So, it has been just over 100 days now from when I first made the switch from WordPress.com to being self hosted. Honestly I don’t know where the days have gone, it seems so long ago now. I remember doing all the research and making the switch back in July (back when the weather was warm). If you are interested in finding out about an updated blog post on going self hosted then this is for you.
I got a lot of interest in my last blog post on going self hosted with my blog. With many questions from those who are interested in potentially making the switch. If you want see that blog post then you can find it > here <
Now onto everything that I have learnt from when I first made the switch to being self hosted. As well as all of the things that I wish I had knew at the very beginning.
Not All Cheap Hosting Deals Are What They Seem
I did some research into a few different hosting companies to see which one would be the best for hosting my blog. The first company I looked at was BlueHost and the second was SiteGround. There are a lot of blog posts talking about BlueHost and how affordable they are. It was a company I was initially looking at going with, since there was so many amazing reviews. But as soon as I started looking into the prices I quickly realised there was a lot of ‘add ons’ in order to get a functioning blog. As it turns out, BlueHost was not affordable at all, they just had a good affiliate scheme…
So I decided BlueHost was not for me as they were far too expensive. The next company I went to was SiteGround. All of my enquiries were answered really quickly. They have an amazing 24/7 customer service, I felt like such an nuisance but they were happy to help. There was only one optional extra that I went with when I signed up, that was security for the blog. The last thing you want is a hacker to get into your site and ruin all of your hard work. There are plugin options for this so technically you don’t need to get the add on. The plugin you would need for that would be WordFence Security.
The price I paid for the 12 months of hosting cost me £81.06, which includes the purchase of my domain. The Start Up Plan is a great option for most blogs.
If you are thinking of going self hosted then I really do recommend SiteGround. They will be having a 70% off annual hosting plans as part of their Black Friday sales. The discount will start on Friday 24th November and will end on Tuesday 28th November.
If you have been looking into going self hosted but wanted to try and save some money then be sure to go to their website between those days. So I guess there is an option for cheap hosting with no hidden catches. If you would like a reminder about this then leave a comment on this post asking to remind you and I will reply back when the offer is available. The link > here < will take you to the SiteGround website if you want to find out more.
Not Everything Exports
Since I went with SiteGround, they were able to do the transfer of the blog for me for as part of the price. But because I was anxious and curious about the whole process, I did some reading of forums online. Before you knew it I had transferred all of my blog content myself. They just checked to make sure everything went over smoothly and nothing was missing. So you are able to do the export yourself if you wanted, I found the process fairly easy. But I would recommend you leave this to the professionals as they know what they are doing.
One thing to note is, any likes on your blog will not transfer over. Which I still find the most irritating part as you worked hard on those blog posts. People enjoyed reading them and took the time to like the post. But when you transfer all that is lost and you start from scratch. So if you are a blog that is growing in likes and followers it might be best to transfer sooner rather than later, if you are looking into going self hosted. Everything else is able to be exported such as photos, blog post and followers. So no need to worry about them.
This is something that I don’t really have much of, especially when I’m really excited. Following on from the last point when I exported my blog without waiting for SiteGround to do it for me. The best thing to do is just take a step back, enjoy a cup of tea (or coffee) and let the people do what they do best.
Going self hosted requires some experimentation, creativity and most importantly time. It takes some time to get your blog layout the way you like it, but once you get it the way you want its requires no upkeep. The end result is something you will be proud of. Looking back at it, there was about two days of stress but the rest of the days have been so easy sailing.
It’s Okay To Ask For Help
You can do as much research as possible prior to making the move. But some things you cannot be prepared for. Or you might find a few things that have gone wrong. When that happens, I find out who will be most useful in helping me. If it theme related or I want to change something on the layout then I contact Pipdig the people who I purchased the them off. If there is some issue with accessing the site or things running correct then I contact SiteGround.
I had to contact them back in September when I downloaded a plugin, in the attempts of making my blog more secure. Only it crashed the site in the admin side and had caused a ‘fatal error’. You can imagine my panic! Thank god, someone at SiteGround was able to sort my blog out, as I had no clue what that plugin did the site.
Not All Plugins Are Right For You
Plugins are a way to customise your blog and optimise things so they are just how you like it. When it comes to knowing which ones to download, I just went into the WordPress plugin section and downloaded all the top rated ones. They seemed to work for a lot of people as they had good reviews and it seemed like lots of people had also downloaded them.
So if you are completely in the dark on what would work for you then just visit the WordPress page and download what you think would be necessary or useful. You might not need all of them but it is impossible to know what would be best until after you have started experimenting. It is mostly trial and error. Once you have it figured out you won’t need to worry about downloading any more.
So this has been my update on my self hosted blogging experience. I felt an update would be helpful as when I first wrote the last blog post I was still very new everything. But now I feel like it has all settled down and I understand things a lot more now.
Have you decided to go self hosted – let me know about you experience! If you want to go self hosted be sure to keep an eye out for SiteGrounds 70% off Black Friday Deal.