Making Your Blog Self-Hosted

Taking your blog self-hosted on WordPress.

I had heard so many other bloggers recommending this to me if I wanted to get serious about blogging but I had no idea what they were talking about.  I had to trawl the internet up and down for hours to really try to get to grips with what it meant and how to go about it so I thought I would simplify it here on my blog:

What does ‘self-hosted’ mean?

It’s not all that complicated to be honest – basically you can create a free blog using WordPress.com (which you probably have already done if you are reading this) and WordPress will hold all the data and files that sit behind your blog. If you want to take your blog self-hosted then this means WordPress no longer hold or ‘host’ your blog and you either create a server on your own computer to host it (complicated) or you pay a very nice company to host it for you and leave them to do all the technical wizardry that goes on behind the scenes (recommended). You then install WordPress’s free software and off you go. So that’s it – it just means either WordPress.com are looking after your blog webpage or you are paying a private company to do so for you.

Why would you go self-hosted?

WordPress is a free platform with blogging software that requires basically no technical knowledge to use. If you are using the free version then you are bound by the terms and conditions of WordPress and its limited functionality. It is great for first time bloggers but until you take your blog self-hosted you will be seriously limited to the look and feel of your design and functionality.

You like the look of those funky floating social media icons? Yep, you can’t have them until you’re self hosted. Or you want to install an easier commenting system so more people will engage with your posts? Same.

Most of the fun, useful and cool functions on blogs are performed by clever little bits of add-on software called Plugins and until you are self-hosted you cannot install them. WordPress have thousands to choose from so if you do go self-hosted then check out my list of which ones you need to start you off

What about monetizing your blog? A lot of bloggers would like to earn some income from their words, right? Well you need to be self-hosted to have advertising on your blog.

You want to have full control and ownership of your content? Yep, you’ve guessed it – you need to be self-hosted.

The benefits for someone who is serious about making a go of blogging are endless and the limitations are few.

What are the downsides of being self-hosted?

In my opinion the only downsides I have come across are the fact  you are now responsible for updating WordPress updates, themes and plugins but this is extremely easy in reality. You are also responsible for ensuring you backup your work regularly but there are some great plugins that will do this for you. Of course you will be spending money, paying a company to host your blog but it’s not exactly extravagant and the rewards really outweigh the negatives.

So how do you go about making the move to self-hosted?

Being self-hosted means just this, your blog is instead now hosted on a server of your choice – so in order to do this many people pay a small monthly fee to a company to host their blog and do all the behind the scenes techy stuff you don’t really want to know about yourself. There are several different ways to self-host your blog but this is the one I have used so it’s the one I recommend. I used a company called TSO and they also migrated my blog over from WordPress.com to the self-hosted version you see today. All I had to do was provide my login details to them and they sorted out the rest over a couple of days. I pay them a very small monthly fee to host my blog (about £2.99) and I haven’t had to think too much about anything overly technical. This leaves me time and space to focus on the content of my blog and how I want it to look. However, there are many different hosting companies, it is just a matter of choosing which one you want to go with.

I hope this has been useful. If you have any specific questions on making the move to self-hosted please leave a comment and I will get back to you. In the meantime, good luck with your blogging exploits!

x

 

 

A Mum Track Mind

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51 Comments

  1. May 5, 2016 / 6:21 pm

    You make it sound so easy Fi, I’m not sure why I’m thinking it is such a big and complicated task. I will be investigating TSO host, and working out how I move thepramshed.wordpres.com to thepramshed.com (yay!). I really want to have this all completed by the time I go back to work. Claire x #fortheloveofBLOG
    The Pramshed recently posted…30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 9My Profile

  2. May 6, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Thanks for sharing this post, just what I’m looking for just now. The option for the host to migrate sounds brilliant, I will be looking at TSO. Xx

  3. May 7, 2016 / 9:23 am

    oh i found this very interesteting. I am only 5 month into blogging, and want to move away from wordpress eventually. I heard that a whole new world opens up if you’re self hosting. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  4. May 7, 2016 / 9:32 am

    This is really useful. I have gone self hosted from the start. I didn’t know what “self hosted” meant, I got my other half to set it up for me! I have some idea of what it means now and am going to have a play around with plug-ins thanks to your plug-in post! Discussion about making the switch does have a large online presence-I’m quite glad I don’t have to make the switch because I feel like I’d have no clue!

  5. May 7, 2016 / 9:35 am

    I am really glad I’m self-hosted as to be honest the alternative sounds pretty complicated! Thanks for the reassurance though; sometimes I’m not sure I will actually learn very much more as I don’t have the time to look at every option available that I’d like. But it’s fun and I need to see it that way. Thanks so much for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG

  6. May 7, 2016 / 9:44 am

    As a newbie blogger I am always so grateful for helpful posts like these. I really must bite the bullet and sort mine out. But juggling my baby, iPad and arguing about the sofa we still haven’t bought for our new house while sitting on plastic garden furniture, I still haven’t got round to it! Thank you. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Nursery Whines recently posted…A Place Of Her OwnMy Profile

  7. May 7, 2016 / 9:47 am

    I REALLY need to go self-hosted. It’s just one of those tasks that seems kind of overwhelming, so I’ve been putting it off. I’ll definitely refer to this post when I finally get around to it! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Squirmy Popple recently posted…Why baby naps are the worstMy Profile

  8. May 7, 2016 / 10:04 am

    I’ve just pinned this, I hope you don’t mind! I think I’m going to have to make a separate board for all of the posts of yours I’m going to want to pin, ha!! Thanks for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG 🙂

  9. May 7, 2016 / 10:28 am

    I am on blogger, so i’m not sure who I would go self hosted with? It’s all a bit complicated for me at the moment. I am happy with my vanity domain! Thats all i have managed so far!

    #fortheloveofblog
    rachelbustin recently posted…Teething Necklace Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  10. May 7, 2016 / 10:47 am

    It’s so great to hear that it’s actually much easier to become self hosted than I thought, and not that expensive either. I am becoming increasingly frustrated with limitations on my blog so this has really helped me. Thankyou #fortheloveofBLOG
    Let your light shine Mummy recently posted…Motivation, or lack of…My Profile

  11. May 7, 2016 / 10:51 am

    A useful read. I use WordPress but to be honest I don’t think I make the most of its functionality. I need to spend some time learning more about what I can do but I am usual napping which gets in the way of that 😉 #fortheloveofBLOG

  12. May 7, 2016 / 11:18 am

    This was very helpful!! Once the baby is born I was thinking about updating my blog as i might rename it. To go self hosted would be the right time to do it to!
    I will be checking back here once i am ready 🙂
    Thanks
    Lx
    http://workingmumy.blogspot.com
    #fortheloveofBLOG
    lisa recently posted…Lush haulMy Profile

  13. May 7, 2016 / 11:40 am

    This is such a perfect post for me as im thinking of going self hosted, currently using wordpress and want a bit more control over the design, so sounds great. thanks for sharing and making it sound less daunting and pricy. keep up the good work and your blog looks fab 🙂 #FortheloveofBLOG

  14. The_tale_of_mummyhood
    May 7, 2016 / 11:56 am

    A really useful post! It’s early days for me but this post definitely gives me food for thought for when I do start to think about becoming self hosted.

    #fortheloveofBLOG

    • May 7, 2016 / 6:40 pm

      I hope it helps if you decide to do it – good luck with your blog x

  15. May 7, 2016 / 12:23 pm

    I have been thinking of going self-hosted for a while but I quite like how blogger works although I would like to take blogging more seriously and I think going self-hosted would allow me to take it to the next level. Its all such a minefield.

    Azaria- Being Mrs Lynch
    #fortheloveofBlog

    • May 7, 2016 / 6:39 pm

      It all seems so complicated (I remember it well!) until it’s done – good luck with your move to self-hosted if you decide to take the plunge x

  16. May 7, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    I have been thinking about going self hosted as I would like more control and have been thinking more about monetizing it properly.
    I am currently using Blogger so I will have to work out how to transfer that.
    Thanks for this post.
    Ali Duke recently posted…A Clothing Confidence BoostMy Profile

    • May 7, 2016 / 6:36 pm

      I’m not sure but I think these hosting sites will transfer from anywhere – it’s worth asking anyway x

  17. May 7, 2016 / 1:12 pm

    It probably is as simple as you say, but for me it just made sense to pay someone to help me.. It was quicker (time is scarce) and I just give my requirements… I now pay just £20 a month for my ‘guy’ to keep on top of it all, which works well for me. One day I might learn lol
    Laughing Mum recently posted…Lemon PossetMy Profile

    • May 7, 2016 / 6:33 pm

      I totally get that – I didn’t know it was possible to pay someone until way after I’d done it myself but I would have been tempted! x

  18. May 7, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    I’ve just moved to self hosted in the last few weeks and like you said the positives most definitely outweigh the negatives of it. I am loving the freedom I have with my blog now 🙂 Thanks for hosting lovely #fortheloveofBLOG x

    • May 7, 2016 / 6:32 pm

      It’s much better isn’t it! Your blog is looking fab too x

  19. May 7, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    Agree with everyone else, this is such a helpful post in cutting through the jargon and explaining in terms we hopefully can all understand and clearly as you say the benefits are massive. Thank you. #fortheloveofBLOG

    • May 7, 2016 / 6:15 pm

      Fab! So glad it helped All that technical jargon drives me mad! x

  20. May 7, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    I did think about going self-hosted but, for me, there were a few issues – cost, upkeep, my tendency to get bored of things quickly… lol. In the end I went for a vanity url on Blogger instead. x #fortheloveofblog
    Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) recently posted…10 Worst Types of Ebay BuyerMy Profile

  21. May 7, 2016 / 3:24 pm

    This is so useful! I’ve been thinking about going self-hosted but it seems so complicated, thanks for putting it across so well 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG
    Rosie Tickner recently posted…The Newborn Feeding Series #1My Profile

    • May 7, 2016 / 6:14 pm

      No problem, I’m glad you found it useful x

  22. May 7, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    Incredibly useful, thank you. It’s something I would like to do at some point in the next year I think. It does sound quit straightforward…this is quite reassuring! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • May 7, 2016 / 6:13 pm

      You’re very welcome – I’m sure you won’t regret it when you decide to make the move x

  23. May 7, 2016 / 5:02 pm

    Oh, this is really useful – I intend to do this at some stage so will definitely come back to this! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Ellen recently posted…12 of my #MummywinsMy Profile

  24. May 7, 2016 / 8:06 pm

    This is a really interesting read – I’ve always wondered how to go self-hosted, and you make it sound so easy! Something I’m definitely going to look into #fortheloveofBLOG

  25. May 7, 2016 / 8:11 pm

    I went self-hosted from the beginning, so luckily didn’t have to change over, but this looks like great advice. #fortheloveofBLOG

    Nadia – ScandiMummy

  26. May 7, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    I really really really want to do this but I’m scared. I’ve heard stories of losing comments and all sorts but you do make it sound very easy. The people you use sound really impressive so perhaps they are the way forward. Eek. I will see…! #fortheloveof BLOG
    Jaki recently posted…My New York Dream…My Profile

  27. May 7, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Thanks Fi, a really useful post. It’s early days for me but this is definitely something I will be looking into more especially now you have made it seem much more manageable! X #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…How to make a Superhero CakeMy Profile

  28. May 7, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    Thank you, yes this is very useful! I am not at that stage yet as only started 3 months ago but when I do I will definitely come back to this fab post. #fortheloveofBLOG

  29. May 7, 2016 / 11:00 pm

    I have been thinking about doing this for absolutely ages but wordpress does confuse me so sometimes. You make it sound super easy and I wonder why it has took me so long!
    Think I might have to go for this sometime. Thanks for sharing! x
    #fortheloveofBLOG
    Alex Malone recently posted…Life After BabyMy Profile

  30. May 8, 2016 / 2:27 am

    Great post, very useful tips. I’ve been considering switching over to self hosted so I could have more control over the layout of my blog and make it something I’m really proud of but I need to wait till I have a bit more time! Your site looks great, you must put a lot of time into it. #fortheloveofBLOG

  31. May 8, 2016 / 7:59 am

    I’m so glad I’ve moved over to self hosted now. I love having more control 🙂 #fortheloveofblog
    Kat recently posted…What am I supposed to say?My Profile

  32. May 8, 2016 / 8:45 am

    Hi Fi
    I’ve been blogging for 4 months now and went self-hosted from the start (with Hostgator). You explain the differences and advantages really well. I like being self-hosted but it is really important to make sure your site and database is being backed up. Mine wasn’t for 3 months because of a glitch in the backup system with the 3rd party. Still not resolved so I am having to manually back up every day! Also, make sure you have really strong passwords to stop hackers!

    Thanks for sharing. I am glad #fortheloveofBlog brought me here today!

  33. May 8, 2016 / 11:07 am

    Thanks for sharing this. Glad to hear the move to self hosted went easy for you. I’m moving my blog from blogger to self hosted next week as hubby has time off so I’ll be able to concentrate on it without having to look after Leo as well l. Lots have people have recommended TSO so think I’ll go with them. Good luck with your self hosted blog 🙂 xx #fortheloveofBLOG
    wendy recently posted…16 weeks pregnancy updateMy Profile

  34. May 9, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    Seems like good advice to me if you are using WordPress and want to make the switch. #fortheloveofBLOG

  35. May 10, 2016 / 9:55 am

    Ah this is perfect as I want to brave up to being self hosted this weekend, I ended up paying premium for word press then realising you cant add the wordpress plugins without being self hosted. Bugger. I will look into TSO as I was totally overwhelmed before by all the companies etc. Such a great helpful post. #Fortheloveofblog

  36. May 10, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    This is a really useful post for me as going self hosted is one of my long-term aims for my blog – I’m on blogger at the moment though. At some point I’ll hopefully get my act together and take the plunge! Thanks for sharing, going to pin this! #FortheloveofBLOG
    Mummy and the Mexicans recently posted…The Toddler and the Tigercub (a first trip to the zoo)My Profile

  37. May 12, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    Ooh I have just gone self-hosted – was a bit scary but I love the new freedom. Will def check out your list of useful plugins to make sure I have all the best ones! Thanks for hosting #fortheloveofBLOG

  38. May 13, 2016 / 10:18 pm

    Good advice. I sounds like you’ve managed to do it without too much trouble. Reading some of the horror stories about what a nightmare people have had switching over, always makes me glad I was self hosted from the start – I don’t like hassle! I agree with you though – I think it is probably the best way to go for people who want to try to make their blog profitable or anything like that. #fortheloveofBLOG

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