Free Blogging Platforms vs. Self-Hosted Blogs

Video Transcription

Hey there, this is Brad from, and in this video I’ll be explaining the differences of a free blogging platform versus a self-hosted blog, and then ultimately why we recommend going with the self-hosted version. So let’s go ahead and get into it right now.

All right. First off, a free blogging platform is usually a website or service that allows you to create your own blog, well, for free. However, there are a variety of reasons why we recommend against to this setup, since it’s very limiting in nature and can be difficult to switch off of in the future. One of the biggest downsides is being extremely limited on the settings, themes, options, and choices that you can make with your free blog.

When you’re using a free blogging platform, you’ll usually have some sort of ads on your website and a sub-domain URL, something like This can be confusing for visitors rather than having your own domain name. When you have this sort of sub-domain, oftentimes you’ll be seen as an inexperienced beginner. Perception is important, so if you’re serious at all about your blog, we’d highly recommend going with a self-hosted version.

Self-hosted blogging platforms allow you to run your blog on your own hosting and domain, which gives you full flexibility on installing software, adding plugins, themes, and you’ll never have someone else’s ads showing on your blog. There are a variety of self-hosted blog systems out there, like MoveableType, Drupal, and WordPress, with WordPress being the platform we recommend here at Firstsiteguide by far since it’s the easiest to set up, use, and customize. However, with a self-hosted blog setup like WordPress, you’ll need to have your own web hosting account and domain name.

The domain name will usually cost about $12 to $15 a year, while the hosting will range from $4 to $8 per month. And while that might sound a little complicated, it’s really as simple as following our full guide on how to set up your own blog. We’d be happy to walk you through this three-step process so get your own self-hosted blog set up today. Now, let’s jump over to my browser real fast and I’ll show you an example of a free blogging platform versus a self-hosted blog.

All right. Here you can see this is a financial blog discussing the past, present, and future of finances. It’s on the platform. So you can see here at the top it has the sub-domain It also appears to be one of the default themes that is offering, which is another limiting factor when it comes to using a free blogging platform. And then, I thought I’d go ahead and use our blog as a great example of a self-hosted blog, which is at

As you can see, we’ve really been able to customize the theme, add many types of widgets to the sidebars, and be in total control of our advertisements, links, and our theme.

That wraps things up for this video. If you have any other questions or need help, please visit us at We’d be happy to help you out. Take care and enjoy starting your own blog.


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