Website / Blog Considerations in a Three-Blog-Series
Get to know the possibilities you have to create your website or blog – and don’t wait any longer to establish or spruce up your web presence, don’t loose any potential readers / customers.
Find out the pros and cons of free-hosted websites, compared to WordPress.org and custom-designed sites.
I have had enough!
After procrastinating the move to a self-hosted blog for such a long time, I finally took the leap from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. The straw that broke the camels back was when I could not install an email opt-in form in my WordPress blog. With almost 280,000 readers in the last two years, I am sure we lost ten-thousands of interested newsletter readers already … numbers were growing every day.
Something had to happen!
During the last year or so, I searched the Internet, looking for easy-to-use blog layouts and secured the URL I even created a website in HTML, which took me weeks. I was happy with the design, but missed the sophisticated functions, I enjoyed on my WordPress blog, such as the immense useful search function, the setting, appearance, tools and other functions, I was used to and had appreciated for years. But my own web design abilities were confined by the lack of CSS knowledge. So finally – with the great help of a very talented, and knowledgeable IT specialist / web designer from the UK (we work via Skype together), four websites including one blog will be online in a couple of days.
3 ways of creating a website:
Through my former internet research I realized that there are three ways currently to create a website:
- Totally free hosted web sites
- Customized, designed web sites
- WordPress web sites
Gone are the days where you need to pay someone to do it for you. Setting up your own website, you will encounter a huge choice between choosing a free web host or a paid one. However, when it comes to the free website builders, it’s very important to consider the pros and the cons.
- A free web site is what it says – free. There are no hidden costs associated with it so you save a couple of dollars per month.
- A free web site or blog is usually easy to set up. You can set up a blog or a website with no knowledge of web servers or website coding.
- You can set up literally hundreds of websites/blogs on a free web host. The blogging platform, Blogger, for instance, is used by many people to host dozens of blogs.
- You can’t use your own domain – With a free web host, you end up building your site on a sub domain (e.g. http://waldensworldhistory.weebly.com/ or http://retrohair.weebly.com/ or savvybookwriters.wordpress.com ) rather than your own domain name. Thus, there is zero customization.
- No control – You can’t control the software and programs you want to install on the web host. You have no control whatsoever on the back end, which, although it may appeal to the novice, can be a serious hindrance for the experienced webmaster.
- Advertisements – Most free web hosts usually force you to display advertising in order to generate revenue. While this advertising is generally non-intrusive, it can be an eyesore and detract from your site/blog’s experience.
- Low Space, Bandwidth and Uptime – A free web host is fine for personal homepages that will be visited only by friends and relatives. However, when your site/blog contains high-resolution images and starts becoming more popular, the free web host will not be able to keep up with the heavy traffic. Moreover, a free web host has much lower disk space as compared to a paid host, which means you will not be able to store as many files as you could with paid web hosting.
This is the amount of time the web host is online, displaying your website. Most good paid hosts, such as BlueHost, Hostmonster or Hostgator have an up-time of 99%, which means that your site is always online and being displayed. Free web hosts have up-times that usually range from 90% to 99%. While this may seem trivial, an up-time of 90% means that in the worst case 10% of the time (say, 2.4 hours in a 24 hour period), your website will not be displayed. This way, you could even lose customers.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog: Benefits of a WordPress.org site
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Tagged: BlueHost, free web sites, free webhost, Hostgator, Hostmonster, self-hosted blog, Wordpress.com, Wordpress.org