Home » Blog » Blogging Basics » Start a Blog » Hosted vs self-hosted: which is best for your blog?


  1. could you explain that please,
    ” You may also have to pay extra if you want to monetise your blog and if you want to remove the ads (ads which make money for your host not you, that is!). What starts off as a ‘free’ blog can get expensive! “

    1. and I really want to know why is better in monetize doesn’t blogger make money like wp?
      “However, if you are starting a blog with the intention of making money and growing a business, or if you think you might want to make money with your blog in the future, I would definitely advise you to start a self-hosted WordPress blog.”

      1. You can make some money on hosted blogging plans… but it’s usually a lot less than on self-hosted! If your main reason for starting a blog is to make money, then you would be much, much better off going self-hosted, as you will make a lot more money in the long-run. Hope that helps! Eb 🙂

    2. Ok, so some hosted blogging platforms won’t let you make money on the basic/free plan – to be able to monetise your blog you need to upgrade to a premium plan. There are also some hosted blogging platforms which show ads on your site when you are on the basic/free plan – but it’s the host that makes money from those ads, not you. To remove the ads you have to pay to upgrade your plan. What I am really saying in this section is going with a hosted blogging platform may seem free – but there are often hidden costs and/or you can’t make money on the free plan. If you want to make money with your blog, you really need to go self-hosted. It’s a little more expensive upfront but the money making potential is waaaay higher!

  2. This article has been really helpful. Thank you. I looked into both WordPress hosted and WP self-hosted. I’d decided to go with the self-hosted option anyway but it was looking at all the plugins available for WP last night that made me realise just how much more flexibility there is with self-hosted! It makes total sense to have the power to adapt your site as you want/need as your blog grows. I’m excited to start building my site.

    1. Yay! I am so happy to hear you found this article helpful. And welcome to the wonderful world of blogging – you have definitely made a good choice going self-hosted! Eb 🙂

  3. I realize that a free blogging website like Blogger / Blogspot leaves the blogger at the mercy of Google one day just shutting it down without what may seem a justifiable reason, but even hosted websites can leave the blogger in a similar situation eventually. For example, I had five blogs on a shared or baby account with HostGator for over a decade, and eventually I had at least a couple of thousand posts on the smallest of the websites.

    Toward the end of my account’s life, I was making posts in excess of 30,000 words that would take me a few weeks to complete, and there would be scores of images in them, usually thumbnail in size.

    But even though my websites used Cloudflare and had free Wordfence protection, sometimes I would be told that Wordfence had blocked several thousand attempts by specific suspicious IPs.

    Over the years, HostGator would at times take my account offline for period of time for violations of overusing shared resources until I finally met some condition of theirs, but I had retired in early April 2011 and would never be able to afford their ultimate push to upgrade to a dedicated as opposed to a shared account.

    I had originally begun the websites in the hope of making a second income through affiliate means, but I was never any good at it. Google even banned three of the websites from displaying AdSense because of various violations that in a couple of cases should not even have applied to me because the violations were supposed to be strictly applied against U.S.-based websites and their owners whereas I was Canadian and lived in Canada ─ not the U.S.

    But I didn’t know how to object or protest and get myself heard ─ Google always did that sort of thing anonymously, so one never knew who to contact about it to explain.

    To cut this short, HostGator finally shut me down again for overuse of resources due to excess traffic that they admitted was likely of a bot or related nature, but I couldn’t understand their bewildering and wretchedly time-consuming remedies. This was in the Fall of 2020, and two of my websites had been online since 2008.

    I had my 71st birthday in October of 2020. My sole income is a monthly pension. I had spent virtually hours and hours every day working on one or another of my websites, but I accepted that it had all been for naught ─ I was defeated. So I let the account lapse (I had been paying to have it hosted on a month-by-month basis after finding that I no longer could afford the hit to my credit card for each renewed subscription).

    I also let the domains go ─ all except for the two that could still advertise Google AdSense ─ I now have them hosted at InterServer. But I abandoned the entire database at HostGator ─ the shared account was too huge for me to be able to get a download of the database for the account on my own. My account’s total volume for the five websites or domains was over 11GBs, whereas the maximum HostGator allowed a customer to download on their own was 10GBs.

    I would have needed to request someone at HostGator to handle it for me, and I just wanted to be done with them once and for all. And so I decided that I would start all over with those two domains and give them my focus instead of spreading it out over five other websites like I had been doing.

    So where am I going with this long narrative?

    Well, I have had a free Blogger blog of a personal nature since September 2008 that has over 3,200 posts, and an offshoot of that blog that is a couple of years old with over 600 posts.

    Yes, Google could shut down either one of them if someone decided that some manner of unforgivable violation was going on, but I have never received any warnings. As I said, these are personal blogs ─ I began the first one in order to begin a journal of my life after my immigrant wife’s two sons finally came to live with us after a couple of years of trying to get them visas.

    I have since had to render that blog private because the youngest lad ─ who had aged from around 10 years old when he came to Canada to around the age of 20 when he learned of my blog ─ discovered its existence, and I had been freely naming family members in all that while. So I went dark. The second blog was begun anonymously, and more or less carried on from where I had gone dark with the first blog.

    But now I name no one in the second blog ─ it truly is anonymous. And the private blog has become a venue for me to post entries from an old journal of mine that I began to keep way back in 1973 when I was 23 years old. The plan ─ provided I live to see it happen ─ is that one day I will again make the blog public, but that will have to be once it has been private for maybe a decade and my two stepsons will have grown older and not much care anymore about their earlier history up to when I had to make the blog private.

    I hope that the blogs will live on after I am gone ─ that is my ultimate aim. This is an impossibility with a hosted website, unless a person has the financial means to perhaps put the hosting subscription into a will and have it maintained. But a free blog like Blogger will likely remain online for as long as Blogger exists as a free platform, unless Google one day decides to weed out inactive older blogs. As yet, they do not. Every discontinued old blog that was online when the owner quit posting into it is still available to find.

    Anyway, this is one strong (to me) reason why a free blog can be superior to a hosted website that is used as a blog.

    Who knows? Maybe one day I can afford a domain in the decentralized Web that will be mine for life, and I can get my two blogs set up there before I’m gone and it’s too late. But that venue is far too mysterious to me ─ it seems entirely focused around virtual currency like Bitcoin, and that’s way out of my reach and thus of little interest. I’m waiting for this new version of the Internet to be more broadly accessible and clearer of concept.

    Perhaps I’ll see that day.

    1. It’s true that hosting companies can take you offline if you go over your limits, but you still own your blog – you can simply move to a different hosting company or, if you prefer, pay for an upgrade. One thing I always recommend to bloggers is to always have a backup of their blog somewhere separate to their host… that way, if ever your host is the problem, you still have a copy of your blog which you can move to another host, if necessary. I personally get VaultPress to do a backup of my blog every day. That way, the most I can ever lose is one day’s blogging work. Eb 🙂

  4. This sentence confused me, “Even then, hosted blogs are generally perceived as being less professional than hosted blogs.” I’m guessing you mean, “Even then, hosted blogs are generally perceived as being less professional than self-hosted blogs?”

    1. Ooops! Good spot. That was a typo. My apologies – it’s now been corrected. You were absolutely right… I meant hosted blogs are generally perceived as being less professional than self-hosted blogs. Thanks so much for highlighting this. I hope you enjoyed the rest of the article. Eb 🙂

  5. Hi EB,

    I find your articles are very informative, some of the most thorough I have seen out there. I am ready to start my blog with an eventual goal of monetizing by using an online store to sell digital products I create. However, I am still confused by the concept of “Hosted” vs,. “Self-Hosted” above in this article.

    Maybe I missed something important that explains the difference, but, if I am choosing the SiteGround plan “Grow Big” is exactly the program I had planned on purchasing. The part I don’t understand is that is a “managed WordPress” plan. The SiteGround plans above seem like “hosted” plans…..how is it self hosted? I guess, what am I missing?

    Some of your other articles talked about WordPress.org. I was under the assumption that I would have to create my blog/website on WordPress.org and then somehow transfer it to SiteGround for it to be considered “self-hosted”.

    Still Confused, Tim

    1. Hi Tim, Thanks for your kind words! OK, so the fundamental difference between hosted and self-hosted is that hosted is a one stop shop where you get everything from one company – like Wix or Squarespace. This means that your functionality and options are limited to what that company offers and ultimately that company (not you) owns everything and, if they decide you’ve violated the ToS or they suddenly go bust, you lose everything. Self-hosted is where you own the website and you pay other people to do various bits for you. For example you pay SiteGround to ‘host’ your website. You are not limited by what SiteGround can offer in terms of functionality – they are just the host. You get the functionality from plugins, themes etc. SiteGround don’t own your website – you do and they can’t delete your website. If you ever had a problem with SiteGround, you could just move your website to a different host. And yes, you are right WordPress.org is the free software you need to run your self hosted website. But these days any good host will help you install that when you buy hosting with them. Hope that helps! Eb 🙂

  6. Thanks Eb, That sort of clears it up. So if I pick the SiteGround “Grow Big” plan, that is a self-hosted plan as long as I load my own plugins. If I pick that plan, I will own the website?
    I guess I get a little nervous and suspicious when all of these “host” providers make you pick a plan and pay up front before you get inside to see if the are any “hidden” charges. This is what I found out about Hostinger through research, and also what led me to SiteGround. But as a newbie I’m a little nervous. I appreciate your help. TIm

    1. If you pick the SiteGround “Grow Big” plan, that is indeed a self-hosted plan. It is impossible to get a ‘hosted’ website through SiteGround. As far as I am aware, there are no hidden charges with SiteGround. The hidden charges tend to come with ‘hosted’ platforms – because they are a one stop shop, so every little extra thing you need – like a fancy design or the ability to do a certain function, they can potentially charge for. With SiteGround, you are just paying for the hosting – anything else you want (plugins, themes etc.) you get from a different company and there are nearly always free options. Of course, there are certain things you may want to pay for, when it comes to blogging – to make your site look professional, and to speed up the process of starting to earn from your blog, but these are mostly optional. I wrote a whole article here about the costs involved in blogging: https://www.productiveblogging.com/how-much-does-it-really-cost-to-start-a-blog/ Hope that helps! Eb 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.