The term blog originated as a shortened form for a “weblog” or personal journal, and many people have associated the idea of blogging as a way to share their views with other Internet users. Blogs are often looked upon as intelligent and insightful opinions, and blogging allows us to make a place for ourselves in the online community. For this purpose, there are many readily available free blogging platform websites provided to anyone who wants to start a blog. So how does a blogger know whether to use a free blog platform or pay a monthly fee for a more traditional web hosting company to host their blog?
The first step is to figure out one’s goal as a blogger. Remember, blogging takes discipline and dedication, and a novice blogger might ask the following questions of herself:
- What is the subject, service, product, or passion one is addressing in their blog?
- How often will the user blog?
- What is the purpose or the message of the blog?
- Who is the blogger representing, and what will be the user’s online identity?
- Why is the blogger doing this?
Free blog platforms:
So let us begin with the advantages of free blog hosting sites. These include free blog hosting, free blogging tools, and free blogging services for users. There’s no maintenance necessary for the blog; that is provided by the blog hosting provider. There are also no worries about bandwidth or storage capabilities; that’s right – the blog hosting provider does that for the blogger too! With all of that done for the blogger, the writer can focus her attention on blogging rather than how to maintain a blog.
A free blog host can usually be set up in minutes. A basic user-friendly template is provided for beginners which is easy and fundamental to manage. It allows the blogger to make a place for herself in the online community and to get thoughts and ideas out there without spending any money. In addition, if the blogger has chosen a blog hosting provider with a good reputation and ranking, the novice blogger is already on a well known domain, that will help the blogger rank higher and get picked up by search engines. This gives the blogger a higher rank than her competition and very likely a larger volume of visitors to her blog without having had to make any monetary investment.
So why pay for blog hosting? Probably the best argument against free blog hosting is the confusion of the term “free domain.” It is not true that free hosting gives you a free domain; rather you are given a sub domain name for free. For instance, my “free” domain name could be cheryl.wordpress.com. In other words, you do not control your blog’s URL. Ultimately your domain name becomes your branding, so why would a blogger want to give credit to a free blog host? And even if you were content to work on a subdomain if your blog became very popular and you wanted your own domain eventually, you could transfer your posts, but you would not be able to transfer your traffic or your rankings. If your blog is very successful and it becomes heavy with traffic, a free blog server may not be capable of handling the additional traffic; thus crashing the server. When you’re getting hosted for free, there isn’t much motivation for a host to hurry and fix your problem – now is there? Reliability is the key – especially if the purpose of a blog is to make money; the blogger needs to have chosen a reliable host with a 99.99 percent uptime reputation.
Another frequent complaint of free-blog hosting is the lack of control of features and functionalities and the accessibility to obtain additional services for the blog hosting site. Since free hosting does not belong to you, often the blog host prevents you from sharing, selling, or even transferring your blogs. If a person sells their blog to another blogger secretly and the blog host finds out, the host can close the blog down and everything – including any search engine rankings are lost.
The age old adage that you get what you pay for still rings true. Blog hosting is cost effective, and the best pay off is when the blogger has complete control as to what gets posted, sponsored links, and preferred advertising. Check out reliable and well known blog hosting services and compare prices, features, reliability, money back guarantees, and customer support.
For a very reasonable monthly fee, highly reputable companies can supply bloggers with hosting space, monthly bandwidth, free setup, 24/7 email, and phone support with around the clock live chat. Do your homework, and save your online presence.