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)
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.
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,