Do you have a blog? If you do, then you are among the estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States according to a poll done by Blogging.org in 2012. Is your blog hosted on your website or are you using a free blog site?
Many of us would prefer to start by using free blog sites such as WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, Weebly and Tumblr. There are a lot of advantages to using free blog sites. Primarily and most obvious of these benefits is that if you are on a tight budget or have no interests in spending for web hosting services, then you can still proceed to having a blog without paying any charge for the use of the platform. In short, IT’S FREE!
Another benefit is that these blog sites are easy to use and fully functional. For example, if you choose WordPress, even if you are just a newbie to blogging, you will find the interface very easy to use. You will be creating and publishing content in no time.
Also, being free does not mean they have totally scrimped on their services. You can still let your uniqueness show on your blogs because customization (to a certain degree) is allowed. You can choose from free themes or templates and customize your site based on your personality or chosen website design.
The shortcomings of a free blog hosting service
Nonetheless, using a free blog hosting service also has a number of disadvantages. One is that your blog’s URL will be rather long because it will include the name of the service provider. For instance, instead of www.yourwebsitename.com, your URL will be www.yourwebsitename.wordpress.com. The length of the URL makes it less attractive and difficult for your audience to remember.
Another drawback is ranking (traffic-wise). When you use a free website blog host, you are directing your audience to a different destination and not helping your site earn traffic. It is also difficult to optimize your online visibility as the content you create and publish is credited to the free blog sites, not to your website. However, if you integrate your blog with your own website and domain name, then these will not be issues to deal with.
There are many reasons why having your blog at www.yourwebsitename.com/blog is way better than having a blog at a free platform. Particularly, all linkages to your posts will directly contribute to your website’s SEO strength. This is because the content and the backlinks are directed at your main domain. Not only will your URL be more visually appealing and easier to remember, but the search engines will also be able to index relevant content under one domain, which is very beneficial for SEO purposes.
You also have more control over your blog’s content because you are not bound by the rules and limitations set by these free blog sites.
In addition, hosting your blog on your own domain need not be expensive and you can already avail of more options for customization. In fact, there are a lot of affordable domain names available at major hosting providers that you can check out.