When you start your very first blog, you have a huge choice to make between free blog hosting sites and paid blog hosting sites. This isn’t one of those decisions where either one will work. There is a right and a wrong here.
Choosing the right type of hosting for your blog will show how dedicated you are and will give you complete ownership. Making the wrong choice will stunt your growth and allow you an excuse to quit!
What are Free Blog Hosting Sites?
Sites, such as Blogger, Wix, and Weebly, offer you a way to start a blog for free. This sounds great as you may not have much cash to invest, but these sites are not the right choice when it comes to your blog.
Free blog hosting sites allow you to basically start a blog as a sub-domain on their larger domain. You will end up with a URL that looks something like this: MYNEWBLOG.blogspot.com.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it’s a huge problem and for many reasons. Free blog hosting sites should be avoided if you’re serious about starting a blog and making money online with your blog.
Why Free Blog Hosting Sites Suck
I don’t use strong language often, but when it comes to free blog hosting sites, I have to break out a few bad words. These sites absolutely suck for beginners, and they are a horrible waste of time.
The sooner you adopt the attitude of “Fu** Free Blog Hosting Sites” the better!
Okay, enough with the foul language, let’s look at a few reasons why free blog hosting sites are terrible for beginners.
1. You Don’t Own Your Blog
When you choose a free site for hosting your blog, you end up with nothing. You don’t own your blog, and it can be shut down at any point. This doesn’t make much sense if you’re trying to run your blog as a business or make money from your blog.
2. They Don’t Rank Very Well or Easily
Using a free blogging platform won’t help you rank in the search engines very easily or very well. Yes, you can make it to the top of the search results, but it will take extra effort, and you really don’t have nearly the same control as you have with your own domain and hosting.
3. Customization is Limited
Free usually means you don’t get nearly as much as a paid version of something. In this case, it’s true. Free blog hosting sites don’t give you everything you need to customize your blog. You may only get a few themes to choose from and a few plugins you can use without spending money.
4. You Are Censored
While this isn’t a huge issue for most bloggers, it is if you want to tackle politics or say something controversial on your blog. Free blog hosting platforms have the ability to censor you, and they can even shut you down for any reason they decide. You have to play by their rules, not your own rules.
5. No Commitment to Success
When you start something without any type of investment, you have very little commitment to the success of whatever you start. While there are the few that can go into something without laying down any money and be committed, most need to invest something to truly take it seriously. Free blog hosting doesn’t require an investment, and it’s easier to quit.
If I haven’t made it clear how much I HATE free blog hosting sites, let me say it again and again so that you get the point.
- Free blog hosting sucks
- You don’t want to use free blog hosting sites
- Using free blog hosting sites is like getting kissed by your sister when you really want her hot friend to kiss you.
- Free blog hosting sites are like being invited to the prom by the hot guy only to find out he just needed you because his parents don’t approve of the slutty cheerleader he really wants to be with.
If you choose to host your blog with a free blogging site, you have been warned. You have signed your own death certificate, at least for your blogging career, and you will learn this lesson the hard way, just as I did many years ago.
Let me finish by saying free blog hosting sites do have a purpose. They are great for family blogs and personal blogs that you have no desire to make money from. However, if you want to make money from blogging, you need paid blog hosting, and I am going to tell you why.
Why Paid Blog Hosting Sites Trump Free Blog Hosting Sites
If you want to make money from blogging, you need to start by investing in a few things:
- Your Own Domain Name
- Paid Blog Hosting from SiteGround Hosting (I use them, and they are the best for bloggers)
- A Few Other Tools You Will Discover Along the Way
Realistically, you should set aside the following to start your blog:
- $16 to $20 for your Domain Name (This covers one year)
- $50 to $225 for Blog Hosting (This Covers one to three years, depending on the package you choose. I recommend the Start-Up or Grow Big Packages from SiteGround Hosting. Read my SiteGround Hosting Review here.)
- $50 to $150 for tools/guides along the way
In total, I recommend you set aside $116 to $395 to get your blog started and get rolling with blogging. At the very least, set aside $65 (give or take a $1 or $2) to get your domain and hosting. The tools and guides can come later, and you can work from a free blogging guide, like mine found here.
When you think about it, there aren’t many businesses you can start for $100 to $400. Blogging doesn’t require a big investment, and you won’t have any new domain or hosting bills for at least a year. Even then, it’s business with very little overhead moving forward.
Advantages of Choosing Paid Blog Hosting
I cover the advantages more specific to SiteGround Blog Hosting in my review here. However, there are some advantages you gain from any paid blog hosting site. Let’s look at a few of the main advantages.
1. You Own It!
This is the biggest advantage of paid blog hosting sites. When you choose to host your own blog, you own it. You own the domain name, and nobody can take it or your content away from you.
Even if your hosting company decided they don’t want to host your blog anymore (very unlikely), you can move it to a new hosting company. You own everything, and it won’t disappear in the blink of an eye.
2. You Set the Rules!
You don’t have to follow any rules set by a free blog hosting site when you choose to host your blog with a paid hosting account. You set the rule, and you are only limited by your own imagination.
I prefer to use WordPress for my blogs. It’s included with all SiteGround Blog Hosting Packages. I like WordPress because of the many customization options, including thousands of themes and plugins I can use to make my website truly my own.
No free blog hosting site offers what a self-hosted WordPress blog can offer you.
3. It’s More Professional
It may seem like a small thing, but there’s a huge difference between owning your domain and having a sub-domain. Let’s look at my blog, for example, and compare the two. Which do you think looks better?
I know, it’s small, but you probably trust the first one more simply because it’s a .com domain name and not some free blog site’s sub-domain.
4. You Have Some Skin in the Game!
It’s a huge advantage to invest in yourself, even if you start on a super tight, shoestring budget. When you invest in paid blog hosting, you have some skin in the game.
You will be more committed to making sure your blog becomes a success. Plus, with Siteground Hosting, you’ll pay for at least a year (I recommend 3 years, as renewal prices are a bit higher.). This means, you’ll be committed to making it a success or you’ll know you wasted your money.
When it comes down to it, I will ALWAYS be an advocate for paid blog hosting sites. I believe a self-hosted WordPress blog is the best choice out there right now, and I don’t see that changing in the next decade.
If you want to become a successful blogger, you need to start with the right domain name and the right hosting. Go to my Start Here page by clicking here now, and I will walk you through the entire process to get your very first blog set up on SiteGround Hosting with WordPress and everything else you need to succeed.