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blogging

Why You Should Switch to a Self-Hosted Blog

Most people first start blogging on free blogging platforms, including sites like Blogger and WordPress.com (Not to be mistaken for the self-hosted opensource version WordPress.org). These sites are free and easy to use, so they are great places to get started. After a while, though, most serious bloggers move to self-hosted blogs. Why do they do this? Why do people pay for hosting and their own domain name, when they can blog for free? The answer is that the advantages of self-hosting a blog far outweigh the cost. In fact, the monthly cost of self-hosting a blog is little more than a few cups of coffee. If you are still hesitating about self-hosting your blog, read on. Here are eight compelling reasons why you should go self-hosted with your blog.

1. You Don’t Own Your Free Blog

The main reason that people self-host their blogs is to gain full ownership and control of their site. When you use a free blogging platform, you don’t own the domain. You have limited control over how your blog looks and what advertisements appear on it. The most important thing to bear in mind with a free blog is that you have no guarantee that the platform won’t shut down. If that were to happen, all the work you have done building your blog will have been for nothing.

2. Self-hosted Blogs Look a Lot More Professional

When you go self-hosted, you will be able to get your own domain name (the www.mysite.co.uk) . That makes a blog look much more professional. When you use free blogging sites, the name of the platform will always appear in the URLs of your blog. That makes the site look like a hobby site. When you migrate your blog to a self-hosted blog, only the name of your blog and the page title will appear in your URLs. That makes it much easier to build a recognisable brand.

3. Greater Choice of Themes & Custom Designs

When you use free blogging platforms, you only have a limited number of themes that you can choose from. That means that free blogs tend to all look the same. With a self-hosted blog, you have a far wider range of themes available to you and you can even have custom themes designed just for your site. You can customize the look and feel of your blog to a much greater extent. The appearance of your blog plays a big part in people’s decision to stay and read more of your content. If your blog looks like every other free blog on the web, visitors will be less likely to read your content.

4. It Builds Trust

Self-hosting shows visitors how committed to your blog you are. That small investment shows readers that your blog will be around for some time. There are a lot of free blogs that are set up with great intentions but then abandoned. A self-hosted blog shows visitors that you are serious about the site. They will know that there is likely to be fresh content to read the next time they visit. That creates trust in your brand, and it will increase the number of people who return to your site.

5. It’s Better for SEO

A self-hosted domain will improve your search engine ranking. You will have full control over what search engine optimization (SEO) methods you use. The use of a custom domain name will also help. While it is possible to get a free blog ranked in Google, it is less likely, and it will take longer. Search engines generally rank self-hosted blogs higher than they do free blogs.

6. There is Greater Scope for Monetizing Your Site

Free blogging platforms offer a limited number of ways of monetizing your site. Some platforms take a share of your advertising revenue or offer no monetization options at all. When your blog is self-hosted, you have full control over monetizing your blog. You can choose from a huge range of monetization options. These options include ad networks, like Google Ads, affiliate marketing, and banner advertising.

7. You Have a Wider Range of Plugins to Choose From

There is a vast range of plugins that you can use with a self-hosted site. Many more than are available on the free blogging platforms. Many of the plugins that you can use are free. You can use plugins to change the appearance of your site and add functionality. There are also plugins for improving the speed and security of your site. The wider range of plugins that are available makes it easier to get your blog looking exactly how you want it to.

8. You Can Have Professional Email Addresses

When your blog is self-hosted, you can also have email addresses with your domain. That makes your emails look a lot more professional. Most hosting packages include at least one free email address. If not, the cost of setting up email addresses is very low.

Conclusion

If you are serious about your blog, self-hosting is the best option. It makes your website look more professional, it gives you more options, and it gives you more control. It’s also easier to make money from your blog. The cost of self-hosting is not prohibitive. Migrating your blog from a free platform is not difficult either. Check out the benefits of using WordPress as your self-hosted blog.

If you want to take your blog to the next level, self-hosting is the way to go.

If you need help in getting yourself setup with a self-hosted blog get in contact.

Timothy Oxendale
I’m a freelance web designer & developer and I work with great individuals, small-to-medium sized businesses and start-ups. I aim to have a great relationship with all my clients where I can add value to their business by being dependable, honest and by doing the type of work that makes a difference.

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