It is very frequent to see bloggers face dilemma when it comes to selecting the right blog platform. Should you host your blog on its own domain or on a free blogging platform like WordPress.com? Unfortunately, there is no fix answer for the question as different bloggers require different blogging features. Some blog platforms are much more suited for the hobby bloggers and others to more professional blogging application. Fact is there are both pros and cons for both. With that being said, I am not going to tell you which blog platform you be supposed to use. Instead, I am going to compare both choices and let you make a decision for yourself.

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Choosing the right blogging platform for your blog

Free Blogging Platforms

Free blogging platforms are websites that offer free hosting service that comes with blogging tools. Blog hosted on free blogging platforms normally runs on a third level domain name (something like http://www.blogname.blogspot.com). Many bloggers start out with free blogging platform as they are easy and free to use. It requires minimum IT knowledge to publish web content and there are little web maintenance job to be done. WordPress, Blogger, Blogster, and Bravenet are some of the names that offer free blogging platform.

It’s worth noting that not all hosted blogs (blog hosted by others, on a third level domain) are running free. Blogs on TypePad for example, require monthly subscription fees.

Blog on Its Own Hosting and Domain

The other sort of blog platform is the kind of blog that hosted on its own domain/web server and is run on a stand alone blogging platform. WordPress.org (different from WordPress.com), B2Evolution, Greymatter, and TextPattern are some of the big names for such service. These services normally come free along with your hosting package and can be installed easily.

What’s Good About Free Blogging Platforms?

The biggest advantage of a free blogging platform is that it requires zero operationg cost. Blogging platforms like WordPress.com and Blogger.com are totally free of charge. On the other hand, blogs running on its own domain/hosting comes with domain registration and web hosting cost.

Free blogging platforms are often recommended for the hobby bloggers as it requires minimum maintenance. You don’t have to go detail with the hosting as things are all settled by the admin. Database setup, blogging tools installation, server configuration – all these are none of your business when you pick up free blogging platform. All you need to do is select your blog name and start writing.

Another plus point with free blogging platform is that it requires minimum maintenance job. As the blogs are hosted by

How About Blog on Its Own Hosting/Domain?

While blog on its own hosting/domain requires extra time and money; there are several advantages that free blogs can’t offer. Generally, these type of blogs work better when it comes to monetization and advance web designs.

Blog running on its own hosting/domain allows advance web designs and developments as server usage is more flexible. For example access of .htaccess enable website redirects; robots.txt enable search engine bots control, and access of cgi bin allows bloggers to install advance web features on their blogs.

Some free blogging platforms (WordPress.com for example) prohibit their users to monetize their blog. You will not have such problem with blog on its own hosting/domain. Also, a blog with its own hosting/domain is better when it comes to branding and web marketing. A free blog long URL is hard to remember and it gives the image of part-timer. Many advertisers are reluctant to buy ads on a free blog and most webmasters are unwilling to joint venture with free blog owners.

What is The Right Option for You?

Back to our question: which blogging platform should you go with? The answer is in your hand. Are you a hobby blogger? What is the goal of your blog? Do you plan to blog for long term? Do you plan to sell your blog in future? Do you wish to monetize your blog? Do you have extra budget if you wish to host your blog on its own domain? These are the questions to ask before you make up your mind.

Generally, a free blog is best for those who do not wish to spend much time and money; while blog with its own hosting/domain is for those who are more serious about blogging.