So you have decided that you own to create your own website or blog.
Now, the next question is …..should you go for free or paid hosting?
Free hosting are sites like Blogger (with name blogspot as part of the url) and WordPress (with name wordpress.com as part of the url). You don’t need to pay a dime for it but your url would carry an extension of their name.
Paid hosting is paying for a company to host your site in their servers. Depending on the company that you select, hosting can range from very cheap to expensive.
From someone who have first gone with free hosting (yahoo geocities and then blogspot), experience tells me paid hosting is better.
I have tried…seriously when I was using free hosting, I tried so hard, so very hard to make my sites look presentable. But there was so much restriction and I could never get my site to look the way I really wanted. I was spending so much time trying to tweak without success.
Paid hosting gives you a lot of flexibility that a free hosting would never be able to give. The flexibility to custom design your site.
Also, your blog which initially you have started on free platform may suddenly grow to become popular. Naturally when you get popular you would want to take your blog to the next level and to make it look more professional. This cannot be achieved with free hosting because it is next to impossible to customise the site to look fully professional.
Initially when I build my site using free hosting, one of the blogs started to get gain readership. I knew I had to bring the blog to the next level. So I signed up for paid hosting. Read around or ask for recommendations from those that you know to decide on the best hosting plan.
And I had made the decision during the time when I was jobless (no, I was not fired but just took a break after a hectic and stressful 9.5 years working in one of the top company in the industry).
But I have no regrets….except that I should have done it earlier.
Reason is because when I bought my own domain and hosting and migrated my Blogspot site contents to paid hosting platform, I had to earn my page rank all over again. It takes time for Google to start indexing and sending traffic to your site (that is why I advise you to start your site during the time when you do not need the money so it is there for you should you need it one day or just for earning some extra income).
Yes, Media Temple may be a little costly but you get what you pay for. The quality of service is good and I feel safe hosting with them. Also they are a reputable company. Another thing is that to migrate to another hosting company is a lot of work. Media Temple allowed me to host up to 100 domain names with one single paid hosting. Therefore if I am building multiple sites, it is worth it. Note: If you consider to host with Media Temple, you can get 20% off your first month of hosting and also help me out by clicking on this referral link 🙂
Initially I’ve selected Media Temple. But after 10 years I migrated my sites to SiteGround.
What if you are not sure if blogging or owning a website is for you?
Now, even if you can find the cheapest hosting company, you would still need to pay hosting fee. So if you are not really sure if you are ready to commit…ok ok I hear you….. then you may explore buying your own domain name and then hosting it with Blogger Blogspot.
If you do that, you only need to pay for the domain name (it is renewable each year) but at least should you decide to migrate to paid hosting, your organic search traffic and page rank will not suffer.
But if you do that, do note that you can’t really customise the site because you are still updating based on Blogger’s platform. This is a bit technical and if wish to find out further, you need to google around for their detailed tutorials.