A website is a powerful tool for any sized business, especially a small or solopreneur one! However, which way should you go? Self-Hosted or hosted websites both claim to have advantages over the other format. After reading this post, I think you will have a clear idea of which option is best for your business needs!

Self-Hosted or Hosted Websites

The basics

Let’s start by explaining what self-hosted and hosted mean.

A self-hosted website is one that typically utilizes the WordPress.org open-source framework. The WordPress framework accounts for most of the websites, blogs, and eCommerce sites worldwide. You have a lot of control and flexibility with a self-hosted website. You can either pay a third party for server space, such as Siteground or Bluehost. Or, if you have the server space, you can host it yourself.

A hosted website is a platform such as Wix or WordPress.com. Companies like Wix design their websites to be user-friendly to create, but you have less control of your content. Free options exist but have extreme limitations.

Now let’s dig into it from a SWOT point of view.

SWOT AnalysisSelf-hostedHosted
StrengthFlexible, portable, and 100% yours!Easy to create and low-maintenance.
WeaknessWithout background knowledge, there is a steep learning curve.They are very challenging to boost for search engine optimization. You cannot easily monetize your content and have less control of your content.
OpportunityYou have control over your content and can boost the SEO of the site and content. Additionally, it is easier to monetize your content.You will have more time to focus on other elements of your business.
ThreatThis option requires more time to maintain, or you may need to hire someone to help you support it.The hosting company can go out of business, the free option could be eliminated, or other issues may arise with the host.
Summary of the advantages and disadvantages of self-hosted or hosted websites

Which is best for you?

Honestly, if you want to have complete control of your content, then it isn’t even a question you need to ask yourself about a self-hosted or hosted website. Self-hosted is the route you should take for the long-term viability of your content!

Opportunity cost, time is money!

However, time is a precious commodity for any small business owner. The self-hosted website will require more time upfront. You can offset the cost of maintaining it by either hiring someone to set it up for you ( I know, spending money to save time to save money, very meta)! Many free or low-cost self-hosted WordPress themes are available. Click here to learn more about Free vs. Paid WordPress Themes!

SEO considerations

A website is only helpful if people can find it. That is another factor to consider when determining which option of self-hosted or hosted websites is the best fit for your business. Hosted platforms like Wix limit how much you can optimize your business and content for searchability on Google or any search engine.

Still need help?

I have covered some compelling reasons that make the self-hosted or hosted websites decision pretty easy but if you still are quite sure, let’s chat! Or if you are ready to make the leap and set up a site check out my review of Build a Blog this Weekend. Last but not least, let me help you with it all!

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