Is it Essential to have your own Domain?

When you’re starting up a blog for the first time, one large part of the decision might come down to whether or not you should register your own domain and host it yourself or whether to use a free service like Blogger or WordPress. These services do allow you to install their software for use on your own hosted domains, though they also offer free blog accounts for users as well. Signing up for a free Blogger account would give you a yourblogname.blogger.com URL and signing up at WordPress for a free account would give you a yourblogname.wordpress.com url.

Whether you want to host your own blog on your own domain or take a free account will come down to a number of factors:

  • How tech savvy are you? You don’t need to be a web developer to host a domain and install a blogging platform on it, but if you run into any problems, you will probably need to have a basic understanding of how to fix them. For those who simply want to log in, write and log off and absolutely take part in nothing else, a free blog might be the better idea.
  • How much flexibility in the design do you want? Obviously, hosting your own gives you access and ability to make any aesthetic changes, which can sometimes be limited with the free accounts.
  • Are you interested in building up an asset from your blog? Some people go on to make a huge success of a blog without realising that was ever even a possibility for them. But if you are using a free blogging platform, you don’t have anything to build value up in. Sure, the increased pagerank and popularity of your blog is great, but the asset of a blog lies in a domain. This means that any popularity, page rank and so on is attributed to something you actually own and could sell on if you wanted to.
  • How much do you want to spend? Signing up with a free blog provider is free and easy. Registering and hosting a domain, on the other hand, has costs attached. Are you prepared to spend to set up your blog?
  • Is it really likely to last? If you believe there’s even a chance that you will be bored of blogging within a couple of months, there’s little point in paying for a domain and hosting it. A free account for those who are not sure of the life expectancy of their blog is the best move.

Take everything into account should give you an idea as to what is the best move for you.