Free web hosting on Blogger or Wordpress: what you lose
Many bloggers look for free web hosting for blogs. There are some companies that offer free web hosting and some also offer free domain names. Of course, web hosting comes free when you open the blog on a free blogging platform such as Blogger.com or Wordpress.com. But if you are a serious blogger, wanting to have your brand and/ or make money blogging, free web hosting has its pitfalls.
Let us see what you get in terms of blog hosting when you open the blog on these free platforms:
- You can open up to 100 blogs per Google account.
- You can have any number of posts and pages.
- You can publish up to 50 posts in a day.
- The blog can have up to 100 people collaborating.
- Individual pages should not be more than 1MB in size.
- You can have any number of pictures in your photo folders, totaling 15GB. Photos smaller than 16MP size are not counted towards the storage limit.
- You can put AdSense or affiliate advertisements on the blog. As on any website, no more than 3 AdSense ads can be displayed on a page. [Advertisement options are available when the blog meets some criteria.]
- You can map the blog to a custom domain, free of cost.
- Since Google has servers in many countries, the site speed is good and downtime is minimal.
- You can spruce up the blog through coding. You can change the HTML of the blog though 'themes' and each post through 'HTML editor'.
- You can add functionality in different ways through widgets.
- You need not bother about website security or procuring a SSL certificate for the blog. Blogger blogs are highly secure against hacking and malicious attacks. All blogs under blogspot domain get HTTPS security.
- You can open many blogs with one account.
- Has sober, professional-looking themes, though the choice is limited in the free plan.
- Plugins can add functionality. However, there are very limited number of plugins with the free plan.
- Limited customization is possible on individual posts.
- Total storage including documents and images is 3GB.
- You cannot upload video.
- You cannot place advertisements. Publishing paid posts, selling links and having paid reviews is not allowed and Wordpress can suspend the account for such actions.
- Blog may show Wordpress advertisements.
- Wordpress blogs are behind high security and firewall protection. They come with HTTPS security.
- Upgradation is possible on payment: mapping to a custom domain is possible in free and personal plans too but you need to pay for that. More customization, removal of Wordpress branding, higher storage space, many more themes, and placement of advertisements are available in premium and business plans.
Should serious bloggers look at free web hosting at all?
Yes and no.
- Go for free blog hosting if you feel that your blog is going to remain a personal or hobby blog. Go for Wordpress.com in case you want a modern theme and no frills. Go for Blogger.com in case you want to experiment with layout, design and HTML.
- Free web hosting on Blogger is for you if you do not want to spend money on web hosting but want to experiment with HTML to make an appealing blog. Of course, you can make money by displaying advertisements on a free Blogger blog.
- You should preferably go for Wordpress.com if you intend to shift later on to a self-hosted blog and use Wordpress.org software. Having a Wordpress.com free blog familiarises you with the platform because the Wordpress.org self-hosted blog and the free Wordpress.com admin panels look similar.
- Say NO to free web hosting, if you have big ambitions from the blog. Jump directly to Wordpress.org CMS (=website-making software). In fact, you could also be looking at other CMSs such as Joomla.
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