One of the great advantages of a blog is that you can own it in a way you can never own a social media platform. This means that you can choose every aspect of your blog’s look, feel, and functionality. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to finding the right home for your blog.
Your basic options
Your first choice is whether you want to go with free hosting or paid-for hosting. If you go for paid-for hosting, your next choice is whether you want to go with all-in-one hosting or customized hosting. Once you’ve made these decisions, the rest is fine-tuning your selections until you have exactly the right set-up for you.
Free hosting versus paid-for hosting
Free may sound good but in the real world it comes with a lot of limitations. The biggest limitation is the fact that most of the free hosting platforms require you to use their domain. In other words, your blog’s address will be something like freehosting.com/yourblog as opposed to yourblog.com.
The one notable exception to this is Blogger. This does allow you to use your own custom domain for free. It does take some work to set this up but there are easy-to-follow instructions online. Blogger has other limitations. For example, there are very limited options for customization.
With that said, if you’re on a really tight budget Blogger may be worth a look. This would depend very much on your niche. For example, if you were creating a blog about sustainability, Blogger might be fine, at least to start with. If, by contrast, you wanted to be taken seriously as a digital marketing consultant, then you’d probably want to avoid Blogger.
All-in-one hosting versus custom hosting
For most people, the choice between free hosting and paid-for hosting will be pretty clear-cut. If you have the budget for it, paid-for hosting is almost always the better choice. If you don’t, you just have to do what you can with what you have. The choice between all-in-one and customized hosting can, however, be more challenging.
All-in-one hosting can be the more expensive option. With that said, the difference may be smaller than it first appears once you add up the cost of buying everything separately. Also, you’ll usually have the option to pay monthly. Some of the customized hosting providers only support annual billing or charge much higher fees if you pay monthly.
The main advantage of all-in-one hosting is that it’s convenient. In particular, security is entirely managed for you. That can be a huge benefit to bloggers with limited time and/or few technical skills. The main disadvantage of all-in-one hosting is that you have little scope for customizations.
With custom hosting, it’s the opposite. You can set up your blog exactly how you like it but you are responsible for each part of it. Crucially, that includes security. Modern security needs to be “baked in” to every aspect of a website, including a blog. This means that if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may need to pay for help from someone who does.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live