3 Reasons To Host Your Own Website

I’m going to share with you 3 primary reasons why I no longer use the free website builder sites like blogger, Tumblr, and wix and instead my own Website Hosting for only $4 bucks a month (which is the same as what I was paying wordpress{dot}come for their “personal plan”).

When you are first starting out in business, whether online or off, you don’t really know anything. In fact, you don’t even know what you don’t know… Cliche, I know, but it’s true.

Which makes it extremely hard to know the difference between the different resources and what they do.

So here are Three Lessons I had To Learn the Hard Way about website hosting

  1. Nothing is free: You will either pay with money now or time later. If you haven’t had to deal with site migrations or downtime on your site then you don’t understand what it’s like. Most hosting companies offer an extremely low rate and a la cart options followed by a bunch of additional services as optional buy ups. This is not only annoying but can start to add up if you don’t know what you are doing.
  2. SEO Out of the box: I learned this later but none of these “free” sites allow for you to use SEO monitoring tools besides the built in monitoring items.
  3. Your content isn’t really yours. Sure you can download it at any time but what happens if they decide to boot you from their servers or the server crashes. Good luck trying to backup something that crashed. It’s not veryl likely but it’s posisble. so in order to prevent losing your online asset I suggest you don’t do the freemium models and instead you host and backup your own site.

Nothing is Free

I would still choose to use wordpress.com over other free site builders such as wix, blogger, tumbler and instagram for the following reasons:

  1. You own the content and it’s easy to transfer (though not free if you want someone to do it for you)
  2. It’s the same framework: think languages Chinese -> Chinese; or Spanish -> Spanish, not Spanish -> Russian.
  3. Once you start to learn to use wordpress you won’t want to use anything else. The framework is very much like using apple or android, you begin to get used to the platform and then you don’t want to change.

So What gives, why can’t I use these free sites?

I’m not saying to not use them if you are just starting out, or you are still in highschool or college and don’t have a steady income just yet, I think starting out and testing the waters with some of these “freemium” sites are great. Just understand that if you decide to really shift gears and start to build your presense out online that you will want to consider moving from the renter to the owner position.

What’s the ‘renter’ vs the ‘owner’ position?

You can think about these “free” websites like rental units.

You don’t own them, and for many folks that’s fine you don’t really want to own a $1M home if you have $30k in student loan debt.

But, if you are effectively running business, or planning on starting a business, which will have the potential to cashflow more than the cost of your mortgage each month would you rather own that property or rent it?

And I know a lot of Dave Ramsey fans are out there screaming RENT! RENT!

But in the long term, what does Dave say? You want to own the property, of course he says you want to pay cash for the whole thing, which is kind of in line with the saving for retirement mentality… but still, the idea of ownership is great because it becomes your asset and not simply a liabilty or expense.

See, the secret to wealth, as I understand it, is to aquire assets and minimize liabilities. So rather than spend all my time, money, and energy building someone else’s wealth, I would much rather own the asset, and the cashflow, and the equity such that later I can sell it for X times what it’s worth.

In real estate we follow the same principles, buy with other peoples money, minimize the downside, and have other people live there to pay the rent to build your asset which later cash flows for you.

In the digital world these same principles apply.

We either own or we rent. It’s ok to rent for a while until you have proven a concept and it makes sense to begin to build ownership. Later, properties which you own and control, become assets which not only pay in cash flow each month but can be sold for a profit.

Social profiles are in line with the “renting” philosophy, you are essentially using their servers to host your “digital property” but if they decide to evict you or shut down the power you are done, and often times you have to pickup and lug all your crap to the next place or they just throw it out in the dumpster.

SEO Out the Box

WordPress.com has limited features for free, they brand their site with their logo (which no one really cares about), and you are limited to having a “follow this blog” option, no email lists building, or facebook popup building, and you don’t get google analytics.

With the free version of wordpress you don’t get any support from their staff, and going to WordPress meet ups and Wordcamps you won’t be able to learn much about how to adapt and change your wordpress site.

Ownership

Unfortunately, I’ve had to pay quite a bit for my mistakes over the years with site building and business starting. To date I’ve invested over $7700 in my personal education and learning about how to effectively run a profitable business, which is a whole lot less than what I paid to get an education and job after college, but still it wasn’t cheap and heres why.

It’s cost me just around $300 to setup and run websites, which if you think about it isn’t all that much in the long run. Why has it cost this much you ask? Well it comes with learning through trial and error. I’ve wasted quite a bit of money on domain names that really aren’t that smart, on sites that were doomed to begin with, and testing quite a number of different solutions to problems that I had and others had too.

What I can say is that it’s always best to start small and scale bigger over time, and running a site online it can come with costs which you are going to pay with either time, money or energy.

There are 3 common scenarios people find themselves in reading this post
(A) just starting out and have little money to invest in your business then a free word wordpress.com site or another free platform could be a great option to test some ideas before you sink $3000 into site development.
(B) you have money to invest in your business, $1000-3000 and you are willing to learn about site hosting, site development, or other aspects of business online/offline
(C) you have money and you just want to pay someone to do it for you to save you time.

So what’s the cost of renting vs. the cost of ownership?

Rent:
wordpress.com I spent
$59 on Premium themes which don’t transfer
$52 on Domains
$48 a year for The “Personal” Hosting Plan on WordPress ( removes ads and wordpress.com branding)
$129 for Site Transfer

Own:
On my own managed wordpress site with SiteGround I get SSD servers (fast & little to no site down time), free migration, free email support, a domain name for 1 year all for $159.
I can install google analytics
I can customize my site with unlimited plugins
I have up to 10,000 visitors a month traffic
All this costs the same per month as the “personal” plan with the rent service without having to upgrade through the freemium levels.

Blogger is the same structure, free to start with and then you pay more to get more.

The one plus to blogger, which is googles free blogging service, is that it comes out of the box with google analytics in the site. The only problem is that you don’t own the site, ie. If you need to pick up your crap and move it then you literally have to chuck everything in a box and move. There isn’t any “organizing it” or site transfering. All the formatting on your site will be gone when you move. Many of the photos could be broken. You could have some “lost in translation” stuff.

Moving sites sucks, and most of the time It makes total sense to pay someone to do it and not bother with doing It yourself.

In Conclusion

If I could do it over again, and save myself time money and headache, I would simply start with a single idea for a wp hosted site and then go to siteground.com  and get the basic wordpress hosted package for only $4 bucks a month and reserve my domain name for $10 bucks over at namecheap.com

This includes the wordpress.org open source software installed on super fast Solid state drives, which have little to no down time, and comes with email support and a very responsive support staff. This is super easy to setup and you can run as many names as you want.

Alternatively you could checkout hostgator.com or bluehost.com which can be cheaper but ultimately are all pretty much the same, but I do think they try and up sell more and i’m not so certain about their support staff.

Ultimately though, anything is better than being at the mercy of the freemium services and their slow, slow, loading times and restrictions.

Author: Kristian

At the age of 22 Kristian found myself deep in debt from student loans, credit card spending, a car lease right out of college, and with few prospects and while living in his fathers spare bedroom, he began working diligently to get out of debt. That was 3 years ago, now he writes about how he did it, what tools and strategies he learned to accelerate his growth and get out of debt faster that he ever thought possible. To learn more about how he dug himself out of the $33,555 of debt he was in, while saving over $10,000, and all while doing it earning just above minimum wage check out: Mysimpleonlinelifestyle.com To date Kristian has been to over 14 different countries including Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, France, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, China, United States, and UAE. When not working on projects he’s passionate about, or helping local businesses with their marketing, you can often find Kristian reading, training Jiu Jitsu, or eating Thai food.