In this day and age, there are so many platforms for Blogger to choose from depending on your needs and level of comfort with managing your blog. The most popular, however are WordPress, Blogger, and Typepad.
Platforms, like Blogger, Typepad, and WordPress, are hosted by the platform provider. For example with Blogger blogs are hosted by the Blogger servers.
- Easier! Often hosted sites are designed for those who aren’t as tech-savvy, offering easy options to get you started and blogging without requiring a lot of technical knowledge. In addition, they are often user-friendly and fairly easy to navigate.
- Affordable. FREE is definitely affordable. However, some do have additional fees, if you’d like your own domain name (eg. www.myblog.com vs. www.myblog.blogspot.com), more control over your CSS, and other extra options.
- Less Professional. Sometime, but not always, readers and bloggers view blogs on hosted sites (especially Blogger) as less professional. However, I’d like to point out that Money Saving Mom, a huge blog, just recently made the move to a self-hosted blog. She thrived on Blogger for years.
- At their mercy! When you’re on a hosted blog, you’re at the mercy of your platform provider. If something goes wonky or isn’t working right, you may not have the power to make the changes needed to get yourself up and running again. And worse, often these sites have horrible customer service, since they have so many users and so many customers contacting them with various questions and issues.
- Limitations. When you’re hosted by by your platform provider, they have the right to deny you the ability to allow advertising on your site, restrict your ability to edit the HTML and CSS codes that determine how your site looks, and other platform limitations.
- Personal Blogs
- Family Blogs
- Team/Club/Group Blogs
- Beginner Bloggers
- Looking for Affordable Option
A self-hosted blog, like WordPress.org or Movable Type (Typepad), are hosted on your own serve or a third-party server, giving you more control over everything.
- Control. It’s yours! You can edit the CSS, HTML, permalinks, and everything, so it’s the website you want. You can take steps to make sure your site loads quickly, is designed to represent you, and has the features you want.
- Search-Engine Optimization. Often, hosted blogs, aren’t search-engine friendly. With you in control, you can optimize your website to help it climb the in the search engine ranks.
- Advertising! If you want your blog to make money, you can. Since it’s yours, you are restricted by your platform providers terms of service.
- Add-Ons/Plug-Ins. Self-hosted blogs are like the iPhone. You want it, there’s an add-on for that. You can add on shopping carts/stores, databases, and fun features, especially with WordPress.org.
- Cost. Hosting your own blog can get expensive. There’s hosting and buying your own domain. Then, if you want your site designed, set-up, need technical help, want premium add-ons/plug-ins, etc… However, it can also be quite affordable if done one step at a time.
- Technical Skills Needed. If you choose a third-party host, some may helping with technical issues. However, since they don’t own or control WordPress, they don’t have to. When it comes to self-hosted blogs, it’s often just you, unless you want to pay for technical support. That means, if someone hacks your website, it’s you who has to unhack it! If a code causes havoc on your site, it’s you who has to find an fix it. You get the point.
- Professional Bloggers
- Business Blogs
- Technically Savvy
- Control Freaks
Frequently Asked Questions
What blogging platform are you using?
In Good Cents is a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Where did you buy your domain? What host do you recommend?
When it comes to hosting, you get what you pay for. I learned that the hard way! If you’re technically savvy, you can go with any hosting company and be fine, assuming it has the resources to support your website. However, if you need help, be wary! I recommend buying domains from GoDaddy, but for hosting, I love HostGator. HostGator has been great about helping me fix issues and even fixing them for me. Amazing customer service!
If you’re a Mommy Blogger or work from home and buying hosting, make sure you add on Privacy! Otherwise anyone can find your name, address, can contact information on Who.is!
Who designed your site?
I did! I used the premium theme Theme Thesis, which I love, because it’s easy to use, easy to customize, search-engine friendly, and makes designing your site a bit easier. If you decide to try it out, I recommend buying it from Lucky Dad Media, as he offers a nice discount and installs it for you.
I also used Inkscape, which is rated the best FREE graphic design software. However, I want to warn you, it’s not user friendly. It took me a while to figure it out. Of course, my background is not in graphic design.
If design is out of your area of expertise, stop by sites you love and scroll down to find out who designed it. Most list their designer on their website somewhere near the footer or on the sidebar.
Want to know more about blogging? Check out tips to get you started!