Self hosting is a very good way to improve your blog. This is if you are planning to taking your blog more seriously and want to turn it into a business. Self hosting seems so intimidating but is in effect so simple and inexpensive to maintain.
What is self hosting
Simply put, self hosting is removing the “.wordpress.com or .blogspot.com” from your blog’s web address.
Converting to Self hosting
I must say, when it comes to my blogging career, going self hosted was by far the hardest thing ever in terms of setting it up. Everything was new and confusing. I literally felt like I was going to crash. Fortunately, I had Kangopie of Kangopie.com who had already gone self hosting and knew the in’s and outs and Lungi of bylungi.com who was also converting at the time.
Tips on changing to self hosting
I decided to share tips with on what to do for potential self hosters out there because I know how frustrating it can get.
Decide on a domain name
In hindsight, I should have taken more time to choose my domain name then I wouldn’t have changed it so many times . Take your time, plan and also make sure that you are happy with the name, make sure that the name is catchy and can be easily remembered and that the name you have chosen is available or easily customizable on the social media you will be using.
Pick a host
I recently learned that you can buy a domain separately and choose a host separately but I prefer to use one company. I am lazy like that. I got my domain and am hosting with Mweb.
Here are a few hosting companies to choose from
You will need to check the availability of your desired domain name. if it is available you can place an order for it and a consultant will call you back to finalize. It usually take 24 hours+ for your domain name to be ready.
For this section, I am going to advice based on Cpanel because that is what I know. As soon as your account is ready, your hosting company will send you login’s to your server. This is where you will set up your blog and email accounts.
- Create your database
This is where all your website data and information will be. Make sure you take care of your database with your life because if you lose it, your whole site will be gone.
- Softaculous App Installer
With in your Cpanel Server you will find the above mentioned section. This is where you will setup your WordPress.org There are other blogging platform’s on there to choose from but if you are coming from WordPress.com it would be easier to adjust to WordPress.org The installation process is very self explanatory and you will create your login credentials when installing your WordPress.org.
On the Mails section of you Cpanel interface you can set up you new email account. This also take about 24 hours+ to activate.
After you have successfully installed, open a new tab and type in your domain add /wp-admin at the end. for example : domainname.com/wp-admin. This will take you to your dashboard login page from there you can enter the credentials you created in the installer to login.
Install the theme that you would like to use. Be it a WordPress free theme or a theme that you bought.
With bought themes you will have to upload it. This step is very similar to WordPress.com theme so if you have ever installed a theme there, this step will be a walk in the park. If you have never uploaded your own theme, it usually comes as a zip file, extract the files then load the zip file inside.
From there you will customize to your liking. This step is also very easy. (I will have a separate post for customizing your website)
Plugins add functions to your blog and fill up your sidebar and also your footer. There are also in post plugins. For this post I will focus on the basic plugins that in my opinion are a need
- Jetpack for wordpress- to link your self hosted blog with your WordPress.com profile.
- Yoast SEO- for your SEO google ranking
- Instagram Slider widget- For your blog insta page
- WordPress Importer- this will help to move your old blog over to new one ( I will have a separate post for this topic)
- Any other social media account that you have affiliated with your blog.
- Email Subscription widget
Let your readers know
you need to let your readers know that you have moved. It is common courtesy and it ensures that they will follow you to your blog’s new home.
I hope these tips will help if you are considering to self host, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
See ya later