Self-Hosted Blog vs Free Blog: What's The Difference? - Precious New Start

Self-Hosted Blog vs Free Blog: What’s The Difference?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase something through one of my links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Are you thinking of starting a blog?

Not sure whether you should go for a free or paid (self-hosted) blog?

You may even be asking yourself, what’s the point of creating a self- hosted blog when there are many free options out there to choose from?

Well, there are many factors that will affect which platform you decide to choose, and if you’d like to find out what those are, I encourage you to keep on reading as I share with you the details of a Self-Hosted blog vs Free blog, and why one platform may be more suitable for you than the other. 

self-hosted blog vs free blog



Free Blog/Website:

As the name suggests, a free blogging platform it is one that is completely free to sign up for and use. It’s because of this that they are very popular compared to self-hosted blogs.



  • It’s completely Free!
  • Anybody can create a blog, and it’s very easy to set up and maintain.



  • Unless you pay for your own domain, you’ll have a subdomain such as Blogger or WordPress attached to your blog. e.g. If you’re considering your blog for business purposes this doesn’t come across as very professional
  • You have less control over your blog. Therefore, you won’t be able to customise your blog with things such as plugins. Some platforms may offer more than others, but overall it can be a cause of frustration, which I have experienced myself in the past.
  • You usually have limited advertising options, making it harder for you to monetise your blog. If you want to blog/website for business purposes then you’ll want to be able to monetise your site.
  • Overall, with a free blogging platform, you truly don’t own your blog at all, which some will see as the biggest disadvantage.


Is A Free Blog/Website For You?

A free platform is suitable for those of you who are new and just exploring the blogging scene.

If you’re mainly just blogging for personal reasons, then a free platform would be a great choice for you.

But a free platform may not be suitable for any of you who are serious about starting your own online business. There are many limitations to having a free blog which will hinder the growth of your business online.


A List of Free Blog/Website Platforms:


If you’d like to start off with a free website, then I’d encourage you to use the SiteRubix website builder.

You can create a blog or website in 5 mins, it uses the WordPress framework, and you don’t have to have any unwanted advertising on your site.

Try it out now by entering a name for your new site in the bar below:


Along with your free website you get to sign up for a free membership with my #1 recommended training program (review here) to help you start your own online business.


Self-Hosted Blog/Website:

Self-hosting is a term used for when you have a website that is completely under your control. Therefore, a Self-hosted blogging platform is one in which you have full control of the blog, and can manage all aspects of the site.

Most people will use a third-party to host their blog (see list below for examples).



  • You get to have full control over your blog. Therefore, you can manage its layout, search engine optimisation (SEO), monetising methods, as well as having the freedom to edit your page. Existing templates are available, but you still have the opportunity to customise in a way that reflects your personal style, or you can upload premium themes from sites such as ThemeForest and ElegantThemes.
  • You can make any necessary changes to codes, themes, and your overall site by having complete access to backend programmes and files
  • You can pay less than $5 a month to host your website (see list below).



  • Requires an initial investment – however, it can still be affordable
  • New bloggers may find it all intimidating
  • Requires a certain amount of technical knowledge to set up


Is A Self-Hosted Blog/Website For You?

A self-hosted blogging platform is mostly suitable for those who want to use blogging to build their business, and for individuals who would like to improve their professional appearance while also having access to many blogging functions.

Generally a self-hosted platform may not be suited for anyone that’s just looking to have a blog for personal use or as a way to get their feet wet in the online world.

The self-hosted method can seem a bit daunting at first, so it may be more suitable to start with a free method, then upgrade to self-hosted when you’re more comfortable.

Either way, both options are available to choose from.


Popular Hosting Providers:

Below is a list of different hosting providers, along with the monthly costs.

  • Bluehost:
    • $3.95/month (billed for 36 months)
    • Comes with a free domain for 1 year
  • Hostgator:
    • $3.95/month (billed for 36 months)
    • You can purchase domain for $12.95/year
  • Namecheap:
    • Less than $0.82/month ($9.88 billed yearly)
    • Then $3.24/month to renew (billed yearly)
    • Hosts up to 3 websites
    • Can purchase a domain for $10.69/year
  • GoDaddy:
    • $3.99/month (billed for 36 months)
    • Comes with a free domain for 1 year
  • iPage:
    • $1.99/month (billed for 12, 24 or 36 months)
    • Comes with a free domain for 1 year
  • SiteRubix:
    • Free with Wealthy Affiliate  Membership
    • Can host up to 2 sites with the Free membership, and up to 50 websites with Premium
    • Can purchase domain for $13.99/year


If you’re really serious about starting an online business, then I’d highly encourage you to invest in a self-hosted site.

This will give you the opportunity to really customise your site the way you want. As you can see from the hosting providers above, it’s not too costly to get started. I even created a post which shares with you How To Start A Blog On A Budget (Step-By-Step) – For Less Than $50!

If you’re looking for some training on how to build a business, then I’d definitely recommend you check out my #1 training program (review here). You can get started with a free membership, but if you’re serious about your business, then I think a premium membership is worth going for. It costs less than $50/month, and you can host your website with them at no extra cost. Furthermore, you get high-quality training to help you build your website, and grow your business.


FURTHER READING: 15 (Very) FAQs On Starting A Self-Hosted Blog


Final Words

Ultimately, there is no overall right/better option, and as you can see there are many things to consider when you decide which blogging platform to choose.

Hopefully, I have been able to shed some light on the differences between having a free blog vs a self-hosted blog, and I hope these points will help you make an informed decision as to which blogging platform is better suited for you.


Self-Hosted blog vs Free Blog: Which do you prefer?

Feel free to share your comments in the section below.

If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to share it with all your social networks.


[alert-note]This post contains affiliate links. For more information please read the Affiliate Disclosure[/alert-note]

Blogger, Online Marketer and full-time music lover. Thank you for reading my posts! I share my experiences of making money online as well as providing useful tips and advice to those who are interested in starting an online business. I enjoy writing reviews and giving an insight into what has worked for me and what hasn't. If you like what I write here be sure to share my posts with others!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 20 comments
Nnokwara Godspower nathan kc - September 12, 2021

this is a great work Stephanie my sister and linker to wealthy affiliate. I just came across your email through which I got here into reading some of your great blogs. I am really happy to learn from these posts.
due to my too many financial commitments as an Anglican priest here in Nigeria, I was thinking of leaving wealthy affiliate to maybe a cheaper hosting company like hostinger here in Nigeria since am not yet making money online. but friends in the was community advised otherwise. they told me to at least strive to pay for one more year to get more loaded with training before departing, while I was considering my pocket. my fear is the many trainings that I will be missing here in WA. I don’t want to do what ill regrate tomorrow, and would like to hear your take ma. Or is there any other way to making money online that doesn’t take much time and money? thanks and God bless.

How To Start A Blog On A Budget (Step-By-Step) – For Less Than $50 | Precious New Start - January 30, 2018

[…] talked in the past about creating a free website, you’re going to need to upgrade to a fully self-hosted blog if you’re truly serious about monetising and blogging for […]

How To Start A Blog On A Budget (Step-By-Step) – For Less Than $50 | Precious New Start - December 2, 2017

[…] Self-Hosted Blog vs Free Blog: What’s The Difference? […]

Erica - May 18, 2017

This was very informative! Would you be interested in collaborating? I’d love to get articles like this on the BBN Blog. Let me know!

Erica | Black Bloggers Network
NEW POST: What To Do When No One is Reading Your Blog: 3 Action Steps that will Increase Your Blog Traffic

    Stephanie - May 24, 2017

    Hi Erica thanks for commenting. I would be happy to collaborate on the BBN blog. I’ve sent a message to you via the fb group.

Nadalie - May 17, 2017

Hey Stephanie,

Great post! You’ve really captured the debate perfectly.

A friend asked me today where she should build her first blog and I am so sharing this with her.



Garen - December 28, 2016

Don’t get me wrong free blogs are great if you are getting started online. But, I actually have a friend that made this huge mistake. She signed up for a WordPress site on She put 4 years of work into blogging three times a week. She got pretty decent traffic.

One day decided to delete her account. They don’t favor blogs that have affiliate links on their platform. Unless your paying for premium, then they don’t have a problem with it. She was not paying for premium, though.

One key thing people need to know about self-hosted sites is you don’t have to host with the company that you purchase a domain name with. For instance, I have bought domain names with GoDaddy in the past, but hosting with them was never fun. Lots of problems.

    Stephanie - February 4, 2017

    Hi Garen, thanks for commenting.

    That’s a shame to hear about your friend, however, I’m not surprised. don’t like blogs with affiliate links, so if you go against their rules you could be penalised for it.

    When you blog on a free blog, it’s not really yours. So the company can do anything to your blog and you don’t really have a say.

    This is why I would personally recommend getting a self-hosted blog. And if anyone’s looking for a free blog either to begin learning how to monetise or for personal use, then go with Siterubix.

    I agree you don’t need to purchase the domain and hosting from the same place. This blog is hosted with Namecheap but the domain is registered with Godaddy, and I have another blog which is similar. So getting a self-hosted blog puts you in control of where it’s hosted and what you want to do on the blog, which is why it’s my preferred option.

    Thanks again, and all the best!

Deraj - November 6, 2016

Wow, Thanks a lot for this Post. I just tried the siterubix and join Wealthy Affiliate as you have suggested and I’m very happy to follow your advice. It’s really a great platform. Thanks a lot.

    Stephanie - November 10, 2016

    Hi Deraj, thanks for commenting. Glad to hear you’ve chosen to try out Siterubix and join WA. If you have any questions about either of these please feel free to ask. All the best!

Linda - May 5, 2016

Hi Stephanie, I really enjoyed your post on “Self-Hosted Blog vs Free Blog: What’s The Difference?” You explained the difference very well and I can tell you are very knowledgeable about blogs. I also believe the self-hosted blog is the best choice, because you actually own the blog, and you can move it anywhere you want if you purchase the domain name. Since you are the owner and can do what you please with your blog as you stated. Great blog, I have bookmarked it for future use, I really like your information!
With Kind Regards,

    Stephanie - May 15, 2016

    Hi Linda! Thank you for commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I agree, I prefer having a self-hosted blog too. It’s just so much nicer being able to have more control over your website, especially when it comes to monetising the website. Thank you for bookmarking, and I look forward to creating more quality content for you to read in the future :). All the best!

Rozzaq - May 4, 2016

Hi Stephanie, I agree that we have more control over a self-hosted blog than the free one. In your list of hosting providers, are they all support WordPress? I prefer siterubix because they are not just hosting, they also give training about blogging and how to monetize it, they also provides you with free keywords tools and what I love the most is they have a huge and super active community that ready to help you with anything.

    Stephanie - May 10, 2016

    Hi Rozzaq! Thank you for commenting. Yes, the hosting providers all support WordPress. Even Siterubix is based on the WordPress framework, which is the best platform to create your blog on, in my opinion. You’re right, when you create a website via Siterubix you get access to training to help you turn your blog into an online business, which is very useful, and allows you to have all the information in one place.

    All the best!

David - April 25, 2016

Great info on hosting and which way to turn starting your own blogging website. This is perfect for anyone just starting out who wants to get the best deal.

    Stephanie - April 27, 2016

    Hi David! Thank you for your comment, and I’m glad to hear your enjoyed info. All the best!

Hari S Nair - April 25, 2016

A very informative post on free blog vs self hosted blog, this article will be helpful to anyone who’s confused about this decision. I would say that one must one have a personal blog with registered domain name if he/she serious about building an online business. However, I have also been able to rank my siterubix websites and make use of them in other ways, so it could be a very good start.

I really recommend beginning with siterubix and then making it a paid one, with the easy options within WA it is so simple to make that transfer happen. Thank You 🙂

    Stephanie - May 9, 2016

    Hi Hari! Thank you for your comment. I agree, if someone wants a blog to build a business then I would also recommend purchasing a domain name. But like you said, for someone that whats to start and test the waters, a siterubix website is a good starting ground, and it’s possible to eventually redirect the website to a registered domain in the future. It’s just great that there are options available, and my hope is that this post will allow others to see the features of both options to decide for themselves which is more suitable for their needs.

    All the best!

Jaron - April 24, 2016

I always tell my followers and clients to self host and use It’s the most flexible and give the owner the most control.

    Stephanie - April 27, 2016

    Hi Jaron. Thanks for your comment. I totally agree, I personally prefer self-hosting too, cause it means you get to control the website the way you want to. But I also like that there is are free options available.
    That’s why I wanted to write this post, to let people know the pros and cons of each, so they can make an informed decision for themselves.

    All the best!


Leave a Reply: