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You’ve heard people talking about it before and maybe you’ve even read my post about the different types of WordPress you can choose.
What is ‘going self-hosted’?
And why do you need to know about it?
That means that they have a ginormous server that stores all of those lovely bits of blog content that you’re furiously writing away, and when someone clicks on one of your pages, it loads.
Think about your domain as the street name of a home up for rent (how people find it) and the host as the actual physical location of the property.
So if you are on free WordPress (or similar), that means that your site is hosted for free! Why would you want to change it?
Well, the trade off of using a free service is that you give up control when it comes to your URL, how the site looks, or the functionality it might have.
The .wordpress bit is called a subdomain and indicates where the site is being hosted.
But it’s unlikely that you can change the design to look less like a blog and more like a website, if that’s your end game.
You also may not be able to monitise the site until it receives certain traffic levels.
So really, the question is what do you want to do with your site, or rather what might you like to do with it in the future?
Site functionality with a self-hosted blog
If you want your website to look like an all singing, all dancing blog with widgets and gizmos galore, you need to go self-hosted. Likewise, if you want to add a shop or any more complex features such as running PPC ads on your site.
If however, you are happy with simply sharing posts or photos, then you can stop reading now.
What is a web host?
Go back to the rental house analogy for a moment.
The web host provider is kind of like the estate agent that rents the property to you.
Put simply, ‘going self-hosted’ means that you find your own place to store your website.
It means that you can pick and customise how it looks, such as buying a premium WordPress theme on Etsy. The choice of plugins is endless. You can make money from your site with advertising placements.
You do however need to invest more time and a bit of money, and also carry out the regular maintenance such as performing backups, spam checks and optimising your site for SEO.
My web host is Go Daddy as their tech support is really good.
What are the costs of self-hosting my blog?
Unlike the ‘free’ services, you’ll have to buy:
- A domain of you don’t already have one – around a tenner per year
- Any premium themes that you fancy – one-off cost anywhere from £5 upwards
- Web hosting – from as little as £70 with some hosts
- Some premium plugins if the free versions don’t provide the whole functionality that you’re after – optional
I have another website for my personalised prints business, so my hosting is shared across a few domains. To give you an idea though, running this blog costs me approximately £120 per year.
Then there’s the time I spend on it, which is a whooooooole other story!
Any questions? Leave a comment.