Starting a Blog? Get a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog with a personal domain name! There are free & premium options, but a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog is low cost and has the capacity to grow with your business. Here is a guide on how to choose the right blogging platform for you.
How to choose the Right Blogging Platform
Your Blog is your own special space on the internet. With so many platforms available for your blog, it can be difficult to figure out which one to choose.
[A Hairdressers Story] The Potential Cost of Reducing Costs
A close friend learned a tough business lesson with his offline business recently. He is a hairdresser who decided to open his own salon. Rather than rent a premise himself, he rented a space within an existing Nails Salon. This made rent cheaper and gave him access to some clients who were already spending on beauty.
So my friend built his workspace and started to operate. Then a week in he had a client who wanted to get a hair cut early in the morning for a wedding. The shop owners renting the space refused to allow him into the premises early and he wasn’t given a key to open earlier either.
This was a costly problem and he then realised that he could never cut hair out of hours and ultimately wasn’t in control of his business, despite the time and money invested.
When you blog on a free platform you suffer the same problems. You are at the mercy of the provider who has written into the terms and conditions many rules that could hurt your blog if it becomes a business.
This is why we strongly recommend having control of your destiny and using a self-hosted WordPress blog.
There is less risk involved setting up a blog, but it is still a business so making the right decision is crucial.
The price ranges from *Free* up to *$250+* per month! Starting off and for the first couple years of your blog you can thrive with low monthly costs around $8-15.
The Free Option (Not Recommended)
You can setup your blog for free on sites like WordPress.com and Blogger. A compromised website name and little flexibility to make changes to the blog will cause problems if your planning to monetise.
With Blogger your domain name is MYSITENAME.blogspot.com & you have a few restrictive templates.
With WordPress.com your domain name is MYSITENAME.wordpress.com & you have more templates to choose from.
If you are serious about making money from blogging then these platforms are not for you.
Professional Web Hosting (Recommended)
Get a personalised domain, run WordPress and you have a platform that can grow with your blog.
There is a level of professionalism that is expected online for people to follow you. It is even higher if you expect them to buy from you.
The barriers to entry are so low, all it takes is a few minutes and you are up and running.
As blogging success comes along, you can simply increase the hosting to ensure that everyone accesses your content without performance issues (No Slow Website Load Times).
As WordPress is the most popular hosting platform, most blogging software is built for it. This means that as you become more professional and look to supply goods and services you can continue with WordPress on your monitization journey.
Once you setup your WordPress site you will then have the option of free or premium WordPress themes and skins.
Other Popular Web Hosting Platforms (That Include Support)
Adding a weekly podcast to your blog means another layer of technology is needed to get your content into the world. At Content Academy we currently use Podcast Websites because the additional monthly fee is worth it for us.
The required podcast hosting (which is an additional charge a podcaster has to pay) along with the multiple technologies to host a podcast on iTunes and your personal website are all looked after by Podcast Websites. We simply record and upload the audio with a show description and the episodes go live.
If there is a problem with the site or the podcast, their support team fix it.
In the early days of blogging and podcasting, I personally lost hours and sometimes days of time to unexpected problems.
Starting out your budget may not stretch to a managed option, but it is something to consider when your blog starts to bring in some money.
If your primary medium will be podcasting then it is worth considering immediately. This site also appealed as it is built on WordPress which allows us to still use the software that we would hosting everything ourselves.
Square Space is a great platform to setup a beautiful website fast. Squarespace is better for people looking to get an existing “Bricks & Mortar” or “Service” business online.
The point here is simply, SquareSpace looks great and if you already have existing clients you can refer them to your website. WordPress will act as lead generation for your business as it is much easier to customise.
WordPress can be customised and rank higher in google. This takes a little more work but is essential to build a successful blog with a large audience.
With blogging, SEO is extremely competitive and we have seen mixed results when using this SquareSpace.
WordPress allows users to make changes that can boost search engine rankings. Plugins and having access to the code the platform is built on allows this. SquareSpace is restricted as their beautiful templates limit the customisation needed to improve SEO.
Self-Hosted WordPress is the way to go unless…
Get a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog with a personal domain name unless you have a specific requirement for additional functionality. We use Podcast Websites because although there is a cost, it saves time and comes with support (saving more time).
We strongly recommend avoiding the free platform where you sacrifice your own domain name because they are difficult to scale and difficult to migrate away from. We hope this has helps you choose the right blogging platform.
Head over to Blue Host and get a free domain name, free site builder, one click WordPress install and hosting all for just $3.95 per month*
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