There's an important issue in using hosted services like Wall.fm that you need to know before you invest your time into building a community. Although you can quickly set up a social network and show it to your friends the real time and effort investment goes into building the community day by day.
Now imagine that the host company no longer wants to support your community.
When you use a free hosted social network builder (such as Wall.fm) in a perfect world it means that there's someone else to care about hosting, site uptime, and server issues. In the real world it means that your community is left at the host company's mercy. Given that you mostly pay zero, nothing stops a company from business decisions that threaten your community. "You pay nothing (or pennies) so don't complain" - this rationale cost some people a fortune on various hosted social network services before.
Start from scratch elsewhere? Really? Or maybe migrate to another provider? Re-invite and lose up to 80% of members? You have vision and want control - so when is the next conflict of interests?
Here at Wall.fm we solved this fundamental problem.
You can migrate your site with all your members, content, features, and design to your own Oxwall setup on your own web hosting account. Or hire somebody from Oxwall community to do the scary work for you and to support the site further.
We are happy to provide tons of value when you use Wall.fm. We are equally happy to offer you value if you no longer want to use Wall.fm by providing a nice plan B - safely and smoothly move your community to Oxwall. Here's the comparison of using Wall.fm vs Oxwall.
What are the reasons to go self-hosted on your own initiative? Plenty.
Each of these may happen with any vendor. Unlikely that more than 10% of customers might ever be affected - but it's possible that your community is there. We will do everything to never put this question before you. That doesn't mean you can't have guarantees before investing any effort.
Blogs and forums can be the same on different services but the value of real care about uninterrupted life of your community can't be beaten.
Choose Wall.fm. Choose freedom.