So you’ve decided to start your own website with the dream of becoming a blogger but, what do you do next?
I have had experience with both blogger and WordPress but my personal opinion is that I prefer WordPress, this is what I currently work on now. There’s no right or wrong in choosing a platform to work from.
What does it mean to go self-hosted?
- full control over your own website
- Design and change it however you want to as you are limited on WordPress/Blogger.
- opens you up to a lot more different theme options
- YOU and only YOU can decide what happens with your blog, you control and own every aspect of your website.
How can you tell somebody runs a self-hosted blog?
The most common difference between somebody who is self-hosted and someone who runs their blog on a platform such as WordPress and Blogger is the websites URL.
When you become self-hosted you create a name and a brand for yourself, claiming all responsibility and acknowledgment of that website. The first thing you can do is purchase a domain… You can do this through WordPress however, I recommend just waiting until you are going to purchase a web host.
for example, a blog which isn’t self-hosted may look like this;
and then you can upgrade yourself and become more professional and have a URL like this;
Although, it’s not a massive deal as it’s all about having fun and expressing yourself through your writing. If you decide that you want to pursue your blog further you can do this to become more professional.
What is a web host and how can I get one?
A web host is the most important part of becoming self-hosted as, without this, your blog is not safe and cannot run.
There are so many different web hosting companies that you can use for example there is; Bluehost, and Siteground.
I will be talking about SiteGround today just because this is the web host I currently use and have been using for the past 2 years. I have never had any issues with this company and due to them being so efficient I thought they would be a good company to promote today.
The best thing about Siteground is their 24/7 online support. I am the most beyond useless blogger ever, I am extremely far from professional and do not understand the self-hosted lingo. However, with the help of their support, I am now a professional (well, getting there anyway).
Most of their technical support team are familiar with blogging sites such as WordPress and Blogger, and they’re very happy to help with any problems you may come across.
Two years down the line and I still get confused and struggle from time to time. Ok, most of the time that is!
Where Can I Find A Theme For My New Blog
There are many different websites and companies that sell WordPress and Blogger themes but here
Etsy is a fantastic place to purchase the perfect sassy, edgy and unique theme that you want. They range from as little as £5 all the way to £70 depending on what you want. There is definitely something to suit everyone’s budgets here. You don’t have to be Zoella to afford these templates.
My one bit of advice would be to make sure you read the small print before purchasing as some of these you have to install yourself. If you don’t know how to install a theme there are many YouTube videos to help however, I personally struggled with this.
This leads me onto my next company Pipdig who I have my current theme with. Although they are a bit more on the expensive side they are well and truly worth the investment. Not only does this company install the theme for you but they also have 24/7 support if you are in need of help.
Two years on and I still contact Phil and the rest of the support team for help!
What Are The Downsides To Consider
Of course, with everything, there are also downsides in which you need to consider. The only thing that I can think that comes with going self-hosted is the upkeep costs. This doesn’t always have to be expensive but can become costly depending on what services you use.
When you are running your blog through companies such as WordPress/Blogger you are using their service for free. Which of course, makes sense when you notice how limited you are. For example, You couldn’t decide to one-day change the theme of your Facebook page to Pink because you aren’t the owner or in control of this action. The owner of Facebook has decided the theme is blue and that’s because he pays for that choice.
Since becoming self-hosted I have purchased a blog theme and I pay for a yearly web host. The theme is a one of payment however, you need to remember that host services are annually billed. Thankfully to the company SiteGround, they offer a year of blog hosting for a VERY minimal price. This allows you to test the waters for a whole year before you decide to take the plunge.
Told You It’s Not So Scary After All
Do you have any questions or queries about my experience of going self-hosted? If so, please do not hesitate to contact me for honest advice from one blogger to another.
Related: How I managed to make my first £200 from blogging
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may make a small commission if you make a purchase. This doesn’t cost you any more but does offer me a chance to make an income. Please note my opinion is not affected by this. I do not promote products for the sake on an income for myself – thank you for your support!