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Collaborative Post¦ Most bloggers start out using free-hosted blog sites such as Blogger or WordPress to publish their content, but when it’s time to progress to the next level, self-hosted is the way to go.
Why go self-hosted?
Hosting simply refers to where your blog lives on the internet. If you’re using a free-hosted blog site, then your blog lives on a server that belongs to the blog site, whereas when you are self-hosted, your blog lives on an external server owned and operated by a third party. Making the shift from free-hosted to self-hosted comes with a number of benefits:
- You get to have your own domain name
- You look more attractive to potential brands and collaborators
- You have more freedom to customise your site the way you choose
- You have the choice to host your blog on different types of servers
The three main types of server
When it comes to servers, there are three types to consider. Shared servers, virtual private servers and dedicated servers. Sites such as Go-Daddy offer all three of these servers as hosting options. Here’s how they stack up.
Shared servers are often the cheapest way to host your blog because, as the name suggests, you share the server and all of its resources with many other sites. Although shared servers are economical, you can run into trouble if you happen to be sharing a server with another site that is using all of the resources of the server, leaving your site running slow and appearing laggy to your visitors. Another potential downside to shared servers is that you have little control when it comes to the server setup.
Virtual private servers (VPS)
A step up from a shared server is a virtual private server which provides you with your own, dedicated portion of a server and divides resources equally between all users. You still don’t have the server to yourself, but it is private in the sense that you no-longer share resources giving you more freedom to customise your space and decreasing the chance of your site experiencing issues. Despite fewer people sharing a VPS, some of the cheapest VPS hosting plans are very similar in price to shared hosting plans making them another affordable option.
Lastly, you have the daddy of all hosting options, a dedicated server. Dedicated servers really are the premium option when it comes to hosting, giving you full access to all of the server with unlimited resources, but at a price, of course. Dedicated servers are simply too expensive for most self-hosted bloggers to consider, but if your site grows to a certain size or you need certain resources, then they are an option to consider later down the line.
Which server to choose?
Generally, most bloggers choose to host their blog on either a shared or virtual private server, depending on their budget and what they need for their site to run. If you’re unsure which option is right for you, then make use of the chat function on the server site that you are thinking of using, and have a conversation with someone who can point you in the right direction.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.