Should you host your own corporate blog or use a service

There are essentially two types of blog publishing systems, user-friendly hosted systems (like Blogger and TypePad and Wordpress.com) and robust flexible server systems (like Movable Type and Wordpress.org). Building and hosting a server solution can be a huge pain in the butt, and probably not the wisest move for companies with minimal technical resources. However, there are a number of reasons why companies should consider their options carefully.

When it comes to corporate blogging, I recommend setting up your own blog system over relying on a large hosted service like TypePad, Blogger. Granted hosted systems require minimal investment, they’re very powerful, easy to use, setup, and design, but they can limit your potential.

Here’s why I prefer the robust flexible server systems for corporate blogging.

  1. Server based blog publishing systems are less likely to be targeted by DOS attacks and system outages and slowdowns. With hosted systems, your company’s blog is at the mercy of the provider. See this story in a May 3rd edition of Information Week. The headline reads Massive DoS Attack Knocks TypePad, LiveJournal Blogs Offline.
  2. For me the most important advantages to hosting your own blog are the search engine marketing / SEO implications. This is one reason companies are so keen on blogging in the first place. Well if your blog content is hosted somewhere else, the link juice is not helping boost your website link popularity. Also, the content that you are working so hard to produce is not getting attributed to your primary domain but rather something.blogspot or something.typepad. When you are in control of your own blog publishing system then you can decide where the content gets published. Some hosted systems like TypePad allow you to alias to a sub domain but from an SEO point of view I much prefer to publish to a root directory or a subfolder. I have anecdotal evidence as to why I believe this so if anyone is interested in hearing about it just ask.
  3. If you are into blogging for the long haul then you want the links and relationships that you build to accumulate and endure. You may start out blogging with a hosted service and then change your mind and go for hosted. It will be hard to transfer the rankings and subscriptions you have built up. That’s like living in one neighborhood and then moving to another town. You can keep some of those relationships that you have built up but a lot of your friends will have your old address and it’s a little like starting over.

Now, I know that this subject is rife with exceptions and grey areas. This post is not really about evaluating the features of various blogging systems but rather a discussion about whether it’s a good idea to rely on one of the mainstream user-friendly hosted systems.

I have researched it a lot over the past year. This post is intended to get the discussion started but it’s not the final word. Just for the record, we use Movable Type for all of our blogs but I think Wordpress (commercial) is also a very nice system.

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Filed under: Blogging Strategy, Blogging Tips, FAQ

Posted by Stephen Turcotte on May 4, 2006 10:47 AM | | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

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