Free vs Paid sites…What’s the difference?
What are the benefits to “free weblog” sites?
There are many sites offering “free weblogs”. These are great for general bloggers, journals, diaries, personal happenings. They also work well as a “start up” site for those wanting to spread the word but don’t have any $$ for out of pocket up front expenses.
However, to begin adding features such as e-commerce and personal email address, most start charging a premium. One other thing to consider is the fact that you do not have your own personal domain (without a fee). Free sites will provide a few custom widgets and colors, etc to make it a little your own.
But have you ever noticed how all the sites start to look alike after a while? Needing to get something up and going fast? Only beginning with a blog? Then a free weblog could work for you.
What are the benefits to owning my own site?
Well, let’s face it…first thing that is obvious…you pick the name and you “own” it. No “renting” the domain, or using a public domain! You have control over the entire look and function of your site…no settling for what the free sites limit in choices.
You will have a professional sense about you with custom email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org) making it easier for people to remember your name as well as your site.
In addition, by owning, you can add as many pages, posts, pictures, videos, blogs, etc as you want (of course, you don’t want to “overwhelm” your fan base with too much!).
[next_message styles=”4″ title=”Will my host support my site framework?”]Choose your site host carefully![/next_message]
What are some key things to review when choosing a host?
A host site’s uptime and maintenance downtime are of extreme importance. After all, you don’t want to be in the middle of updating your site, adding a blog, or worse, a customer buying something, when – SNAP – network is down! Your work is lost and chances are, so is the customer.
Also, check to see if there is a bandwidth limit. If you hit a hot day with traffic to your site, you may be in trouble. If you have a host with a limit, then you may loose out when they begin to throttle and temporarily close your site.
Some hosting sites have fairly low rates, however, they may require you to prepay for a full year, sometimes up to three full years to get the best deal!
Review the host’s requirements/features for the framework you want your site developed in. One of the most popular frameworks is WordPress (css/html5). Some hosts provide the install of this framework for free (along with many others) while a few other hosts will charge a rather large premium to have this framework. So be certain to check the FAQ of any host provider you are considering for installs and hidden fees.
In addition, if you are looking forward to the use of personal email addys, you need to check on the number of email accounts permitted per domain. Hosts features on this range from 1 free to unlimited included.