Own Domain and Paid Hosting over Free Domains and Free Hosting

Posted by webdesigncut on December 19th, 2009 in Web hosting.
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We talk about making money online and we often see sites that intoxicate us with sales pitches that sound like the ultimate online money-making dream. It’s this very dream that comes with a limited offer, and if you don’t “act now” you’ll just see it slipping away. Away it goes. You were lucky this time!

We have get-rich quick schemes, covered even in articles at the Wikipedia, and some probably work. Otherwise how would you explain the birth of a few new “get rich” sites each day? And, attention: there are legal get rich schemes that will burn your pockets even worst than the illegal ones.

When it comes to the Web, the “get rich” idea is not out of the question. What you need to understand is that nothing happens over night and that there is no such thing as “free.” On some sites you get “free white papers” but you need to give them your name and email address to get a download link. And then watch out for the spam… On other sites you get “free software” but to fully benefit of its features you have to upgrade to the paid version. Free is a relative term.

And the relativity of the term applies even to web domains and hosting.

Many bloggers start an online business using apparently free resources like Google’s Blogger. Even I have there a few blogs that bring in some coffee cash. Other bloggers are more successful, because they focus more on branding and networking. Blogspot is serving its purpose well, and it is amazing because it is free, isn’t it?

Well, as long as you don’t need to actually pay for your sub-domain (because you do own just a blogspot sub-domain with Blogger) you go on happy that you don’t need to pay for hosting, that you make the best out of a free resource. Without knowing, you actually work for Blogger. You feed its big domain with content, you boost traffic, and you are the very force behind this company’s branding.

The little money you make using this apparently free web spot is nothing in comparison to the win you actually make for Blogger.com. You are the unofficially employed Blogger writer. You publish some ads by Google on your site (which is actually not yours and Blogger.com could delete it at any time as per its TOS) and you are happy with the revenue.

You sell some links (carefully, because you really don’t want Google to manually de-index your site), and you publish some sponsored reviews. But did you know that you could do much better with a small monthly investment?

There are enough web hosts that offer affordable web hosting plans , and some even offer the cheapest web hosting plans I’ve ever seen. The trick is to find them and when you do, take your time to consider the advantages of owning your domain and the advantages of professional hosting versus feeding up Blogger.com on a sub-domain no one will ever remember.

First things first: how many serious, professional bloggers run their blogs on Blogger.com sub-domains (also known as blogspot)? Oh, yes, we have a few who still keep their blogspot accounts just for fun, but we see them blogging assiduously on their own domains. Because they know:
blogging on your own domain allows for better branding (a carefully chosen domain name is easy to remember and SEO friendly – as you include keywords on the domain name),
provides for reliability and conveys trustworthiness (a sitename.blogspot.com is less reliable than sitename.com – which also gives to the customers a sense of permanence),
gives you full control over your content,
you get a professional, domain-branded email address (and people tend to trust such addresses more than any free web-based email accounts – what would you trust more: [email protected] or [email protected]?);
you are free to move your domain from one web host to another, as you please;
business cards and stationery look more professional when displaying a self-owned domain;

Now that you are familiar with the advantages of owning a domain, what about hosting? If you park that domain free on any web host you’ll get your pages cluttered with their ads. And now we go back to that “apparently free” debate that started this article.

When they publish their ads on your domain they actually monetize the web space they put at your disposal. If with Blogger (blogspot subdomains) you can do what you want, because Blogger only cares about traffic and branding, a free host like GoDaddy wants its web space to make money. And they win, on your work, each month more than the real price of the hosting plan they put at your disposal “free of charge.”

You could put that money in your pocket! For less than $ 4 monthly you get a professional hosting package that will give you full control over your content, Cpanel, MYSQL databases, email accounts, ftp and much more.

Also, some free hosts don’t always allow you to monetize your site as you wish. Look at WordPress.com which denies you any right to display ads or make money with your blog. Sure, when you are not in for making money with the blog (through ads, affiliates and sponsored reviews), there’s nothing wrong with WordPress.com.

And if you don’t mind being an unofficial employee of Blogger.com, then just ignore this article and do your thing. But when you mean serious business, when you want to affirm yourself as a professional in your field, go buy a hosting plan that has a domain included in the price and make a serious start.

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