Free blog vs self hosted blog

Why don’t all bloggers self-host? Why free host?

Most of us (including me) don’t look at the bigger picture because we always want an easy way out and the cheapest solution. Also, no one wants to complicate stuff when they just start. One step at a time, right?. No cost way is the best way to see if you really want to do this blogging thing. In my case also, I wanted to see whether this blogging thing will work out for me. So, I too started with free hosting worpress.com blog.

Why I chose WordPress?

WordPress is free; it is open source,  easy, expandable and has awesome community support. Around 74.6 million sites run on WordPress. I can go on and on. Even Google loves WordPress! It has released its official AdSense Plugin, which  provides support for AdSense as well as Webmaster Tools.

Why I started blogging?

After posting few articles in slicestoshare.wordpress.com, I have discovered my excitement and happiness in blogging. To me, it is similar to creating amazing art work or web design which is drawing me deeper into the blogging community, creative people. In addition, I am fascinated by the idea of sharing valuable information to  a  bigger audience  which gives me great satisfaction.

Then comes the biggest problem with the free hosting website. I have zero control over my wordpress.com  blog site! What I mean by this is that there are many restrictions on  how I can manage my site.

Many people think that web hosting is expensive. But depending on individuals need one can find reliable and cost effective/affordable web hosting plan as I did.

I have taken up Exabytes, EBiz Beginner hosting plan for RM 41/per year for this blog. And domain registration for RM 30/ year.

Why Exabytes, Malaysia?

I have few sites hosted by them already and find their service good. They respond to my emails within 8 hours. They offer live chat help line. To know more please read my post “Google shuts down business sitebuilder: What next?” where I have given the reasons for why I chose Exabytes, Malaysia.

Anyway, the decision is yours to make. But hope this post helps you to make a decision with an eye on the bigger picture.

Here I have shared the advantages of a self-hosted site  from my own experience.

 

ownership1. Ownership

With self-hosted you own the blog 100%. But with free hosting, your blog could be shut down at any time.
WordPress.com, states that  “may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with, or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.” For most serious bloggers, this is a great problem!

 

domain

2. Personalised Domain Name

As a self-hosted WordPress blog you have the huge advantage of your own unique domain name – say goodbye to the less than catchy x.wordpress.com domain.

 

theme3. Themes

Freedom of Customization. WordPress.com only offers a limited selection of themes to choose from.
But with self-hosted WordPress, you have the ability to install any WordPress theme on the market. You can create your own as well. It  also allows you to modify any file or template in any theme you buy or download. So, you can tweak any theme into your dream site and stand out from the crowd.

plugins4. Plugins! Plugins! Plugins!

You cannot use plugins for WordPress.com sites. I repeat, YOU CANNOT USE PLUGINS FOR FREE HOSTED WORDPRESS.COM. What a waste! In this electronic era when everything new becomes old so fast…

Plugins are a great way to extend the functionality of your website with added valuable features. As your blog grows, you may want to enhance your site with more features like a static front page, e-commerce, or Facebook commenting. With self-hosted WordPress, these features can be easily implemented with the help of free plugins.

money

 5. Money

If you plan on making money by placing affiliate links on your blog, free hosted wordpress.com does not allow them!
You can not cash in on your blog. With self-hosted ,you’re in charge -You are free to place whatever adverts/banners that you want on your site and earn some money.

 

SEO

6. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

I know SEO makes bloggers heads spin. Still there is so much information on SEO in the web, one can easily learn if you have a willing heart. For one such link  click  here. A self-hosted site provides the freedom to fully optimise your site for SEO and can drive more traffic to your blog. Plugins like YOAST SEO  help me  to optimise my articles for SEO.

email

 7. Private Emails

With the majority of self-hosted plans, you can have a very own personal email address. Within your hosting, you can simply manage emails, forwarders, aliases, spam filters and much more. With my manju@slicestoshare.com email, I can keep email communications related to blogging and blogging community separately. Who would not want that?

Bottom Line

If you are serious about your blog  build it on Self-Hosted WordPress. You are committing your time and effort which is more valuable than the small amount of money you need to spend. So, please  build it where you make the rules.

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