Recently we’ve been meeting a lot of people that run a blog under WordPress.com or Blogger.com.
Whilst free blogging services allow people to get set-up quickly, easily and without cost, we’re quick to point out that your blog should be self-hosted and self-contained within your own website, under your own domain name.
I should point out here that you can self-host the WordPress software, which we would always recommend, and this is different to using WordPress under the WordPress.com domain.
Here’s some reasons why you should self-host your blog:
If your domain is www.widgets.com then, ideally, you’d want your blog to be located at www.widgets.com/blog. This is assuming your website contains other non-bloggy things.
If your blog is located under blog.widgets.com, widgets.blogspot.com or widgets.wordpress.com then your primary website/domain isn’t going to feel the benefit of your blogging efforts. Each post you write will build up the credibility of the wordpress.com or blogspot.com domain name, and not your own.
Furthermore, any links you acquire from other websites to your blog won’t count towards your domain authority.
To overcome the above, it’s possible to register a custom domain or setup a sub-domain and attach this to an external blog service. However, if WordPress.com or Blogspot decided to withdraw their hosting services in the future, that would mean goodbye to your blog. Whilst this seems unlikely to happen, in 5 years time and several hundred articles later, do you really want to take the risk?
A self-hosted version of WordPress has far more flexibility in terms of themes and plugins than a blog hosted at WordPress.com or similar. Will it cost more to self-host your blog? Probably not. If you already have a website in addition to your blog, then the chances are you already have a hosting account which will accommodate a self-hosted version of WordPress.
If you want to develop a custom theme for your blog to make it completely seamless and integral to the rest of your website, you won’t be able to do this unless you self-host it. This can be important in order to maintain a consistent structure between your blog and website, and to avoid your blog looking somewhat “home-made.”
As the presence of your blog grows, you’ll probably want to self-host it anyway. You’ll then need to transfer all of your articles from WordPress.com or Blogspot.com to your self-hosted blog, and redirect the old URL’s to your new ones. None of this is ideal, and it’s better to start as you mean to go on.
In the interests of fairness, here’s 7 reasons why novices shouldn’t self-host their own blog.