Oh yeah…free. Now you must be wondering, why I even spent $45 to start a blog, if I can do it all free. But before you start jumping with joy, let me tell you that these platforms are not really free. There is a catch. You will know the theory about this catch in the following sections.
As speaking of free, mark my words – Nothing is FREE on this planet. You have to pay for every-thing, in one way or the other.
Some of the most popular blogging platforms around the web are :
Blogger (Service From the Giant Google)
There are many more, but these are on the top of the list.
From the above list, all of them are free except WordPress.. WordPress is also a free software but you have to host it of your own. This may cost you some money. Also you need to buy a domain name.
You may probably wondering that which WordPress I am talking about. There are two version of WordPress in the above list – .com and .org . I am talking about WordPress.org .
Difference B/W .COM and .ORG
Lets clear out your confusion between WordPress.com and WordPress.org . Both the variants are similar to each other. In fact, they are same software. But what makes them different from each other is – how they are hosted.
WordPress.com is a commercial hosted variant of WordPress owned by the company AUTOMATTIC.
WordPress.org is that version of WordPress which is hosted by the user/bloggers (also called self-hosted). Means you grab a copy of WordPress software and host it on the web-host of your choice.
Hope this clears the confusion between .com and ,org .
Free Blogging Platforms
The best thing about free blogging platforms is, obviously, they are free. Lets have a look at the pros and cons of free blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Blogger, Tumblr or Drupal.
1. They Are FREE.
These are free of cost. However WordPress.com has a paid upgrade version but the basic version is free (up to 3GB space).
2. No Need For Maintenance.
All the updates, backups, optimization and server downs are handled by the staff. You don’t have to check this manually.
3. Rare Server Downs.
As these platforms are owned by big companies like AUTOMATTIC (WordPress.com) and Google (Blogger), they are hosted on powerful servers. The chances of server downs are minimum.
1. URL With Sub-domain.
Your URL will be something like : www.abc.blogspot.com Or www.abc.wordpress.com .Not so catchy..huh.
2. You Don’t Own It.
The free blogging platforms are hosted by the third-party companies on their own servers (that’s why you don’t have to pay for web-hosting). As you don’t install your blog on your personal server, you don’t own its data practically. If the blogging platform company want, they can shut your blog and you can’t do anything about it.
Limited no. of themes and limited number of plugins for use. In order to get access to more themes and plugins in WordPress.com, you have to pay extra for them.
4. Un-wanted Ads.
They place ads on your blog. So instead of earn from you directly, they will earn from your blog.
See..I told you nothing is free.
In a nutshell :-
They are okay for the bloggers who are not-so-serious about blogging. If you don’t care about making money online, traffic, or blog design and ready to compromise with tons of restriction, you can choose a free blogging platform.
But if you are serious about blogging and want to make live out of blogging, you should choose self-hosted WordPress.
Don’t put your efforts where there is no scope of expansion.
Why To Choose WordPress Over Any Other Blogging Platform
On one hand we have free blogging platforms like Blogger, Tumblr, Drupal, WordPress.com and on the other hand we have WordPress.org (which is basically free but you have to pay for domain name and web-hosting services). So what should be your choice. Let me help you to figure it out.
Pros of Self-Hosted WordPress :
1. You Own Your Blog.
As you install your WordPress software on your own bought web-host, you own it fully. Whether you re-install it, delete it – its your choice[COMPLETE FREEDOM].
2. Full Access To Themes & Plugins.
Let me tell you that the official WordPress repository has thousand of free themes and plugins. Yup ..and not to forget about the third-party themes an plugins available all over the internet. And you will get them all.
As I said above, you have full control over your blog and so as on your income from it. Every single penny you earn from your blog belongs to you. There are various monetization methods you can use on your blog to earn money. The popular ones include – Google Adsense, Affiliate Links, Product Marketing, Amazon Ads and lot more…
Now that we have discussed the various web hosting services, you have got a pretty damn idea. Any free blogging platform is good only if you are not serious about blogging and don’t see blogging as a income source. There is no scope for your blog growth and nor to your passive income, if you choose any free blogging platform.
On contrary, if you want a restriction free blogging environment with a possible source of passive income, WordPress.org is your real deal. It is the most flexible CMS (Content Management System). Many of the popular blogs and websites on the web are built on WordPress.
(It is more of a instruction than a advise.)
75 millions active users have created their blogs and websites on WordPress platform, globally. And these numbers are really saying something loud – WordPress is the BEST.
As far as it is my concern, let me tell you that WPBlogCafe and couple of my another sites are on WordPress platform. So you are highly advised, choose WordPress as it the most flexible, most reliable and most amazing blogging platform compare to others in the market.
No doubt you should choose WordPress,org as your blogging platform. Now lets step up to the next step. Actually this is the first practical step in this guide. Oh yeah…Time for some real action. Now you are going for domain- shopping.