Free Blog or Self Hosted Blog – What’s Best?

Blogging is now becoming the trendy thing to do. Either everyone has already got their own blogs or are looking to start one. People blog for a variety of reasons. Some do it to earn money, while others do it to opinionate themselves or show their expertise on a particular topic. Some others use it as an advertising platform, while some others do it purely for fun. Whatever be the reason, the truth is that blogging is now a national, or rather an international phenomenon. If you are new to blogging, one of the most important decisions that you have to make is whether to go with a free hosted blog, or whether to opt for a self hosted blog. Why is that so important, you may ask? It is hugely important for a variety of reasons. But first, you need to understand the difference between the two. Free Blog A free hosted blog is one in which you sign up with an existing blog service, and they put together an account free of charge which you can start using straight away. Although great for beginners, you may experience problems with it as you become a more experienced blogger. Some of their basic services are limiting. For example, you can’t monetize most free blogs. Banners and other ads are not allowed. However, there are some paid upgrades available for features such as domain name, custom CSS design, additional space, and upload of audio and video files. Self Hosted Blog Having a self hosted blog means that you have bought your own web hosting, your own domain and installed the blogging software of your choice, from a host of choices available (content management services or programs). You will have more control over the design and content of your site. Pros of a free blog This is great for beginner bloggers who are just testing the waters to learn how they should be running a blog as it is completely free. Free hosted blogs are great for amateur bloggers, who blog only for fun and sharing experiences. You need far lesser technical skills to set up and run a free blog, as the blogging service does all the technical things in the backend. You also choose from predefined templates, so no technical knowledge is required for installing themes or plugins. Pros of self-hosting a blog Self hosting a blog gives a blogger a lot more control over the design and content of the blog. It’s more versatile. In addition to adding pre-made themes and plugins, you can also install your choice of themes. Self-hosted blogs are great for brand building. They give you more visibility. Suppose that you need to blog to promote your company or a product, you can achieve this purpose better if you have a self-hosted blog. Having your own domain name gives you better visibility as it offers you better search engine optimization (SEO) in comparison to free hosted blogs.

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