One of my best decisions over the past decade was to take up blogging, it has given me my own space to share and voice my opinions and also a place where I can interact with others. Setting up self hosted blogging, has been the second best decision! If blogging is something that you really enjoy, whether as a hobby or as a business, then learning a bit more about the different options available would definitely be beneficial for you. Many people have asked me what the benefits would be if they were to go self hosted and why should they take the plunge when they could continue blogging for free? For me, there are many benefits about going self hosted, It’s the next step for anyone serious about blogging.
Here are some of those Pros for Self Hosted Blogging
Your own personalised Domain Name
For me the main reason would be having your own domain name, you can say goodbye to the thisismyblog.wordpress.com domains and have your own fancy domain i.e thisismyfancydomain.co.uk or even .com or whatever domain you wish to have. Of course there is always the option to purchase a custom domain upgrade but combined with the benefits below, you’ll see why it’s worth taking the plunge to go self hosted.
Full site customisation – You can have your site looking any way you like
There are always some sort of styling options when using free blogs but going self hosted, there are thousands upon thousands of themes (some even free) and plugins to use to make your blog just the way you like. You have full customisation and control over your blog by modifying it to your hearts content.
Self hosting features
There are a whole host of features that you would not find on a free blogging platforms, from one click installs of other software, access to analytical data, whole site back ups and FTP access which I find are invaluable, particularly when it comes to uploading files and themes to my blog.
Access to Raw Access Logs is also beneficial, for instances when you need to see who has accessed your site quickly without the use of graphs and other charts.
Controlling more than one blog in one place
If like me, you have multiple sites/blogs you can have them all under the same hosting package (for me there is no extra charge for more than one domain being managed on my hosting package)
Extra Space & Bandwith
Depending on your hosting package you are not limited storage wise, I’m on a unlimited package but for those that that require extra storage space, you add add extra as and when needed. With WordPress.com, only the first 3Gb is free. Bandwith is also another issue I have seen others experience, some providers have monthly bandwith usage limits, which often requires further payments to increase that. With self hosted blogs, you can see and manage your bandwith usage. The majority of hosting packages that I have looked at did not have any usage limits but please be aware that some hosting companies will have packages with max limits.
No Hidden Fee’s
With the majority of hosting packages, there are no extra fee to use features such as site redirects
How about that custom email address?
No longer having to use a free email address such as Hotmail or Gmail, you can have your own customised email address i.e email@example.com without any extra cost. Depending on your hosting package, you can have unlimited email addresses.
Making your site profitable
A lot of bloggers have now started cashing in on their blogs and why the hell not? If you can monetise your blog in ways such as advertising then go for it. It’s certainly a huge plus in my books. For free blogging sites such as WordPress.com you are not allowed to sell advertising space on your site unless you reach a certain number of page views on your site and even then, the revenue is split 50/50.
WordPress.org is completely free to install and use, as well as being able to modify it to fit your needs with the use of plugins and themes. With the cost or purchasing your domain and yearly hosting subscription, it still works out a lot cheaper that the equivalent package from WordPress.com when you take into account the extra storage costs, custom domain, add free options and custom designs.
Ultimately, going self hosted means that the blog is solely in your hands, you have complete control without any restrictions that other platforms may impose.
Setting up a self hosted blog isn’t as complicated as you would think, all you need is to purchase a domain name to start with. Your next port of call would be to find a hosting package to suit you and there are 100s if not 1000s of hosting services available. Companies such as 1and1.co.uk offer packages to suit all needs as well as offering support from as little as £2.99 per month.