Firstly, just to give you some of the basics, blog-optimized hosting is where your (sub-)domain will be www.(your chosen name).(your hosting's name).com. An example of this would be Blogger (e.g. www.johnsmith.blogspot.com). Paid blog-optimized hosting usually has more features and more storage space for you to upload items into your website.
Domain hosting is where you have to buy a domain name (e.g. www.johnsmith.com), buy hosting space (although it is actually renting), before you can create a blog.
Here are the pros and cons of each type of hosting:
Blog-Optimized Hosting (whether free or paid)
- No costs for building your blog
- Blog comes pre-installed, saving any fuss or hassle
- You can start as many blogs as you like
- You can practically create a blog, choose a domain and do up your first post within 5 minutes
- Very few features compared to other types of hosting^
- Little flexibility with domain name as most good domain names are already taken up
- Your domain name is longer
- You cannot use CSS^ (which is a type of script used to design and configure things such as fonts and colours) and upload your own webpages
- You cannot upload anything with the exception of photos and possibly videos^
- You cannot upload too many photos or create too much stuff on your blog because of space limits^
- Many features, usually even more than paid blog-optimized hosting
- More flexibility with domain names and more domain extensions (e.g. www.johnsmith.net & www.johnsmith.co.uk)
- Shorter domain names
- CSS can be used and other webpages can be created and uploaded onto your blog
- Movies, photos, PDF files and practically anything can be uploaded.
- Space limits are quite high and are sometimes unlimited so you can upload as many things you want.
- You can create email accounts for your blog (e.g. email@example.com)
- You can install Google Adsense and other widgets like Google Maps, games and can use java and flash.
- You can treat it as a portable computer! (Simply because its online, you can access it from anywhere as long as you have internet access and have the password that you create when you create a domain)
- Costs can vary from $2 a month per month to as much as $20 per month (only if you are a company or want professional support and other features)
- Some websites do not have the software to install a blog platform immediately
- You cannot start as many blogs as you like (unless you have unlimited space)
- It takes time to set up the blog (about a week or so)