Self Host or Use a Free Blogging Service?

Tumblr, WordPress.com, Blogger, all provide a service that allows you to quickly and easily set up a blog website and get going quickly. They have several upsides over self-hosting (building your blog and hosting it with a service like Siteground) such as ease of use and the quickness of getting set up but we’re here to talk about why, if you’re serious about getting into blogging and maybe even making money while you do it, self-hosted is always the way to go.

Your Content is at Risk

Many don’t realise that when using a blogging platform your content is subject to the provider’s content terms. This means that at any time your blog can be removed or become inaccessible, and the provider is under no obligation to guarantee access to your content. There are many stories of Blogger users finding years of work deleted and you can read about a story like that here.

Web hosting

Customisation

Most services will offer a selection of themes that you can use for your blog’s overall layout. However, by choosing to run a WordPress installation on a private host you can go far beyond using built-in themes and do anything from writing your own theme from scratch if you have the skills, to buying a theme you like from a 3rd party such as GeneratePress or digging into the thousands of free themes available with a search.

That’s saying nothing of plugins. Self-hosting your blog with a WordPress installation on separate hosting means you can further customise your site with countless plugins that are designed to add features to a theme and often drop right onto your blog or website with minimal effort. Want fancy sharing or social media icons? Done. Do you need an easy way of managing mailing lists or a handy plugin to help you optimise each post for SEO? You got it!

Domain Authority

If you’ve ever dreamed of making some money from your writing or even turning blogging into your full-time job, then you will have to work with companies to host content or write articles. An important factor in companies and PRs choosing to work with you is your websites domain authority or DA. This is a measure of how trusted your website is by search engines and is also a factor in how your blog will rank in search results. A good DA score can only be built using a proper custom domain name and settling on a wordpress.com or Blogger URL will not suffice.

While you can attach a custom URL to your blog on most of these services, our recommendation is to go self-hosted straight away as this allows you to create a far more professional presentation and along with beginning the journey of building your DA score, opens all the other possibilities in this article.

Further, many PRs and SEOs will outright specify that will not work with blogs or websites that are not self-hosted!

page ranking

Page Speed and Ranking

When you’re writing content it’s important to get it in front of as many eyes as possible and while social media can be a good tool for doing this, appearing in search engine results is important too. Google’s Page Speed Insight tool is a great way to discover how your website is performing across devices and you will never get those scores high using Tumblr, Blogger and their ilk. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for and free hosting services are not only slow, but they also simply don’t provide the tools that you need to truly optimise your blog for the modern web. You can read more about the importance of choosing the right hosting provider in our article here.

Statistical Accuracy

Do you want to know how many people are viewing your articles and blog posts? This may be an important metric for growing your readership and being able to work with companies on sponsored content. Free hosting services will often throw up inaccurate statistics or simply not offer this functionality in any meaningful way. Self-hosting is the way to go once again!

You Should Definitely Self-Host Your Blog!

There are so many benefits to buying a domain name and *finding a good hosting provider for your blog that we hope you can see just how important it is to take this step. Be proud of your blog and give it a platform on which it can grow unhindered!

If you have any questions, ask in the comments and we’ll be happy to help you!