When you are starting a blog for the first time, you usually take a free blog on some hosted service, like WordPress. Friendly for newbies, affordable and very customizable with many possibilities, WordPress is always a good idea. But, as your blog grows, there is a real chance that traffic and the audience will start to increase. Free blogging services offer plenty of great features and they’re usually fine. But, serious bloggers reach a point when free services aren’t enough, and they start considering investing in a self-hosting for their blog. But, is your blog big enough for self-hosting?
In this article, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of a self-hosted blog, so you can clearly think about it and then decide whether you should make the investment or wait a little bit more.
First of all: what is the difference between a hosted and self-hosted blog?
Having a hosted blog is like living in a rented apartment. You have a place to live, but it’s not yours. Everything is working okay, your landlord takes care of everything, but you can already spot some problems. Your family is about to grow. Your landlord doesn’t allow redecorating. The comparison is clear: the landlord is the host, and the rented apartment is your hosted website.
Web hosting providers give you an opportunity to easily create a website by giving you the necessary support and help. But there are always some limitations: hosting companies give you some boundaries which are not important if blogging is merely a hobby. Everything is perfect till the moment your blog is about to transform from a hobby to a serious business.
Providers will allow you to start creating and publishing content without having to manage hard stuff like upgrades, configurations, etc. but on the other hand, they can make other things difficult. For example, it’s harder to monetize your work. Also, there is the worst scenario – if anything goes wrong your provider has a complete authority to delete all your content.
Self-hosting gives you more freedom – you’ll be in charge of everything. First, you need to create your own blog and then purchase a space for storage from a hosting provider. Having a self-hosted website will give you the ultimate independence and flexibility for all customization you want. You’ll be your own boss.
Is a self-hosted blog a good or bad idea?
Although all these benefits of a self-hosted blog may seem very tempting, it has some downsides. First of all, a self-hosted blog needs an initial investment, which is not affordable for everybody, especially if you’re new in blogging. But, if you are making some money as a blogger and want to turn it into a bigger business, build a large community, or become a thought leader, then a self-hosted blog is a necessity. Also, there are always some security risks: hosting a web server on your own network can cause some major security troubles if you’re not careful.
Another thing – self-hosting is less reliable than hosting from a proven hosting provider. What if your power goes out, or someone pulls the wrong cord? Even if you take maximum precautions, there is always a chance for something to go wrong. That’s why many bloggers rather choose reliable providers because security tasks – and from everything else – is a slippery path you may not be ready for. There are some highly recommended hosting providers with a reliable mix of advanced features necessary for your blog. It is important to check the provider’s offers thoroughly. Hosting providers have multiple power sources, internet providers, backup systems, and everything necessary to prevent any damage to any website, so you just need to choose an affordable, reliable, and the most compatible hosting package for your blog.
If you think your blog is ready to take off and you are ready to take on the risk of self-hosting, that’s great! But before making any decision, carefully think of all the pros and cons. Remember: there are always affordable and full-featured reliable hosting providers with great offers. So yes, both self-hosted and hosted blogs have benefits and downsides, but if you want to choose, choose smartly.