Today, I’m talking about some Pros and Cons of having a free vs. your very own domain name when running a blog. This is not a full list, though it may give you a rough idea.
Many people opt for creating an account on one of the free blog services. You certainly know the following top 3. Speaking of which…
- Blogger.com (aka blogspot.com)
These are well and good, and they may give you a slight ranking nudge at the beginning. However, you usually do get a very long URL which can make it difficult for people to remember your address properly. Secondly, you do not own that domain name.
The reasons that people choose these services is because most of them are free and very easy to set up. All you need to do is fill out an automated setup form and you’re good to go.
On the other hand, too many people are put off by the idea of using their own domain name, yet this is actually surprisingly easy, bringing more rewards long-term.
The only “disadvantages” of using your own domain name is that you will have to pay a very small fee for registration and hosting, and the set up process may mean a slight learning curve.
Still, when building an Internet business, owning your own domain is a prerequisite.
Besides, domain names are pretty cheap. Registering your own name cost around $10 per year, which isn’t exactly excessive. You could then point this to your free blog hosting account at WordPress or any other service, or you could go down the more professional route of running it all on your own hosting account (which I recommend in any case!)
Signing up to your own hosting account will give you much more flexibility over what you can do with your blog, and it will make your site and your Internet business much more professional. You can install many of the popular pieces of blogging software on your own server for free. The most popular being WordPress.
Search the Internet and you will probably be able to find blog hosting for a mere $6,95/mo.
If your hosting provider uses Cpanel then you can install WordPress very easily with a mouse click through Fantastico. Simply go to: http://www.yourname.com/cpanel, log in and then use Fantastico to install WordPress.
Otherwise, WordPress can be downloaded from wordpress.org and installed following the instructions there.
Although having your own domain name does involve slightly more work and cost a few bucks, it’s definitely worth the extra effort. Giving someone the address mysite.com is much easier to remember than saying things like myowndomainname.blogspot.com.
There are a lot more advantages to using your own domain name though.
For instance, you can have countless of very unique and individual e-mail accounts with your domain name. This means that you can bin your free e-mail accounts and instead use firstname.lastname@example.org which, again, makes your site and your online business and presence look more professional, therefore you stand out from the “free crowd.”