Everything You Need To Know About Becoming A Self-Hosted Blogger

So you’ve decided to start your own website with the dream of becoming a blogger but, what do you do next?

I have had experience with both blogger and WordPress but my personal opinion is that I prefer WordPress, this is what I currently work on now. There’s no right or wrong in choosing a platform to work from.

Becoming self hosted

What does it mean to go self-hosted?

  • full control over your own website
  • Design and change it however you want to as you are limited on WordPress/Blogger.
  • opens you up to a lot more different theme options
  • YOU and only YOU can decide what happens with your blog, you control and own every aspect of your website.

How can you tell somebody runs a self-hosted blog?

best blogs

The most common difference between somebody who is self-hosted and someone who runs their blog on a platform such as WordPress and Blogger is the websites URL.

When you become self-hosted you create a name and a brand for yourself, claiming all responsibility and acknowledgment of that website. The first thing you can do is purchase a domain… You can do this through WordPress however, I recommend just waiting until you are going to purchase a web host.

for example, a blog which isn’t self-hosted may look like this;

www.thestoryofashleighdavis.wordpress.com

and then you can upgrade yourself and become more professional and have a URL like this;

www.thestoryofashleighdavis.com

Although, it’s not a massive deal as it’s all about having fun and expressing yourself through your writing. If you decide that you want to pursue your blog further you can do this to become more professional.

What is a web host and how can I get one?

A web host is the most important part of becoming self-hosted as, without this, your blog is not safe and cannot run.

There are so many different web hosting companies that you can use for example there is; Bluehost, and Siteground.

I will be talking about SiteGround today just because this is the web host I currently use and have been using for the past 2 years. I have never had any issues with this company and due to them being so efficient I thought they would be a good company to promote today.

The best thing about Siteground is their 24/7 online support. I am the most beyond useless blogger ever, I am extremely far from professional and do not understand the self-hosted lingo. However, with the help of their support, I am now a professional (well, getting there anyway).

Most of their technical support team are familiar with blogging sites such as WordPress and Blogger, and they’re very happy to help with any problems you may come across.

Two years down the line and I still get confused and struggle from time to time. Ok, most of the time that is!

best blogs

Where Can I Find A Theme For My New Blog

There are many different websites and companies that sell WordPress and Blogger themes but here are my favourites.

Etsy is a fantastic place to purchase the perfect sassy, edgy and unique theme that you want. They range from as little as £5 all the way to £70 depending on what you want. There is definitely something to suit everyone’s budgets here. You don’t have to be Zoella to afford these templates.

My one bit of advice would be to make sure you read the small print before purchasing as some of these you have to install yourself. If you don’t know how to install a theme there are many YouTube videos to help however, I personally struggled with this.

best blogs
best blogs

This leads me onto my next company Pipdig who I have my current theme with. Although they are a bit more on the expensive side they are well and truly worth the investment. Not only does this company install the theme for you but they also have 24/7 support if you are in need of help.

Two years on and I still contact Phil and the rest of the support team for help!

best blogs
best blogs

What Are The Downsides To Consider

Of course, with everything, there are also downsides in which you need to consider. The only thing that I can think that comes with going self-hosted is the upkeep costs. This doesn’t always have to be expensive but can become costly depending on what services you use.

When you are running your blog through companies such as WordPress/Blogger you are using their service for free. Which of course, makes sense when you notice how limited you are. For example, You couldn’t decide to one-day change the theme of your Facebook page to Pink because you aren’t the owner or in control of this action. The owner of Facebook has decided the theme is blue and that’s because he pays for that choice.

Since becoming self-hosted I have purchased a blog theme and I pay for a yearly web host. The theme is a one of payment however, you need to remember that host services are annually billed. Thankfully to the company SiteGround, they offer a year of blog hosting for a VERY minimal price. This allows you to test the waters for a whole year before you decide to take the plunge.

best blogs

Told You It’s Not So Scary After All

Do you have any questions or queries about my experience of going self-hosted? If so, please do not hesitate to contact me for honest advice from one blogger to another.

Related: How I managed to make my first £200 from blogging

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means I may make a small commission if you make a purchase. This doesn’t cost you any more but does offer me a chance to make an income. Please note my opinion is not affected by this. I do not promote products for the sake on an income for myself – thank you for your support!

22 Comments

  1. January 18, 2019 / 6:46 pm

    This was so informational! I love how you broke all the steps down. This will be so helpful for new bloggers looking for more info on self hosting.

    • January 18, 2019 / 6:56 pm

      That’s very kind of you to say! 😊 i really tried to make it as helpful as I could x

  2. Karen
    January 18, 2019 / 7:20 pm

    Some great advice here Ashleigh! I knew I wanted to be self-hosted right from the start but finding out how took some time. I wish I had read a post like yours before.

    • January 19, 2019 / 8:35 am

      Thank you for reading Karen! I hope it helps others 😊 I meant self hosted very early on also! Found it easier! X

  3. January 19, 2019 / 2:28 am

    This is very good advice! My first blog was just on WordPress and it was very clunky and had very little functionality. This time around I went for self-hosting and there’s such a difference. It definitely looks so much more professional and clean. Thanks for sharing!

    • January 19, 2019 / 8:36 am

      You’re more than welcome 😊 glad you enjoyed this read! Appreciate the support

  4. January 20, 2019 / 7:16 am

    Congratulations on going self-hosted! I also use Siteground for my hostig and the migration from Blogger to WordPress is so easy.

    • January 20, 2019 / 7:29 am

      Thank you 😊 it’s a great company to go with as they make the process so easy!

  5. January 20, 2019 / 7:28 am

    It is always nice to read about how people can start out in the blogging world! If a blogger finds some solid interest, it is definitely worth the investment of becoming self-hosted. There are fewer restrictions on the things you can do. Though, it is important to become familiarized with some risks, like if you go with a bad host, you can probably lose some data if they go offline. Thanks for sharing these tips and advocating for self-hosting.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • January 20, 2019 / 11:38 am

      Oh thank you for that comment as well! There’s actually some information I didn’t know here! Thanks for sharing!

      Hope some people get some help out of our words 😊✨

  6. January 20, 2019 / 11:13 am

    I could really have used this post when I started out. Very informal and easy to use.

  7. January 20, 2019 / 1:52 pm

    Thank you Ashleigh! I’m on a self hosted website and I love it! I would definitely recommend.

    Thank you for sharing and don’t miss my latest post about new app called BLOGGSY for Bloggers, Brands and Professionals LIKE ME AND YOU.
    The app it’s first of its kind, it provides functionality for users to rate and record their level of skills & services and start monetising on these, e.g. collaborations, photography, photo editing, photo presets, writing sponsored posts, social media management and many more.

    BLOGGSY also offer a generous referral scheme when you share the app with your followers. It’s super easy!
    Any questions just let me know xx

    Much Love,
    Elegant Duchess xx
    |Elegant Duchess|

    • January 23, 2019 / 12:44 pm

      Same here! I’m very glad that I decided to and I’m happy that your process went well as well! Thank you for taking the time to read my post Melanie, appreciate it lots! 😊x

  8. January 27, 2019 / 7:07 pm

    This was really so helpful! I only just set up my self hosted blog and something like this would have been so useful! I hadn’t thought of looking for themes on Etsy 🙂 xx

    • January 27, 2019 / 7:32 pm

      Oh thank you lovely! I’m glad you found it of interest! And yeah! Etsy is very good for themes! I love them on there! Always worth looking 🌸x

  9. January 29, 2019 / 8:59 pm

    Even if someone is just considering dabbling with blogging to maybe turn it into an income stream later, I recommend starting with WordPress out of the gate. As someone who helps people make the transition/design blogs, etc – it’s MUCH easier to move WordPress to WordPress self hosted than it us to move everything from Blogger!
    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

  10. molly rose
    January 31, 2019 / 9:40 am

    This was such an informative post, perfect for a new blogger who has no idea about self hosted blogs! When I first started blogging I made the decision to start being self hosted right away, although I think I probably rushed into it without actually knowing what being self hosted actually meant! A post like this sure would’ve helped! Great recommendations as-well as to where to buy themes, I’ll definitely be checking Pipdig out for sure! xx

    • January 31, 2019 / 11:07 am

      Thank you Molly! I feel like I was the exact same as you. I jumped straight into it from the beginning and lost probably shouldn’t have without fully knowing hehe! I’m glad you think this post would help 😊❤️

  11. February 5, 2019 / 9:54 pm

    Ashleigh, this is really well done! We started our site last year, and this year, we started our You Tube channel.

    • February 7, 2019 / 4:17 pm

      Oh thank you Jason! I appreciate your comment! I wish you great luck and success with both your site & YouTube x

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.