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What does it mean to Host vs Self Host your blog?
You’ve taken the step into creating your first blog. Yay! This is an exciting time and I’m sure you’re planning on moving straight towards building that beautiful site of yours.
But all of a sudden, you keep getting greeted with the SAME words. Host vs Self Host?
One of the most common mistakes when creating a site from scratch is going straight towards a site like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, or Blogger.
It’s important to note that – yes, all these sites are user friendly. But, when it comes to running your actual blog, you need to decide on what host to go with before diving straight in.
I am going to share with you today a BREAKDOWN of what host vs self hosted means and what decision you should lean towards.
Spoiler Alert: Self Hosted!
What is a host?
Think of a host as a powerhouse. Companies create hosts to store all your sites information and keep it running smoothly so that your site doesn’t crash.
It’s a server and it’s very important because it serves to the needs of your blog specifically. From how fast your blog runs to how you customize it and store that information – it all comes down to your host.
Another great thing about a host is that they typically offer you a domain. This is SUPER important for your blog because your domain is what identifies you and your business.
Usually hosting is an expense that you need to take when creating your blog – but it is WORTH it.
*Pro Tip: If you want to make money from your blog one day, you have to treat it like the business from the beginning. Reality is, businesses take investments. Invest now to make more later. I go into all my blog investments in my journey so far in my blog post here : Blog Talk
Some Important things Hosts offer:
Firstly, You want to make sure that they are a well reviewed host.
To go with the cheapest Host is a mistake. Choosing a Host may be on of the most important decisions that you make when it comes to your blog so you want to make sure you are making the right decision.
- 24/7 support is a MUST
- Free/low cost of a domain
Domains realistically should NOT cost too much. They should be offered to you in a package deal as free. If you see an expensive domain charge, back out. There are better deals out there.
- SSL Certificate
I will admit to the fact that I did not know little to no information about security when it comes to a site. But, WOW. Let me just say, that you NEED it. That little lock beside your url? That means your information is secured and stored safely. You do not want a flashing “THIS SITE IS NOT SECURE” to be beaming in front of your potential readers when they open up your site.
These are three very important needs when you are looking into a host for your site.
Host vs Self Host
Going the Host route
So, I understand how easy it is to just click on a site and start creating. But please, please, PLEASE do not do that.
There is one very important question to ask before you do and that is:
What type of blog are you trying to run?
Decide whether this is for a hobby or a business. I will tell you why.
If it is for a hobby, than you should go with Hosting through a website. Hosting through a website offers a chance to connect with other bloggers like yourself, its easy customization and super user friendly, and its free. Which is a HUGE pro to a lot of people.
BUT, when you host your site through a website – you do not own your site.I repeat: you do not own your site.
WordPress, Wix, Blogger, whatever you use – OWNS your site.
This means that your customization is there but it’s limited. You cannot use html or insert anything into your site you end up wanting to use.
Monetization is not an option. You cannot make money off your site and this is a HUGE no, no, if you are planning on creating your site for business purposes.
Going with Host means that you are truly just creating and not gaining.
Also, one of the biggest nono’s that you get are a domain that has the “.wordpress.com” or “.wix.com” in your name. This is a unsightly, red flag for readers.
Going the SELF Hosted route
Now, let’s say you decide to go with self hosting your blog! Yay!
This means that you can :
Choose your domain
Great storage and back up for your site
Most importantly, you can MAKE MONEY! Woo!
*Pro Tip: A lot of hosts offer the capability of linking your host to the site of your choosing. Meaning if you go with a host like, HostGator for instance, you can link through it to still customize your site through WordPress.
Who should you go with?
Here comes the big step: Who to go with?
I personally asked a lot of questions and did some research.
There are so so many different hosting options and it just comes down to who is the right one that fits your needs.
Personally, I knew a few things mattered the MOST to me:
and easy customization ( meaning they could link through to WordPress )
I found this option and went with HostGator. It was quick and easy and fit all my most important needs that meant the most to me.
I will leave the option here: Host Gator – Web Hosting
Save 25% with the Promo Code : 25Model
Pro Tip: Never sign up for more than you need to. The beginner package or "Hatchling" package (Beginner package on HostGator.com) is more than enough to get your blog STARTED. Pay attention to your important needs for your blog and go from there.
Some other hosting site choices:
I will say that there IS an option for WordPress hosting, although I STRONGLY urge against it because of how expensive it is especially with competing prices from sites that offer the same product.
Be vigilant and do your research – it will be SO so worth it.
Let's recap the difference between a host vs self host site:
- it owns your site
- the customization is limited
- stuck with an unprofessional domain
Self hosted :
- you have unlimited customization capabilities
- your site speed is improved greatly
- you own 100% of your site
- customize your domain
- monetize yourself as soon as possible
These are just a few pros and cons when it comes down to host vs self host your blog. It is clear to see just how important it is to make this decision! I am excited for you to take this leap and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns! I love to help!