For new bloggers, the term of having a self-hosted website can be very confusing. But everyone keeps talking about it and suggesting to have one… What are the most powerful benefits of having a self-hosted website and why is it so important?
I’ve been a full-time blogger for more than 4 years now and I consider myself as one only since I purchased a domain and a hosting plan.
I’ve given a more in-depth insight into what is website hosting but this time, let’s take a look at WHY choosing a self-hosted website is the best (and somewhat even the only) option to take!
The simplest and most visual difference between having a self-hosted blog and a free version of any website service is in the domain name. If your blog is “yourname.wordpress.com”, “yourname.squarespace/wix/weebly.com” or anything similar – you’re on the free version of the service.
Once you get to being self-hosted, you’ll have your own domain name. But it’s really just the surface!
You can also get an insight into what exact steps to take to start your own self-hosted website in this 5 simple steps to building a self-hosted website article.
Let’s learn the benefits of having a self-hosted website, shall we?
What having a self-hosted website really means
Let’s break it down as simple as possible!
Self-hosted is just a fancy term for having your own website. And with “your own website” I truly mean having ALL rights to the content of it.
Being self-hosted means the following: you have a platform to create a website (for example, WordPress), you’ve purchased your domain name AND you have hosting.
PLATFORM + DOMAIN + HOSTING = COMPLETE WEBSITE
- The platform will be where your website will be actually created;
- The domain name is the access to your website (like therandomp.com);
- The hosting where all the tech/back-end stuff is stored
Various website platforms offer free versions of website creation when you DON’T need a hosting! Then, you’re NOT self-hosted. These platforms host your website and you don’t need to purchase anything else. But in this case, the content of your website is the property of the platform, not yourself and it is very limiting.
To have a self-hosted website, you just need to purchase the hosting. It does not request having any specific knowledge, any level of decency for your website or literally anything else. It’s just a purchase of the service, really. A service, that’ll store your website’s information for a monthly or yearly cost.
The benefits of having a self-hosted website
BENEFIT #1 Your blog will look more serious
What many new bloggers don’t really think about at first is their liability in the crowd.
If you’re writing amazing blog posts with insightful and useful content but your blog is with a free domain name, rarely anyone will take it seriously.
While it can be a bit stereotypical to think that free version users are only young people or those without a penny to invest in a blog, that’s exactly what most people would think since very often it’s also the truth.
And I’m sorry to say it this way, but if you’re not managing to invest in your blog, how can I assume you’re taking your blogging efforts seriously? It’s challenging to trust such content.
For a new blogger, it is hard to stand out, get noticed, and find readers. Therefore, having a legit domain and self-hosted website is just the first big leap to take and it’s also one of the main benefits of having a self-hosted website.
BENEFIT #2 You can fully monetize your website
Free website variations, for example, WordPress.com, don’t offer full monetization options but a self-hosted option does.
While it’s just one of the benefits of having a self-hosted website – I also see it as one of the most important ones. You can actually monetize your blog and, at least, get back the money you’ve invested in the hosting.
Here are just a few simple reasons why blog monetization is not possible without having a self-hosted website:
- Many affiliate marketing networks will request you having a domain to register;
- You can put ads on self-hosted websites only since most ad networks don’t support free website users;
- Brands usually don’t offer cooperations to free website users.
BENEFIT #3 You have all rights to your content
Is there even anything more to say?
Once you get a self-hosted website, you actually have all the rights to your content.
If you’re on a free website’s version, your content officially belongs to the platform – you’re not paying for it, so they have the freedom to do whatever they want with it.
Usually, nothing specific will happen. But if you have invested your time and effort into your website, make sure to have rights to what’s created!
BENEFIT #4 You have more customization options
This depends on the platform you might be using but for WordPress – you’ll have more customization options if you’ll have a self-hosted website with a purchased theme.
This means complete freedom in your design preferences. You can make your website to be ANYTHING you want it to be.
Another good news – most of these customizations CAN be done without any coding knowledge and they are fully available for starters. As long as you’re eager to read some how-to articles and invest your time into making it happen.
BENEFIT #5 All integrations fully available
Integrating your website with other platforms is the best way to build a fully automatized business.
For example, one of the most important integrations for bloggers would be e-mail marketing setup. With a self-hosted website, you can easily set-up signups to your mailing list, using any email marketing service you’d prefer.
If you’re not into email marketing (although you definitely should be!), there are many other integrations and features that will request you having a paid website.
It’s undeniably one of the most important benefits of having a self-hosted website!
Myths about having a self-hosted website
It’s very expensive…
Yes, it requests some investment but it’s hard to consider it “very expensive”.
For Siteground’s hosting, you can get a discount for the first year and have it for around $50. Any of the following years will cost around $120. (It depends on the plan) It’s around $10/per month and you can easily get this money back with blog monetization.
Here you can learn more about the real cost of starting a business online.
Only “pro” bloggers need it…
Here’s yet another false myth.
As you must’ve already noticed, there are many benefits of having a self-hosted website and not only the highest rank pro bloggers should do it. If you consider your blog worth anything, if you’re trying to reach some audience (not only writing for yourself or your family) – do take the leap and make your blog self-hosted.
Have you decided to take the leap yet? Make sure to grab my Blog Creation Simplified guide to make this journey easier for you.
Got any questions? Leave them in comments!