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If you are venturing into the blogging world then you may be wondering why you need to self-host your blog at all.
You have probably scoured the internet and seen several ways that you can host your website or blog for free.
You have WordPress.com, Wix, and Blogger.com so why pay?
Let me let you in on a little secret: I used to be just where you are.
I actually made the HUGE mistake of having a non-self-hosted blog for years. And guess what happened to that blog?
At the time I didn’t understand why it happened and why it was so hard for me to grow the platform.
Now, 8 years later, I finally realized how big of a mistake it is to try to grow an online business on a free blogging plan.
So to help you avoid making the same mistakes that I did, I am going to give you 7 reasons why you should self-host your blog.
What is Self-Hosting?
First of all, I am going to help you really understand what we mean when we say self-hosting.
Self-hosting means that you actually own your domain and own space on the internet.
When you start a blog on wordpress.com with free hosting, for example, you actually do not own the domain or the space. In fact, your website will end up looking something like this:
This is what happens no matter where you decide to host your blog for free.
Not the best when it comes to having a real domain name.
When you decide to self-host your website, you are going to pay a fee to have your own unique domain name and your own space.
So your domain will look like this instead:
That looks a lot nicer and it is also a domain that you can take with you wherever you go.
When it comes to self-hosting, there are a plethora of different options for you so I recommend you read all about what web hosting is to get a better understanding.
Why You Should Self-Host Your Blog or Website
If that wasn’t enough to convince you then no worries because I am not even close to being done yet.
Here are 7 more reasons why you should opt to self-host your blog or website.
1. It Looks More Professional
There is absolutely no doubt that having a self-hosted website with your own domain name looks way more professional.
From a business standpoint, if you are thinking of taking your blog seriously, it is going to be very important to be able to reach out to businesses and other platforms.
If you do, one of the first things they are going to ask for is either a social media platform that shows a lot of subs and followers or a legit website.
However, I have to say from experience, that having a legitimate website will even outshine the social media following.
Not just in the opportunities that you can get, but also in the amount that the companies are willing to pay you.
Sometimes just having an Instagram page, isn’t enough.
Not to mention you are also going to be able to get access to great professional themes that will make your site look amazing and well put together.
2. Access To More Plugins
This one is really going to be important when it comes to personalizing your website and giving your viewers a better user experience.
If you want things like social links, table of contents, contact forms, CSS and HTML customization, Google Analytics tracking, and thousands of other things, you are only going to get this on a self-hosted website.
Free hosting USUALLY does not allow you to get access to major plugins that are really going to make your site more efficient and user-friendly.
There may be some exceptions for certain functions, but generally speaking, this is what you can expect with a free host.
Nothing kills your spirits more than hearing about functions that could help you increase your traffic and then realizing that it is unavailable for you.
3. Better Integrations
Integrations and plugins can sometimes go hand in hand. But a lot of the time, they are actually completely separate from your Content Managing System.
If you have a free host, then say goodbye to things like email marketing integrations, e-commerce plugins, analytics integrations, and several other things.
Free hosting will limit you from all of this.
Not only do you not get full access to your admin dashboard to be able to make the necessary adjustments.
But you also will not get your site recognized by the other platform that you are trying to integrate with.
Or if you do, the process will be a lot harder for you.
Even when it comes to small things like pop-up forms and downloadable lead magnets, it will be either inaccessible or very hard to get with a free host.
4. Easier To Claim Your Website
When you want to connect your website to other platforms, you will often be asked to claim the website.
This entails pasting a small script of code into the header, body, or footer of your website.
In order to get access to these functions, your host needs to give you full access to the admin dashboard.
Most free hosting will not provide this.
If you are lucky and use something like wordpress.com, you might get some small features. But nothing compared to what you can get with full hosting.
5. Better For Your SEO
This is a BIG one.
If you at all plan on growing and scaling your website, then SEO is going to be either be your best friend or your worst enemy.
Unless you already have another platform with thousands or millions of viewers, you will need to target search traffic.
But one thing beginners do not know is how important domain authority is when it comes to ranking on the search page.
Any domain that has a free hostname (like wordpress.com or blogger.com) stuck to the end of it automatically decreases all authority online.
So that in and of itself is going to make your SEO journey a heck of a lot harder.
So not only will your site not be able to rank, but the little hope that you had to be able to work on your SEO is also flushed down the drain.
6. Better For Ads And Affiliates
If you are looking to make money with your blog then planning to join affiliate programs and display ad networks is going to be very important.
For example, this website is working with Ezoic.
However, if I had a free host, then I would not have had a chance to be able to place display ads on this website.
And we have already established how hard it will be to grow organically with a free host right?
So you get the drift.
7. Full Ownership Of Your Website
Out of all of the things that I have listed today, this has got to be one of my favorite reasons to self-host.
You own your website.
You own everything!
It is your content, your domain name, your brand. You can do with it what you will.
Within reason of course.
If you have been trying to make it online, then you will be so happy to be able to say:
“I have a website.”
If you want to customize your themes, work on your CSS, and tweak your own HTML, you can do it!
You can sell products, generate leads through email marketing, and easily install all of the plugins you need with no hassle.
It literally feels like finally owning a home or your own plot of land.
It is an amazing feeling that every website owner will want to experience.
Starting your online journey can be very exciting.
It may also scare the heck out of you and make you run towards decisions that may not be the best thing for you in the long run.
I know the feeling.
When I was about to buy my first hosting plan I must have hesitated for a good 2 months.
Had I known that those 2 months were actually going to come back to bite me in the butt SEO-wise, then I would have bought my domain years before!
But it is okay to take your time.
The most important thing is that you make the right choice and the right decision now that will help you grow in the future.
These are jam-packed with great information that will help you make the right choice when it comes to self-hosting.