This is gonna be a long one guys, get some snacks!
As some of you may be aware, I went self hosted and created this blog back in November. I was asked if I could talk about how it all went down for me, so here we go! (Just to say, this is all just from my experience with the sites I used and as a wordpress blogger. It might vary from other bloggers!)
I toyed around with the idea of self hosting for a few months, I already had a blog but I wasn’t satisfied with it so I thought I’d start fresh but with my new blog being self hosted. I researched A LOT. For an unemployed 17 year old, self hosting seemed like a huge huge investment. But I enjoyed blogging so much and I wanted to make it a bit more professional, maybe hope to start making money from it in a few years. On an off chance I told my parents about self hosting on the way home from London one weekend and they were all like “Why didn’t you tell us sooner??” They offered to help me out with the financial side and it seemed silly of me to turn it down.
I spent the next few days immersed in hosting websites, making lists of who asked for how much, how much it would roughly be per month, how much it would cost for the second year (because a lot of sites offer a discount for the first year), how much the domain would cost etc.
Because you have to also buy a domain as well as self hosting.
The general trend I found with most websites was that you paid for a whole year up front, there was none of that pay per month business, for the most part, which was why I was low key stressed out in the first place because most sites ask for £100+ by the time you’ve added things like security and a backup in case everything goes wrong. Ya girl doesn’t have that kinda cash lying around!
I ended up using godaddy for both my domain and self hosting and for the first year it totalled to £77.98 for the first year, and I believe the domain was free for this year. For the second year, however, it’ll move up to about £85 as I’d also be paying for the domain for this time. Which in all honesty is actually a pretty decent price, the other websites I looked into asked for £100+/year and I wasn’t willing to spend that much. Although websites are always having offers so you may be able to snap it up for a bit less for your first year!
So once you’ve chosen what kind of package you want and have chosen your new domain name, you pay of course, and then (if you’re a wordpress user) you’ll be given the option to download wordpress.org. Most self host sites offer one click installation so that it’s all clean and simple!
WordPress.com and wordpress.org are two different things, wordpress.com is where you’ve been hosted by wordpress and your work wasn’t really your own. It could’ve been deleted by wordpress and you can’t really do much against that, for example. However with wordpress.org, this where you’re self-hosted. So, for example, you own your content and only you have the power to delete it. I hope that makes sense.
Now I had already started my blog as a wordpress.com blog while I finished doing blogtober on my old one. So I transferred what I had from this new blog to this one, to do that you go to the admin page of your blog (www.yourblogname.wordpress.com/wp-admin) and you should find a button somewhere that allows you to export your content (as an XML file), followers, comments etc. So that you can then import it into the new one. Now for me this was just one blog post and nothing else, seeing as I was starting fresh, but it’s nice to know you don’t lose everything. However, your theme will not transfer over to this blog. So the first thing you should probably do once you’ve imported your old content is to start playing around with the themes to figure out what you’d like.
After that, start seeing what kinda plugins you’d like to install! Which is something I don’t think you do with a wordpress.com blog. I would definitely recommend getting Jetpack as it shows you your stats the same way it did on wordpress.com, very useful! Don’t think too much about plugins, but do just rifle through and see what would benefit your blogging experience!
I appreciate this was a really long post, thank you if you’ve managed to get this far! I hope I’ve helped some people out and if you still have questions drop me a comment or a dm over on Twitter and I’ll try my best to answer it!
Until next time 🙂