The best choice for self-hosting your blog and when you should make the switch!

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re feeling like how I did just a couple of weeks ago. You’ve found a great platform to host your content and share it with bright and interesting people. But there’s something missing.

WordPress.com is a great kick-starter
Image result for wordpress

I, like many, started on WordPress.com and, quite honestly, I am glad I did. After I had written a couple of posts and, somehow, attracted a couple of subscribers I began to feel a bit lost as to how I would expand my audience beyond the couple of subscribers I had and maybe eventually even monetize my content just so I could keep writing.

Somewhere in-between wondering what I was going to write next for my HUGE audience (haha) and being completely befuddled, I stumbled upon the discovery page. On this page I found the ‘Daily Post’, a page that allows you to share your content with the vast public through structured events like ‘Community Pool’ or ‘Daily Prompts’. Through these channels I began to gain a lot of positive feedback (thank you!) and a lot of subscribers from people who graciously took the time to read my work.

So starting off with WordPress.com isn’t all that bad. In fact, it’s amazing. But one thing people seem to fail to warn you is that you won’t be able to take a lot of that positive feedback with you when you eventually migrate hosts. I found this out the hard way when I made the move to being self-hosted and found that all of my posts had lost their likes and had a fraction of the comments they had before. If you contact support, they’ll tell you that likes can’t be transferred at this time; comments can but I was advised that it’s probably not worth the worry.

So why did I make the switch? 

I was hosted on WordPress.com for at least a week and like I said, I loved it. But I didn’t like the idea of not being able to use a lot of the plugins that now help my blog grow tremendously. I also didn’t like the idea of being restricted in terms of ad placements and what themes I could use. I guess the keyword really is that I don’t like being restricted but I didn’t want to have to pay an arm and a leg for services I could get elsewhere. WordPress is extremely expensive when it comes to upgrading your ‘Plans’. After making the switch I realised that I should have done it near the start. That way, the majority of my blog’s positive feedback would have been on my self-hosted page rather than rotting away on a page I no longer use.

What site to use?

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This was a huge concern of mine. I went everywhere from Facebook to Google searching for the answer – ‘what is the best self-hosted site?’ Everyone seemed reluctant to give me a straightforward answer, instead they plugged their clickbaity articles -which never seemed to have a definitive answer either. In the end I wittled it down to two competitors – Siteground or Bluehost. In the end I chose Siteground, here’s why:

Siteground v Bluehost

I must’ve asked hundreds of people which one was better, disregarding the clickbait article idiots the vast majority told me Siteground. As I did my research the common consensus seemed to be that Siteground is the best in terms of customer service (It really is by the way. I had an issue with importing data from my WordPress.com account; I literally had no idea what to do. I got a reply within 15 minutes). I also looked into speed and reliability. I saw many a Facebook post criticising Bluehost for being slower or having lost all their posts somehow so my money wasn’t on them.

I found images like this throughout my research period:

2ND siteground response time cropped
Siteground Response time

 

2ND Bluehost server response time TEst
Bluehost response time

Pretty much every article you find pinning the two against each other will say Siteground is the winner. I don’t have enough personal experience with Bluehost to conclude on this myself, but I had no issue taking the road of the popular opinion on this occasion. And I don’t regret it. Moving to a self-hosted site is stressful, I can’t lie to you. A lot of your blog may undergo a transformation (e.g. the theme, plugins, widgets, etc) and migrating data from WordPress.com can be confusing. In these circumstances you need effective customer support to guide you through the process. Did I mention that Siteground also offer to complete the transfer for you? Because I didn’t know that, *sigh*. Siteground is also cheap and cost effective and for a tight sod like me that’s VERY important!

At the end of the day, choosing your self-hosting site isn’t really a big deal. Once you have it, it’s something you no longer take much notice of. Whether it be Siteground or Bluehost, I advise you to make the switch early on, but make sure you’re ready and aware that the journey you’re embarking on requires dedication.

Best of luck!

Make the smart choice and sign up for either one through my afilliate link:
Siteground: https://www.siteground.com/go/danny
Bluehost: http://www.bluehost.com/track/dannywrites/

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