What is a Self-Hosting Blogging Platform?
If you’re asking this questions, you are thinking about starting a blog. This means you need to decide if you want a self-hosted blog? Many experienced bloggers encourage newbies to go the way of self-hosted is the way to go. This is a great route for people who want to create a professional image or want to create a business online.
Some questions you need answered about a self-hosted blog.
- What is a self-hosted blog?
- Why use a self-hosted blog when you can start on for free?
- What are the positives and negative of each?
Blogging Platform: the Free Route
A free blogging platform allows you to dive into blogging with zero risks. You get a domain (URL) that’s actually a sub domain of the service provider you’re using. For example, you could go with Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Regardless of which one you go with, your URL would like this: www.YourSite.BLOGSPOT.com or this: www.YourSite.WORDPRESS.com.
Benefits of having a free blog:
- No startup costs.
- Easy set up.
- It can remain free if you choose.
Negatives of a free blog.
- They have more elementary design elements.
- Limited bandwidth and memory.
- Harder to make money on the free blog platform.
I Thought a Free Blog Platform Was FREE
Above in the benefits of a free blog, the last bullet says “it may remain free”
Does this mean you eventually have to pay for services?
No, it won’t be a requirement. But, if you want to upgrade it, then you will incur a cost. You could assign your own domain to your current free URL. When you do this, you buy the domain name for about $10-$14, but WordPress/Blogger still owns your site.
Beyond this, if you really like blogging, you may be excited to invest more time and money to enhance your blog. You may decide you want to purchase photos, have someone change the design of your site, or purchase a more professional looking theme.
Who uses free blogging platforms?
There are lots of people who use free blogging platforms. This option attracts a great deal of hobby bloggers and people with little experience in blogging. If you know you don’t want to make money on your blog, and you know you’re just doing it for fun, this the free blog may be the route for you.
Self-Hosted Blogging Platform
What is it?
A self-hosted blogging platform means your site is being housed on your own digital space, unlike the free version. Even for a self-hosted blog, using WordPress is free. You have to pay a third-party, called a hosting service to get your piece of digital space. Sites like HostGator (the one I recommend, BlueHost, DreamHost…. And many more allow you to access digital space on their servers.
For a small monthly fee, you have ultimate control over your site with both design and structure.
Benefits of a Self-Hosted Blog
- Layout, revenue streams, and SEO are just some of the features you have full control over
- You get access to all your files (FTP) if you want to change the code (or have someone do it for you.)
- Your theme is fully customizable.
- There is a small fee for hosting to gain full control over your site.
Negative of Self-Hosted Blog Platform
- You must have hosting to have a self-hosted site.
- It may be a new system, which can be overwhelming to new bloggers.
What needs to be paid for?
As I said above, you have to buy your domain name. This cost anywhere from $2 – $14, as a yearly fee. (Recommend GoDaddy – Their support is out of this world. You also need hosting. Reserve about $10 per month for this. (My recommendation here is BlueHost, because they are the official host for WordPress.)
There are options to purchase premium themes, premium plug-ins, and hiring a designer to do the work for you. None of these are required to create a professional liking blog.
Who would benefit from a self-hosted blog?
Self-hosted blogs do look more professional than free blogging platforms. This means it’s ideal for anyone who wants to create a professional presence online. It’s also great for people who eventually want to monetize their site in some way.
Worpress.org vs. WordPress.com
So now you understand the difference between self-hosted blogging platforms and free blogging platform. I just want to remind you that WordPress.org and WordPress.com are NOT the same thing.
Although they both use the open source platform that is WordPress. WordPress is a community of developers. It’s the place where you get to benefit from the brain work of other people so you don’t need to know anything about coding. You get to leave HTML to the experts.
Blogging with ultimate control…
WordPress.org is what you’d use if you’re going to opt for self-hosting. This is where you get your own dedicated URL assigned to your digital space online. And, that’s why you need the third party hosting.
Blogging with limitation…
The other alternative is the completely free version. Remember, you don’t own the site you create and your URL will be a .Wordpress.com domain.
After reading, if you still have questions, please leave a comment below.
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