The Perils of Blogging on Free Sites
As if you needed another reason to leave Blogspot, here’s one for you: They can delete your site without notice and won’t even respond to your inquires.
Like most bloggers, I started out on Blogspot with a site at outsidethebeltway.bloggspot.com on January 31, 2003. I quickly outgrew the limitations of the service and moved to the current domain on April 4. Still, I maintained several sites at Blogspot, including the original OTB (as “OTB Backup Site”), a Dallas Cowboys blog with Steven Taylor that we started nearly three years ago, a 2008 campaign blog, and some pop culture sites.
When I logged in on November 11 to post something to the Cowboys blog, I was shocked to see that all of my sites (save a very outdated login to the first variant of the Command Post) were gone from the Dashboard login page. I checked the FAQs and the announcements to see if any explanation had been posted to no avail.
So, I sent a message to Blogger Support. I got an automated response saying,
Thanks for contacting Blogger Support. Since we cannot always respond personally to every message we get, we encourage you to check Blogger Help, where you can find answers to many common questions. Here are some of the top articles which could help you out. . . .
None of them helped me out in the least.
If your question or problem is not addressed anywhere in our documentation, please simply reply to this message and let us know. We will help you out as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience.
So I did. Finally, a week later, I received this message:
Thanks for your note. This is an automated update from Blogger Support. Due to the tremendous amount of help requests from users, we’re currently unable to offer timely, personal assistance to everyone.
Now, my user account has been deleted entirely and at least two of the sites’ URLs have been taken over by squatters.
Let this serve as a cautionary tale. Get your own domain name and host your own blog. Unless you’re offering up videos or other large files, it’s quite inexpensive even if you get a substantial amount of traffic. If someone else has your blog and shuts it down, there’s nothing you can do about it.