One question always occurs to the website/weblog neophyte sooner or later: Should I use a free service for my website and get it up and running asap or should I pay for website hosting and setup the website myself? Which to choose, which to choose? This is the conundrum that besieges every would-be blogger and website owner when they first venture onto the .com landscape. My first adventure turned into a nightmare with paying for website hosting but it was partially my fault, a very small part mind you.
Free Blogging Services
Pro: Most of the back end work is done for you so you can concentrate having a website: Generating content for your audience. Management of the overall website is taken care of by Big Brother so all you have to do is choose a theme, crank out content, and back-up your content on a regular basis (a most).
Con: With a free website service such as Blogger, WordPress, etc. (more examples can be found on the Movie Tech page under the title: Popular Online Publishing Platforms), you are limited in the plugins you can use on your site and have limited advertising options. Your design is limited with a free blogging service and what you can do it is constricted as well.
Pro: By paying for hosting and running your own website, you have no limitations. You can set up your website or weblog and make it look anyway you want and advertise on it how you see fit. The content you have on the site is not restricted. You are the dictator of the website and the website is your kingdom.
Con: You are responsible for everything, EVERYTHING. The front end of the website, unless you have the theme custom made, and the back-end. You will have to do a ton of reading on SEO, RSS, SERPs, Ad integration, etc. You have to pay for website hosting every month and you have to pay for the domain name you want to use annually.
With a free service, its more like you are renting space somewhere with a set of conditions you have to follow. With a website you paid for and own, its like owning a house: no one can tell you what to do or how to do it. You are your own boss. Most, if not all, of the most highly successful movie websites are hosted websites. The owner bought the domain name, paid for hosting (pointing their nameservers to the purchased domain name), and installed some type of web publishing software, WordPress being the most popular. After that they either pay for a custom theme or choose a free one but in the long run, it will pay for itself.