What are some of the practical benefits of having your own self-hosted WordPress blog? In this blog post I’ll look at the advantages of full control, customization, and branding, comparing these to the potential limitations of a free sub-domain blog. As an Internet affiliate marketer, I use both free sub-domain blogs and (paid) self-hosted WordPress blogs through the SiteRubix hosting service. However, for your primary blog I think it is best to go with a self-hosted WordPress blog and will explain why in the rest of this blog post.
What Is A Self-Hosted WordPress Blog?
A self-hosted WordPress blog is a website or blog that is created using the WordPress content management system (CMS) and is hosted on a server that you manage yourself. In other words, you have full control over the hosting environment, which allows you to choose your own hosting provider, server configurations, and have complete ownership and control over your website.
Here are the key components of a self-hosted WordPress blog:
- WordPress Software: You download and install the WordPress software on a server provided by a hosting provider of your choice. This is different from WordPress.com, where the hosting is provided by WordPress itself. (Actually, a good web hosting service will already have the software on their servers, making the installation process as simple as a mouse-click.)
- Domain Name: You need to register a domain name (for example, easychesstips.com) and point it to the server where your WordPress installation is hosted, which is usually with your “hosting provider.”
- Hosting Provider: You choose a hosting provider to store your website files and make them accessible on the internet. Popular hosting providers include Bluehost, SiteGround, and Hostgator. There are also hosting services such as SiteRubix that specialize in WordPress hosting.
- Full Customization: With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you have complete control over the design, functionality, and features of your website. You can install themes and plugins, customize the look and feel, and add any functionality you need.
- Monetization Options: Self-hosted WordPress blogs provide more flexibility when it comes to monetization. You can use various advertising networks, sell products or services, and implement different revenue streams without the restrictions that some free blog services insist upon.
What’s the difference between a free blog on a sub-domain and a self hosted blog?
The main differences between a free blog on a sub-domain and a self-hosted blog on your own domain lie in terms of control, customization, branding, and potential limitations. Here are some key distinctions:
- Control and Ownership:
- Free Blog on a Sub-domain: When you create a blog on a free platform with a sub-domain (e.g., yourblog.wordpress.com or yourblog.blogspot.com), you are subject to the Terms and Conditions (T&C) of that platform. The platform retains control over your blog, and your ability to customize the site may be limited. Even worse, if you break the rules your blog could be instantly shut down and you would lose all your content. Also, the company that runs the hosting service could suddenly decide to shut down that part of their business, as happened in the cases of the free blogging services “Netscape” (shut down by AOL in 2001) and “Geocities” (shut down by Yahoo in 2009).
- Self-Hosted Blog on Your Own Domain: With a self-hosted blog, you have complete control and ownership of your website. You can choose your own hosting provider, install any themes or plugins you like. Most importantly, you own your own content and have complete control over it.
- Free Blog on a Sub-domain: Free platforms often have limitations on customization. While you can choose from available themes and make some modifications, the options may be restricted compared to a self-hosted solution.
- Self-Hosted Blog on Your Own Domain: You have full customization options with a self-hosted blog. You can install custom themes, plugins, and make changes to the website’s design and functionality to suit your specific needs and preferences.
- Free Blog on a Sub-domain: Your blog’s URL will include the name of the free platform, which can negatively affect the perceived professionalism and branding of your site. For example, if you use WordPress.com (which is separate from the WordPress self-hosting software), your URL might look like yourblog.wordpress.com. Some free blogging services may post ads on your blog to generate revenue for themselves, or they may use your blog to promote their free blogging service.
- Self-Hosted Blog on Your Own Domain: You can choose your own domain name, which contributes to a more professional and branded appearance. Your blog URL will be something like www.yourblog.com, reinforcing your unique identity.
- Free Blog on a Sub-domain: Some free platforms have restrictions on monetization methods. You may be limited in your ability to run ads, sell products, or use certain affiliate programs.
- Self-Hosted Blog on Your Own Domain: You have complete flexibility to monetize your blog as you wish. You can choose and implement various revenue streams without suffering from any of the restrictions imposed by free platforms.
- Free Blog on a Sub-domain: Your content is tied to the platform, and moving to a different host may not be as straightforward. You might face challenges in migrating your content and maintaining search engine rankings.
- Self-Hosted Blog on Your Own Domain: You have the ability to move your website – and all the content on it – to a different hosting service if you are not satisfied with your current hosting service or find a better deal elsewhere.
Ultimately, the choice between a free blog on a sub-domain and a self-hosted blog on your own domain depends on your goals, preferences, and the level of control and customization you desire for your online presence.
My Top Choice For A Free WordPress Blog
I mentioned that I work with both free WordPress blogs and self hosted WordPress on the SiteRubix hosting service. The good thing about the SiteRubix free blogging service is that they do not post ads or their brand name on your blog and they do not impose too many restrictions on what you can do.
Here is an example of one of my free SiteRubix blogs:
- https://sfi.siterubix.com I use this blog to promote the SFI affiliate program and to train and support my SFI team. We can see from the structure of the URL that it is a sub-domain URL hosted by SiteRubix.com. The “sfi” and dot at the beginning of the URL shows that it is a blog built on a separate section (a sub-domain) of the main SiteRubix domain.
Another benefit of SiteRubix is that you can easily convert your free sub-domain blog into a fully-fledged self-hosted WordPress blog when you are ready to step up your game. So if you are on a tight budget, starting with a free sub-domain blog on the SiteRubix platform will at least get you started on your blogging adventure. If that is you, use this form to choose a SiteRubix domain and build your free website right now:
However, if you are an affiliate marketer who wants to generate more sales through business blogging on just one blog, a self-hosted WordPress blog is your best bet. This blog, Top5Programs.com is an example of a self-hosted WordPress blog, and in the next section I’ll lay out 7 benefits of owning your own self-hosted WordPress blog if you are an affiliate marketer.
Here are 7 benefits of owning your own self-hosting wordpress blog
- Full Control and Customization:
- With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you have complete control over the design, functionality, and content of your site. This flexibility allows you to customize your blog to optimize conversions for affiliate marketing.
- Unlimited Monetization Options:
- Self-hosted blogs offer unlimited monetization possibilities. You can integrate affiliate links, banners, and promotions into your blog content without restrictions, maximizing your earning potential.
- Professional Branding:
- A custom domain (such as top5programs.com) contributes to a more professional and trustworthy image, which is crucial for affiliate marketing. It builds credibility and encourages visitors to engage with your affiliate recommendations.
- Advanced Analytics and Tracking:
- Utilize advanced analytics tools and plugins to track user behavior, clicks, and conversions. This data provides valuable insights into the performance of your affiliate marketing efforts, enabling you to refine your strategies.
- SEO Optimization:
- Self-hosted WordPress blogs allow for extensive SEO optimization, helping your content rank higher in search engine results. Improved visibility means more organic traffic, potentially increasing the reach and impact of your affiliate promotions. (
- Integrated Email Marketing:
- Integrate your self-hosted WordPress blog with robust email marketing tools. Build and nurture an email list, allowing you to establish a direct connection with your audience and promote affiliate products through targeted campaigns.
- Easy Plugin Integration:
- WordPress offers a vast library of plugins. Leverage affiliate marketing plugins to streamline the management of your affiliate links, automate certain processes, and enhance the overall efficiency of your marketing campaigns.
Keep in mind that while a self-hosted WordPress blog provides a solid foundation, success in affiliate marketing also depends on creating useful and relevant content that builds trust with your audience. Combining these benefits with a productive content creation strategy can significantly boost the effectiveness of your affiliate marketing efforts.
Transform Yourself Into A Successful Business Blogger With Wealthy Affiliate
If you need a helping hand, I recommend that you check out Wealthy Affiliate for their comprehensive affiliate marketing training and AI-assisted business blogging services. I also recommend their Site Rubix hosting service which specializes in hosting self-hosted WordPress blogs. SiteRubix is the hosting service I’ve happily used for all of my self-hosted WordPress blogs since 2015.
All the best in your affiliate marketing blogging adventures!