Where Should Your Blog Be Hosted?

Should you host your own blog or hire someone to do it for you? Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned blogger, this question always arises when starting a new blog. Typically, someone new to blogging will gravitate toward hosting their own blog or obtaining a free blog, but as time passes and they gain experience, they will begin to wonder if paid blog hosting isn’t so bad after all. So, which is the superior option?

Let’s take a look at how a blog is made to begin answering this question. Just like with web pages, you’ll need software or a script to take your entries, format them, and publish them to the internet. The web space, or home for the blog pages, is the second component of a blog. This is where the software should publish to.

With this knowledge, let’s look at the various options for hosting a blog:

Full-service blog hosting.

This is where you will be provided with a blogging system or software, as well as having your blog published on a web space provided by the host. Blogger, SquareSpace, and Typepad are examples of this type of website. It’s similar to using a site builder to create a website.

However, the blog software is hosted but the content is published elsewhere.

The blog software is provided, but the blog pages are published on a different website or web host entirely. This allows the software to function as a publishing system similar to FrontPage, but with the added benefit of producing nicely formatted blogs. Blogger is the most well-known example of this. Yes, Blogger is capable of doing both. Publish to their or your server. To put it another way, this is similar to publishing a website with FrontPage.

Your web server hosts the blog software and the blog.

This is where you will install the blog script (software) on your web server – any web hosting account will suffice. When you publish, your blog is also stored on your web server. To use an analogy, this method is similar to purchasing web hosting and then installing a content management system on it to aid in the creation of web pages.

You might want to go with a fully hosted blog if you’re new to building web pages or have previously built sites using site builders. These hosts handle all of the details for you, and there’s very little technical knowledge required. You can create a blog with a full blog host if you can point and click.

However, just because you’re an experienced web page builder doesn’t mean full blog hosts won’t work for you. In fact, if you have a lot of blogs, this becomes very appealing because you won’t have to worry about updating the blog script, people exploiting the script, plug-ins working, or what happens if your web host decides to disable part of your blog functions due to a security hole. All you have to do is focus on blogging. After a while, blogging takes precedence over maintaining your blog, which is exactly how it should be.

Following that is hosted software, with a blog that is published on your website. It appears that this is the best of both worlds. Blogger is one of the best ways to do this at the time of writing, but because of its popularity, you may find the system too slow to publish or completely unavailable just when you have a great idea to share. The concept is sound, but you’ll have to rely on the availability of someone else to publish your blog. It’s similar to building your web pages on a friend’s computer, and you know how that can go.

Finally, you can employ the use of scripts. This is also a well-liked method. Its flexibility is extremely liberating because you can shape the blog however you want. You can even hire a programmer to create custom plug-ins or completely customise the blogging system. In other words, you can pretty much do whatever you want.

On the down side, you’ll need a basic understanding of HTML or the ability to publish web pages. You are also responsible for upgrading, troubleshooting, and maintaining the script. It’s not so bad if you only have one or two blogs, but as you add more, it can become tedious. As previously mentioned, you must also consider all of the other responsibilities associated with maintaining the script.

With this knowledge, you should be able to determine which one is best for you. If you’re still undecided, consider how you’d approach it if you were building a regular website. Most likely, the method you use to publish a website is also the best method for creating a blog.

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