When you're just starting out running your first personal blog or website, many of the big questions get left unanswered; unresolved. One of the big questions for bloggers is, where to host my WordPress blog? Self-hosting or (free) hosting at WordPress.com? Technically, there are hundreds of free hosting solutions out there, but you rarely see people advise for a free option.
Going self-hosted with your WordPress website is one of the essential steps that is taken by many successful bloggers out there, even if you're convinced that your current premium subscription is good enough for your blog. We're going to take a look at some of the biggest reasons for switching over to self-hosting, and also some of the advantages that it gives for your WordPress website.
Mind you, the current pricing for hosting is totally absurd (in a good way!), and getting a years worth of hosting for half the price isn't really all that difficult. We recommend looking out for companies that support WordPress sites, and maybe even provide assistance with setting things up.
1. No programming experience required
The words sound more fancy than they are. It is extremely easy to setup a WordPress site, in fact – most hosting providers out there have all got guides and tutorials ready for those who're looking to switch over. You will see that most of the guides would take you less than five minutes to complete setting up, and the end result is a fully functional WordPress site; just like you'd get it on a free hosting platform, except for having a little more access. Many hosting companies even offer one-click solutions to automatically install WordPress for you.
2. Full control of your website through self-hosting
First of all, once you go self-hosted; you become the administrator of both the site, and the server, unless you've chosen a shared hosting plan. Second, going self-hosted means that you're entitled to make some flexible changes to your site, such as:
- Insert advertisements without restrictions
- Promote products (both yours, and affiliate)
- Create additional websites (WP & non-WP based)
We could stretch this list endlessly, but this reason is not to be ignored. The only reason free hosting companies disallow ads and heavy promotion is because they'd end up losing revenue themselves. Of course this is understandable as they need to compensate the hosting costs in some ways, but that's one of the reasons why a free hosting plan may not be the best hosting solution for any webmaster, especially not if you want to run a professional site with full flexibility.
3. Full customization of your WordPress website
With self-hosting your WordPress website or blog, you're in charge of how things work and how they present themselves; which means that you're in charge of WordPress themes, templates, plugins, scripts, and the overall site experience. It's great to purchase premium WordPress themes, and sometimes it can also be interesting to be able to build something of your own!
4. Building a brand
Having removed the restrictions of free WordPress hosting plans, you're letting other businesses, bloggers and brands know that you're serious about what you're doing, and that should eventually lead to opportunities that you never knew existed. You're free to create, edit and manage your WordPress site however you like, and what better way to do it than if not by taking the role of a brand. We've seen it happen before; bloggers quickly become popular, and later on gain somewhat of an internet celebrity status. With self-hosted websites you can do whatever you want!
5. Community support
It may not be what you expected as our last reason for self-hosting your WordPress site, but you've to take into account that the WordPress community is among the most vibrant ones out there, not only that, you're able to get WordPress support in many different forms:
- Official Resources (WP Codex, WP Forums, etc.)
- Social Media (Groups, Communities, Lists, etc.)
- Community-run Blogs (Tutorials, Themes, Plugins, etc.)
We've only looked at the major ones here, but know that there is unlimited support out there for this beautiful open-source platform, and we hope that by having read this post you'll have a better idea as to what to do next in terms of choices you've to make for your blog. Start small, but gradually do the more difficult – wise – tasks. Take your own WordPress website to the next level.
Conclusion: Self-hosting your WordPress website or blog
Imagine being able to do all of this, and a whole lot more! Many different people will have many different things to say about WordPress, and the way it should be run – we've looked at this from a point of view of a blogger who wants to grow his site, his reputation and his experience within blogging and the profession of his choice. With a self-hosted WordPress website you have all tools and possibilities available to build something awesome without boundaries or restrictions.