If you host your blog on Google’s popular blog hosting platform, Blogspot, you’ll be interested in knowing that they have just rolled out Dynamic Views as “part of Blogger’s ongoing effort to modernize and streamline their interface, to keep the popular blogging site as one of the top destinations to share your life on.”
This move gives bloggers on Blogspot a lot more flexibility and just raised the bar on services offered by free blogging services. The big free blogging services that dominate the blogging world are without a doubt, Blogspot, WordPress and Typepad. You’ll also find niche sites that offer free blogging services, like BlogHer.
However, there are a number of reasons why we believe that free blogging sites are not the best choice for a blog that is aimed at presenting your business in the best possible way.
In 2004 to 2006, I had started a number of blogs on Blogspot. But as my blog grew – and their services failed to catch up – it became increasingly obvious that it was not possible to serve my business needs on this free blogging site.
Then came WordPress.org – an amazing, open-source content management system – and suddenly the world opened up for thousands of bloggers sick of the restrictions of Blogspot and its clones.
A while later, as marketers caught on and spam blogs became more common, many legitimate bloggers found that their blogs had vanished overnight in a massive move by Google to clean up the spammers on Blogspot.
So whether you’re currently planning to start a blog online or have been blogging for a while on a free blog platform, you will find there are a lot of things you can’t do with a free blogging service. Once you read the points below, you may even see the sense in moving to a self-hosted blog.
Here are 3 limitations of using a free blogging service:
1. Lack Of Personalization
With a free blogging service, you’re usually offered a choice of templates from a pre-defined selection. You have limitations when it comes to creating a new template, or making modifications to a standard template, for example, changes in colour, ad banners and coding.
While you’re given an array of add-ons to play with, like exchanging links and having a check box, your site looks virtually just like any other blogger’s site.
With a self-hosted blog that uses WordPress, for example, you’re free to express your creativity and design a custom blogging template. What’s more, you can customize your code, add plugins, shopping carts, ads and do just about anything you can do with a regular website.
2. Content Limitations
A free blogging service provider has significant restrictions on your site content, because physically your blog content is saved on their server and they – not you – are the blog publisher.
If you’re unlucky, your blog could be deleted and all your efforts will be wiped out forever – unless of course you’ve backed up the database periodically on your computer.
You’re also not permitted to use your blog for commercial reasons or advertising on a free blog host. In comparison, you’re free from these worries whenever you host your blog on your own server.
3. Weak Branding
If you have your own domain, you’ll be able to create strong branding for your business and considerably fortify your web presence. You do not have to display enforced ads or follow any of the tiresome rules imposed by free blogging services. Things are not within your control when it comes to creating a strong online presence.
When it comes to business blogs, the WordPress blogging platform is unquestionably the most versatile option, as it is regularly updated and improved on by a large community of open-source coders.
You’ll also get access to a huge range of plug-ins and templates that can perform a wide variety of functions that you would have to pay a programmer thousands of dollars for.
© Priya Florence Shah
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