Choosing a good blogging platform is like getting right tool for the business. There are lot of blogging platform available for free.
Some of popular blogging platform are WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Blog.com, Ghost, Medium, Svbtle, LiveJournal, Weebly etc.
All have their pros and cons and most of them are free.
But when you start blogging or a small website for a business I recommend you to don’t start with free blogging platform, even if you starting as a hobby.
Always go for self hosted blog.
There are many disadvantages of free blogging platform but below 3 are the main problem with the free blogging platforms.
By default all the free blogging platform have their domain name in your blog URL, so your blog name look like this YouBlogName.blogger.com (in case of blogger.com)
If you’re using a free blog with URL like above, then people won’t take you seriously (unless you are a famous blogger).
If you seriously want your blog to generate income than go for self-hosted platform with your own blog name.
You can also host a blog with custom domain name but again it will cost around $10 – 12 yearly. So if you can spend some extra bucks i.e. below $99 only, for both domain and hosting then you should always go for a self-hosted blog.
This the first thing you’re going to notice when starting with free blogging platform, you can’t fully customize your blog looks and add custom functionality. Whereas if you are on a self-hosted platform like WordPress you can do customization very easily without knowing the coding part.
There are so many other restrictions on free blogging platform like the size of pages, size of the picture can be uploaded, custom file hosting, etc.
You can’t fully monetize your blog or run custom ads.
Once your blog get bigger it will require more bandwidth and storage, so again most of the free blogging platform ask you for money to upgrade your blog. It varies platform to platform like WordPress charge $8.25 per month once you consume your free storage & Weebly $8 per month.
Check the comparison of famous blog hosting
They have their terms and conditions, all famous free blog platform have clause to terminate your blog anytime, with or without any reason.
Check below terms of free WordPress platform
Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of our Services at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. If you wish to terminate this Agreement or your WordPress.com account (if you have one), you may simply discontinue using our Services. All provisions of this Agreement which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity and limitations of liability.
So your free blog is always at risk of losing everything (your hard work) without any notice and any reason.
What is self hosted or hosting platform?
WordPress offers free blogging platform on WordPress.com which is hosted on their server. But you can download it for free from WordPress.org and install it on your web-hosting server.
So Self-hosted platform means that you can install the blogging software like WordPress on your own web server and hosting provider will charge a yearly fee for your space and bandwidth.
And when it comes to self-hosting your blog, WordPress is the leader in the market. Self-hosted WordPress blogs support full customization with professional themes and you can have access to millions of plugins to add functionality to your blog without knowing the coding.
So once learn how to create a website or blog yourself, You are the boss of your content with your own terms and conditions.
You can start monetize your blog with ads, sell affiliate products and earn money immediately. So let’s start with choosing the perfect domain name & web hosting for your self hosted blog.
If I miss something or you have a question, please do comment or get in touch with me. I would love to help you set up your blog for free.