Sunday, March 13, 2011

Can't Decide Between Free Wordpress Blog Or Self-Hosted Wordpress Blog? This Is A Must-Read For You

By Emil Yau

This is a very common question amongst those wanting to start their own blog.

Should I start a free blog or a hosted blog?

The free Wordpress blog you would get by signing up for an account at Your username would become your blog name, so for example if I got a user name "howdoyoustartablog" my URL would be

The self-hosted Wordpress blog is your own domain and site upon which you would install the Wordpress software to use as your blogging software and content management system. Many hosting companies now have push-button installation of this using Fantastico Deluxe or Simple Scripts (My website has a free video where you can watch me create and post to a blog all in about 10 minutes right in front of your eyes!)

So the question is: which one is for you?


PLUS free to setup

PLUS installation is easy (done by Wordpress the company)

PLUS maintenance free (setup, upgrades, spam control, backups, security)

PLUS reliable servers (hosted on servers)

PLUS inclusion into the community may facilitate community traffic

MINUS non-Wordpress provided themes are allowed

MINUS cannot edit any of the php code (useful for adding additional features from third parties)

MINUS cannot upload plugins to extend functionality. The Wordpress plugin community is huge.

MINUS no ad placements allowed. In fact, Wordpress will place their own ads on your blog

MINUS Site will be a Wordpress brand

MINUS no content .ownership. Blog is still a Wordpress site .


PLUS can upload your own Wordpress themes or themes. There are thousands upon thousands of third party themes you can choose from.

PLUS can change the php Wordpress code as desired. This will allow nearly unlimited functionality in your site. There exists a large community of Wordpress developers with many out-of-the-box scripts to add function to your site.

PLUS can add plugins! The Wordpress and PHP development community is huge and you can get a plugin for just about anything including security, backups, marketing, and traffic generation

PLUS your own ads allowed, better control of monetization

PLUS since this is hosted by your paid hosting account, this allows you to choose your own domain name instead of having "" as the domain

PLUS you can have ftp access to your site which allows you to be able to load separate landing pages and downloads outside of your Wordpress site.

MINUS you need to install Wordpress on your own. This has become much easier, though, as many hosting accounts now offer push button installation of Wordpress. My free "Start A Blog" tutorial will walk you through step-by-step a Simple Scripts Wordpress installation on hostmonster hosting site.

MINUS costs involved to setup. You have to pay domain registrar fees which is about $15 a year. Hosting fees can be $5 to $10 a month.

MINUS you maintain on your own including spam control, backups, security, etc. There are many plugins available for this.

MINUS do your research because you need to find some reliable servers. Though these days most hosting companies to stay competitive provide some good uptime guarantees.

In summary, if you are looking to blog in the "traditional" blogging sense adn only need a basic framework, there is no reason for you to go paid. You will be fine with a free blog. However, if you want to fully control and monetize your blog, you may do better with the hosted version. For the simple act of adding adsense to your blog you will need a hosted Wordpress site. From there, adding your own custom look and feel and function is only offered at a rudimentary level by Wordpress free blogs. If you are looking to maximize look, feel, and function, you are better off with a hosted Wordpress blog.

That is why I will in most cases suggest the self-hosted paid blog. The cost of $15 a month is pretty trivial if you want to do a lot with your blog.

I hope this article has been helpful. I will be happy to answer any questions you have. Feel free to email me or just post your question on this blog as a comment. And if you decide to start a hosted blog, make sure to check out my free video on how to set up a blog with hostmonster.

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1 comment:

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