If you’ve read my Welcome to the Next Chapter post, you probably already know that I’ve finally decided to go self-hosted just last month in time to start the new year. I thought it would be the perfect time to do the move. Obviously, I did a lot of research about this topic online to make sure that it would actually benefit me or thatgirlArlene in the long run. After weighing the pro’s and con’s, I gave self-hosted a go and I’m really glad I did.
The move was tedious and time-consuming especially that I had no clue on what I was doing, there are countless times when I was ready to give up and just go back with my WordPress site but I know I had to push myself. My tight schedule didn’t help at all so I had to endure a few sleepless nights just to finish my new site. I am just so thankful that there are so many helpful articles and YouTube videos that are readily available online. Thank you God for the Internet! (LOL)
Anyways, after just over a month of going self-hosted, I just wanted to share with you all my initial experience and thoughts about it especially if you are also contemplating on doing the move.
What is a Self-hosted blog?
Self-hosting is basically buying your own domain. You would need to subscribe to a hosting company like Bluehost, GoDaddy or HostGator for them to host your website. You would also have a full control of your website including search engine optimization, adding plugins, install custom themes, freedom to customize almost EVERYTHING, advertising revenues and so much more.
Was the transitioning difficult?
I wouldn’t say it was difficult but I’d say it was confusing in the beginning but when I was finally able to figure out how to correctly set-up my new website and the proper steps to migrate the contents from my old website to my self-hosted site, it became a bit easier. The previous readings that I did helped me a lot in the process so I would suggest for you to do the same if you’re planning to go self-hosted but rest assured, you do not need to be a web developer or have an extensive IT experience to be able to do it.
I opted for Bluehost’s basic plan which costed me $169.93 CAD for a three-year hosting plan which is way cheaper than the WordPress.com’s premium plan which costed me $129.00 CAD for a one year subscription. I also bought a theme for $59.00 USD but there are definitely a lot of free themes available in the Bluehost’s market place that you can choose from.
So far, I’ve only encountered two downsides. First is the initial set-up which was again very confusing and overwhelming at first but ended up being manageable and a bit easy. Second is that I sometimes experience error on my uploaded pictures which is maybe because I uploaded them from my phone. I usually edit my pictures on my phone because it is way more accessible and convenient than my laptop especially when I’m at work or watching TV. It saves me so much time to edit pictures in between my days rather than actually sitting down for a few hours in front of my laptop because I usually have no time to do that anyways. However, I can easily resolve this by re-uploading the picture/s which can honestly become so annoying at times.
My Experience so far…
So far I am getting the hang of self-hosting. I love that I can customize my website and my blog posts freely. I also found so many plugins that are very helpful not only for my blog’s aesthetics but also to help boost my blog’s traffic which is the most important aspect at the end of the day. Also, because of the added SEO optimization, I notice a slight increase of traffic from Google and Yahoo which I’m really happy about. I am yet to learn a lot about SEO but so far so good.
Would I recommend going Self-hosting?
I can say this without a doubt- YES! It does not only give you a more professional website but having your own domain gives your audience the impression that you mean business. It can also drive possible collaborators which is good if you want to monetize your blog. Keep in mind that going self-hosting can also give you a lot of options to monetize your blog so whatever cost you invested in initially will be compensated. My favorite part is actually being able to really personalize my own website which I find sometimes impossible when I was still on my hosted site. I love that I can add or change anything if I want to.
Did you find this post helpful? Let me know if you have anymore questions about going self-hosted in the comment box below and I’ll try my best to answer them.