If you're an experienced webmaster or web developer, you might already know why a paid Wordpress installation is nearly always worth the money, but for the new internet marketer, it can seem like a waste of ten dollars (plus the cost of hosting) to actually build your own site from scratch.
Nevertheless, the best long-term business decision is to buy your own domain, get hosting (preferably through a different service than your domain registrar), and install Wordpress. This gives you the most flexible site possible, and there are many more reasons to use a paid installation. Here are five of them.
If you're using Blogspot/Blogger, a free Wordpress blog, or any other blog host that offers a free blog on a subdomain (yourname.blogger.com, for instance), you're taking a risk every time you make a post. This isn't being overly dramatic: even popular blogs have been deleted thanks to malicious spam reports or first-time terms of service violations.
When you use your own paid Wordpress site, you will still have to worry about the terms of service of your hosting company, but these are generally far more flexible. They just prohibit explicit or illegal materials in most cases, though check what's allowed before you sign up, just in case.
This is particularly important if you plan to use your domain to host long-term materials such as training courses you're selling, as running around changing these links can take forever, if it isn't impossible. Simply having your site deleted after all this hard work is the most frustrating experience you can imagine. Save yourself this grief!
Right now, perhaps you can't imagine selling your website. It's always important to have an “exit strategy” built into your business, just in case the unimaginable happens: it becomes huge and you feel the need to leave and pursue smaller projects (or just retire on the income), or it flops and you want to sell it and move on, for example.
With a free blog, you are very limited in your ability to sell. Some blog hosting services such as Blogger don't allow you to sell your blog at all, while others will charge a fee, and still others are tied to a particular email address so you couldn't sell without selling your email account, too!
This could well be the difference between living well and losing it all someday, so don't trust the foundations upon which you build your business if they aren't yours.
Many plugins either aren't available for free installations or can't be installed properly. For instance, free Wordpress sites are extremely limited in the number and type of plugins that can be installed. Some plugins make your site safer, while others improve the SEO value of your page. It's even worth it for the time-saving value of plugins that make your life easier by, for example, adding a space for ads that you can change in one location to change all ads displayed on your site instead of having to update every single post.
When you're using a paid Wordpress site, you have unlimited access to the incredible variety of plugins available for Wordpress, and you can easily modify these plugins to suit your own needs, install them on your server, or disable them at will.
Almost nothing (except 1990s glitter graphics) can scream “unprofessional” faster than downtime. If people can't access your site, they'll automatically assume it's a problem on your end. For service providers linking potential clients to a portfolio or internet marketers who have just convinced customers to buy something on their site, this is a disaster. Most people just close the window and never come back.
The uptime, or time your website is available, is far greater if you choose a reliable website host like HostGator or BlueHost than if you're relying on a free blog provider. These paid providers have far greater incentive to keep your website running, since they want and need to keep your business! The implications for the long-term success of your business are obvious.
Along with better uptime, there are many other elements of customer service provided by a good website host, such as the ability to restore your website to a backup, help you with technical mistakes, provide some website analytics, and more. If you ever have a problem, you know who to contact.
The credibility, boost in business savvy, and long-term community-building potential of having your own brand is obvious in this entrepreneurial age where most young and successful business founders have emphasized it.
Your own brand is the ultimate tool and the best thing to work towards, no matter what facet of internet development you work in: web development, programming, being a freelance service provider, internet marketing, and so on. With your own brand, you can seek out others like you, attract business partners, and monetize your talents.
A paid Wordpress site beats a free site hands-down in almost every situation. The single exception is if you're very new and looking to just get started with your first website. In this case, a free Wordpress blog can be a good introduction, allowing you to make just enough money to pay for hosting and your own domain. If you are past this point, however, skip it and get straight to owning your own web property.
For these reasons and more, the investment in your own hosting and domain name is worth it. It will save you time, money, and endless frustration!
I have been in software industry for more than 10 years. I have developed different type of software using different languages. I have knowledge in languages such as Ruby, Python, PHP, Flash, .NET, Java, and jQuery. Currently I am working as a Tech Lead in Singapore.