January 27, 2011
Should You Host Your Own Blog?
A blogs is a must have tool if you are considering any sort of online presence.
While a static website can be a great foundation for your Internet marketing campaign, having a blog that is updated regularly will pay you huge benefits through higher search engine rankings and easy customer engagement.
So, what’s the best way to get your blog online?
There are two main ways to get a blog up and running; host it yourself or use a blog service to host it. Both come with their pros and cons that can have a huge effect on your online marketing campaign. Let’s explore:
Host a Blog Yourself
A self-hosted blog is the most common way to get your content up on the web. You don’t have to own a server yourself, but rather go through a hosting company that will rent you space on their servers.
- Low Cost: Using a hosting service will cost you around $6 a month for a basic plan. If you have huge amounts of traffic, you might have to buy a larger plan with more server space.
- Flexible Software: Hosting accounts come with programs, like cPanel, that help you administer all aspects of your blog. You can import domains, install blogging software like WordPress, set up email accounts and a lot more.
- Content Control: When you host your own blog, you have the final word on what you post, discuss, link to etc. It’s your space, you can do what you want.
- Sharing Space: While you’re renting space from a server, you’re not the only site using that space. It’s more like renting an apartment than a house. This means you will be on the same server as other sites and might see some negative effects from this. For example, your site may have slower load times if another site on the same server sees an explosion in traffic.
- Requires Some Technical Knowledge: While the hosting programs make it as easy as possible to set up a blog, there is still some technical knowledge needed to get things up and running
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get something up and running now, then you might want to consider a blog hosting service like Blogger or WordPress. These platforms let you set up free sites that can literally be up in a few minutes. You can use a domain they assign you or use your own if that works better for you.
- Quick and Easy: Blogger, WordPress and other sites make setting up a blog fast and easy. By simply filling out some basic information and choosing a couple of options, you’ll have a clean looking and functional blog live in minutes.
- Completely Free: These services don’t cost you a thing. No hosting fees, no premium themes, no expensive plugins… nothing.
- Ownership: While you put all the work into creating a blog on one of these services, you don’t have ownership over them in any way. If you would like to have the option of selling your web business one day, you’ll be at a disadvantage with one of these blogs.
- Content Control: WordPress and Blogger have strict rules about what they allow in the way of content. They can pull your blog at any time they see fit because you link to the wrong sites, have content they don’t allow or for a variety of other reasons.
So What is Better?
While it depends on your business and preferences, the smartest way to host your blog is through a hosting service. You actually own the web property, control it as you see fit and have the most flexibility.
Both options work, but if you’re looking to build a long term business and don’t want to risk someone else arbitrarily deciding your fate, self-hosting is the way to go.