Sorry, this article was written when I was still using Blogspot. But I made the decision to migrate to paid domain and hosting a few weeks later.
I have been hosting this blog via Blogspot since May 2006. Prior to that, I was already posting some entries via Geocities. I have been using free public domains to host my sites and blogs.
There are limitations to hosting the blogs with Blogspot such as:
- you cannot have your own domain name such as www.myname.com but will need to have ‘blogspot’ as part of your url name
- there is predesigned templates that you need to follow and it will not be easy to incorporate other programs into your blog unless you are very good in programming
- the blog, its layout, ultimately is still under the control of Blogspot, ie Google. So if one day Google decided to shut down Blogspot, we have no say in it.
As I have added more and more content into my blog as well as have more interest to expand and improve the layout, friends have been urging me to get my own domain name and paid hosting. In my previous job, I helped to manage an intranet for my company so I do not forsee much difficulties in ‘learning the ropes’ if I manage my own site. In fact, I have been toying with the idea for quite a while and considering whether I should be getting paid hosting.
Then, call it complacency or just plain laziness, after some consideration, I’ve decided that at this point of time, I will be sticking to Blogspot because :
- on certain search topic, I’ve already built up the ranking in Google, especially on specific health topics that I cover under my other blog. My blog even appears on page 1 and 2 of the Google search engine when the people type in certain keywords- and then the person who found the site do remain for sometime. Even though what I write only caters for specific group, knowing that what I write help others is already a big satisfaction for me. Also, it is not easy to appear in Google page 1 or 2 on any search topics- it takes time and I have to start from stratch if I built a new site
- I am already very familiar and very comfortable with Blogspot- so each time I blog, I only need to be concerned about the content and maybe add a picture or two. I don’t need to worry about other aspects of maintaining a site which can easily take away the focus
- I repeatedly ask myself for my real motive behind blogging and writing- am I in it to make money? The final answer is no. So if I am not driven to profit but it is just sharing and the occassional expression of my creativity, Blogspot will be more than suffice. If anyone were to blog for a living, then it is almost necessary to get your own paid domain name and hosting.
- Blogspot does not seemed to impose any bandwidth and file transfer size limit for hosting the site as well as the loading time is generally very fast. If you host your own site and choose the wrong hosting company, you will find various restrictions imposed on you- like when a lot of visitors visit your site, it will cost you (as each time visitors view your content, the hosting company has to bear the bandwidth cost).
- I already have a lot of bills to pay- if I opt for paid hosting and forgets to renew my domain name fee, I may find the page goes down
No doubt, as the visitor’s first impression, it will be more credible if the site is hosted via a paid domain rather than a free hosting site. However, ultimately, what makes visitors come back again and again is the content- that what they find what you write beneficial, or entertaining. In other words, your site address certain needs that the visitors have. All the fancy gizmos, gifs, flash will not be able to keep long term visitors if there is no quality content.
Looking at the top 100 sites listed by Technorati (as off 5 Sept 08), you still find a few Blogspot bloggers coming in the top 100:
- Official Google Blog
- Postsecret (started for people to share their darkest secrets)
- The Sartorialist
Check out the top 50 Blogs Powered by Blogger as compiled by Bloggerbuster.com.
There are also other Blogspot bloggers whom their blogs I follow:
- Cuppacakes- the designs in their cupcakes are so creative, beautiful and pleasing to the eyes. No matter how stressed I am, when I look at their beautiful designs of cupcakes, I will feel relaxed and calm. I am not a fan of cupcakes but I love to look at creative designs. Some of my friends had ordered their cupcakes and have positive reviews about them. Through their Blogspot site, the word spread around and today, instead of operating from a house, they have their own store.
- Weight Loss Success Stories– the author compiles various weight loss success stories and publish it in her blog. Her blog is popular and I came to know about her blog when she talked about my blog last year.
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