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We need web hosting for our sites and blogs. There are two options. What wins when it comes to free vs. paid web hosting?
All blogs need to be hosted somewhere to appear online. And there are two types of hosting: free vs. paid web hosting.
It’s really up to you which one you choose, and there are pros and cons to each. Some of this decision will depend on the type of blog you have—and the reason for that blog.
Some of my blogs are on paid hosting, while others are on free sites. I make the decision as I think about my audience and the appearance that I want for whatever blog or website I’m setting up. I also think about what I want to achieve with the blog, and why I’m even setting it up in the first place. Is it to make money, or is it just a place for me creatively?
It’s time for you to choose. Which is better for your blog? It’s time for the battle of free vs. paid web hosting.
Getting the professional look
If you’re setting up a website for business, you want to have a professional look. That’s not something you get with free web hosting.
Since it’s free, the third party wants to promote itself and it does that through your web domain name. With a free host, you will alway need to keep their name within the domain name. Let’s take this blog for example. If it was on a free Blogger hosting, the domain name would be bloggingblissfully.blogspot.com.
It’s not, though. I’ve paid for hosting for this one so I don’t need the name of the host in the domain name. It looks more professional.
Other people will know that you haven’t paid for your web hosting. And if you haven’t paid for it, what does that say about the rest of your business? It doesn’t look the most professional.
Blogging without money
There is the aspect of cost when it comes to free vs. paid web hosting. You need to keep the cost to a minimum, and the idea of not spending a penny on your web host or on your domain name can seem alluring.
It’s great if you have a personal or fun blog that isn’t designed to attract customers or clients. You can even make some money on these freely hosted sites*, so you could end up saving up for your paid hosting if you do want to make the transition.
The good news is that paid hosting isn’t that expensive. There are shared hosting options that can keep your hosting costs to as little as $2 per month!
Having full control
Free hosting is quick and easy, but you don’t get full control. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about Blogger shutting down blogs without notice. Google claims that the blogs have broken the terms of service, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the bloggers.
When the third parties close the sites down, you will lose everything attached to that blog. That includes links to other sites, images, blog posts and layouts.
You have to start from scratch.
If you have a paid hosting, you have much more control. There aren’t as many strict rules, and there is little chance you will see your blog shut down overnight.
Making money on your blog
When looking into free vs. paid web hosting, many people will assume that you can’t make money with a free blog. That isn’t quite true.
It really depends on the third party you go with, but there is a chance of making money. You’re just limited in the ways to do that.
For example, Blogger will allow you to use Google AdSense and some affiliate links. WordPress free hosting does have the option of affiliate marketing as far as I know, but there are limits to that. I don’t use WordPress for free so I don’t know the full details. Other sites allow no monetization at all.
If you want to make money on your blog through your own products, services, or whatever ad program you want, it is best to opt for paid web hosting.
Hopefully, this will clear up some questions regarding free vs. paid hosting. The choice is up to you, and there are certainly pros and cons to both. Think about the reason for your blog, and the look you want to give your readers.
Which one do you think will work best for you? If you’re already blogging, which one did you go for and why? Share in the comments below.