Should I choose a hosted or non-hosted blogging platform?

If you’ve thought about starting a blog, you’ve most likely come across the terms hosted and non-hosted. This article will explain each of those terms and the pros and cons associated with both.

Hosted: A blog that resides on the host’s (your blogging platform’s) server (e.g., Blogger, TypePad, or WordPress.com).

Pros of Hosted Sites: Easy to start and maintain a blog.

Cons of Hosted Sites:

  • Blogger blogs can appear to be less professional. (I find this to be a non-issue if you are a new blogger. I believe trying out blogging and becoming comfortable is more important than how your blog is perceived. You will be changing many things in the first few months and Blogger is a great place to learn. In addition, many bloggers are finding that this rule simply doesn’t apply to them because they have been able to take several steps to design their blogs in such a way it’s hard to tell it’s a Blogger blog. For example, they remove the navigation bar and use a domain name instead of the YOURBLOGNAME.blogspot.com URL.)
  • Less control over CSS and HTML.
  • WordPress.com does not allow advertisements.

Non-hosted: A blog that resides on the user’s (your) server (e.g., WordPress.org or Moveable Type). When using a non-hosted blogging platform, you must pay a third-party to host your blog.

Pros of Non-Hosted Sites:

  • Control over CSS and HTML.
  • Control over permalink names (which can help with SEO).
  • Control over how archives are managed.

Cons of Non-Hosted Sites: Can be intimidating to new bloggers because they must discover how to set up a server via a third party.

I would suggest that anyone just starting out with a new blog should start with Blogger (also called Blogspot). It is free and it is hosted so you can start blogging with minimal hassle and no cost.

For more information on choosing a blogging platform, please read