I had to make a simple choice when I started this blog: Do I want to be a blogger or a System Administrator. What does this mean? Let me elaborate.
As one might obviously assume, this is a blog powered by WordPress.org, a free tool for bloggers like me to get them online and blogging. But, opting for the free version means something else. It means that you need to download it, set up a server somewhere, install it, set it up, buy a domain, and do whatever else it’s required to get things running.
What does all the above mean? It means that you need to spend a couple of hours doing all that stuff, time which could have been spent writing a blog post, just like this one. Let’s not even mention the fact that such systems constantly need patching up. That sounds like a job for a System Administrator not a blogger. The limited time that I have between all the other things in my life, I’d rather spend it doing stuff that I actually like rather than installing package.
Enter Software as s Service (SaaS) – you pay some money per year and it’s all managed for you. This means that installation, deployment, patching and other System Administrator jobs are done for me. That sounds great, doesn’t it? But obviously, going down this route also has some drawbacks. Let’s quickly go through the pros and cons.
- There is almost no downtime between deciding to start blogging and actually blogging. When I purchased my subscription, everything was ready in seconds. Compared to a couple of hours do all the deployment, installations and configuration, I’m very grateful
- The hosts are (hopefully) resilient. Paying someone to host your blog means that you’re guaranteed that your blog will always be online without any (reasonable) downtime.
- Plugins / Themes are vetted – this means that any dodgy plugins are not available for me to install, thus putting blogs in risk of getting hacked.
- Systems are always up to date, without the interference of the end user. Keeping your system up to date is no joke, it means that you’re protected against vulnerable software. This also means that there is no headache making sure that plugins stop working after an update since this headache is handled by the host.
- It simply works. This might seem like an Apple advert but it’s true. No dealing with out of this world errors, just subscribe and get blogging!
- Such systems normally reduce the flexibility by the end user by a LOT. Since you do not have access to the underlying operating system, some custom settings simply cannot be applied.
- Themes and plugin installation will be limited by the ones provided by the host. But hey, that’s a good thing in the end of the day, since you’re provided peace of mind since these are vetted by the host. Hence why this is also listed in the ‘pro’ section.
- Last but not least, you have to pay! Granted, not a lot, but some people might be discouraged when they have to fork out money. This might be the biggest con for many people.
Anyway, in the end of day I concluded that it’s worth to fork out some money and be a bit restricted rather than have to think about every step myself. Although I’m losing some flexibility, I can spend my time writing, which is what I’d like in the end of the day.