Hosting fees? We don’t need no stinkin’ hosting fees!
Do you run a website or blog? If so, what do you pay for hosting? Now I’m sure what your paying now is much, much less than what you would have paid five years ago and you have many more options and features at your disposal, but is it worth it? Hosting providers can offer an awful lot these days for fairly low cost…could it possibly be that, with social networking and free blogging sites, paying for hosting has become obsolete? I think so.
Think about the last blog you read or site you visited. I’m willing to bet that you didn’t type the exact URL into your browser. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you did, but I’m pretty sure most websites visited are done so by clicking a link from a search engine, social network, or another site. Now, every article, page, site, and blog entry has some little “share” button at the bottom, and I’m sure the author of said page, article or entry is hitting it to share the link with all of their followers and friends. With Facebook, Twitter and Google there is almost no point in paying for a specific domain name. Granted, large companies and brands have to for name recognition, but the average person can probably get just as much traffic (or more thanks to sites like wordpress.com) without registering a domain.
So maybe you’re thinking that you wouldn’t have enough available space from a free site, or wouldn’t be able to support discussion and conversation due to lack of features, plugins, etc, but I’m saying that it’s annoying to the visitors to have to log into your site to discuss anyway. I’m sure you have a Facebook account and I’m sure they do to so why not handle all discussion through fan pages and keep more people seeing your content while limiting the frustrations of dealing with multiple logins. No one really wants to surf very far from Twitter or Facebook anyway so you might as well host most of your content there.
Think about it, if you pay for hosting you’re probably going to use wordpress to build your site or blog anyway…save yourself the money and build one for free and let them host it. Then you can plug into their huge network of blogs to get plenty of traffic and praise from like-minded individuals. Couple that with using it as a hub to other places, networks, forums or sites that you dwell in/at online and you have a full-feature, constantly expanding site with unlimited traffic potential.
I first came to this realization last year when I bought hosting through Just Host to relaunch my Rival Comics site. This was the first time I had purchased hosting since 2004 and I couldn’t believe how different the experience was. I was offered so much more with my hosting package than I could have ever imagined and the price was rediculously low. I thought it to be incredible how far hosting had come in such a short time.
This was also my first experience with WordPress as it was recommended by my brother and I instantly fell in love with how easy it was to use. At the time I thought the whole experience was incredible and that I would pay for hosting and run my WordPress based site until the end of my days, but what it really became was a bunch of links to things I was doing elsewhere on the web whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Deviant Art, Drunk Duck, Podbean, etc. Naturally, with all that content being hosted for free, paying really started to suck.
I wanted to test this out and see if I could have the same online experience for free (mainly because I’m broke and can’t justify spending money on hosting if I don’t have to) so I started to systematically dismantle my site and cancel hosting for the site and for podcasting. Since, I’ve started to organize everything here and link elsewhere, just like I was doing when I was paying, and it seems to be working wonderfully well. I’m not exactly getting a lot of traffic here, but most of my traffic when I ran Rival was on the Facebook fan page rather than the main site anyway. I was constantly trying to divert traffic from Facebook to my site, which really is a futile effort. Ultimately I learned “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”…embrace the Facebookers and forget trying to fight for traffic elsewhere.
So now I’m living free and will never have to limit what I host and share online. Life is good.
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