Millions of blog posts are published every month. Many of them are published via free blog hosting providers such as wix.com, blogger.de, weebly.com, medium.com or via the hosting service of WordPress.com. Free blog hosting is especially popular with beginners, because you can get started with your own blog in no time at all without having to pay monthly fees. In addition, you hardly need any technical knowledge to get started, because all necessary updates and backups are carried out by the provider. Nevertheless, the self-hosted blog is often the better option – especially if you plan to build your blog project professionally and commercially. Everyone who wants to create his own blog has to decide whether to host the blog himself or have it hosted. The following article is intended to help with the decision making process.
Free Blog Hosting With Web Hosting Providers
Blog hosting providers that provide free web space open up the ideal opportunity for beginners in particular to take their first steps as bloggers. Without any registration fees or monthly costs you can gain first experiences with a content management system, post blog entries, layout and edit them. The service is usually free of charge. Often, however, the scope of services can be extended by features that are subject to a fee (additional templates, more design options, etc.).
The Advantages: Free of Charge and Simple
Besides the free use, there is another advantage to choosing a free blog instead of setting up a blog on your own web space: An externally hosted blog can be started in just a few steps and thus within a very short time. The implementation is usually simple and requires little technical background knowledge. From a palette of layouts and templates you can choose one that fits the respective blog topic, can then make individualizations in some places and have already completed the technical part. Often all necessary updates are done automatically.
The Advantages of Externally Hosted Blogs at a Glance
- free of charge
- simple and quick to implement
- no personal responsibility for updates and security
The Disadvantages: Limited Functions and Capacities
In the case of a free service, it is obvious that there are also restrictions and disadvantages at some point compared to the chargeable offers. Basically, as a blogger, you are limited in terms of technical possibilities. Various functions can only be used conditionally or not at all, and the choice of layouts and free plugins is limited. This does not only limit the performance of the site – also optically you often have to make compromises. There are clear limits to individualization.
The biggest limitations with externally hosted blogs are
- the limited selection of plugins and layouts
- the limited storage space
- the limited number of web pages
- mostly no backup of the data
A further disadvantage: On sites like Blogger.de the blog has no own domain. The site is accessible via a subdomain of the provider. In the example of Blogger.de, the internet address is built according to the scheme www.[your-blog-title].blogger.de. For purely private use this does not necessarily mean a disadvantage. But if you want to run a blog professionally, you should have your own domain for a serious appearance.
Advertising on Free Blogs
With many free blogs, the possibility of independently placing advertising is not given at all. Instead, the blog provider himself places ads on the pages in order to finance his free service. The blogger has no influence on frequency and content. The only way to stop the ads from appearing is to switch to the paid premium version – or to decide to host the blog independently. No matter which provider you choose, with free hosting solutions you are always dependent and have to follow the respective guidelines. Only those who host their blog themselves can use any form of advertising or operate an ad-free blog.
Hosting the Blog Yourself – What are the Possibilities?
To host your blog yourself, you basically need two things: Web space and a Content Management System (CMS). Check this list of blog CMS. If you want to rent your own web space and don’t have advanced programming skills, you should find out in advance which Content Management System the respective providers offer and how beginner-friendly it is.
Many providers also allow the user to use the free software WordPress to create their own blog, which allows a similarly uncomplicated entry into blogging as the free blogs.
Almost all available hosting packages include web space, one or more domains and a database. Packages with 10 or more gigabytes are available from about 4.00 euros per month. Usually a one-time setup fee of about 20 Euro is added.
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The Advantages: Countless Possibilities for Individualization
Many web hosting providers now offer their own blog editor or support the blog software of WordPress. With this, your own blog can be installed and set up with just a few clicks, even when hosting on your own. As a self-hosting provider you do not need extensive IT and programming knowledge. This is because providers often provide their own tools in addition to the CMS, with which even beginners can design their website. For technically experienced operators there are hardly any restrictions beyond that. With sufficient programming knowledge, the blog can be designed entirely according to your own wishes.
The advantages at a glance:
- Implementation without IT expertise possible
- unrestricted possibilities of individualization
- manageable cost factor
Respectable Appearance and Advertising Freedom
With a self-hosted blog, it is possible to operate several pages under freely selectable domains. With an own, individual domain a professional internet presence can be created. Mail addresses linked to the domain also enable a professional communication level. If you host the blog yourself, you are also your own boss and can play by your own rules. This means above all freedom in the choice of advertising forms. How and to what extent banner advertising or similar is placed is decided solely by the blogger.