Self-Hosted – Taking the Leap
When I first started blogging I was told time and time again that you should start off self-hosted. By this I mean, own your domain name and pay a monthly/yearly fee to host your own website.
There was a problem with this though, I didn’t know how my blog was going to work out. I didn’t want to pay out at the beginning without knowing if this was truly going to be something for me.
As the months rolled on, I realised that I was having a lot of fun with my blog, meeting a great community of bloggers and I was finding the whole process very therapeutic. I wondered – aloud to my hubby and anyone else who would listen – should I move from my free wordpress site to a paid platform?
I was a little nervous about it.
Worried about what it would entail. Concerned I would lose everything in the process. I spoke to other bloggers who had made the leap, they all told me the same thing: it can be painful to do but worth it when it is all done.
I didn’t know what to do. So I did a list. I like lists. They have helped me make all sorts of decisions over the years: Should I change jobs? Should we move to Germany? Should I drink more wine (joking…kind of)?
The list looked something like this (only messier as I was scribbling it down in my blogging notebook with children climbing all over me).
- Free WordPress Pros
- Already set up
- You don’t need to be technical to manage the site
- Easy to use
- Free WordPress Cons
- Limited flexibility – this is what I have in my notebook although it really should read: No flexibility
- Unable to add plug ins to enhance my site
- I don’t own my site
- Space is limited, so will have to upgrade eventually
- Self-hosted Pros
- Control over design
- Control of plugins
- My domain name is mine
- More information on SEO using plug ins.
- Would look more professional.
- Cleaner URL
- Self-hosted Cons
- May lose stats
- May lose followers
As you can see my list was fairly biased on moving my website across.
So what did I do?
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
I didn’t do anything and kept going with my free site. In other words I chickened out, big-style.
So why didn’t I do anything?
I was concerned I wasn’t technically-minded enough to go self-hosted, even though I had people that would guide me if needed. Also, I still wasn’t sure that I was good enough. I had a huge amount of self-doubt, I was wondering if my content could justify going self-hosted.
That was over a month ago. I have thought about it constantly since then.
Then last weekend, I was blogging and I just thought: “I just need to do this”. I am not sure why I suddenly decided I wanted to move, but I knew it was now or never. I love my blog, I love the community that has opened its arms to me, so I thought why not put a bit more love into it?
I dont make life easy for myself though, as some may have noticed I am bang, smack in the middle of a blogging challenge. So I got a load of scheduled posts lined up for this week and decided to make the leap. Something in me felt like, if I didn’t do it now, I may never do it.
After looking at various different companies and ways to move my site, I decided to go with SiteGround. I am SO glad I did. They have been so helpful and it is always easy to get in contact with them.
The experience of moving my blog over is a whole other blog post, so I am not going to go into that now.
For now, I just want to say I am so glad I made the leap. I love the new look of my blog. I love the flexibility. I feel like it is now truly my blog.
As the week draws to an end, I am almost ready to get back to my normal blogging week. I am catching up with stuff today and looking forward to sharing my new blog with the world next week as I link up to some of my favourite bloggers.
I would love to hear in the comments what your decision has been with regards to going self-hosted. Have you made the leap? If so why did you choose to do it? I would love to get recommendations on plug-ins that you use and love.
If you are still on a free WordPress site, are you planning on moving your site at some point? Do you have any burning questions you would like answered?
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