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Hosted Or Non-Hosted Blog Solution?


A hot question being asked about blogs right now is whether to go with a hosted solution or a non-hosted solution.

First, what does hosted/non-hosted blog solution mean?

A hosted blog is a blog that resides on someone else's servers. A couple of the most widely known hosted blog services are Google's Blogger and Six Apart's TypePad.

A non-hosted blog is a blog that resides on the end user's webhosting account and the webmaster has full control over it. Examples of non-hosted blog solutions are Six Apart's MovableType and WordPress.

With a hosted blog service, you won't need to install any software, worry about doing server back ups, or grunt work. Your main goal is to figure out how to publish your blog entries.

But there are limitations to hosting your blog elsewhere.

Blogger has limitations; It doesn't allow categories for easy organization, archiving can be very visitor-unfriendly, and more Blogger blogs are being disappeared if Google even suspects splog play.

TypePad is not a free service. And because you are paying for the service, you're more likely to take care of the account. TypePad does offer categories, and allow comments/trackbacks, but a number of customers complain about how difficult they make dealing with comment spam and trackbacks, if you want to move your blog to a hosted solution, you may encounter problems with search engine re-indexing especially if your blog is

If you do choose a hosted solution, TypePad would certainly appear the most professional of the two. As time progresses, more blogs hosted with blogspot can seem cheap or unprofessional.

(Not saying that all blogs hosted with Blogger are cheap or unprofessional, some of my favourite reads are hosted on Blogger.)

What does a non-hosted solution do for you?
When you choose to manage your own blog software, you will have more control over the administrative tasks such as permalinks (i.e. as opposed to

You can organize your archives the way you'd like to have them displayed and make them even more user (and search engine) friendly.

And unless your blog software brings down your host or you're doing something illegal, your blog is less likely to disappear one day.

Which non-hosted software to choose?
There are literally dozens of blog software available on the web, but a couple of the most well known are MovableType and WordPress.

There has been much debate over which is better, and it all boils down to two things: your goals and your preference.

MovableType has mainly been associated with corporate blogging and more business type blogging solutions, whereas WordPress is geared more towards single users.

One of the main reasons for this is MovableType's ability to support multiple weblogs per installation and WordPress only supports one blog per installation. It's not to say you can't install more WordPress blogs using a single database (WordPress MultiUser) - it just requires a bit more effort.

Another key difference is cost - MovableType is commercial (they offer a free personal version, but requires sign up) and WordPress is free (as in beer).

You can download WordPress, hack it to bits if you're into that sort of thing, or even branch it off and release your own modified version. You really can't do that with MovableType.

Compare the features of MovableType and WordPress to see which one may be better for your needs.

And in the end...
The choice is really up to you whether or not you prefer to have a hosted or non-hosted blog solution.

Do you want more ease of use or do you prefer more control?

I won't sugar coat it - if you want a non-hosted blog solution, prepare for a learning curve. Depending on the software you choose, it can be short and bearable or long and very painful.

A good idea would be to set up a test website, install the software, and get the hang of it before you install it on your live site.

Happy blogging,
~ Teli

Linda Buquet

Hi Teli,

I love your articles and the way you come here to share your vast blogging knowledge with our readers. I am going to be advertising this part of the forum at ProBlogger, Blog Herald and well the whole B5 Media network. So I plan to get a lot more traffic from both Pro and new bloggers who are looking for advice.

Thanks so much for helping me to build up this part of the forums!


Linda Buquet said:
Thanks so much for helping me to build up this part of the forums!

No problem Linda,
It's my pleasure.

You have a great website and offer a lot of resources that help a lot of people. And since I've also been helped by your site, it's only fair that I help by giving back :).