Here’s the scenario: You are good at something…like really, really good. In fact, your friends come to you for advice on how to do that thing that you’re good at and you help them. Then you hear, “You should start a blog!”
Where do you start? How do you get one?
You ask a few people and some tell you about the free options- WordPress or Blogger. Others say that you should have a self-hosted blog. It gets confusing what is the difference Quite a bit, actually.
Blogging became popular in the mid-2000’s. It seemed everyone jumped on board. I started one, myself, documenting my life as a mom, but I didn’t see it as anything but a journal of my life. Blogger was my choice because it was free, easy-to-use, and simple. During that time, I was teaching myself website coding so I could have the fancy-schmancy templates that I saw everyone using. It was then that I discovered that free blog hosting was very limited in the cool actions I wanted my blog to possess.
To implement cool functions on my site, I realized I needed to pay a hosting company to house my content. I started with GoDaddy because they were advertising like crazy and I didn’t think to research other companies. My very first self-hosted blog was called My Debt Free Road and it followed our family’s story of getting out of debt. Years later, I started building more websites and found that GoDaddy offered the best domain price and SiteGround became my go-to hosting company.
What should you choose?
It depends on what the end-goal of your blog. Do you want something that just keeps family and friends updated on your life? Or do you have a niche that has the potential to grow into something bigger? If you are not interested in building a following or potentially making money from your blog, go for free. They are easy to use, have built-in templates, and are very basic. Remember, they are very limited! However, if you think you have the potential of building a following (outside of your family and friends) with options to advertise or promote products. Definitely, go the self-hosted route. That way you have the flexibility to grow your website at the speed you desire without having limitations of the free versions.