Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Tech Tip: Hosted vs self-hosted blogs

Choosing your blog platform is a big decision. Many experienced bloggers go through a number of different platforms as their blog grows and their demands change.

The easiest way to start blogging is to choose a hosted platform, such as (where this blog is hosted),, Typepad or Tumblr. 'Hosted' means that everything you post to your blog sits on that company's servers. A basic hosted blog is usually free to set up, comes with plenty of online help and support, and allows you a pretty good amount of customisation.

Emma Lamb's blog
Textile designer, crocheter and online shop owner Emma Lamb
has a beautiful Blogger blog at

With so many blogs hosted on these platforms they are communities in themselves, and the software has built-in tools for connecting with other blogs. For example, Google owns Blogger, so it's easy to befriend other Blogger blogs and see their latest posts on your Blogger dashboard.

New Zealander James Squires' internet comic Moonbeard
is hosted at Tumblr -
If you go for a 'self-hosted' option, that means you need to download and install the blogging software on your own webspace. This means you are completely in control of your blog design, content and functionality - but you are also responsible for keeping the software and any plugins you install up to date, hosting, security, promotion and everything else to keep your blog up and running. One of the most popular self-hosted software solutions can be found at (not to be confused with - the same company, but the hosted version of their software.)

Lori Lange's Recipe Girl -
 is a self-hosted blog using the Wordpress platform.
If you are tech savvy, or planning to blog in support of an online business (for example), you may decide the self-hosted option is for you. My own business website is in fact a self-hosted Wordpress blog in disguise, whereas this blog is on a simple template hosted at Blogger. It has a lot less functionality, but  it was easy to set up and it serves its purpose pretty well.

There's more about this topic in Chapter 2 of Blogging for Creatives, and plenty of tips and advice to be found in the blogging community. Do some research and have a think about what is going to be best for you before deciding. Changing blog platforms isn't impossible, but you can't be doing it every few months!

No comments:

Post a Comment