So you’ve been kicking ideas around for a while, and you’ve finally picked a subject to blog about. Now what? Well now you pick a blog host! There are free options and others that require payment, so take your time and read about the differences!
Blogger is partnered with Google, so you’ll find all sorts of Google tie-ins with it. (Gmail, Picasa, Google Analytics, etc.)
- Allows and encourages advertising. (Make money!)
- Provides hosting. This means it “holds” all of the content in your posts on Blogger servers.
- Automatically stores uploaded photos and videos in a Picasa Web Album. There’s a 1 gigabyte limit, HOWEVER “Photos smaller than (or equal to) 800x800 pixels and videos less than (or equal to) 15 minutes long do not count towards this limit.” (source)
- Can access and alter the HTML for your layout, including CSS codes.
- Unlimited blogs on each account.
- Have up to 100 writers for a group blog.
- If you need more storage you can add it for a price. Add 20 to 16,384 gigabytes for $5 to $4,096 a year. That is a LOT of storage!! o_O
- Cannot access your blog’s PHP source code.
- Have to deal with rabid WordPress fans.
- Unlimited storage.
- Allows ads and sponsored posts.
- Can create photo albums.
- Able to make audio and video podcasts.
- Costs from $8.95-$29.95 a month, depending on the package you pick.
- Limited to 4 blogs unless you pay for a higher plan.
- If you want to edit HTML and CSS, you’ll need at least the $14.95 plan.
- Group blogging can only be done on the $14.95 plan or better.
- Although you have unlimited storage, you can only upload 150 – 2000 MB a month, depending on your plan.
I was really confused about this for the longest time, but there actually is a BIG difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Basically, you can do more stuff on WordPress.org, but it will take money and a little technical know-how. (I’ve heard their customer support is fantastic for people setting up new blogs.) To read the full list of differences, check out the WordPress.com vs WordPress.org page.
Now! Here are the pros and cons.
- Easier to set up than WordPress.org
- 3 gigabytes of storage
- Your blog is hosted on hundreds of different servers, so it’s extremely unlikely that your blog will ever crash from a traffic spike.
- Optional a la carte premium features let’s you pick and choose what you want to pay for, if anything.
- Global tag system may help you pick up new readers.
- Backs up posts automatically.
- Unlimited blogs on each account.
- No custom themes, and editing the CSS is a premium feature.
- Cannot access your blog’s PHP code.
- Cannot upload plugins. (Those only work on WordPress.org.)
- Ads and paid posts are a no-go. If your blog gets 25,000+ pageviews a month, you can apply for Ad Control. This lets you use AdSense and Skimlinks on your blog, but you split the profits 50/50 with WordPress.com.
Here are the current (May 2011) premium features for WordPress,com, and the prices. These are all totally optional!
- Extra storage – Add 5 to 100 gigabytes, at a cost of $19.97 - $289.97 per year.
- Access to your blog’s CSS - $14.97 a year
- VideoPress – Converts uploaded video to web formats AND turns your RSS feed into a video podcast. $59.97 a year.
- Remove ads – These ads make money for WordPress.com, not you! Remove them for $29.97 a year.
- Unlimited users – If you have a private blog you’re limited to 35 users. This takes off that limit! $29.97 a year.
Many professional bloggers swear up and down by WordPress.org, so it’s definitely worth considering.
- Full access to layout code, including CSS and PHP.
- Thousands of plugins to choose from.
- Can run advertisements to earn $$$.
- Free to use, but… (see list of cons)
- You MUST have a web host in order to use WordPress.org. Expect to pay at least $7-$12 a month for hosting. If your blog gets wildly popular (and I hope it does!) the price for hosting may increase, depending on your current plan.
- Since your blog is hosted in only one place, it may go down if there’s a huge traffic spike. Pick a good host!
- More complicated set up and install.
- No auto backup.
When picking a blog host you need to keep your budget in mind and consider whether they allow you to put up advertising. If the thought of ads turn you off, just remember that they don’t have to be obnoxious, and you can use the extra revenue to improve and upgrade your blog later.
|Blog Host||Monthly Costs||Ads Allowed|
|WordPress.org||$7-$12 for |