When I registered a domain for my Blogger hosted blog, I used to wonder, why people self-host their blog when they can get free Google hosting. Blogger hosting permits the usage of custom .com domains, plus infinite bandwidth and lots of space and life-time free Google support. But when I chose to shift to Wordpress, I decided to self-host my blog. Now I am here to tell you why you too should go for self-hosting.
What is Self Hosting?
Self-hosting means, you purchase storage space on a server and keep all your data including the images and admin files in that space. You will have to pay a monthly payment towards the maintenance of your storage and support. Popular hosting providers are DreamHost, Host Gator etc.
The Self-Hosting Advantage
Copyright over Content: Most blogs have this statement (or equivalents); “All articles are copyrighted to the author and unauthorized content copiers will be legally prosecuted”. The free hosted publisher believes that he is the owner of his content, till he deals with a content copier legally. The free publisher has limited rights over his content and cannot press a valid charge against a content copier. But when you self-host your blog, you are the total owner of all your content and files. So when you say, All Rights Reserved, you can really mean it.
Flexibility: When are hosting with a free host, they decide which folder to place your images, where to place the data and stuffs like that. Moreover, most free hosts do not permit upload of mp3’s, exe’s and files other than image files. With a self-host you are in total control. You can upload anything depending on your storage space. More flexibility means better service and more readers. Also you can choose your own service provider. Every hosting company has their own packages, so if you are not satisfied with one, you can easily shift at the click of your mouse.
Increased Earning Potential: All advertising programs do not run on Free Blogs. Also some pay per post programs does not accept free-hosted blogs. Self-hosting increases your scope and gives you more earning potential.
Professional Feel: Because of the increased flexibility of self hosting, like custom permalinks, custom storage, your blog looks more professional and you have a better chance of impressing your audience.
Quality Support: Hosting companies are usually ranked by the quality of the support they provide. Most of them have 24×7 support via mail, chat and phone, that too, at no extra cost. Better support makes blogging less tiresome and more interesting.
Hosting is cheap too: Recently due to the reduction in the cost of magnetic storage and improvement in technology, domain hosting is very cheap. A host service named WebHostingPad provides hosting with unlimited storage and bandwidth plus free lifetime domain registration for just $3.5 per month. Dreamhost and HostGator have similar services from $10 per month.
How do I choose my host?
Finding the best host is simple, define your requirements, then read the online brochure of various popular hosts and find the best package. When you have found your host, google for the quality of their service, support and usual downtime period. You can read the wordpress hosting guide by Wordpress Codex team for suggestions. If still have not registered your domain yet, do it now and take all its advantages home.
Okay, so if you already are self-hosted, tell me about the pros and cons of your host, so that others can follow you. The commenting lines are open for you. :)