You may have noticed that I have been quiet these last few days. That is because after 18 months, I decided to take the plunge and go self hosted.
What does that mean? Well, it just means that I have asked the lovely people at Siteground to look after my blog for me rather than be part of WordPress.com. I used to have a business account with WordPress and I’ve always had my own domain name (oldhouseintheshires) but Siteground will now look after both.
Why did I move? Do you know what? I tried to move last summer after a year of blogging but I just wasn’t knowledgable enough to load plug in’s or know about SEO so I stayed with WordPress.com so that I could learn a little more. The problem with a business account with WordPress.com is that it is expensive and as I moved forward I knew that I wanted to have total control over my blog. I loved that I had support but in the end, WordPress could delete my content and that was not good enough for me.
Was it easy? Do you know what? It was simple! I’m not sure why I was stressing about it to be honest. With Siteground’s support it was actually ok. Once I’d decided to go for it, I just signed up! I ‘chatted’ with a lovely man on live chat and he talked me through it. I had to point my site at their server which was like speaking Klingon to me but with their simple instructions, I did it! Honestly, anyone could do this. I thought I may lose WordPress followers but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Any problems? I did have a few teething problems in that none of my photos seemed to survive the transfer. This means that I am slowly reloading every single one! This is taking time but I’ll get there in the end. It’s quite nice actually because I can get my images just right. I could play around with themes and I took a week ‘off’ from writing new content to do this as I also work and have a home and family to look after! I think this may take longer but that’s ok.
Would I recommend a self hosted site? Why didn’t I do this from day 1? If I was to start a new blog,then I would get a self hosted one from the start. However, I was not technically able or confident to do this 18 months ago and would suggest to any newbie who is worried about the technical stuff to just go for it! To be honest, you learn so much in your first year of blogging anyway that having an admin panel and having to add plug in’s are just another part of the learning process.
Which plug in’s have I used? I still have WordPress as I was familiar with it and didn’t want too many changes. In my head, WordPress is a bit like Word; you use it to manage your content. These are the plug ins I have chosen:
Akismet it gets rid of Spam -so much porn already!
Yoast for all my SEO needs.
AMP this helps with loading speed.
Glue to link Yoast and AMP (no idea….)
Goggle Analytics to see who is coming to my site and where they are from.
Instagram feed so that I can load my Instagram feed to my widget (sidebar)
Jetpack so my site looks like my old one and this makes it easier for me!
Link Checker to check for broken links.
Metaslider this allows me to create sliding photos on a page or post.
WP Smush this reduces the size of my photos so that they load quicker.
WP Supercache apparently this helps when someone requests your page; it makes it more manageable (at least I think it does!)
I’m still learning but it all seems to be ok! It’s the blogging journey that’s important.
I would love to hear about any plug in’s you use that you love or if you have any tips that would be great!
*If you sign up to siteground I get a small amount but that’s because it’s awesome and I would really recommend it!
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