You have started your blogging career with free blogging platforms like WordPress and Blogger. However, now you want to take the next step i.e. getting a self-hosted blog. Blogging experts prefer this type of blog on free blogs as it enables you to customize your blog and make money from it. But there are several risks involved in this process which we have discussed below:
Also check out 6 Signs That Indicate You Need a Self-hosted Blog.
Steep Learning Curve
You have to learn a lot for starting a self-hosted blog. It involves technical and difficult knowledge. You can easily set up a blog with popular CMS but making sure it has been successfully installed and stable for future usage is another thing. You need to know about DNS, mail, domains, web hosting, servers security, bandwidth, traffic, databases, cPanel/Plesk control panel and htaccess. And if you know about these, you have to learn about the CMS itself. Even for a simple CMS like WordPress you need to understand plugins, themes, content model and the publishing workflow.
Difficulty to Choose
Free blogging platforms don’t allow you to change a theme that’s why professional bloggers get hosting for their blogs. It gives you freedom to install whatever theme you like but choosing the right one is a dilemma. CMS like WordPress gives you lots of choices as you have to choose from over 2,000 themes. Other theme libraries have their separate collection like ThemeForest has nearly 3,500 themes whereas TemplateMonster has nearly 2,000. The real risk in this situation is bad choice.
When you step into the realm of web hosting, you are bombarded with so many offers with ”free” word. At first, it may seem very attractive like free themes, free software, free plugins and even free web hosting. However, in these cases free can be proved very expensive. The CMS itself like WordPress is no doubt free but for everything else you have to pay a hefty amount. Reliable self-hosted blog needs a mixture of quality components and you have to pay price to get them. In the initial stages, this blog will cost you between $250 and $400.
Time is your most valuable asset in blogging career but self-hosted blog will deprive you from this asset. Maintaining your own blog requires your full devotion and you have to address many issues. WordPress core has to be updated on regular basis but before applying these updates you have to test them. Then your themes and plugins have also to be updated and again you have to test them first. You have to constantly maintain a test environment and then update it with configuration and live data. You can spend this time in creating good content instead.
Managing your own blog has so many potential hazards and anything can go wrong any time. Bloggers usually have a lax approach about blog security. Hack-bots are like ticking bombs which will take advantage of every security lapse. Even if you are a conscientious blogger, there are other hazards as well like blog downtime, server failure and vulnerabilities due to new updates.
Flexibility is the first argument in favor of self-hosting. You have full freedom to choose the most suitable theme and plugins. Your visitors will get the best user experience and it will boost search engine ranking of your blog. It might be helpful for niche or commercial websites but not for your blog. In case of blogs, simple is better. This lesson is well learned from the success of Twitter, Medium, Blogger and WordPress.com.
So before starting your own blog, take into account these risks and then make a decision.
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