There are two ‘types’ of blogs. Self hosted, and free blogging platforms. Most people will tell you that self-hosted is the way to go – and for the most part I’d agree. However, that’s not going to suite everyone. In fact for many a free blogging platform such as WordPress.com, Blogger and Tumblr is just fine.
Which is why today I’ve outlined the pro’s and con’s of free blogging platforms;
What Is A Free Blogging Platform?
A free blogging platform is one that is just that: it’s free.
To sign up for an account, get a domain (such as www.example.com), and set up your site. It really is as simple as that.
I’d personally recommend Wordpress.com as it’s much easier to go self-hosted in the future switching to WordPress.org. It’s what I personally did when starting this very blog.
Pros of Free Blogging Platforms
There are no initial start-up costs. Which is especially reassuring if you’re unsure if blogging is for you.
Free blogging platforms are easy to set up and maintain without any prior website design or development knowledge.
Cons of Free blogging Platforms
Unless you pay for a domain name you’ll have the WordPress or Blogger domain added onto yours, such as www.example.blogspot.com.
It’s therefore unsurprising that free blogs appear less professional than self-hosted ones.
That in turn limits your advertising options. Meaning it’s harder to work with brands and / or make money from your blog.
Another disadvantage of free blogging platforms is the lack of control. For example I’m able to customise my blog with plugins, themes and CSS. All of this has limitations when using a free blogging platform.
You’ll have a limited amount of bandwidth. This will limit the number of videos, photos and posts you can upload and can also affect your sites load time.
Who Should Use A Free Blogging Platform?
Free blogs are ideal for people who are just looking to explore the blogosphere. If you’re new to blogging and just looking to it as a journal / diary.
If you’re unsure as to what the blog might become in the future then as I mentioned earlier I’d recommend setting up on WordPress.com. This will make it much easier to switch to self-hosted and WordPress.org in the future should you require it.