Since you’ve come here, you might be deciding whether to choose between using FREE Blog vs. PAID Blog Hosting for your blog. In this article, I will share with you some keypoints to help you make this important decision.
Seasoned bloggers already know the answer to this question but for the aspiring bloggers, this is a very important decision to make.
I’ve based all the information in this article from my careful research and analysis, together with combined knowledge and experience about websites and blogs.
So, here it is.
FREE Blog Vs. PAID Blog Hosting
FREE Blog Hosting
Free blog hosting means using a free service provided by blogging platforms. Here you can create a free account and immediately start your own blog. The two of the most popular blogging platforms are Blogger and WordPress.com.
But before you register a free account, you might want to consider the following:
Pros of FREE Blog Hosting
1. No initial start up cost
One of the sweetest advantages of using a free blog hosting is you don’t have to pay a penny to start creating your own blog.
2. Start writing articles immediately
After you sign up for a free account, you can immediately start writing your first blog article. Of course you may still want to design your blog to make it look more appealling. Most free blogging platforms have a ready to used themes which you can use.
3. Tons of free themes/templates to choose from
One of the perils of starting a blog is to create your own design (That’s if you want your blog to stand out among the rest). If you are not really techy or good in designs, you can choose from tons of ready to use free themes and templates provided by your blogging platform. This pretty much lessens your burden of coming up with your own design.
4. Little to no commitment
Since you don’t have monetary investment in using a free blog hosting website, you will not feel any pressure in publishing articles consistently. You can choose your own time of publishing new articles without thinking much of how much you spent on your blog.
5. Good for newbie bloggers
If you’re still exploring the “world of blogging” or you just want to “experience” or “try” publishing a blog, it may be a good starting point for you. You can try and learn few things on your free blog hosting website and it will be a nice training ground for gaining experience and refining your blogging skills.
You can take your time to learn the tricks and best practices in writing blogs while doing it for free!
Cons of FREE Blog Hosting
1. You will have to use a sub domain
You can create a free blog from free blogging platforms but you will have to use a sub domain. Visitors of your site will use the following format to access your blog yourblogtitle.blogger.com or yourblogtitle.wordpress.com. Of course most free blogging platforms allow you to buy and use your own domain.
A subdomain might be acceptable for those who are not really serious about making the most out of their blogs but for those bloggers who really want to turn it into their brand, it means a lot. And you will know why in the next item.
2. Less professional
You will also have the brand of the blog provider somewhere in your free blog website. Most of these branded texts or images cannot be removed unless you pay for the premium version.
Having the brand of the free blog provider in your blog especially on your URL will make you look unprofessional.
People will more likely trust a blog with their own domain names over those who uses a subdomain. Your own domain name will make your website more professional, credible, and trustworthy.
3. Limitations on choices
Free blog account has a limited capability. Some of these will not allow you to install plugins that will make your blog look more appealling and professional. There are also limited choices for free themes that you can use and sometimes most free blogging platforms won’t allow you to edit/customize the design of your blog.
4. Unstable performance
Since it’s free, it is shared by a lot of people. Imagine millions of people using a free shared hosting service. Most likey, your free blog hosting provider will add limit to your bandwidth. This will affect the performance of your blog resulting to delayed loading time and sometimes unreachable connections.
5. Limits on memory space
Your memory space will be limited. Although you will not feel this at first, once you reached your space limit you will be forced to either delete some of your old articles or upgrade to a paid blog hosting with a much higher memory space.
Just imagine posting a set of pictures only to find out that you don’t have enough memory space in your blog! Oh no!
Next, let’s see the pros and cons of Paid Blog Hosting.
PAID Blog Hosting
Paid blog hosting on the other hand will require an investment. Most popular choice is to get a shared hosting account. There are a lot of web hosting companies that have package plans specific for bloggers.
However, this will still require you to design your blog. Some people will hire professional website designers but the range of each web designer differs from each other and it will surely add to your investment
There are also web design companies that offers a complete package from blog set up, design, and hosting.
But before you invest your money on a paid blog hosting, check out the following.
Pros of PAID Blog Hosting
1. You will have your own domain
Having your own domain in your blog is powerful espcially if you are serious about it and you want to build a brand out of your blog. A blog with its own domain name appears more trustworthy and credible. This is a MUST especially for blogs that target a niche in the professional services industry.
2. Full control over your blog
You will have full control over your blog. You can get to choose what type of CMS or blogging platform you want to use, and decide what functions you want to add, what themes you want to use, what plugins you want, and more.
Most paid blog hosting provider will give you little to no limitations in your own blog website.
3. Makes you a leader in your niche
If you’re serious about your blog and you’re planning to make money out of it, you will have to position yourself as a leader in your chosen niche. Having a professionally designed blog that goes well with your niche will make you a leader and will give you credibility.
4. Creates brand recognition
One of the advantages of having your own domain is, people will immediately recognize and identify your brand.
As I’ve mentioned above, there are paid blog hosting providers that offers a whole package from website design to hosting and maintenance support. If you choose the right provider, you can ask them to design your website based on your brand image.
A well designed blog will help you build your brand image in your niche.
5. Search Engine Optimization
Having your own domain name will significantly improve your search engine ranking. Ranking your website on search engines is really, really, really important. Why would you create a blog if it’s not visible on the search engine anyway?
There are blog hosting providers that offer search engine optimization in their package. Of course you must also know how to use basic On-page SEO on your articles. This will help your article rank higher on search engines.
Cons of PAID Blog Hosting
1. It requires an investment
Of course it will require an investment in your part, but it will surely lessen your work. You don’t have to study any technical stuffs for your blog website, your paid blog hosting provider will handle it all for you so you can focus on crafting your articles.
It is also a small investment for you and your brand. Most of the time you will have to pay for one-time fee of web design and development, and yearly payment for your domain and hosting.
But if you learn how to monetize your blog, man, I can’t tell you how beautiful it is.
2. It can be intimidating to new bloggers
Yes, it can be very intimidating to new bloggers. Why would you spend money to start a blog when you can have one for free, right? Well, the answer is in this article. And as I’ve said in the beginning of this article, seasoned bloggers already know the answer to this question.
Thus, if you’re serious with your blog and you want to make it more professional or you want to monetize it, a free blog hosted website will not give you the flexibility and all the features that you will need.
But if you’re an aspiring blogger but not sure if you really want to do it for a long time, start with a free hosted blog. From there you will know if you want to do it for a long period of time.
I you don’t want to get your hands dirty on the technical stuffs like setting up your blog, conceptualizing and designing your blog, you can get started with our personal website plan.
Do you find this article helpful? Tell me what you think in the comments below.