As you may already know I went self-hosted in September 2016. Before that, I was using Blogger platform and even if it’s quite a good platform to start with, I am going to share the reasons why I started using WordPress.org and how I did it. I will give you few tips as well, so keep reading!
I decided to start blogging in 2015 as I always loved writing, sharing my ideas and I wanted to try out a different platform to do so instead of Quotev or Wattpad. Yes, I used to write stories on those websites and I freaking loved that! But that’s not the point.
I started blogging with no idea what I am doing or how I should be doing that, but after a year I had a fully constructed idea on how I want my blog to look, and what I want to do with it. So I decided to leave Blogger behind and make it a real thing on WordPress.org. I read article after article, read all those how-to guides, all vs blog posts, and, in the end, I was determined to go self-hosted.
One thing that put me off this idea a bit was the price question. Going self-hosted was flipping expensive! But as I got a job in summer, I managed to save up a bit and I couldn’t be happier that I decided to go from Blogger to WordPress. It’s probably one of my best decisions in my life.
So why I decided to start a self-hosted WordPress blog?
It gave me so much freedom. Here’re the main advantaged of a self-hosted blog:
- Unlimited design possibilities
- Full theme support + ability to code it yourself
- Custom domain – no blogspot.com or wordpress.com crap
- Option of monetization
- Full control of everything – it’s basically your own place
If that doesn’t convince you of how great it is to have a self-hosted blog, I don’t know what will. I know that you might be thinking ‘But, Leta, it’s so expensive!’. But hear me out on this.
Think of your blog as a long term investment.
It’s a home of your ideas, creations or moments. In order to secure it and keep it safe, you need to invest in it. Blogger is a wonderful platform if you’re just starting out or still have no idea of what you want to do with your blog but keep in mind that it’s Google hosted platform, so whenever Google will feel like it, it can delete your blog. Yes, you heard that right. It is possible to have your blog deleted without your notice. However, if you’re a host of your blog, no one can delete it or make it disappear.
Also, just imagine how many great opportunities you can have when you have a self-hosted blog. You can change your theme however you like, you can add elements, widgets, plugins. You can also start making a bit of money from it if that’s what you want.
All these reasons bought me straight away and I just knew that I need to get my blog self-hosted. So I started researching what is the best platform for it, what hosting service should I choose and so on. In the end, I picked WordPress.org and Siteground. Here’s a step by step run down on how I went from Blogger to WordPress blog in just a few days without any major troubles:
Creating WordPress.org account
The first thing I did was creating WordPress.org account. It’s fairly easy and nothing too complicated. Just press that sign up button, fill in your information and you’re good to go.
Choosing the host
There are quite a lot of options out there when it comes to the hosts and their packages but I chose Siteground. It looked like the best option to me, plus they are fairly cheap compared to other hosts. Also, I am super impressed with their 24/7 services and the whole work ethic. I recommend Siteground with all my heart, they didn’t disappoint me any bit.
Also, you can choose from three packages: StartUp, GrowBig, GoGeek. I chose StartUp which is only 3.95€/month! It suits all my needs for now and I don’t see myself getting a different package any time soon. So if you’re looking for a good host which does its work and doesn’t cost a fortune, Siteground is just for you.
Choosing domain name
This is probably one of the most exciting pros of going self-hosted. I was over the moon about the idea of finally getting rid of that horrible blogspot.com. It looked so unprofessional to me and in a way annoyed me. I decided to change www.thenerdymelife.blogspot.com to www.thenerdyme.com. Now which name you prefer more, the long one or shorter and easier to remember one? I thought so.
There was a moment when I thought about creating a completely different domain name for my blog but I decided against it since a lot of my readers were already used to The Nerdy Me. Also, the name already made its way into my heart somehow…
But if you’re stuck and can’t think of a good domain name, consider these:
- Maybe you have a unique name? Try using your first and last name.
- A combination of two keywords that represent your blog’s content.
- Who are you? Student, mum blogger, amazing chef or maybe a traveller? Think about it.
Finding the right theme
Oh, the step that took me ages. I was searching through all those blog design shops, Etsy, I asked recommendations on Twitter, I even looked at my favourite blogs to find out where they got their design from. Finally, I narrowed it down to two options: Kotryna Bass or Pipdig. Kotryna Bass Design had amazing themes and her services are the best ones out there but one thing that made me choose Pipdig was the fact that they offered migration services for free if you purchase their designs. That bought me.
Things to consider when choosing a theme:
- How easy is it to navigate around?
- What widgets do I get?
- Does it cover all my basic needs?
- Does it represent my blog and content well?
I am horrible when it comes to coding and other technical things, so I didn’t want to mess it up by migrating myself. But if that’s what floats your boat and you want to save some money, go for it! There are lots of great tutorials out there, here are two of them:
- Transferring Your Blog to Self-Hosted WordPress.org
- How to Move From Blogger To WordPress Without Downtime
Pipdig did the whole migration for me and I am super happy with their services. It only took two days in total to migrate all my content from Blogger to WordPress and there were no troubles at all. Everything was installed and did perfectly. All I needed to do was play around with the theme and find out where I wanted certain widgets to be.
Enjoy your new blog
That’s all I did! That’s how I went from having a blog on Blogger to having a self-hosted WordPress blog. It was quite easy on my part and I didn’t regret it at all. If you’re still debating whenever you should invest in your blog or not, here’re what I think:
- If you want to start earning some money out of it, go for it!
- If you want to create a brand someday, go for it!
- If you want to use your blog in your CV or portfolio, go for it!
- If you want to make it more personal and real for you, go for it!
By any means don’t feel pressured to go self-hosted just because others do. Take your time to think if that’s what your blog needs and if what’s something you plan on sticking to for a long run. Don’t invest in it and then stop doing it after few months. I’m sure you can invest that money somewhere else. But if you really want to make something out of it, don’t hesitate to go self-hosted. It’s not as scary as it might look.
Also, I have a free check list for you! If you want to go self-hosted, get this free check list to make sure you did everything correctly and that you didn’t forget something!
Do you plan on going self-hosted? If you already are, what host do you use?