Free Hosting such as Blogger.com, WordPress.com. You are limited as to what you can do using these sites. They typically only let you store files of specific types and will limit the amount of information that can be transferred from your site. Once your site reaches that limit, it will cut you off for the rest of the month. This is only a problem if you have a very popular website.
Paid Hosting for WordPress.org and Website Baker. Depending on the provider, you can store many more files on these websites. In fact, you can often even use it to host multiple websites. For example, you could have blog.yourcompany.com for your blog, www.yourcompany.com for your website, and sales.yourcompany.com where you actually make your sales. You can even change the application you are using to host your website. For example, lets say you start with WordPress.org. Next year you decide that, although it's worked for you until now, you want to use something that is more inline with your specific needs. Not a problem. You can just change the application you are using without changing your hosting arrangements. While there are many other advantages, the bottom line is that paid hosting gives you the flexibility for your website to grow along with your business needs. By the time your business outgrows these systems, you will be paying people to manage your website for you.
Note: Not all paid hosting is the same. Some will only give you a very basic level of services which will not allow you to have the benefits described above. For example, one of my recent clients purchased a basic service which enabled her to have a maximum of 5 static pages on her website. Even Blogger offers more pages than that. Please check with me before making web hosting arrangements to ensure that the service you are subscribing meets the required technical specifications.
You may be leaning towards Paid Hosting if:
- You want to use a domain name you already own. You can't do with WordPress.com.
- You aren't comfortable depending on a free service such as Blogger or WordPress.com
- You aren't the kind of person who likes to be told "you can't do that" too often which one often encounters with the Free Hosting.
You may be leaning towards Free Hosting if:
- You aren't sure what your needs are
- You aren't sure that you can benefit from having a website
- You want something reliable yet low-cost (especially if you are just starting up)
- You are just looking to have a basic web presence.
If you are having trouble making up your mind:
- Decide if you want a great blog that can also be used as a website OR a great website that can also be used as a blog. They are both all in one tools but one does a better job at one task than the other.
- Realize that web hosting is not that expensive. Depending on where you go, you are likely to pay between $5 and $25 per month and more expensive does not necessarily mean better.
- I highly recommend you get your own domain name. Besides making you look more professional, over the coming year you will be spending time, effort and money including these on stationary, business cards, promotional materials, documentation and literature. If you aren't, you should be as this is part of your brand. Now imagine yourself a year or two down the road. Will that really be a good time to change this information everywhere? It would be like changing your business telephone number, moving your business or changing your name. You will basically be starting your marketing efforts almost completely from scratch.
- Contact me for a one-on-one Tech Coaching Strategy session.
With best regards,