Image Credit : 4 Ever Young
When you decide that you want to start a blog, the question which haunts most of the people is that which blogging platform would be the best and the biggest question is this one :
1. Should I go for hosted blogging service like Blogger, Vox, WordPress.com etc. or
2. Should I go for the self-hosted solution like WordPress, Drupal, Expression engine, Movable Type etc. ?
Well, I’ve broken this single question in two points as more and more questions arise when we choose any of these two points. Let’s choose the first one and see what are the points which effect us and what are the PROs of choosing a hosted solution and what are the negatives.
Pros of choosing a hosted solution :
1. Zero tech knowledge is required.
2. It gets as simple as maintaining an email account.
3. No need to worry about the hosting services, charges and downtimes.
4. Most of the services are free or offer slightly pro services for few dollars.
Cons of choosing a hosted solution :
1. None of them offers full control over the blog.
2. Less customization options.
3. Few don’t allow you to earn money out of it and some display ads on your blog.
Here are some PROs of self hosted solution mentioned by Franky Branck in one excellent post about various hosted solutions :
- Freedom to switch services or hosting company;
- SEO advantages;
- Easy to correctly forward when switching domains and keep traffic;
- Upload space only limited by hosting plan;
- Complete backup freedom;
- Freedom to criticize the platform you use, without having the fear to be shutdown;
Now that we’ve discussed the Pros and Cons of hosted solution of blogging we know that the Cons of hosted solution are the Pros of self-hosted solution and Pros of hosted solution are Cons of any self-solution.
However, as an experienced player in blogging industry and being a person who makes full time living from blogging, I’ll vouch for self-hosted solution and I’ll tell you that why one should go for a self hosted solution and on top of it, why one should choose WordPress as the solution as a blogging platform :
Let’s tackle the Cons of self hosted solution :
1. Tech knowledge related to hosting, domain names is required : Believe me or not, all these terms sounds scary however they are pretty simple in reality. When I started, I didn’t know even a single thing about it. I read a couple of blog posts, a couple of guide and followed what was mentioned in them and I was good to go. I’ll now explain it briefly over here :
a) Book a domain name – You can go ahead and book a domain name from any reputed domain provider. GoDaddy is one of the most popular and reputed domain registrar. So, go ahead and choose the domain name from there.
b) Get web hosting : There are various web hosts which offer no frills web hosting at pretty reasonable prices. WordPress community suggests few web hosts and you may choose any of those. BlueHost, DreamHost are some of the most popular web hosting services. I’m using a little expensive service but one of the most reliable web host around i.e. MediaTemple.
You may choose any of these services and the reason I say that you should choose any of these services is because they are recommended by WordPress community itself, suggested by thousands of ProBloggers and to top it all, they all have one click WordPress installation available. You don’t need to follow the installation procedure of WordPress and installing WordPress gets as simple as installing any software on your computer.
c) Change the nameserver : Once you get the domain name and hosting, you need to change the nameserver in the domain administration panel. Your hosting provider will provide you the nameserver address and you need to specify in the domain administration panel.
d) Install WordPress : The reason why I suggested those webhosts was that they provide simple way of installing the WordPress and you won’t find any problems in installing WordPress on your web host and your blog will get live with your choice of domain name! If you decide to go for any other hosting service, then just email them once or even better, call them and find out if they have quick installation script of WordPress. If they say that they’ve got CPanel with Fantastico then also you are good to go.
2. It gets simple as maintaining an email account : Once WordPress will be installed on the web space, it’ll also be as simple as maintaining an email account. If you think that WordPress.com’s blog admin interface will simpler then I would like to enlighten you with the fact that the self-hosted WordPress blog’s admin interface is almost same.
3. No need to worry about downtime, hosting charges : The reason why i suggested you to go for those reliable hosting services was that they guarantee 99% above up time. As they have shared hosting, you don’t need to worry about maintaining the server at all.
4. Most of the services are free : The benefit of the hosted solution is that they offer free solution and unfortunately hosting doesn’t come for free. However one of the PRO of self hosted solution is that it’s powerful and secondly you have the chance of earning money from various ways which are taught by many bloggers : Make Money Online and I’m sure that with regular posting, you can certainly get the money back and cover the hosting charges.
I’m still not convinced :
Well, it really depends on what exactly you want to believe. With my experience in blogging, I can always say that it makes more and more sense to go for the hosted solution and nothing can beat the experience. When I started with the things, I didn’t know anything from hosting the site and DNS servers and all those words which give you headache, however a little research and by spending around 5-10 hrs. I had pretty good idea about the things.
Why choose WordPress, when we have other blogging platforms ?
I live and love WordPress, when it comes to blogging and here are some of the reason because of which I suggest everyone to use WordPress and I hope that they’ll be good enough for you to choose my choice :
1. I make living out of it by creating the themes.
2. It’s the simplest blogging software. Very easy to install, configure and easy to work on.
3. It’s got the best support team in the form of thousands of volunteers, who dedicate their time and energy in helping the users of WordPress. You can get support from the WordPress IRC channel & WordPress forum quite easily.
4. It’s got great help section too and mostly answers all the queries. I’ll even say that it’s one of best documentation you’ll ever see of any software on the internet.
5. There are many blogs which write dedicatedly about WordPress and even extend their hands to help you with any issues with WordPress.
6. It’s pretty extendable with the help of thousands and thousands of themes and plugins available for free.
7. You can use it to create static websites too.
8. It’s SEO friendly (well, the architecture of WordPress allows to create SEO friendly themes and most of them are pretty SEO freindly, thus I came up with such a statement).
9. Gets updated frequently, thus ensuring that any security hole gets fixed pretty fast and ensures that your website/blog isn’t part of the targets of the hackers.
Well, there are thousands of other points (big/small) on which I can brag about WordPress and still if you don’t want to believe me, then do a little search using “reasons I like WordPress” and you’ll understand that why I support WordPress so much.
Hope to see your next blog on a self hosted WordPress installation!