Free Blog Hosting Can Be Yanked Away Without Notice
Here’s how I learned the dangers of free blog hosting. A few years ago I almost had a WordPress.com blog deleted. At that time I did not know affiliate links were forbidden. I had never used them during my first two years of posts, but I almost lost all my work by using that one link. Fortunately for me, they warned me and when I appealed and removed the link they gave me another chance. Recently someone with more to lose than I had his free blog hosting yanked. His blog is gone. And that’s what inspired this post.
Blogger’s Free Blog Hosting Has Risks
In my last post I warned readers about the need to host their own sites. Now I’ve just read that artist Dennis Cooper’s 14-year-old Blogger blog was pulled by Google with no warning. I will admit I am not familiar with Cooper’s work and I have no idea what about his blog violated Google’s terms of service. I do know, though, from my own WordPress.com experience, that we may sometimes miss some part of the TOS or misunderstand it. That failure might cause the destruction of all our posts.
It’s one thing for Google to penalize content it doesn’t like in search results. It’s quite another to remove your blog.
When you own your own site, you have a lot more control. It’s true that paid hosting sites also have their terms of service, but they generally only disallow illegal content or behavior that threatens the server or other sites that share it. I use SiteGround for hosting my newest sites, and their terms are pretty typical. They don’t host MLM sites, though.
Whichever host you choose, be sure to read the terms of service before you sign up. Make sure the type of site you have in mind is compatible. Also read the details of your hosting plan to be familiar with its space and bandwidth limitations. You could be in trouble if you use too many resources. That happened to me on Hostgator once.
I once hosted my most important site, Books to Remember, there, but I no longer felt good about it after some problems with tech support. One person I talked to made it sound like there would be no charge for a certain support task, and I should just call back when I was ready and any support person could help. I did that. After the task was complete they charged me $75 I had not counted on.
That’s one reason why SiteGround, now hosts that site. Click link above or one of the sidebar banners to check it out. I heard from many others how reliable SiteGround hosting is and how helpful the tech support is. I have also found that to be true since I moved my site there . I’ve always been happy with the results. My tech support call waiting time is also very short compared to that I spent when I was with Hostgator.
Before You Move to a New Host, Do This
Back up your blog. Back it up to your computer, to the cloud, and to an external hard drive. If you do all three, you should be protected. (I am very happy with my Seagate Plus 4T External Hard Drive, pictured below. It has room to back up my entire computer and also my photos and important documents in additional files I can access without restoring.)
Even if you lose your hosting suddenly, you will have your content. It’s easy to export your blogs on a regular basis as XML files. In Blogger, click settings on your dashboard and select other. It will have an option to back up your blog. Click it and you will have your backup XML file. Save it wherever you want it to be.
If you have a WordPress.com site, you choose settings again and at the top you choose export. Save to wherever you want to keep it. On a self-hosted WordPress site, choose tools on your dashboard. Then click export. I just exported one third-party hosted Wordpress.org blog to a new site by just importing that file.
My exported arrived blog with everything, even the photos, comments, and theme, intact. I decided to change the dates on all the posts and upload them one at at time to start the new site. That gave me a chance to edit the posts and improve them with what I learned from The Pajama Affiliates Blogging courses.
Set Up Your New Self-Hosted WordPress Blog the Right Way from the Beginning
I had already set up several self-hosted WordPress blogs before I discovered the Pajama Affiliates Courses. When I signed up for my new blog on SiteGround, I wanted to get off to a good start. I decided to do it while watching the 20 Pajama Affiliate videos in the WordPress in a Day Course.
I went step by step, with my blog open in one tab and a video open in another. I couldn’t believe how much I hadn’t known when I set up my other sites. I still need to make changes in those first sites I built, but at least I now have one that was set up properly at the beginning. This one isn’t it.
I highly recommend the WordPress in a Day Course if you are just starting a new self-hosted WordPress blog. You can look all these great courses over and get a free sample to try before you buy. I now own most of these courses.
It’s Time to Leave Free Hosting Sites Behind
Back up your sites and move them to sites you own. The Pajama Affiliates can help you. Even if all you have is the free sample course, you will have access to the Facebook support group where you can ask questions and find answers to your blogging problems.
You simply should not risk all the work you’ve put into your blog by keeping it on a site you don’t control. Buying hosting and a domain name is a small price to pay to maintain your independence. Check out SiteGround. They often give you your domain name free for the first year if you sign up for a new site. They did that for me. Get it before January 3 while it’s still 50% off.
Please share this post with someone it might help.