Ciao my beauties,
As you may or may not have noticed, a little while ago I made the leap from my WordPress.com hosted site to the big scary world of WordPress.org self-hosted. It has been an absolute rollercoaster, and I’m genuinely not saying that for effect … I haven’t been so stressed in a long time. However, as I know many of you (like I did) will be interested in taking this exciting step for you and your blog. I thought it would be helpful to share with you my experience and what I learnt from it.
What’s the difference?
The most basic way I can describe it is, with WordPress.com it’s the equivalent of moving into a house where everything is sorted, but you’re limited to what kind of changes you can make. WordPress.org is paying for the land (the hosting site) and then building your own house on top of that land. You can make it into whatever you want, however it’s a hell of a lot harder.
Do your research
I cannot stress this enough. Literally cannot. My attitude to life is very much, ‘it’ll work out so don’t stress’. DO NOT APPLY THIS LOGIC TO GOING SELF-HOSTED. However long it takes you to have a complete run down of what you need to do, do it. It took me 3 days to set everything up as I had no idea what I was doing. Going self-hosted is basically like learning another language, it’s so technical and there’s so many abbreviations. Make sure you know what to do before you make the leap, and save yourself a lot of stress.
You take so much for granted
I didn’t actually realise how much WordPress.com does for you. Not only that, some of the very best features about WordPress are actually exclusive to WordPress.com. For example, the tags you add onto your posts to appear on the reader … doesn’t work. It just doesn’t show up, and this is because it’s just for WordPress.com. Which makes it a lot harder for new people to find you or your posts and so on.
You need to have the money to invest
Going self-hosted is fabulous, as you have complete creative freedom amongst other things. However, that freedom comes at a price. At the very least it is going to cost you a certain amount every month to pay for your hosting site. On top of that, you can pay for a better package on WordPress.com, you can pay to have your old site redirect to your new one, you can pay for custom designs, you can even pay someone to make the transfer over to you. It can really add up if you’re not careful.
It’s going to take a long time
This isn’t something that you can do in 15 minutes and it’s all up and running. I personally had to dedicate days, upon days to get my blog to a place that I was happy with. A lot of time is spent waiting. Waiting for things to transfer over, waiting for things to download and there’s going to be a lot of trial and error. All causing a lot of time to be invested.
You’re going to become an irritant
As I was completely clueless before I set off into the world of self hosted, you can imagine the utter panic that befell me when I couldn’t make anything work … and I mean anything. As a result for days on end I was frantically inboxing and messaging some of my lovely followers (Mia and Linda – you were my absolute saviours!) and then of course, I really did make the most of the ‘Happiness Engineers’ that WordPress offers. Really make sure you utilise them, it’s their job to help you out!
You’re going to want to give up
This was the biggest thing for me. I was so sure that I’d made a horrendous mistake, and that all the hard work I had put into my blog over the weeks before had been ruined. To the point I actually enquired how to get everything back to my WordPress.com account. You can’t give up, you decided to make this jump for a reason. And it isn’t going to be a day or two, it really will take a long time for everything to be functioning as you want them, and for all the cogs to finally start churning the way they’re meant to. BE PERSISTENT!
And there we are, to be perfectly honest I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% happy as there will always be things I want to improve and everything else – but that’s what makes the whole experience so exciting, and the possibilities really are endless! I hope this may have given you an insight if you’re thinking of coming over to the dark side!
As always thank you so much for reading. Be sure to follow the link below or in the menu for future posts, and head over to my Instagram for daily nonsense! Until next time my loves xx