What is self hosting?This is one of the most asked questions in Boss Girl Bloggers. If you are reading this you are probably wondering what is self hosting and why does everyone say I need to be self hosted as a blogger. Essentially, self hosting is when you have a self host company “host” your wordpress.org website so that your blog can be seen. Being self hosted you will have complete ownership over your site with no limitations. In this article I am going to share with you why I chose to create a self hosted website and how it benefits my blogging goals.
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I am not saying I am an expert, but I am saying that switching to self-hosted servers, especially with siteground, has been one of the BEST decisions I have made for my blog! This is what has worked best for me, maybe it can work for you too.
What is Self Hosting?
Self hosting is exactly this: It’s when you own your domain and pay a company, such as siteground to allow you to make your domain (blog, website, etc.) available for the world to see. This company will “host” your website for you but you will have total control and ownership!
Before self hosting ask yourself these questions:
- Do you wish to pursue a career in blogging?
- Do you wish to generate an income using your blog?
- Is blogging more to you than just a hobby?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then it is time to make the switch to a self hosted WordPress blog! I can tell you from experience, it DOES make a difference and I will never go back!
Why you should self host your blog
There are many reasons why you should self host your blog. First, I can’t stress to you enough, WordPress.com is a waste of time and money! PLEASE do not pay for premium or business plans with wordpress.com. I was extremely upset when I upgraded to premium. I was unable to use plug-ins to help with SEO and building my e-mail list. I was unable to create custom themes and set my blog up the way I wanted it to look. Let me further explain why you should be self hosting.
You should self host your blog if you want to monetize
Monetizing your blog is when you start using ads, affiliate links, selling products, etc. to start making money with your blog. This is a dream because who wouldn’t want to make money from home, doing something they love?! If you are using wordpress.com you are not self-hosted and therefore you have restrictions and limitations on how you can best utilize your blog to make money.
If you aren’t self hosted you don’t have complete ownership over your blog
This is huge for me. I wanted to have complete ownership and the most control over my blog which is why I made the switch. This also goes for your domain name as well. You want to own your domain and not have a domain like, www.yoursitename.blogger.com or www.yoursitename.wordpress .com
If you don’t own your domain name and you try to work with companies to do reviews or promote products, the brand might ignore your blog because you do not own it. I wanted to make sure that I owned my domain name because I DO want to work with brands and monetize my blog. Without owning my blog and domain name my blog could come off as unprofessional.
If you aren’t paying for your blog then chances are you do not have complete ownership of your blog. This can also mean that wordpress, wix, blogger can control your ads, give you limitations, and delete your blog if they ever think you have violated their terms. Everything you worked hard for could potentially be wiped completely.
If you are self hosted, all of your content is yours, it belongs to you. This is one of the main reasons why I love self hosting! It also makes it easier to move your website to a different self host if you ever need to.
Self hosting gives you more storage space
If you self host your blog you can purchase a plan that has the perfect amount of storage space needed for your blog. If you have a free blog via wordpress.com, squarespace, blogger or wix then chances are you will run out of storage space quickly. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to create the content you want because your storage space is too little.
Self hosting has no limitations
One of the main reasons why I spent money on the premium wordpress.com plan was because I wanted to use plug-ins. Well, once I spent almost $100 for premium, I found out that it doesn’t even include plug-ins. I spent all of that money for some extra “themes” for my blog. I was so upset!
This was ultimately when I demanded a refund and made the switch to self hosting using Siteground. I wanted to be able to install plug-ins to help make my blog look appealing, professional, and more optimized. I knew that if I didn’t self-host I would always have limitations and my blog would never get to where I wanted it to be.
Self hosting has endless customization
When you have a self hosted blog you get access to thousands of different themes for you to choose from. However, if you would rather customized your own theme with coding OR upload your own theme from elsewhere, you can do so.
Squarespace, blogger, and wordpress.com can be very limiting on the amount of themes that they have to offer. It is difficult to design your blog exactly the way you want to. With a self hosted blog your options are limitless. My favorite themes are the genesis themes by Hello You Designs.
Self hosting is more affordable
If you are thinking Squarespace or wix, I would stay away because it is the most expensive options when it comes to monthly fees. WordPress.com has limitations and no access to plug-ins unless you pay for their expensive business plan which is also limiting. However, Self-hosting will get you everything that comes with the wordpress.com business plan and more for a CHEAPER cost!
Siteground is the self host I have used for almost 3 years and their cost starts at $3.95 a month. ( Keep in mind the price does go up upon renewal because you don’t get that initial sign up discount. If you want to save more I would sign up for at least a year in advance)
Self hosting is widely perceived as more professional
I understand that wordpress can seem complex and more difficult to navigate but you are only benefiting yourself if you learn how to use it. If you want to blog and be successful, you need to put in the time and commitment to learning the ins and outs of creating a blog. I will not sugar coat it, it is hard work! Lots and lots of hard work, but if you don’t take your blog seriously, neither will others.
Self hosting is better for SEO
What is SEO? It is Search Engine Optimization. You will get the best SEO optimized blog when you are self hosted. If you use Siteground as your self-host, they have fast responding servers which helps increase your site speed. This is a huge plus for SEO.
I use a plug in called YOAST and it has helped my SEO immensely! It walks you through step by step on what to do to your blog post to make sure it is Search Engine Optimized. There are all sorts of SEO plugins that are available for self hosted WordPress blogs.
There is more information on self hosted WordPress blogs
In the blogging community there are a lot more WordPress users than anything else! When you have questions about Blogger, Wix or Squarespace, your questions might not get answered as quickly. You may have a more difficult time finding the answers you want. The community of WordPress users is so large that you are almost always likely to find an answer immediately. There are SO many tutorials for WordPress that you could quickly learn how to use it!
The support is impeccable
I have used Siteground for almost 3 years now and their live chat support team is incredibly helpful! They answer all my questions in a fast responding manner. A huge fear I see many bloggers have about switching to self hosting is the lack of support. People seem to think that having a self hosted blog means you are on your own when it comes to technical issues. That is FALSE. You are not alone and usually your self host support team is always there to help you!
What if I don’t want to spend the money on a self host?
I know that financially self hosting can be an issue, BUT I am telling you right now that you will make it back eventually if you keep at your blog. Not to mention, you can start up with Siteground today for only $3.95 a month through my link! That is only $48 for the entire year! Compared to some self-host companies this is cheap!
But, I was in your shoes at one point so it’s okay to save for it. Put aside $5-10 whenever you can and you will have the money in no time.
Can I Transfer My Blog to a self hosted server?
ABSOLUTELY! Another reason why I swear by Siteground is because they will actually assist you and make your transfer to self hosting as painless as possible. When I started up with Siteground I messaged their LIVE chat team and let them know that I was not tech savvy. I told them I wanted to transfer from wordpress.com to a self hosted wordpress.org blog. They instantly responded back with helpful tips. They even went onto my site and transferred my site for me. If you purchase their grow big plan you can have them transfer your site too. I was so pleased with their support team. Make sure if you have any questions you only use their live chat to get the quickest and most helpful response.
Wrapping it up – Why I chose self hosting with Siteground
- You have freedom over how you want to make money on your blog if you self host.
- You appear more professional to others and companies who you may want to work with in the near future.
- Self hosting allows you to have customize your blog however you want with no limitations.
- You have complete control and ownership over your blog.
- A self hosted blog is the best for search engine optimization.
- Self hosting is affordable and Siteground starts at only $3.95 a month
- Server speeds with Siteground are excellent with barely any server crashes. Higher site speed means better SEO.
- Siteground will help you transfer your blog with ease.
- The support team from Siteground is fast at responding and will give you informative answers so you never have to feel alone.
I hope this helped you answer all of your “Why should I self host?” questions! I’m not trying to force anyone into anything, I am just being 100% honest with my experience blogging thus far. I wouldn’t rave about self hosting if I didn’t think it is the best decision you could make for your blogging goals and future career with blogging.