Free Blogging Platforms vs. Self Hosted

What exactly are the benefits of a self hosted blog over the various free blogging platforms?  If your goal is to simply have a place to write your thoughts and even grow a decent readership then there is nothing wrong with the free platforms like blogger or wordpress.com.

However, if your goal is to:

  • grow your blog as a business
  • customize the look and feel of your blog
  • increase your search engine exposure
  • and/or build greater credibility

Then a self hosted blog is a must.

What is a self hosted blog?

To be self hosted is when you own your own domain name and you run your own blog software on a server/host.

If you are new to how websites work, a domain is the name/address of the site which is usually purchased.  If you want to purchase a domain name by itself, most people simply use GoDaddy.  However, if you plan on running a blog, then a host/server will most likely include the domain name within their monthly fee.  The host does just that, it hosts your website so that when people type in your domain name into their browser, they have something to see.

What is WordPress? WordPress is the worlds most popular blog software and rightly so.  It is extremely customizable, easy to use and upgrade.  The WordPress software needs to be installed on the host server and customized from there.

Recommended Hosts

For most new blogs that want to be self hosted, keeping costs low is important.  As we have been working with WordPress for several years now, we have found that there are only a select few low cost hosts that are reliable and WordPress friendly.  The hosts that we recommend most are:

BlueHost

  • Not setup fee: $7.95/mo for 12 months, $6.95/mo for 24 months
  • Free domain and privacy (for life of the plan)
  • One click WordPress install
  • ZestyBlogConsulting Services Discount if you join via our link.

LunarPages

  • No setup fee: $8.95/mo for 12 months, $6.95/mo for 24 months, $4.95/mo for 60 months
  • Free domain for 1 year, privacy extra.
  • One click WordPress install
  • ZestyBlogConsulting Services Discount if you join via our link.

If you are interested in starting your own self hosted WordPress blog, check out our services page on ways we can assist.  We have helped many others with their blogs and would be more than happy to work with you in establishing your blogging goals.

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