Understanding WordPress. Should I choose a Self-Hosted or Free Blogging Platform? This is the first step to building and launching your food blog vision. Although this info is pertinent to any blog startup.
Building your website
I love working in WordPress, and so do 75 million other website creators (and counting), it‘s the most popular way to build a website! So I recommend starting on or switching over to a self-hosted WordPress configuration. When you Google WordPress there are 2 top results in Google that you’ll receive.
If you are looking to launch a food blog or website, you have complete control over and can monetize to the fullest. You want to choose the 2nd, wordpress.org!!
WordPress.org is a free, open source content management system. OK, non-geek speak! WordPress.org is a self-hosted blogging platform. Click the link below and download directly from WP.
Why do I want to use a self-hosted blogging platform?
Good Question! Here are the pros and cons of using a self-hosted blogging platform.
Pros of a self-hosted WordPress blog:
- You have full control over your blog, including its name, layout, and design, advertising revenue, SEO (search engine optimization) plugins and more.
- Ability to brand your blog, starting with your own name (unless you pay for your own domain, you’ll have the wordpress domain tacked onto yours www.example.wordpress.com).
- Hosting typically only costs a few dollars a month.
Cons of a self-hosted blog:
- Requires an initial investment.
- The learning curve can intimidate new bloggers. (It’s doable though, and we’ll help along the way!)
What are the costs involved in starting a self-hosted blog?
- Domain name and hosting. Many hosts such as Bluehost, have offers to host for as little as $5 a month or less. if you are just signing up, you can purchase your domain name and hosting in one shot.
- You‘ll probably want to purchase a theme that fits the vision you have for your blog. Although, WordPress has a few freebies that come with it, to try out!
- Certain plugins have a monthly or annual fee, but most have free versions that work superbly! Paying for “pro” versions unlocks extra features.
Free Blogging Platform
You also have the option of using a Free Blogging Platform, such as wordpress.com. However, I believe the negatives outweigh the positives for a professional website.
Pros of a free blog:
- No initial start-up costs.
- Easy to set up and maintain.
Cons of a free blog:
- Unless you pay for your own domain, you’ll have the WordPress domain tacked onto yours, such as www.example.wordpress.com as mentioned above.
- You have a limited amount of bandwidth and storage.
- Limited advertising options which make it more difficult to generate revenue off of your blog.
- A free WordPress blog doesn’t allow the use of plugins to expand the capabilities of a website. It’s restricted to a few options that limit growth.
- Limitations with CSS functions and theme selections.
What are the costs involved with starting a Free Blogging Platform?
- It can be totally free! Just know the limits you have when using this option.
- You may also upgrade to another theme or hire a designer which add to the bottom line.
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com
WordPress is an online, open source website development tool. Written in PHP and developed thousands of people, it’s likely the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system!
WordPress.org offers a wide range of benefits that outweigh the learning curve involved with getting up and running.
Looking for information on selecting camera gear for your food blogging adventure? Check out the gear I use!
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