Unfortunately what just happened to my friend Angie is why free hosting is bad. Granted, I started out on a blogger blog. I fought getting my own domain for a very long time. However, since I do some paid blogging, it was in my best interest to move. I have not regretted it at all. I have made more money, because I have my own domain.
At any time, a free host can change the rules on you. Here's what happened to Angie:
She had written on her blog about going to her grandmother's funeral and commented that she may give her “daughter Benadryl during a long car ride (as a substitution for her daily non-drowsy allergy meds and as a way to curb her anxiety and car sickness – as suggested by my pediatrician, BTW).” The person hosting her blog for free decided that they did not like what she wrote and took her blog offline. This person also disabled her logins to her other blogs.
Supposably this is just a 2 (aff) week suspension. However, Angie is a paid blogger. This means she will not get paid for a lot of her paid posts. Angie is also a single mom, so this money is needed. I am not going to name who the host is just yet in case this person decides to give her control back. Trust me, once everything gets fixed, I will name names. To quote Angie again: “I would have gladly removed a single post if the owner of the domain had an issue with it (or even accepted the suspension to write further entries if the blog would at least be left online), despite the policy of removing posts, deleting blogs, or suspending blogs not being part of the TOS.”
This is why anybody on a free service needs to get their own domain. Whether you are a paid blogger or not, you do not want your work pulled out from under you. I know, some of you are saying that I'm on blogger, I have nothing to worry about. Wrong. I know of people whose blogs were pulled off there for no good reason. It took a long time before they got Google to reinstate them too.
Who should you go to? Well, that depends on your needs. Personally, I use BlueHost (You can see their badge in my sidebar). I love them. They have 24/7 support, and I never have had a problem with them. I am not sure who Angie ended up going with.
Lastly, I ask that you all check out Angie's new blogs: One Clear Dot and Girly Things. Even with all this crap going on, she still has her “voice”. Her blogging style has not changed. Her blogs are still a great read. Go check them out and show her some blogger's love.