Blog Hosting | Free v. Pay

So you say you wanna ditch your free blog and jump into paid hosting?

That you want your own domain name, domain name based email, and the ability to implement all the cool, javascript based plugins you don’t currently use either because don’t know how, or your freebie blog does not allow it?

You’re in good company. But before you saddle up, you should really perform a preliminary gear check before you head out. Otherwise, you may find yourself between a rock and a hard place and end up having to hack off your own arm with a cheap penknife.

I’m going to assume that you’re the do-it-yourself kind of person, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article.  But I also want to caution that if you do get in over your head, then yours truly is available for a consult. Contact me offline for details.

Blog hosting can seem confusing & complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

Step One

First off, deciding which hosting outfit to use can be problematic, particularly if you’re new to the game. So many host providers all yammering for your dollars can make your head spin.  And choosing the hosting plan that is right for you can cause acute constipation if you’re not prudent.  You should ascertain how much discretionary cash you have and move on from there.

A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t have at least $150.00 bucks to start up paid hosting, then don’t bother. Avoid introductory teaser rates because you’ll only end up spending more money down the road. The way it works is that most (if not all) hosting providers will nickel & dime you to death for basic services. So theoretically, you could end up paying the teaser rate in addition to what you would have paid for a regularly priced hosting plan but for the simple fact that you’re a clueless n00b.

Of course, you don’t make this determination until after you’ve paid the intro rate then tried to set up your site.  After hours of searching and reading FAQs & tutorials, you find out that what you paid for the year from UBetchaWeRFree dot com has even less functionality than what a free blog does.  And your personal domain name is little more than a glorified email account that you could have gotten the same deal for FREE elsewhere. D’oh! Where’s that knife?

Step Two

Assess how tech savvy you are.  Are you someone who enjoys setting time aside to learn? Do you have a high threshold for frustration based on your own particular learning curve?  Or are you pressed for time and just want a no-frills kinda blog that you want to put the barest minimum of effort into creating/maintaining?  If the former, then keep reading. But if all you want is a web presence to write the occasional blog entry at your leisure without a lot of hassle, then get thee to a free blog.

Step Three

So you think you have what it takes to be a webmaster, eh? We shall soon see, young Jedi.

The easiest way to gauge your mettle is to just dive right into the cPanel and file transfer protocol. If this sounds intimidating to you out the gate, then you will need to re-evaluate because even if you’ve never heard of a cPanel or FTP, these deficiencies should not deter you.  What you should be thinking right about now is what the heck is a cPanel and FTP and how do I find them?

Hint:  If you aren’t already looking for the answer in your favorite search engine and/or in your host provider’s Help Section , then all bets are off.  You are far too squeamish to continue. Turn back while you still can because I have a feeling you’re going to be needing that penknife very soon.

Step Four

Are you still here? Outstanding! It appears that you possess the appropriate disposition to choose paid hosting. Only time will tell if you have the intestinal fortitude to carry on successfully. Good luck & happy blogging!

©2009-2011 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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5 Responses to Blog Hosting | Free v. Pay

  1. […] over any other content management system is identical as to whether you use a free blog or  a commercial web hosting service.  First & foremost, it is up to you to […]

  2. skdelph says:

    As much as I enjoyed reading your article…I’m not sure it told me very much outside of buyer beware. I’ve thought about what the differences might be, and at the same time wondered if having a pro-site might have any important features that may improve traffic and make blog/website well known. I found you on Authentic Bloggers btw. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to learning more. I plan to read some of your follow up articles =0] Best SKDelph

    • Thanks for checking out Prattle! While I strive to write content of an interesting & informative nature, my advice is by no means (nor meant to be) comprehensive. If you require customized guidance, then I would be happy to provide further recommendations on a consultancy basis. Please contact me offline for details.

  3. […] Theoretically, you can use both, but your choice will be determined largely by whether your site is commercially hosted or a freebie, as well as your level of technical savvy.  For our purposes here, let’s assume […]

  4. […] of whether you pay for commercial hosting or you prefer the freebie, I think it’s safe to say that even the most casual blogger puts a fair amount of effort into […]

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