, and you are sharing and writing about your experiences, rather than trying to promote your business or sell a product. Most blogs are created by people who generally have no experience in making a website, so they use a variety of free tools that are available on the web to get their blog up and running.
One of the main questions people are faced with when it comes to making a blog is to go with a free hosted option, or a self-hosted one. There are benefits to both options, but if you are planning to go with a self hosted blog, you’ll need to find a reliable web host to use. Fortunately, the crew over at Fortunelords have loads of experience when it comes to finding a local and reliable web host.
What is the difference between a free and self-hosted blog?
At the end of the day, they both host your blog or website, but there are a number of differences between the two options, and it is important that you are aware of the pros and cons of each.
A free hosted blog or website will be using a platform such as Wix or WordPress.com. You wll sign up for an account on one of these platforms, and create your blog using their platform, which in turn is hosted on their servers. You can either use your own custom domain name, or a subdomain provided by the company. You won’t need to worry about any technical issues or setting things up. It’s all ready for you. You just create an account and start building your blog.
A self-hosted blog is slightly different in that you will be hosting the blog yourself. There are a number of platforms you can use such as WordPress.org and Joomla, both of which are two of the most popular CMS (content management systems). You will need to install the software on your own hosting, and configure the domain name that you want to use. It will require a little more technical know-how, but is something fairly easy to do.
Using a free hosted blog
One of the main concerns about using a free hosted blog is that it is never really your own. You are tied to the platform that you are using, and there might be limitations as to what you can actually do with your blog. For example, with a free hosted WordPress blog, you are limited as to the plugins you can install and other functionality of the blog, whereas a self-hosted WordPress blog has no such limitations.
A free hosted option is great for those who have very little technical experience or knowledge, and if the blog is purely for personal reasons or a hobby, then it will be fine. But if you are planning on building a site for your business, you might encounter a range of problems down the line.
Using a self-hosted blog
Hosting your own blog, rather than rely on a third party, is a much better option for most people and provides them with much more control over their site. You will be free of the restrictions that free hosted solutions offer, and can make any modifications you require.
If you plan on working with an SEO company to help improve the ranking of your website in Google and other search engines, most SEOs will want full access to the site to make the necessary on-page changes needed to get the site ranking better. Free hosted options can make it difficult for successful SEO to be carried out, and a lot of people who have made websites with Wix are finding out just how hard it can be to properly optimize their website.
There are good and bad elements to both options when it comes to hosting your blog. Free hosts are a great way to get started and make it easy for everyone to quickly and easily set up a blog or a website. But if you are planning on a website for your business, you are much better off going with the self-hosted option, rather than being tied down by the strict limitations that come with most free hosted options.