If you are thinking about starting a blog, you should take into consideration which blog-hosting platform you should choose. You can either opt to use a free blog-hosting website, or purchase a domain name exclusively for your blog and have your blog hosted on a paid site. Choosing between a hosted blog and a free one can be quite a challenging task. Is there a significant difference between a free site and a paid site? Yes, definitely.

If you are serious about blogging, it is time for you to get to know the advantages and disadvantages of setting up your blog with either free or paid blog-hosting sites.

The major perk of subscribing to free blog services is that they are free. This is precisely the reason why a lot of individuals have gotten themselves into blogging through these free services (like Blogger or WordPress). Since anybody with access to the Internet can sign up and create an account, it is undoubtedly a very convenient option. Most free blog sites even provide simple templates so you can easily get started. However, one of the downsides of having a free blog is that there is limited customization. You do not have the liberty to customize the layout of the site according to your preferences. You are also stuck with a blog addresses ending in something like “.blogspot.com” which clearly advertises that you did not want to invest in your own domain name.  People that come to your “free” blog will be able to see, pretty clearly, that you have not made any sort of monetary investment in your online business.

Having a hosted blog can definitely help you create a custom blog and more business-like domain name for yourself. Not only can you customize the site’s design and layout in order to fit your personality, you are also granted the rights to your personal domain. Paying for a domain name, and having a paid hosting service, definitely show that you are serious about investing in your online business.

Aside from owning your own domain name, paying for hosting gives you increased storage for higher-resolution graphics and videos. Investing in graphics and videos will help make your site more visually alluring to your visitors, which in turn will help you create a competitive advantage versus other bloggers.

While maintaining a hosted blog can be pricey because of the annual domain costs and the monthly hosting costs, it is definitely a worthwhile investment if you are serious about your online business.

If you compare and contrast both platforms, free blogs may seem beneficial to you in the short term. However, if you are serious about taking your blogging to the next level, you will need to build a name for yourself professionally. It is at this point that you should consider making an investment in your blog and come up with a long-term web strategy. Having a hosted site enables you to have a unique domain, customized layout, and configured plug-ins. It also spells better viability and usability to the site visitor.

If you are just starting out with blogging, it will tempting to go for the low-cost (or no-cost) options; but, as your business grows, you will find the hosted blog to be worth the investment.

Every day I hear from people who are switching over from Blogger.com to WordPress. A lot of people use Blogger.com because it is free and it is simple to use – both of which are true. WordPress is the choice of professional bloggers because of its flexibility and availability of themes and plug-ins. It is for the same reasons that I recommend you use WordPress for your blog too.  However, I do not recommend that you use the free blog you can get at WordPress.com which comes with unacceptable limitations such as the restriction on the use of JavaScript. Invest the four or five bucks a month toward your success as a blogger and get a hosted WordPress account.

For a blog-hosting service, I use and highly recommend Arvixe. I have tried many hosting services and Arvixe has provided me with years of reliable and quality hosting service.  Get your WordPress blog set up in just a few minutes with Arvixe by clicking here.


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