Free vs. Paid Hosting: What to Choose When Starting a Blog

Starting your own blog is pretty easy to do, especially with all of the software and templates available today. You have two main options when deciding to start a blog:

  1. Start a blog on a blogging website, or
  2. Start a blog on your own website.

You can easily start a blog on a free blogging website, such as blogger.com, freewebsite.com, tumblr.com, wordpress.com or one of the many other blogging websites out there. Some of the main benefits of writing on an established blogging website are it’s free, there is minimal setup to get started and the websites are already established, so already have traffic built in.

There a few down sides to using a blogging website. You don’t have your own website name (instead you have a page off their main site, such as blogger.com/myblog, instead of myblog.com). There are thousands of blogs built off of these blogging websites, so yours may get lost in the ocean of blogs. And, you have limited design choices and creative ability, being limited to the templates offered on the selected blogging website.

Many people start off blogging on these free websites, but eventually outgrow them and want their own blog website. The issue with that, is that if you’ve built up any followers, then move the blog to another site, you may lose some traffic.

So your other choice is bypassing the free blogging websites altogether, and starting a blog on your own website. It takes a little more time to set up, but the freedom of design and functionality make this a very desirable choice for many people. You can manually install blogging software on any website, but the easiest option is to install it using the automatic installer available through most hosting companies. So then the next logical question is: Which hosting provider do you choose?

With any hosting, you will have built in tool sets. Most of these tool sets include a suite of software you can install on your website with just a few clicks and minimal input. Some hosting providers offer Fantastico De Luxe, with 3 free blogging options:

  1. b2evolution,
  2. Nucleus and
  3. WordPress.

Other hosting companies may offer only WordPress or only b2evolution. So before committing to any particular hosting company, be sure to check out their blogging software options if blogging is something you intend to do.

WordPress is by far the most popular blogging software available today, offering hundreds of free templates and plugins, and endless possibilities for customizations. In addition to the free options, there are also templates and plugins available to purchase, if the free choices don’t suit your needs. Visit the WordPress website to take the software for a test drive and to learn more about it.

While WordPress may be the favorite blog software for many, it may not be the one for you. Check out some other options before deciding which is your favorite.

Here are some other options:

  • B2evolution (touts that it’s more than just a blog software, it’s a content management software, including file and photo management). Visit http://b2evolution.net/ to demo the software and to see the administrative options.
  • Nucleus (allows multiple blogs and also allows multiple authors, and allows future posts.) Visit http://nucleuscms.org/ to demo their software.
  • PixelPost (photoblogging app) Visit http://www.pixelpost.org/ to demo their software.

Before committing to a hosting company, make sure they offer your favorite blog software as one of their free apps. If you don’t have a favorite, then find a hosting company you like, and take the blogging software for a test drive. As long as the blogging software meets your needs, you’re good to go!

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