Showing posts with label self-hosted blogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self-hosted blogs. Show all posts

Friday, May 13, 2011

Why I'm Sticking With a Hosted Blog

As many readers know from first-hand experience, Blogger was in "read only" mode for most of the last 24 hours. This meant that you couldn't post new content to a Blogger-hosted blog. It is frustrating to not be able to write a blog post when you want to. It's even more frustrating to have blog posts disappear into cyberspace ether (I lost eight posts and their associated comments). Those frustrations led some people I respect to question on Twitter if they should move to self-hosted blogging platforms. My response to that is "no."


Why I'm sticking with a hosted blog.
In short, I don't have the time for the responsibilities associated with self-hosting Free Technology for Teachers. As things currently stand, I spend between 35 and 40 hours a week on tasks related to Free Technology for Teachers. Between researching, writing blog posts, replying to emails and Tweets, and developing workshops, I just can't squeeze in another task. Oh yeah, that's after taking care of my full-time teaching responsibilities. Granted the tasks related to self-hosting a blog aren't everyday tasks, but I know that if I did self-host and have a major problem it would take me longer to fix it than it took the Blogger team of professional engineers to restore service.


The benefits of a self-hosted blog.
A self-hosted blog definitely offers some advantages for the right people. In short, a self-hosted blog gives you the most possible options for creating and sharing content. A self-hosted blog means that you can back-up, export, and move your content to a different host whenever you like. (You can also do that with a number of hosted blogging services). A self-hosted blog means that you can change the infrastructure of your blog whenever you like. For example, one of my favorite blogs recently switched to WordPress from Drupal. And if you like to tinker, you can tinker to your heart's content with self-hosted blogs.

The drawbacks of a self-hosted blog.
Although a self-hosted blog gives you the most freedom, it also requires the greatest responsibility on your part. Unless you actually own a server and keep it in a place that you can access (and if you do, you probably stopped reading this already), you're going to have to find a hosting service. Finding a good reliable host isn't difficult. Finding one that can give beginners lots of hands-on attention could be a challenge. Once you do find a host, there's nothing to say that it won't occasionally have glitches that take your content offline. Rackspace, one of the largest and most popular hosting services, had an outage last fall that was about the same length as Blogger's was this week.

Unlike using a hosted blogging platform, if you self-host your blog you are responsible for updates to software, updates to security patches, and trouble-shooting any number of glitches that may arise.