What I learned going self hosted
This is it guys, this is my new blog that I have been hinting at for a while now. What do you think? I have tried to make it aesthetically pleasing as well as functional, so hopefully you’re all enjoying your experience here thus far. Today I am sharing with you my journey going self hosted – Hooray!
With the blog now being self hosted, meaning I am paying to have it look like this every month, it means I am hunkering down to ensure I post regularly, and create content that is more substantial than I have over the past few months.
Depression is a bitch, as we all know, and my depression really took its toll on my writing. Now though, I feel like I am in a better place psychologically, and having a beautiful site to keep alive with help with my mental health.
But, we’re not here to discuss chemical imbalances! We’re here to discuss self hosting, the dramady that has been my life over the past few weeks!
In all honesty, migrating from wordpress.com to wordpress.org was not a straightforward or easy task, but thankfully I was (somewhat) prepared. That’s not to say I didn’t learn things along the way, which is all part of the journey really, isn’t it?
If you follow me on Twitter you will be more than aware of some of the drama I’ve been going through getting this blog up and running. Though, it’s the end result that matters, so let’s look at some of the things I have learned over the past few weeks!
Research is essential
Prior to taking the plunge into being Self Hosted, I spent a month or so researching the process, the plugins, the widgets, the themes I’d all need to create the blog I wanted to present to the world. SH gives a blogger a lot more freedom and flexibility, but migrating from wordpress.com to wordpress.org means a lot of the features you take for granted are no longer available. Doing your research beforehand and knowing exactly what you need to ensure your blogs downtime is minimum is incredibly helpful!
The cheapest hosting probably isn’t
I signed up with BlueHost due to so many blogs recommending them and their affordable pricing options. However, after migrating my blog over to their servers, et al, it turned out there was a significant amount of “add ons” that I would require to have my blog running smoothly. With the cost of these additional add ons just to get everything going, it turned out that BlueHost were not affordable at all compared to other service providers. Turns out they just have a great affiliate scheme…
Additionally, the support provided by BlueHost was subpar and unacceptable and at several points I was not even able to access my blog!
In the end I signed up with Lyrical Host (use code BRYJ for 10% off your first payment!) who helped me migrate my blog from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, were incredibly helpful, and even send me free monthly stock photos! Who doesn’t love freebies?
Not all Plugins are created equal
Although I knew what type of plugin I would need, it wouldn’t be until I installed them on my blog before I knew which plugin was the right plugin in. For example, there are dozens of SEO optimiser plugins, social share plugins etc, but it’s impossible to know what works best with your blogs theme and your technical know how. Plugins are all about trial and error and it is a case of finding what best suits you and your blog.
Knowing some basic CSS helps
CSS is your blogs style sheet, and unless you have had your blog theme custom made just for you, you’ll likely want to make some changes. There are plenty of plugins which allow you to change theme fonts and colours, but some other aspects of the theme can only be changed in the style sheet. Just remember to always keep a copy of the original style sheet as any mistakes when editing can break your blog.
Not everything will export
When migrating from .com to .org you will need to export your blog in its entirety. However, there is a massive glitch with this process where not all images are exported. Although in your posts it will seem as though everything is fine, this is because the html behind the images is still pointing at your .com hosted files. Luckily, there are plenty of plugins available that will identify these images and make copies of them in your .org hosting.
Patience is important
Going self hosting isn’t a quick and easy task. It requires patience, experimentation, creativity, and most importantly a passion for your blog as it takes time. A lot of time. However, seeing the end result – a blog you are proud of – it is more than worth the blood, sweat and tears!
And trust me, there will be tears of every kind, especially of joy when it’s all up and running!
What do you think of the new design? Are you self hosted – tell me about your journey in the comments!