While approving blogs for our Christian blog directory, I have noticed that a large majority of the blogs submitted are hosted through the Google Blogger platform. I have made it no secret that I am not of fan of Google Blogger and prefer using a self-hosted version of WordPress for my blog platforms. I understand that WordPress may not be for everyone but the most important aspect of using a self-hosted blogging platform is that I actually own my blogs. I have total control. I'm not giving some third party complete control over it.
You don’t have to be a control freak to want to have complete control over your blog. For a majority of us, your blog is part of your life and it makes sense to want to be able to design it, modify it and access it when and where you want to. Hosting it yourself ensures you have this control. And this control over your blog means you can create a blog that is 100% unique. You can focus on highlighting your brand personality and creating a strong image in your niche.
Hosting your blog yourself also means your audience won’t have to remember a long domain name and you can choose any URL you want. When you’re hosting your website on a blogging platform, for example http://yourdomainname.blogspot.com, your domain name has two unique challenges. The first is that your blogging host may deny your domain name for myriad reasons and the other is that your audience has to remember your domain name plus your hosting site. They have to type the entire thing into their browser. If you host your blog yourself both of those challenges disappear. (Yes, you can use your own domain with Google Blogger, WordPress.com, and other hosted platforms, but often times you have to pay extra to do so.)
Another issue when using hosted blogging platforms is that many of them restrict what you can do on your blog, especially if you are trying to make money. Many don’t allow affiliate promotions and they don’t allow you to sell ad space or participate in PPC to make money. Host it yourself and you can sell or promote whatever you want on your blog.
Blogs are hacked, often. And while security generally isn’t an issue if your blog is attacked you need to be able to get onto the blog and clean things up. If your blog is hosted by someone else, you can lose information or be locked out of your account and that is perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a blog owner.
Do you want to move from a hosted blogging platform to a self-hosted blog? What's keeping you from doing so? Is it the money for hosting, the technical know how, lack of time? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts and concerns about using a hosted service such as Google Blogger versus using a hosted blogging platform such as WordPress.org.