If you’re considering starting a new blog, when it comes to hosting, you have two fundamental choices. You can either use a self hosted service like WordPress or Blogger or you can download WordPress (or other platforms) yourself and take out your own hosting plan. Throughout this article we’ll discuss the options in the hope of identifying what is best for your blog/situation along with the pros and cons of each scenario.
A Hosted Blog Service
There are lots of blog hosting services out there at the time of writing. From small bedroom based blogs to blogs, which are read by thousands of people per day you’ll often find them hosted on a wordpress.com or blogger.com domain. Personally, this isn’t my preference but there are numerous benefits to using a service such as this.
First of all the setup, visit WordPress.com and you’ll immediately be presented with a button to “Create A Website”. From there you follow the process, choose a theme setup your account and in less than 10 minutes you’re ready to start creating your content for the world to see. Obviously this has its benefits but it also has it’s restrictions.
If you’re just starting out blogging and would like to get used to WordPress however this might be a viable option. The other option of course is to get your own domain name, setup your own installation and enjoy the benefits that come with hosting your blog off the traditional self hosted platforms.
Getting A Hosting Account
In the world of web hosting, there is a lot of choice, particularly if you’re solely looking for a blog hosting solution. In truth, any hosting account is capable of hosting a blog, regardless of who you choose. Don’t go into the process of thinking you need a WordPress hosting solution like this to host a WordPress blog, you don’t. Any account will do.
Once you have found a web host, setting up your blog should be as straight forward as it would be when using one of the self hosted solutions. If you take out a cPanel hosting account you will find it comes with a one click install option that lets you setup your blog with the click of a button. Sure, you’ll need to go through the process of choosing a name for your blog and so on but the process in itself is simple.
You should also look for a host who offer a free domain name with their packages. Having your own domain name is a big plus when it comes to marketing your blog, you’ll be taken much more seriously by your visitors and your competitors – so why not get one for free!
Which Is Better?
A self hosted service or a dedicated hosting service both have their pros and cons. There is no doubt the simplicity lies with the self hosted solution but you’re limited as to what you can actually do with your blog. No domain name, limited themes/plugins and you have the disadvantage of sharing where your blog is hosted with lots of other blogs.
A properly hosted solution on the other hand will give you the benefit of being completely customizable, scalable and you’ll also have full control of your content and host.