After making new years resolutions at the end of the year for things I’d like to achieve, I’ve achieved one of them by going self hosted with my website!
If that means nothing to you… then don’t worry. It basically means that I now have more freedom as a blogger to do what I want with my site.
Going self hosted
Using a free platform, such as WordPress has meant that over the past year, I’ve been able to add content and personalise my site. But I haven’t been able to really push it further. I haven’t been able to do exactly what I wanted with it as there are certain shackles that come with using free solutions.
You can’t use Google Analytics on WordPress for example – which is a bit pants. I couldn’t really see what content you’re loving and which you’d rather I not do again.
Sure, it’s been great to get me started, but it’s time to move on.
Paying for somebody to ‘host’ my website (aka, going self-hosted) means that I’ve removed that shackle. I now have access to the depths of my website and can do whatever I want with it.
Things that stopped me going self hosted
One of the things that held me back from going self hosted was the cost.
I thought that going self hosted would be too expensive. Not only because the domain alone (owning https://bringingupgeorgia.com) was over £20 for the year, but because some of the solutions that I’d heard of cost about £5 a month and more. I wasn’t prepared to invest in it until I knew that A) I was making money from it (which I’m not currently) or B) that it was something I was willing to pay for to improve (bingo).
As I decided to take the leap, I did a bit of research to find a good host, with good reviews that wasn’t going to cost me the earth. I don’t have a lot of web traffic *sob*, so the cheapest option would suffice… for now.
I found TSO Host, which only cost £15 for the year… the entire year. I now feel foolish that it’s taken me this long to come to the decision to go self hosted just because I didn’t know there were hosts available for a reasonable amount.
Now, there’s no getting around the fact that moving a site is technical. There’s lots to do and if you’ve not done it before it can be really daunting. But TSO host did everything for me. They migrated my website over within 2 days and then sent me detailed instructions for checking the site. I really wasn’t expecting that for only £15 for the year!!
It took me about 3 hours to get my site into a state that I was happy with. That’s because the ‘free themes’ in the free WordPress that my site ran on don’t quite work the same when you move to being self hosted. You see, you have training wheels on when you’re on WordPress with everything made easy. When you go self-hosted, those wheels get taken off.
It can give you an unexpected “what have I done?” moment if you’re new to the ‘real’, code-y back-end of websites as a few quirks have to be ironed out.
Luckily, I know what I’m doing. Kind of.
There’s still a lot I need to do, but I’m really happy and excited that I took the leap! Watch out as my site evolves in the coming weeks/months and I hope you enjoy the improvements.
I also hope if you have a blog and are thinking about going self hosted that this has helped to give you the confidence to do it if you had the same worries as me!