February 26, 2011

WordPress Blog: Self-Hosted or .Com?

I recently received a comment on one of my posts asking why I recommended that newbie bloggers should go straight in with a self-hosted blog as apposed to anything else on the web.

The question also asked; what are the general advantages of using a self-hosted WordPress blog over a free WordPress.com blog.

Let’s take look…

WordPress is one of the most favourable and most widely used blogging platform’s available. Whether you choose to self-host or use a free blog from WordPress.com, you have instant access to some of the most ground breaking features available to get you started on your blogging journey to success. So in comparison how do these two differ?

Own Domain Name

Whether you choose to self-host or use the dot com service, both avenues will allow you to register and use your own domain name. Obviously it is mandatory with a self-hosted WP blog.

Themes & Plugins

One of the biggest pitfalls with using WordPress.com is that although the library of themes is vast in variety, there is no comparing it to the custom-ability of using a self-hosted blog. What makes self-hosted so much more diverse is the ability to install plugins that expands the functionality and usability of your blog.

Hosting

Hosting is free with WordPress.com which does make it so much more user friendly for new users, however if you’re opting to go self-hosted you are expected to seek out your own webhosting, such services are available from BlueHost who offer a very competitive rate of only $6.95 a month with unlimited everything*.

Many webhosting companies including BlueHost now offer a one-click installation service, so that you don’t have to get involved in the technicalities of creating a MySQL database or FTP’s, making going self-hosted even more simpler than ever.

In a recent post I suggested that newbie bloggers start straight off with a self-hosted blog. This is only because I feel that there are more doors and avenues open to creativity and customization by going self-hosted, and should you want to sell your blog at a later date, there are less implications and greater value to be rewarded with.

Usability

WordPress.com offers a complete user friendly interface and you can simply register and have a blog up and running in minutes as with most free online blogging platforms.

The only cons with going self-hosted are that you do need some basic skills in HTML and CSS, it is not essential however but it does come in handy for customising your blog beyond the necessity.

Final Words

The implications involved with setting yourself up self-hosted are not even worth mentioning, though you are expected to pay a small premium i.e. hosting and domain.

However the creative freedom you get from going self-hosted cannot be compared, and so I would still recommend that newbie’s opt for taking the self-host avenue as apposed to the free service.

I hope all that made sense. Any further discussion on this matter would be greaty welcome below in the comments section.

 

About Fabrizio Van Marciano

Fabrizio Van Marciano is a successful artist and blogger working from his home in North Cornwall, UK. His insight into online business marketing, web design and self-promotion has lead him to become one of the UK's biggest selling modern contemporary artists with over 3,000 original canvas paintings sold worldwide. Fabrizio now shares his tips, advice and tutorials on all aspects of internet business marketing, blogging tips, WordPress, internet tech reviews and much more. You can follow Fabrizio on Twitter & Facebook.

Comments

  1. Brad says:

    You said:

    ” however if you’re going self-hosted you are expected to seek out your own webhost, ”

    So…… if you do that, you’re not “self-hosted” in the truest sense of the term.

    Someone else is hosting your website – so you’re not “self-hosted” at all.

    “Self-hosted” according to Wikipedia:

    “Self-hosting is also a term used for any individual who hosts their own server or servers (such as email or a website) themselves rather than use the services of an ASP (application service provider) or ISP (Internet service provider). In the latter case, connectivity is specifically excluded as a criteron. Self-hosting is gaining popularity as broadband speeds increase and the necessity to retain privacy of information or intellectual property increases. There are several benefits to self-hosting, including file storage space limited only by one’s storage budget, ease of access to a home network, privacy of information, and speed of access when on a LAN.”

    So!

    Please!

    Don’t use the term “self-hosted” anymore, unless you mean it to be “on your own computer, on your own Internet connection”

    Thanks a bunch – because you’re just spreading mis-information to those who need it the most.
    :)
    Brad recently posted..Setting up your own email server with hMailServerMy ComLuv Profile

  2. Samantha Wright says:

    hmmm, I see what you mean Brad however, the majority of us understand that self-hosting generally, I say again generally means seeking out your own web hosting services from a hosting company, and that’s how I understand what Fabrizio is trying to get across.

    Ok to make it clearer here is the breakdown.

    Free hosted blog – A free blogging platform such as Blogger or WordPress.com where all the hosting is taken care of..

    Self-Hosted Blog – A blog that is hosted by an independent web hosting company which YOU have to seek the services out yourself, self! you see that Brad self, meaning self-hosted lol. I hope this helps Brad and others to understand what Fabrizio’s trying to explain in this post. :)

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