After writing my post on how to choose hosting for your blog, I decided I should probably back track and talk about having a self-hosted blog.
“Fish gotta eat, birds gotta swim” bloggers gotta make a buck. There are affiliate links in this post.
Pros of having a self-hosted blog
- You are in full control of your blog. You decide how fast your blog loads (buy purchasing the right hosting), you decide what type of content you put on your blog, there are usually more design options, easier ways to control your SEO, etc.
- No term of service from WordPress. I know most of us don’t take the time to read TOS statements, but there are some terms to watch out for with free blog hosting platforms. If you aren’t inline with those terms, platforms like Blogger might just shut your site down – without warning or reason – even if it was mistake. Another term of service that is in some free blogging platforms is that the host has the right to use your content however they want for the purposes of promoting their product. You will want to read the terms of services for your hosting account, to make sure you do not violate any of their terms. (If you are in violation, they are going to reach out to you first – free platforms just don’t have the manpower to do that.)
- No restrictions. Many free hosting platforms limit the things you can do. For example, most forms of monetization are not allowed on WordPress.com
- You are building up yourself, and not another business. When you are blogging on a free host, you are working for someone else. The more content you create for free for your free host, the better they do. Have you heard of the term digital sharecropping? Brick Marketing describes it as,
Digital sharecropping means you create content but then publish it on a site you have no control over…You may “own” the content as the original author, but the site you published it on (the landlord, so to speak) is the one that reaps all the benefits.” -What is Digital Sharecropping
Cons of having a self-hosted blog
- Having a self-hosted blog is an investment. But as the popular saying goes, it takes money to make money.
- Unless you have a manged WP hosting, you do have to worry a little more about maintenance.
Self-hosted doesn’t have to be scary.
A lot of posts on the pros/cons of self-hosted make it sound like you have to be really tech savvy to go the self-hosted route and that you shouldn’t run a self-hosted blog if you aren’t very technological. Being self-hosted doesn’t mean you are actually purchasing a server and plugging it in on your desk (phew). Hosting companies provide awesome customer service and support to make sure you never have any problems with your site (customer service with free hosts is almost non-existent).
Some hosting companies are WordPress managed and they take that service to another level!
After you install WordPress, most bloggers rarely have to visit their hosting service (usually the cpanel), as they are able to manage most of their necessities through the WP dashboard.
Plus, you have people like me whose whole blogging purpose is to help you with the technical sides of blogging so that you can focus on what your best at: your content.
Two of the questions I receive the most about self-hosting are:
I have my own domain name on blogger, is my blog self-hosted?
No. Your blog has a pretty URL, but it is not self-hosted. Your blog is still hosted by Google.
I blog on WordPress.com, is my blog self-hosted?
No. In order to be self-hosted you must purchase your own hosting and upload the WordPress.org software on your server. I really wish that the 2 WordPress platforms had different names, it just makes it confusing. They are very different though.
Do you have any more questions about self-hosting for me?
One thing for new self hosted people is that if a host offers a domain in your hosting package make sure it goes into your name and not theirs. If not, buy it yourself. This will save you a lot of hassle down the track if anything happens with that host.
Kristie Hill says
Great addition Sarah. It is usually a good idea to purchase your domain name somewhere else.
I thought this self hosting thing would be so scary but I haven’t missed a beat. It does cost a bit of money but if you pay it once a year you don’t even miss it 🙂
Kristie Hill says
Glad it hasn’t been scary! The hope is that the costs of being self hosted pay off with a great $$ income!
Hmm- digital sharecropping is a new term to me! So glad I researched before beginning my blog and started on wp.org! This is valuable information!
Kristie Hill says
Once I read the history of sharecropping – in the farming sense, it really opened my eyes to the digital version of the phrase. Way to go on doing your research and starting self-hosted from the beginning!