Starting your Website or Blog on a hosted platform will ease things, but as soon as you decide to be in it for the long run you better start self hosting your content.
Why? Take a look at a few big content platforms: Medium, Soundcloud and tumblr
Medium announced it will let go 50 employees and more or less states it hasn’t figured out a way to make money with its platform. As a business or blogger with a big following on that platform I would get nervous. Migrating content away from Medium is the easy exercise, but getting all your readers to re-subscribe on your own domain will likely not work.
Same with Soundcloud. Rumors were going round last year that Soundcloud is looking for a buyer. The impression is it’s not going so well for the music streaming service (also used by many podcasters). You hosted your podcast on Soundcloud, because it’s just one little piece of your content marketing infrastructure and it can be embedded easily everywhere. Your WordPress blog would have supported hosting your podcasts with a few tweaks, but you instead settled for a big platform you thought would be around forever. I wouldn’t be so sure about it.
One more example: tumblr. The de facto standard platform for creatives of all disciplines. Artists, Photographers, Architects, Designers, everybody created a tumblr blog. In 2013 Yahoo bought tumblr and since then the future has not looked so bright. Now Yahoo itself is being sold to Verizon and as a tumblr user you still have no clue of what the future holds for the service.
It could turn out that the followers, you spent many hours growing, on Medium, Soundcloud, tumblr are losing their value. Just keep in mind that self hosting means investing more time and money in customizing your site to host your content, but in the long run you are better off with it. Medium, Soundcloud, Tumblr could be around for another 50 years. More investors could pour money into these services or they figure out how to make a profit, but give your followers a chance to subscribe to your content on self hosted properties.
If you are in it for the long run self host your content.