A blog about self-discovery, awareness and positivity. Letting go of the negativity and bad vibes, allowing each other to grow stronger together.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Web hosting vs self-hosting and blogging platform.

Thank you to Lauren Mancke for the beautiful visual representation.
Hopefully, this post will explain the difference between web hosting and self-hosting so you can make the correct decision for your blog. I will also share some blogging platforms, along with the post I will give you some websites that have more information for you.

Hosted platforms are easy to set up, you don’t need to stress about updates or security and it’s an overall managed server. However, with all the pros there are the cons of it being limited. The easiest way to put this is that the hosted platform gives you access to build a website accessible to everyone and it’s normally a free service. 

On the other hand, a self-hosted platform is when you want to customise everything and if you are great with coding then it’ll be perfect for you. You will have to manage your own server and there is a risk of security. The whole website is under your control from setting the web server to managing your website and even installing the software. You normally have to pay to run your website. Don’t be put off from the money. 

Hosting or self-hosting is a personal choice. I would recommend you experiment with different platforms until you find the one that you like working with. You could even use a hosted platform then, once you’re ready to move to a self-hosting platform and transfer your blog content. 

Platforms – there are a variety of different platforms out there for blogging but the main top three are below. 

Blogger 
I use Blogger and I love it! It’s really simple to use, however, the templates are limited but you can purchase one you really like or even make it yourself. It’s totally free and a hosting service. You can easily get your blog running without any technical skills needed. It is developed by Google so it is secure and reliable. The time I have been blogging, I think I have only seen it been updated once or twice. Blogger is a hosted platform which also means that they can suspend your account at any time. Personally, I have never felt limited with Blogger because it does everything I need it to and it’s perfect for me. 

WordPress.Org 
WordPress.org is a very popular self-hosting platform. You will have access to a WordPress software which you can download and install on your web server. WordPress.org allows you to have more control over your site, but there is a lot more responsibility. You control and can use your own themes, plugins, edit the codes that run your website and you have all the access to your website’s database. WordPress’s software is totally free but you will need hosting which costs and the starting price is around £2. You will need to get a host and WordPress.org actually have some recommended hosts, which is lovely of them.

WordPress.com 
WordPress.com is owned by Automattic, and powered by WordPress. WordPress.com is a hosting platform which takes care of all the software and you don’t need to pay for hosting or manage a web server. It’s totally free. You aren’t allowed to advertise, but you can upgrade your account which will allow you to do so if needed. It also gives free hosting and support. Just like Blogger, it’s easy to set up and there are more customising available. On the WordPress website, they have a page where you can clearly see the differences between .com and .org. WordPress explains much better than I can about the difference between the two.

Other Platforms:
Tumblr 
Although Tumblr seems to be a microblog, it’s great for anyone and everyone. It’s a free hosting service and also allows you to make videos, GIFs, images and audio formats quickly and easily. But, Tumblr has limited features and if your blog grows then you cannot extend it. Backing up your Tumblr or importing it to other platforms is hard. 

Medium 
Medium is a hosting service which reminds me of Quora. Medium is a big community of writers, bloggers and experts. It’s an easy platform but, it has limited features. You don’t need coding skills and you can reach those who are interested in the same things as you. It’s mainly based around writing, rather than design. It’s hard to grow your brand and design. Whilst researching for this post I came across the website ‘startbloggingonline’ where the lovely Karen has an in-depth comparison on different blogging platforms. It’s laid out very easily and you can clearly see the comparison. 
I would love to know what you use for your blog?
Have you ever had experiences with any of these? If so, what was it like?
Also, If you have ever moved over to another platform, what was your experience like?

Thank you for reading.
Until next time, take care and keep smiling.
Ramshaa Rose
xxx
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