Blogging: Self-Host From the Start

Do me a favour – click the x on the Wix and Weebly tabs you have open.

Thanks. Now that’s we’ve dealt with that, here’s my blogging advice.

Self-Host From The Start.

If you know you’re in this for the long haul – whether to make money, to write or just to have an author website you might as well skip the free sites and go straight in with a bit of money. For about a fiver a month and then a tenner for a domain name – you can have a self-hosted blog that you have total control over.

The problem with free sites like Wix and Weebly is that they never look great. You can make them look good, but rarely are they a beautiful piece of the web that people want to keep coming back to. They never look professional, everyone can see it’s Wix or Weebly or whatever and ease of use is an okay selling point but not a long-term one.

I find blogs and websites hosted on these free sites frustrating. they’re never as quick as you would like, always put together a bit oddly and you never have the complete freedom you would have if you went straight into self-hosting. No adverts, no funny little banners, no annoying log-in boxes for people just to comment on your content.

It Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult

Everyone says WordPress has a steep learning curve – and maybe they’re right but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve been using WordPress for over a decade though and in that time have learned a lot about how it works and how to use it.

Setting up self-hosted WordPress is actually the hardest thing to do. Over the years it’s gotten easier, more user-friendly and even the installation isn’t as hard as it used to be.

There are ways too, to make it even easier. When I changed hosting, I installed WordPress on both this blog, my other blog and my writer portal using Softaculous. It does most of the work for you and all you have to do is fill in the form and press install. It even lets you pick from a few themes.

Here are the images from my hosting so you can see what it looks like. I’ve added a few notes to help. Click for the full image.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Advanced Options.

Your blog is stored in and accessed from a database. You will need one and most hosting packages will include one in the price. Before using Softaculous to install the software – make sure one hasn’t be created or named. Email your hosting provider. They are there to help.

Check out the image below to see what I’m talking about.

Other Ways To Install

The other way is to upload WordPress via FTP or your host’s file manager if they have one. From there you can use WordPress’s famous five-minute install. We’ll look at that another time.

Hosting and Domain Names

A lot of hosting come with free domain names now, so if you can find one of those that’s a bonus. If it you can’t though then it doesn’t cost the earth. Just remember you’re usually locked into this domain name for a year, sometimes two – so make sure it’s what you want. I can’t tell you how many domains I’ve owned on and off over the years. This is the one that’s stuck the longest though.

As for hosting, there are some great hosts out there and some crappy ones but everyone will have different views. What you want is good support, a good price and if you want to go this route for hosting – Softaculous. It’s used by many hosts though, so you won’t have a problem finding a good one. My host is 1clickcloud.net and I’ve not had any problems so far and their support has been brilliant (even though I have been annoying).

This site has a long list of hosts that have Softculous and have rated them so you can see what your options are. Most won’t tie you a contract and you can always change hosts at a later date – with a bit of work but I’ll cover that in the future.

More Information

I hope this has been helpful. Like I said, I’ve been messing around with WordPress for over a decade and while it is not perfect I am a fan. I see a lot of writers out there who want sites and blogs and have no idea how to start. WordPress offers a professional look and self-hosting from the start saves a lot of headaches later on down the line. This is for you. In the

This is for you. In the future I’ll talk about using WordPress, themes, plug-ins, and if there is anything else you want to know – get in touch. Leave a comment or send me an email!

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bread

Weird, geek, poet and now mum.

9 Responses

  1. Breath of Purpose says:

    I recently went self-hosted and learning so much. you learn so much as you go along. developing skills whilst writing about what you’re passionate about.

  2. Such an informative post, I went self hosted a few years ago, you forget the knowledge you build up, I’d totally recommend it if you are into blogging. #KCACOLS

  3. nicole says:

    I started out with self hosted and it’s been a good decision so far. There’s so much to learn with blogging! #Kcacols
    nicole recently posted…Want to be Less Stressed? Try Becoming a More Empathetic ParentMy Profile

  4. Amy says:

    we are with wordpress we have our own domain but hosted by them atm, we are thinking of going self hosted and I don’t know where to start!! #kcacols
    Amy recently posted…Medieval Times, Orlando. Amazing afternoon out for the whole family!My Profile

  5. I’m glad I went this route from the start. I’ve heard that switching after the fact isn’t all that difficult, but i’d find a way to screw it up #KCACOLS

  6. Pen says:

    I did a load of research before i set up my blog a couple of years ago. I never had the intention of making money – and i still dont make any money from it- i just wanted to keep my options open. I took the plunge and went selfhosted from the outset. It was the right decision. Pen x #KCACOLS
    Pen recently posted…The little known benefits of bloggingMy Profile

  7. Great tips. I went self hosted from the begining, complet by chance and im so glad i did. For the money it costs theres just so many advan that male it compl worth while.Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.
    Becky – mommyandrory recently posted…New Blogger on the Block: Featuring Autumns MommyMy Profile

  8. I think the exception to this rule would be if you go down the the blogger/blogSpot route – you dont need tO pay for hosting, its essentially the same as having a self hosted blog – you can monetise from the start, change your site as you wish and the inly expense is the doMain should you choose to buy your own. It doesnt have the same range of plugins as wordpress but with a but if html knowledge You can do quite a bit. Ps sorry about the caps – i. Cant seem to use lower case in your Comment section for some reason. -#kcacols

  9. Shan says:

    I’m self hosted and have been from the start. WordPress has always been my favourite platform and I find myself just nodding along to all your pearls of wisdom here! #KCACOLS

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