New bloggers — and even some more established site owners — are often surprised at the complexities of establishing a blog and making it profitable. Those who wish to turn their blogs into a source of income often find that in order to do so, they can’t rely on the free hosting services that are so easy to use, but so limiting to real growth.
The fact is, to grow a blog, you need to self-host it, so you have the freedom to expand and increase the functionality of the site. However, if you are like many people, you probably believe some of these myths — all of which hold you back.
1. Unlimited Bandwidth Always Means the Same Thing
When you hear the term bandwidth, what do you think of? For most people, bandwidth means one of two things: Either the speed of the host in loading the website, or the amount of data that can be uploaded and downloaded within a particular amount of time.
Often, when comparing hosting services, bloggers are enticed by claims of “unlimited bandwidth,” believing that it means that their site will always load quickly and there will never be lag time when uses log on. However, “unlimited bandwidth” in this sense is practically impossible, since hosts can’t really put limits on speed. Instead, usually what providers mean in referring to unlimited bandwidth is actually the latter. You can upload or download as many files as you want within your contract period, and if you have unlimited disk space as well, you won’t have limits on the size of those files.
2. Inexpensive Hosting Is Bad Hosting
All Web hosting is not created equal. Some providers are better than others, and several providers could even be considered among the best Web hosts available. However, just because something is listed as a “best” provider doesn’t mean that it comes with a hefty price tag — just as just because something is affordable doesn’t make it a “bad” provider. There may be drawbacks to choosing a less expensive host, in terms of features and support, but if you have some knowledge of how to manage your site, you can host a perfectly functioning site with a bargain service.
3. Self-Hosting Is Complicated
Many bloggers believe that hosting is complicated and requires codingand database expertise. So they limit themselves to free hosting sites with limited features and control over branding or function.
The truth is that while there is a learning curve associated with launching a self-hosted blog, it’s actually much easier than one might think. Most hosting providers offer easy-to-use,intuitive dashboards. In addition, there are literally hundreds of tutorials online, many of which can get your site up and running in no time. While having some experience with Web design and development can improve the functionality of your site, you can launch a perfectly functional and attractive blog on your own with little to no experience.
4. A “Little” Downtime Is Okay
Downtime is the bane of any site owner’s existence. Not only does downtime keep your readers and customers from visiting your site, it can also have a negative effect on your SEO and ranking on search engines. It’s inevitable that downtime will occur, but keeping it to a minimum is vital.
Yet many bloggers fail to see the bigger picture when evaluating hosting service downtime statistics. A difference in just a few tenths of a percent actually amounts to many more hours of downtime. A site that’s up 99.9 percent of the time, for example, is down for just over eight hours over the course of a year. When the number drops to 99.6 percent uptime, the number of hours jumps to about a day and a half. If uptime drops to 95 percent? Your site is offline for about two weeks out of the year.
Because small differences add up to big losses, choose a Web host that guarantees the highest level of uptime possible — even if you have to pay a little more.
5. You Don’t Need to Host Your Blog on Your Website.
If you’re adding a blog to your content marketing mix, it might be tempting to host it separately from your primary website. However, doing so drives users away from your site, which is where you want them to be. Adding your blog to your main website makes it easier to manage, and keep users from clicking away.
Hosting your own blog isn’t difficult, but does require a willingness to learn some new skills and try some different options. If you can get past these myths and try out a self-hosted blog, you’ll probably find that your goals are closer than you imagined.