If you want to start a Blog, you can choose between Self hosted Blogging platforms like WordPress.org or the Free WordPress.com or Blogger platform.
Each has their own Pros and cons and we will discuss them in this blog post so you can choose the option that suits you the best. In this article, we will take a look at whether Free hosted blogs are really free of cons or not.
Free Blog vs Self Hosted Blog
First of all, we will take a look at what WordPress.com and Blogger have to offer:
Advantages of using WordPress.com and Blogger.
- wordpress.com and Blogger both has no initial startup costs. You can easily set up and maintain your blog on these platforms without nay prior knowledge of web designing.
- These Blogging platforms also provide regular backups of your website. so one less thing to worry about there. Your data will be safe.
- If you don’t want to spend money on the domain name, hosting, storage space and worry about your website data backup and other things then wordpress.com is your best bet.
- wordpress.com offers up to 3GB of free space which is enough for casual bloggers.
- Blogger offers 1 GB of free space. I’m not sure if that’s a pro or con.
- Both WordPress.com and Blogger are great for casual blogging.
Disadvantages of using WordPress.com and Blogger.
WordPress.com has its set of limitations. First one and the major one is that you can’t use custom themes with wordpress.com.
- WordPress offer 3GB free storage but if you want to have more space than you will have to pay for that extra space and it’s not that cheap.
- One can not use plugins with wordpress.com.
- if you fail to comply with their terms and conditions then your blog can be suspended anytime.
- You won’t have your own domain name, you will have a wordpress.com subdomain, you will have WordPress domain tacked onto yours, for e.g www.example.blogspot.com. You can have your own domain but you need to pay for that.
- Will have limited advertising options. It will be very hard to make money from advertising.
- You won’t be able to use custom codes.
- You will be restricted to their analytics.
- Security can be an issue in Free Blog platforms.You can easily lose your domain name and your entire site if the site got hacked and they do sometimes,
- You still need to tell others that your site is powered on WordPress.com (for some plans only).
Advantages of WordPress.org or Self-Hosted Blogs.
wordpress.org is the most popular blogging platform in the world with more than 72 million downloads and comprises more that 28% of all website on the internet and it gives you complete control over your blog.
Here are the benefits of using wordpress.org over Self hosted Blogs.
- You can choose from thousands of different themes (both free and premium) to brand your blog.
- There are thousands of plugins to choose from to enhance your WordPress blog.
- One can easily turn your blog into eCommerce store with simple plugins like WooCommerce and much more.
- You will have full control over your blog, it’s design, advertising revenue and more.
- You can make any necessary code changes to customize your Blog or website.
- No one can shut down your website as long as you are on the right side of LAW.
- Using a third-party host usually, costs only a few dollars per month.
- You can choose from many WordPress hosting companies like BlueHost to host your blog or website and they only cost few dollars per month for their service.
Disadvantages of using wordpress.org.
Starting a Self-hosted Blog requires initial investment and your blog can become a costly affair.
- You will require some technical knowledge to host your blog.
- WordPress is very very popular and that means it is vulnerable to security threats. Keeping your site secure can be the little bit tricky.
- You will be responsible for regularly updating your themes and plugins and WordPress itself.
- You will need to pay for a domain name ($10/year or more) and a hosting space which can cost between $5- $20/per month or more depending upon your server hardware requirements.
- Installing and setting up your WordPress site.
- Keeping your site secure for your visitors and protecting your site against hackers and spam.
- You will need to resolve all the problems regarding your website.
There are many things that you need to consider when you can decide which blogging platform to choose.
If you want the flexibility WordPress.org offers, but don’t want to deal with all the maintenance and technical stuff then you can also choose Managed WordPress hosting solution such as BlueHost (Officially recommended by WordPress).
BlueHost provides WordPress hosting for starting price of $3.95/month with 1-click WordPress install, Security from Scripted Attacks, Site Builders , 24/7 support and much more. That’s why WordPress recommends it for WordPress hosting.
I have tried to shed some light on the differences between having a free blog vs self-hosted blog.I hope these points will help you make an informed decision as to which blogging platform is better suited for you.
Finally,I will like to add that I use wordpress.org and host my blog on a DigitalOcean VPS and I will recommend everyone to use WordPress.org self- hosted on a Private VPS from DigitalOcean or BlueHost. Good day.