For those trying to figure out the next steps of their blogging endeavor often find themselves at a crossroads of whether or not to self-host.
Many have a hard time deciding which platform is best. It is not an easy choice to host or self-host. One of the primary reasons why some of us self-host and even more of us discuss it — is flexibility. A self-hosted option allows us to pick and choose plug-ins, functionality, themes and platforms. This level of flexibility is a very attractive feature set for many of us — especially those of us that have turned to blogging as a business.
For the most part the grand majority of us are not technically inclined to manage our own web site. That is just the nature of things not and not at all an insult or putdown. As bloggers we are more concerned with content strategy, community building and less about errors such as “cannot modify header.” For me, I find one of the main differences in hosting or self-hosting is time. Finding the time to manage not only your self-hosted site but your content and community; for many this may simply be too much, especially when juggling tons of other projects, activities, etc.
If you are thinking of making the move, below I have compared what I believe are some important pros and cons of a self-hosting platform.
Absolute control and flexibility. Being the master of your own domain, you have the power to customize, modify and do just about anything you like to make your site as unique as you are
Full support and access to themes. With a self-hosted site you have access to all custom and commercials themes available
Full access to plugins. You control the site and therefore can upload any plugins (be sure to check if they are reputable and safe to use) that you like to aid in the customization and extension of your blog
Advertisement. A self-hosted site provides you with the ability to sell unlimited ads on your site
Site maintenance. Since you are in full control of your site, you also have to make sure you dedicate time to keep your blog up-to-date and properly maintained to prevent hacking, viruses, etc.
Cost. Self-hosted sites requires you to pay a domain registration fee (yearly), a web host fee (often monthly) and if you decide to create a customized site, you will have to pay a designer
Are you still on the fence and have some more questions about self-hosting? Just ask me.