So a comment that keeps coming up all the time is that people should host their blog or website themselves because otherwise they could be shut down by some company, but I really don’t like when people say you should “host it yourself”!
Here’s the thing, if your site is on WordPress.com or Squarespace or Wix or whatever, they can shut you down if you post something that goes against their terms of service, so ideally you would own your website hosting so that your efforts are more protected from being unceremoniously removed from the Internet, BUT installing your own WordPress instance on some hosting companies servers is not really hosting it yourself.
WPEngine, Pantheon, or some other company can shut down your web server for similar terms of service issues, so you really aren’t hosting it yourself by moving from WordPress.com to WPEngine, despite what people would have you believe.
Yes, it might be more difficult to convince a web host to take down your site, but not impossible. The fear mongering of not using a platform like WordPress.com seems silly to me. If you are saying things so radical that a service like WordPress.com would kick you off, then a company like DigitalOcean might kick you off too.
They also discount how much effort it takes to manage a platform, and some people might say “if you can’t manage the platform or pay someone to do it for you, then you shouldn’t have a website”, but that’s not the democratization of publishing many of us were hoping for. I certainly don’t want to see people not writing great articles because the learning curve of managing themes, plugins, and core software updates are too much for them.
So if using a web host isn’t really hosting it yourself, maybe hosting it yourself becomes putting a web server on your own computer? Then you control the physical hardware that powers your website? Well, for many internet service providers, that might actually be against their terms of service, and you could have your Internet connection turned off…
At the end of the day, everyone should understand the risks that exist when putting your time and effort into any solution and please stop just telling people they should host it themselves.