Blogging tips: Why should I self-host my blog?

Blogging tips: Why should I self-host my blog?

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To self-host…

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?

Even if you started your blog on a ‘free’ platform like WordPress.com or Blogger, your website is hosted somewhere. With those particular platforms, it’s hosted by the provider.

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.

home

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.

Yes, you might be able to pay your platform provider to buy a custom domain so that your URL looks more like myblog.com and less like myblog.wordpress.com.

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.

wordpress theme

Example of a premium WordPress theme on Etsy

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. 

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16 Comments on "Blogging tips: Why should I self-host my blog?"

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samsam
Guest

This is very interesting, one of my goals is to self host in blog so I found this helpful because I didn’t realise the cost of it all and what you need to pay for #stayclassymama

Catie: An Imperfect Mum
Guest

I think this is the best self hosting post I’ve ever read! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

justsayingmum
Guest

ah interesting! I’m wary of self-hosting even though I’ve been blogging for over a year – I’m not very techy so I’m reluctant to leave the comfort of wordpress hosting at the moment. However, I see more and more people do this so it’s something I’m considering for sure so your post was a good starting point so thank you! #ablogginggoodtime

Sarah Admissions of a Working Mother
Guest

This is a really useful straight forward post! Newer bloggers will find this very useful, I will share it in the group #stayclassymama

One Messy Mama
Guest

This is a good and informative read for anyone looking into blogging. I am self-hosted, but I’ve never bought a theme… Why waste tooooo much money. 🙂 #globalblogging

Tubbs
Guest

I really liked this post as it’s honest about the costs and the pros (and the cons) rather than just saying you have to be self hosted otherwise you’re not a proper blogger. * roll eyes * I wished I’d found it last time I was looking into it.

Jaki
Guest

Going self hosted was the best thing I did. I just wish I did it sooner! #twinklytuesday

Dhruv patel
Guest

Very interesting and helpful article for every blogger beginners..
After reading this article,my all doubts clear and Now i know how to start
my own blog..
Thanks for en-lighting us with your knowledge, it is helpful for many of us.

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