It amazes me why a talented blogger would use the BlogSpot service provided by Google’s Blogger. A blog is the intellectual property of the writer and yet brilliant writers and photographers will use their time and effort to direct traffic to the Blogspot server instead of getting their own domain and building their own asset. If you don’t own your own domain, you are a slave to the entity that does.
I’m glad I figured this out in the mid-1990s. I had a web site hosted by a local ISP in Tampa. My site was popular enough to be mentioned in both local newspapers, with one of the two doing an interview with me and including my photo. Then I moved to Northern Virgina and tried to update my web site. My ISP required that I dial into a their local number in order to FTP files (modem days kids). It was immediately clear that I’d have to shutdown my site. Since I didn’t own the domain, I couldn’t transfer it to a new web host. Three years of building an audience were wasted. I was powerless. Never again.
In 1998, I bought the INeedCoffee domain and followed up with several more domain purchases in the following years. When a web host failed to deliver quality service, I fired them and moved to a new host. My readers were never affected. INeedCoffee has thousands of visitors a day. A few years back, I fired one web host and had the domain up and running on a new web host without any down time.
The problem with BlogSpot is the blogger has no recourse on bad service. You pay nothing and if you leave, you lose your audience. BlogSpot has millions of customers and couldn’t care less if you leave. Hire a good web hosting company (not a cheap one) and they will earn your business or risk losing it. Blogger customer service is the worst. They don’t care about you. Nor should they. You pay them nothing. Your hard work delivers users to their server. You are a slave to the master.
Recently I noticed a trend of server errors on BlogSpot sites. If my web host behaved this way, I’d fire them and be on a new server before the weekend ended. BlogSpot users are powerless.
My advice to those on BlogSpot:
- Buy your own domain.
- Find a good web host and setup an account.
- Move your content over.
- Tell your BlogSpot readers you’ve moved and link to your new site.
- Once your new site is higher in the search engine ranking than the old site, delete the BlogSpot account.
UPDATE APRIL 2012: If you aren’t sure blogging is for you and you don’t want to spend money on hosting and your own domain, you still should avoid Blogspot. You are better off getting a free hosted site on WordPress.com. It is the industry standard for content management systems and at that future date when you do strike out on your own, you can easily export your blog posts into your new site. If you use WordPress as your CMS, there are thousands of web hosting companies that compete for your business. If you use Blogger, you are stuck with Google and they have a long history of removing services they no longer wish to support.