There are many choices for web hosting companies available and for blogging there are many free choices offered as well. The question that comes to mind to me is, “Is free webhosting cheap?” What I mean by that is what is it going to cost me in terms of functionality and accessibility. Let’s take a look at some of the comparisons between free web hosting and paid web hosting.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last couple of years then you know that blogging has become a formidable force on the internet and has allowed many people to get an online presence that may otherwise have been unable to do so. Many of these people are making their living by blogging and some like Jason Calcanis have become wealthy from it. Jason built a network of blogs over about eighteen months and sold them to AOL for nearly $30 million! That’s a pretty good ROI. Anyway, I digress, back to our discussion on web hosting.
If you have decided that you want to operate a blog your next choice will probably be what blogging platform or software you want to use to accomplish you blogging. Relax, it’s easy. Most of the blogging software out there today is open source which means it’s, you guessed it, free! In this instance free is not a bad thing, I use WordPress almost exclusively, it is free and has more options that I care to learn or use. There are other blogging software options available, but I won’t go into them here because this article is about web hosting.
As far as web hosting for your blog you can choose free web hosting or paid so let’s take a closer look at our choices. First off, you can choose Blogger which is owned by Google. Blogger is a good program especially for beginning bloggers because it is easy to use, it is web based, and the price is right. It’s free. With that said however, if your intention is to blog professionally and possibly run a large number of blogs with automated content then Blogger is not for you. I have seen Google shut down many blogs because they considered them to be spam. If you want control over your own destiny then you want to use paid web hosting and have your blogs on your own server, or at least a shared server.
Still in the realm of free web hosting you also have a fairly new option from WordPress who now offers a free web hosting for WordPress blogs at their .com site as opposed to the .org site where you get the software and plug ins. The problem is that like Google, they are very restrictive with what you can put on your blogs and how you update them.
Another big issue with free web hosting is that you will usually have to display advertising of some sort which “pays” for your web hosting. This is great for the web hosting companies because it gives them tons of virtual real estate out there with their name on it, not so great for you. If you are blogging professionally, and if you are trying to make money for it then you are blogging professionally, you do not want any distractions on your site that leads visitors away from your site unless you are being paid for it like you do when someone clicks on an AdSense ad or affiliate banner.
My recommendation is that you pay for your own hosting because it gives you a wealth of choices, much more storage space, and takes almost all restrictions off of you within reason. There are still some web hosting companies that will not allow you to host gambling or porno blogs but other than that you are pretty open. Paid web hosting is not that expensive. You can get an account that will host as many blogs as most people will want to deal with a few bucks a month. So for the cost of a domain name and your hosting you will probably be around $100 a year. That is a pretty cheap investment for something that enables you to plug into all the ways of earning money on the net.