Getting Started In Blogging: Hosting

Posted by Sharon Hurley Hall on July 21st, 2012

This post has been submitted by Sharon Hurley Hall from Get Paid To Write

Welcome to a new series on getting started with blogging. If you think you need to have a blog and you don’t know where to start, then this series is for you. The first three posts in the series will cover hosting, platforms and themes and we will be adding to the series over the next few weeks and months.

One of the most important decisions you will make when you are thinking of starting a blog is how and where it will be hosted. There are pros and cons to each option.

Free Blog Hosting Pros And Cons

Advantages of using a free host are:

  • you can get your blog up and running within seconds
  • everything you need is provided so there is little or no setup work
  • blog software is updated automatically
  • quick search engine indexing
  • you can focus on content
  • it’s free

However, there are some disadvantages:

  • The free host could disappear overnight, taking your site with it
  • You may have a strange site name in the format http://hostname/username which may look unprofessional
  • Customization options may be limited
  • It may be difficult to upgrade later

Paid Blog Hosting Pros And Cons

If you host your blog on your own domain, the advantages are:

  • your blog will be live for as long as you pay the hosting fees
  • you have complete control over the look and feel
  • you can have any appropriate domain name
  • it will look like a professional site

However, even getting your own domain has disadvantages:

  • you have to focus on site admin rather than just content
  • you will need to spend a lot of time customizing the site
  • you may need some programming knowledge and may have to update blog software yourself
  • hosting can be expensive

Making The Choice

So, which do you go for? In many cases it depends on how you plan to use your blog. Go for free hosting if you:

  • are not sure that you will stick with blogging but want to try it out first
  • are using the blog for a short time, such as for a project
  • are more focused on the personal rather than the professional

Go for paid hosting if you:

  • want your blog to reflect a professional online presence
  • don’t mind messing around with code and themes
  • want complete control over every aspect of your site
  • are sure you will be sticking with your blog

Still none the wiser? Here’s what I do. I have several experimental/occasional blogs. I use free hosting for those. I have two blogs that I use professionally. They are hosted on their own domains which I am happy to pay for. And I’ve saved myself some time by choosing a host that automatically updates my chosen blogging software.

In the next post in this series, we will look at the major blog platforms.

Sharon Hurley Hall
Get Paid To Write


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3 Responses to “Getting Started In Blogging: Hosting”

  1. Keyword Research Service Says:

    I think it is fine for most beginners to go with a free hosted blog as long as it is on a strong network such as Google’s blogspot. You can do quite well with these free blogs despite their limited flexibility. It is true that you can get stuck with that free host. So if you’re planning more long term, paid hosting is the way to go.

  2. Charles Says:

    Free blogging networks are ok if you’re looking to test the water but I’d always try to avoid them if you’re serious about blogging. Whenever I see a blogspot blog I instantly think it’s likely to be low quality.

  3. Sharon Says:

    That’s how I generally feel, Charles, though there are some successful blogs that use, such as Lorelle’s blog.

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