I took the plunge! Going self hosted.

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!)

It’s not the end destination; it’s the journey.

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!

You may like to Work with us 

I took the plunge! Going self hosted. Oldhouseintheshires #blogging

 

 

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33 Comments

    • Thank you so much Cherylene. I hope you are enjoying your Mother’s Day. Xx

  • Well done for taking the self-hosting plunge. I thought I was brave moving to wordpress.org from wordpress.com. I’m at the limit of my technical competence so I’m staying put. Your house is amazing! I will swallow the little ball of jealousy.

    • Thanks Craig! I have no idea what I’m doing it has to be said! It’s a mind field but heh ho…I’ll give it a go! The old house is gorgeous just slightly run down. I take a great photo😉

  • Good for you! I did it before I understood blogging and it was awful. I didn’t have a clue how to fix all the bugs that popped up. I think you did the right thing waiting until you were seasoned enough to take it in your stride x

    • I was just over at ‘yours’! Yes, im glad I did it this way around as I was a complete tech dud! I’m not quite there but I will get there in my own time!

  • We’ve yet to go self hosted and haven’t taken the jump. One day we will when it’s less hectic. Great tips and we’ve learnt about the plugins x #anythinggoes

    • It’s honestky, not as scary as it seems. X

  • Dearest Sophie, congratulations! The new look is sparkling pretty and I love the neat way you have categorised your posts. A special mention for the ‘work with us’ tab. Your experience sounds far better than mine. I have installed most of those plugins except that I have replaced Yoast with SmartCrawl, after doing a bit of reading. Now I am struggling with Google Analytics and tuning the mobile version of the blog, but all in good time I suppose. xx

    • Thank you lovely lady. It’s a learning curve isn’t it? I must pop over to yours soon for a ‘cuppa’. Xxx

  • Oh well done on taking the plunge, I have just done the same. I think ther is a lot learning that will be taking pace over the next few months for me #MMBC

  • Congratulations – I did exactly the same thing last September also at 18 months old!! I would definitely recommend SiteGround any day. Other plugins I have added are Mailchimp and SumoMe for opt ins and sharing buttons. Your site looks great and I wish you all the best with its continued growth! #lgrtstumble

    • Thank you so much Liberty…x I will definately look at Sumome. I have Mailchimp but still working that one out! X

  • Aw yay! That’s great news, well done lovely! Glad you found it a simple process too! Congratulations on the new site and thank you for linking this to #DreamTeam.

    • It was mighty scary but fine in the end!

  • Congrats! Welcome to the world of self-hosting! There are some issues that I still run into from time to time but mostly it’s okay. I went self-hosted from the jump so I have nothing to compare it to. I have most of the plug-in’s you mention but some are new to me. I will have to check those out and see if they work for me. Again, Congrats!!! #anythinggoes

    • Thanks so much Michelle. I always tinkering with the site now!

  • i (think) this is really helpful – its certainly really positive. I have two WP sites on is self hosted and i have no idea how to do anything with it but am starting again. Rosetintedramblings is still WP hosted – maybe I’ll take the leap soon myself #globalblogging

    • Honestly, siteground was easy and helped me. Go for it! Ask me anything. Honestly, if I can, I will help you.

  • Congratulations Sophie! I love your new site! Going self hosted sounds terrifying doesn’t it but it’s great that you have such a supportive hosting company. I might need to try a few of those plug ins too! I’ve been self hosted for 2 years now but still haven’t explored plug ins properly. Thanks for linking up with us for #DreamTeam x

    • Thanks hun. It was so scary but actually was fine! I’m not sure why I had worked myself up for!

  • Congratulations! Your new site looks fab, it’s a great move going self hosted, I’ve never looked back! #dreamteam

  • This is something I have thought about off and on. May it go really well for you. #GlobalBlogging

    • Go for it! It’s easier than I thought.

    • It really is a journey…..so many plug ins! I’m like a child in a sweetie shop……

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