Most bloggers will start off using a free blogging platform like Blogger or WordPress.com, then upgrade later on. But do you really need to go self hosted?
Using a free service means that you don’t need to deal with the admin of updating the system or have any costs. There’s very little risk of totally messing up or worse, deleting your blog accidentally, and it’s really easy to just blog on there!
If you are willing to put a little money into your blog, it’s definitely worth looking into buying a domain for your blog
Self hosting is great if you want the ability to totally customise your site, and if you’re worried about losing your data. We’ve heard about Blogger shutting down peoples blogs for no reason and it’s taken a little while to get their site back up. It’s also possible in some platforms terms of services that you’re handing over the rights to your work to them – by self hosting, you’ll know that your data is yours, and there should be a support team available for you to contact in case there’s any problems.
Some platforms like WordPress.com restrict what else you can do like not have any advertising on there (besides the ads they put on the free accounts) or not have affiliate links, so if you’re looking at potentially making money from your blog at some point, this is something to consider. However, Blogger does not (currently!) have any restriction like this, so it’s still not too much of a problem if you want to stay on a free site.
What do you think? Do all bloggers need to upgrade to a self hosted service at some point?