With the advent of social media and social networks, people have become more and more accustomed to sharing personal stories online. Some share pictures, while some share their two cents via blogs, others do both.
Through time, blogging has evolved into, not just an online diary of sorts, but a money-making tool as well. It then begs the question: Should bloggers use free sites or pay for web hosting?
Here are the pros and cons of both:
Free Web Hosting
As the name implies, you can blog your heart away while using the service for free. You control the design and content of your blog, and have your own domain name – as long as it is allowed by the web host.
The downside is that, because your data allocation and bandwidth are limited, you might not be able to expand your reach. Most free sites have a limit of 400 visits and 200 texts. The other issue is downtime. You might experience more of this since they are only hosting you for free. Sadly, you might not get any tech support as well. You also might be surprised if they suddenly ask for payment if you want to backup your blogs or have your script set up. Should you decide to get the paid subscription, the contract fee may cost you an arm and a leg.
Paid Web Hosting
When you pay the subscription fee, you get to enjoy many benefits like unlimited space, bandwidth, email accounts, and websites, you get round-the-clock tech support, and other add-ons. Some web hosts charge USD 5 to 10 per month, some may charge up to USD 20 per month. While this may be quite affordable for professional bloggers, amateurs – mostly students – may find this a bit steep. If you are business – you really have to go for a paid plan, there usually are a ton of business solutions out there. You can even create a site yourself with a quick business website builder.
In a nutshell
Depending on where you want to go with your blogging, you can go either way – free or paid. If blogging is just a hobby and a pastime for you, best to stick to free web hosting, or blogging platforms like WordPress.com. If you want to earn money from it, you might want to consider paid web hosting. But if you are just starting to build your reader base, it is advisable to start with free hosting first. As you increase your reader base, at one point, you will need to shift to a more secure web hosting site. Just remember to choose one that is reliable and offers quality services.