‘Should I use a free hosting service or should I go self-hosted?’ If you're a blog owner looking to move up from a free service (like Wordpress.com and Blogger) or starting a blog from fresh, it’s likely you’ve asked yourself this exact question.
Choosing the right platform for your blog, whether it be paid or free, can be a daunting task. In this blog post we offer up 10 reasons why we recommend bloggers go solo and select self hosted plans.
#1 Your Own Personalised Domain Name
As a self hosted WordPress blog you have the huge advantage of your own unique domain name - say goodbye to the less than catchy x.wordpress.com domain. WordPress.com do offer a custom domain upgrade, but you’ll find yourself paying over the odds for it. Use free online domain search tools to give your blog a personal home that is memorable and of course far more professional, without breaking the bank.
#2 Private Emails
With the majority of self hosted plans you can have your very own personal email address and mailboxes to accompany your website. Within your hosting you can simply manage emails, forwarders, aliases, spam filters and much more.
#3 Your Site, Your Way
Don’t be held back by styling and functionality restrictions with a free blog. By going self-hosted you have thousands upon thousands of themes and plugins readily available to you, for full site customisation and control. It’s your blog - so why shouldn’t it work exactly how you want it to?
#4 Cash In On Your Blog
You’re in charge - you don’t have to display ads if you don’t want to, and if you do want to - you’re in full control (which is certainly not the case with free tools such as Wordpress.com). Take a look at our blog post for some more ideas on how to earn some cash from a WordPress blog.
#5 Room To Grow… Affordably
On a self hosted Cloud Hosting package your blog can flourish without being setback by restrictions put in place by Wordpress.com, like a limited upload space of 3GB. The scalable nature of the Cloud means you can easily upgrade as and when you need to, without paying extortionate prices.
#6 Tons Of Features
There’s a whole host of features that you won’t find on free platforms, but that are available to you on the Cloud - automatic daily backups, multi-site capabilities, FTP access, custom error pages, one-click installs of a number of high quality applications, and much more.
#7 SEO Advantages
Going self-hosted provides the freedom to fully optimise your site for Google and Co, which includes adding meta tags and changing permalink structure, amongst other tweaks. People also tend to invest more faith in a hosted website with a custom domain, meaning more links - building the authority of your blog.
#8 No Hidden Fees
To customise your blog on free services you have to upgrade and start forking out cash. For example, you have to pay to custom design your site, integrate video and remove ads on WordPress.com. Our hosting plans have no hidden fees and paid-for features such as site redirects are included as standard, within our affordable packages. A common worry about going self-hosted is the requirement to take backups of your site yourself, but our Cloud platform takes automatic backups, multiple times a day - no need to panic!
#9 It's Easy to Make The Move
As part of our free migration service we can move all your content from a free publishing platform over to us. We’re proudly one of the only UK hosts in the industry to offer this free-of-charge.
#10 Embrace The Digital Era
Going self-hosted provides you with a fantastic opportunity to enhance your computing knowledge. We know it may seem a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be difficult. There’s many, many online guides and helpful resources at your disposal to help you along the way, including here on our blog.
Overall, the most significant benefit of going self-hosted is that your blog is solely in your hands. You have the control and power to customise your site exactly how you want it to look and to function, without the restrictions imposed by free platforms. Surprisingly, price - contrary to what you might expect - is an aspect where self-hosted comes out on top too, because as soon as you want to bypass restrictions on a free service, you’ll have to splash your cash! As standard, our Cloud hosting platform comes packed full of features, designed with user-experience in mind, so managing and administering your site is as straightforward as it should be.