One of the most important decisions for anyone who wants to start a blog is the free third-party host vs. finding your own host choice. Hopefully, by the time you are finished reading this blog (which falls in the latter category, by the way), you will know which way to turn if you are thinking about starting a blog.
Free Third-Party Hosting
Third-party hosting usually involves a blog provider that offers free blogging for bloggers. Examples of free third-party hosting include Blogger.com and WordPress.com. These websites host thousands, if not millions of personal blogs. While these blogs do allow you to pick certain skins in order to customize the look and feel of your blog, there are some catches. For example, you are bound by exact designs of these skins. Also, you can’t implement your own HTML or other code. As a result, it is pretty much impossible to make money with ads or completely personalize your blog. The pluses of third-party hosting include the fact that it is free as well as the time commitment for setup, as there is no need to install anything, upload files or write code in order to launch your blog. It is easy to create a forwarding address to these third-party hosted blogs or a URL that is similar to your domain, as they follow a url.blogprovider.com format.
Finding Your Own Host
The most popular blog provider for which you can choose your own host is WordPress.org, which is the same basic software as what is run on WordPress.com. Finding your own host for a blog does cost money, though you can easily get away with only spending a few dollars per month if you do not have a great amount of traffic. As mentioned before, there is also a greater time commitment associated with finding your own host since you will have to make code adjustments if you want changes beyond what is provided in the basic skin design. Still, if you utilize advertising programs such as Google’s Adsense on your blog, the hosting and time costs could easily be worth the trouble. As a result of the coding capabilities, finding your own host for a blog also gives you slightly better flexibility with plugins.
Obviously, there are far more advantages in finding your own host in terms of bringing in revenue. However, if you only want to provide a platform to blog and don’t care about the revenue aspect, there is still a place for the use of third-party hosting. Both formats will be picked up by the search engines and will likely fuel your regular website’s traffic in the same way in terms of sales. It also must be noted that there are full websites on the internet that have been created with WordPress.org software. The customization allows you to create a blog without the usual simple blog feel. Of course, this also requires a greater time commitment and technical knowledge in designing the blog or website.