More than good design art, a good logo, interactive ajax, active social media accounts etc, a blog or website owner should own their work by hosting the site on a paid service rather than a free subdomain hoster. There are ample free hosting services such as Google’s blogspot, WordPress.com, Weebly, Wix, SquareSpace. They are good for people who know little about the internet as a means to test the waters. But for professionals a free service invites trouble. Why? Well, the company behind the service has the power to shut down your site at any time.
But why would they want to shut you down? It turns out that any number of reasons could trigger a shut down. For example someone decides an email associated with your site constitutes spam and complains to the company. The company wants to steer clear of blacklists so immediately bans your account. In other words, the interests of your free hosting company are not aligned with your own. Your site goes down, you lose your content, which even if backed up will have to be reconstituted in another environment at considerable expense and time.
The barrier to hosting your own site of course is lack of knowledge, inexperience, and a little bit of fear. However with the advent of cpanel and help forum software, administering your site is as easy as Googling for help and clicking through options. We definitely recommend looking online for resources on how to find the best web hosting.
Confused about how to pick the right service? Well, first, the cost of shared hosting is extremely low, coming out to a few dollars per month. Second, the three technical numbers to worry about the amount of storage space you’re given, the bandwidth that the company permits on your account, and the number of domains you can have. Third, be sure to check that the right software scripts have been installed so that you can easily put WordPress, Drupal, Joomla or any other webhosting-specific tools onto your site.
(Photo Credit: Torkild Retvedt /Creative Commons)