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Quick and easy guide to self hosting

Hey guys,

So I know going self hosted sounds very daunting and confusing and scary. But it’s really worth the effort. If you want something to pay off, you gotta pay in first. Make the plunge and invest!

* Full disclosure: This post may include affiliate or referral links which means I may get commission. This does not cost you anything whatsoever and will help keep this website running *

I am going to focus on wordpress because that is what I have experience in.

Self hosted in a nutshell basically means that you own your own website. It is no longer free. You have full control over how it looks, and you can start making good money from it. So, for example, if you are currently with wordpress.com, you would change over to wordpress.org (totally worth the hassle!) and chose who to have your website with. I’ll explain this more as we go on, it’s not confusing really, I promise.

NOTE: Google is your best friend. Use it to your advantage. Take your time and research.

Okay, so first things first. You need a domain.

A domain is your website link. So, for my website, my domain is mevstheodds.com

You do have to pay for a domain, so I would recommend doing a bit of research as to where you’d buy it from. The website you buy is from is called a registrar.

Personally, I’d go with NameCheap. They offer support if something goes wrong, if you need help and their prices are pretty appealing. Plus, you get a free years of protection (from WhoIsGuard). I got mine for £8.26 for a year! Bargain! (You can buy your domain for a few years together but I decided to go for one year to start with)

Get up to 10% off a domain name (com, net, org, biz – new registrations/transfers) with namecheap 


Domain Name Registration from Namecheap

Next, decide who you want to host with.

This means which web host you want to have your website with. Again, do some research! The more the better.

Take into consideration support that is offered from the host, backing up your website, and storage space for your date (pictures, text, documents etc).

I went with siteground. They were super supportive and helped me loads. I literally knew nothing about how to change over from wordpress.com to wordpress.org (yes, they are different), and was constantly on the webchat with them asking the stupidest questions because I didn’t understand the terminology and processes, but they were super nice and explained things repeatedly until I understood. They also did the transfer from wordpress.com to wordpress.org for me and all they needed were a few details from me. Free of charge! I got mine for £33 for a year. Which is very cheap in comparison to others. Again, you do have the option to buy extra years for a cheaper price but I decided to only go for one year.

Web Hosting

NOTE: You can buy your domain and hosting from the same site. It does make it a little easier because siteground would do everything themselves for the transfer. Although, you don’t have to, it’s not difficult at all if you do it separately. If I can do it, so can you.

Themes! Themes! Themes!

Themes are so important. If you have a crappy theme, or one that doesn’t look nice or professional and doesn’t support a lot of widgets and plug ins, then you’ve already lost readers. You want a theme that looks nice.

You can either buy a theme or use a free one. You do need to download this. There are loads, and I means LOADS of themes on the internet to pick from. I chose a free one to start with, but turned out that theme wasn’t the best for mobile sites (even though it said it was) and I was struggling with some features but got no support. I then decided to buy one, and it was a good decision. Creative Market have TONS, and I mean TONS of themes. It took me 4 days to decide on one. The perk of buying one over using a free one is that the website you buy your theme from may offer you support (which is great to make your website looking awesome!) and honestly, I think it is worth the investment.

NOTE: Creative Market also send weekly freebies such as stock photos, fonts, stickers and sometimes themes. 

From there it is pretty much trial and error I think. Play around with widgets, plug ins and features. Make your website attractive and easy to use. There are countless articles to help you with this so don’t worry if it is daunting.

I hope this helps and provides some guidance on how to make the change. It really is worth it.

Hope you all have a good day.

Lots of love,

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply Adyuga

    Hi Madiha,

    I saw you tweeting about blogging and I thought I’d check out your website. I really like it. Looks like Madiha has come a long way!

    You should consider installing an SEO plugin like Yoast or something, theres loads of good free ones.

    Keep making great stuff!

    July 23, 2017 at 8:57 pm
    • Reply mevstheodds

      Thank you!
      I’ll look into that now! not too sure how it works so will be doing some reading around it.
      Always love getting some advice, much much appreciated xx

      July 23, 2017 at 8:58 pm
  • Reply Wunms

    Thank you so much for explaining this! I’m looking to go self hosted early next year (WordPress.com to .org), a bit nervous about it lol but this was very helpful. Love your blog too btw! X

    July 24, 2017 at 8:56 am
    • Reply mevstheodds

      Totally understand! It’s super scary but the sooner the better! Glad I can help x

      July 24, 2017 at 9:14 pm
  • Reply Jess

    I just went self hosted too! It was a struggle lol. It still is if I’m being honest…I went with a free theme and maybe I just need to bite the bullet and buy one… Anyway, I do really like it way better now that I’ve got my own domain! It feels so real and official. Also, the design of your blog looks so pretty :))

    July 26, 2017 at 8:05 am
    • Reply mevstheodds

      Thank you! It really is, I’m still trying to work around the mailing lists and plug ins, but definitely worth the hassle! I totally understand what you mean, it does feel official

      July 26, 2017 at 1:50 pm
  • Reply Lily

    Literally, couldn’t recommend people going self-hosted enough. Best blogging decision I’ve ever made x

    Lily | Covet Luxe

    August 21, 2017 at 9:54 pm
    • Reply mevstheodds

      I totally agree! I love the fact you can personalise posts as much as you want without restrictions x

      August 22, 2017 at 2:40 am
  • Reply Vicky Lawrence

    This was a really interesting read! I actually started my site using wordpress.org (I’d used .com for blogs before and I fancied giving myself a challenge this time). So I built it offline before getting a host! I went for Dreamhost who are pretty good. They had a few tutorials on how to transfer the offline localhost site to their server, which was helpful, as I had no clue what I was doing at first aha!

    I’m definitely still learning every day with wordpress.org. It’s complicated but I agree that it’s so worth it! I rushed with getting a host a little bit because I was too eager to get my website up, but I am pleased with it so far. Yours looks so lovely! x

    August 21, 2017 at 9:59 pm
    • Reply mevstheodds

      Ah! Totally get where you’re coming from!
      I really recommend creative market because they have a HUGE range and some are really affordable! They regularly have sales on some items (including themes!) and send freebies every monday!

      August 22, 2017 at 2:42 am
  • Reply Amy

    What a great post, my blog is already self-hosted but if it wasn’t – this post would be so helpful! Will defo check out Creative market though – trying to find a theme that you like with everything you want can be so difficult! Xx

    https://allaboutamy.uk

    August 21, 2017 at 11:04 pm
    • Reply mevstheodds

      Thank you so much! Glad you liked it!
      I totally agree, it took me so long deciding on a theme, and now I want to change mine haha! Worth it though x

      August 22, 2017 at 2:43 am

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