1 Month Self-Hosted: Do I Regret It?

1 Month Self-Hosted: Do I Regret It?

As you may know, if you read through my oh so dramatic self-hosting announcement last month, I recently went self-hosted.  In fact, this new site went live exactly a month ago today.  In that first post, I mentioned that I may do a post on how I went self-hosted and my experience.  However, I didn’t want to just talk through the process, because I felt that’s been done so many times before.  (Hello Bexa wrote a really good post on the process here).  Therefore, I thought I’d delve more into my experience during the process, and how I feel now.

 

Why I Chose to go Self-Hosted

When I started this blog, I was doing it as a hobby, so a free .wordpress account was perfect.  However, as you know, I started to make money off of it and get more into the business side.  For around 5 months of brand work, not having my own domain wasn’t an issue.  However, the more I got approached, the more not being self-hosted started to hinder me.  I wanted more freedom, I wanted a new look, and I wanted to appear more professional.  I was finally making enough money to consider reinvesting some in my blog, so it seemed like the time.

 

My Biggest Fears

I’d been putting off going self-hosted for a multitude of reasons.  My biggest fears were that:

  • It would be far too hard to move it all over
  • It would be incredibly expensive
  • I’d lose all my previous blog posts/they wouldn’t upload right
  • I’d lose all my likes and comments (Engagement means a lot to me)
  • If using Pipdig, my blog would look very samey, as a lot of bloggers use them for themes
  • My DA would start from 0 and be unattractive to brands, despite 1.5 years of work

 

So How was it, really?

Was it hard to move over?

In all honesty, the process was far easier than I expected it to be.  I was lucky enough in that Katie from millennial rants, one of the best friends I’ve met through blogging, was already self-hosted.  She sat down, talked through the process and my worries with me, recommended sites and basically was an all round star.

I bought a theme and hosting plan through Pipdig, who are absolute angels and transfer your whole site over for you after you buy a theme.  All I really needed to do was follow the step by step instructions, give them the data they asked for and 2 days later I had a new website with all my old stuff.   They say that it takes 3 days (You have full access to your old site during this time).  However, mine only took 2.

Was it incredibly expensive?

It… definitely cost money.  However, once you break it down it’s not too much, especially if you make more than it costs.  In total, I had to buy (In order):

  • My own domain (I used 1&1, which had the cheapest deal I found): 2 years for £10.98
  • The blog theme (I used Pipdig, with transfers included): £39
  • Hosting my blog (I used Siteground, which required me to pay the whole year at once): £39.60

So, altogether, the process cost £89.58.  It was quite a bit of money, but I’ve made quite a bit more than that so far this year.  Therefore, I felt that I could justify spending it to further my blogging “business”.  The theme will last me forever, or at least until I next want to change it.  The domain will last me 2 years, and then I’ll have to pay more to renew it.  And the hosting will only last me a year, after that I’ll probably search for the next best deal.

Did I lose all my old content?

I am happy to report that I didn’t lose a thing.  Pipdig moved the whole site over for me, so luckily the responsibility wasn’t in my hands.  It did, however, change the formatting a little bit.  My old posts have suddenly lost all the spacing between the paragraphs so, if I’m being frank, they look a bit of a mess.  I’m slowly going back and reworking them all, but I have over 200 posts on here, so it obviously takes a lot of time.  Every time I see that somebody has checked out an old post, I panic because the formatting makes them look ugly and I don’t want them to think that’s the standard I uphold.  However, pictures, words, pages… All there.

Did I lose all my likes, comments and followers?

I was happy to find out that, due to the fact I was still using WordPress as an editing software, my followers were transferred over.  I did, however, had to download an HTML code and paste it in my sidebar to put the follow button on my new site.  All my likes were lost, and I had to fiddle some stuff around to get the like button back.  However, my comments were in tact, and I care about comments more than anything else.  So that made me happy.

Does my blog look very samey?

I’d like to think that it doesn’t?  I wanted a white background because I find them clear, but I wanted to avoid the black/white/gold theme I see around a lot.  It looks so beautiful and chic on other blogs, but it isn’t really me.  I spent around 4 hours going through every single customisation option.  I changed every colour I could, fiddled with the scheme, and input my Instagram feed at the top as a banner to inject even more colour.  My goal was to make it cool and colourful, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out.

How has the DA affected me?

My DA did start from 0, which was annoying but gave me something to work towards.  Going self-hosted I now have access to the Yoast Plug-in, making my site SEO efficient.  I went back to edit some of my old posts, and found that quite a few of them were already SEO efficient, which is great.  As for growing my DA?  I’ve had my site for exactly a month now, and I’ve already increased my DA to 14 in a month, so I’m hoping I can keep it up.

 

How Does it Compare to the Free Version?

I have so much more to customise

I like to make things look as “on brand” as possible, and the more you customise, the more you make things your own.  I now have the ability to alter the HTML code, download plugins when things aren’t quite right (I have been enjoying this sooooo much), and have better themes with complete control.

It’s far more professional

Not only does having my own domain make me look like a legitimate business, but my site looks better.  Now that it’s all my responsibility, I’ve had to make my own privacy policy and disclosure declaration.  Though they may have taken me time, they make me feel fancy, and made me learn more about business.

As well as this, I’ve really spruced up my ‘home’ and ‘about’ pages.  I hadn’t really touched them since I first started my blog, and back then I didn’t really care about them.  However, now that this is all my own I made far more of an effort with them.  If you ask me, they’re actually pretty interesting now.  Check the home one out here, the about one out here, and judge for yourself!

My Stats have increased dramatically

Since going self-hosted, my monthly stats have more than doubled, and I pull in far more views per day.  My low view days are higher than my average days used to be, and I could not be more thankful.  This isn’t necessarily because of going self-hosted, and I can’t pinpoint exactly why it is.  I have some theories:

  • I’ve put a lot more effort into my blog since going self-hosted, maybe people have noticed.
  • It looks a lot better, and people are attracted to things that look better.
  • I feel like I’ve really come into my own with what I post and how I write, perhaps people like my content more.
  • Now that I pay for my blog, I’ve tried so much harder to promote it (See here)

Any of these, or even a combination could be the source of my increase.  However, I cannot deny the drastic difference in my stats since before and after going self-hosted.

 

So, Do I Regret It?

Can hands up say that going self-hosted was the best thing I did for my blog. I would not go back to my WordPress domain and I have this new lust for life with my blog.  However, I used a free plan for a year and a half, and I think that was right for me.  If I had started off self-hosted it wouldn’t have been worth it as I was still finding my feet.  Also, it’s only really financially worth it if you’re aware that you’ll be getting your money back through branded work.  For me, doing it now was perfect timing.  So, if you’re considering it, evaluate when that time might be for you.

 

Thanks for reading til the end, I’m aware this was a long but thorough one! Are you self-hosted?  Are you considering going for it?  Let me know in the comments!

Lots of love,

Jas xx

 

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52 Comments

  1. August 28, 2018 / 11:48 am

    I went self-hosted this month and so far so good for me too. I want to change my theme I think and look into more of the plug in side of things. I love how your blog looks Jas!

    Rachael | https://rachaelstray.com/

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 12:19 pm

      Awww I’m glad that you like the way that it looks, I tried really hard with customising it! Good luck with looking into plugins etc!

      Jas xx

  2. Jean
    August 28, 2018 / 1:13 pm

    Your blog looks great! I’ve always wanted to blog, but don’t know if I should start out web hosted or start out with a paid plan. Your post was soo informative! Loved it

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 4:06 pm

      Awww I hope this post helps you make the right decision for you! Thank you for reading!

      Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

  3. August 28, 2018 / 1:58 pm

    Your blog looks great! Self-hosting might sound daunting at first but there’s so many helpful posts online and if you found the right hosting site the move’ll be easy.

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 4:06 pm

      Yeah, now that I’m self-hosted I realise that it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be

      Jas xx

  4. August 28, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    that’s so exciting that you’ve gone self hosted, it’s such a big move and I remember how scared I was when I done it. I thought i was going to loose everything but all the companies seem so helpful and they make sure your blog actually transfers properly aha! x

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 4:08 pm

      Yeah, it was a lot less daunting than I thought it would be!

      Jas xx

  5. August 28, 2018 / 3:53 pm

    I’m going to go self hosted next year when I have more time for my blog. It costs so much omg and the thing is, I’m going to lose all my comments because I’m with blogger and that makes me so sad 🙁

    Meg x | the-writeblog.blogspot.co.uk

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 4:11 pm

      Ugh that’s annoying that you’ll lose all your comments 🙁 But I suppose that it will allow you to grow all over again! Silver linings x

      Jas xx

  6. August 28, 2018 / 4:23 pm

    This was really interesting to read! Glad you have found what is right for you!

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 4:27 pm

      Thank you!

      Jas xx

  7. August 28, 2018 / 4:42 pm

    I went self hosted a while ago and love it! Although I have been charged excessively for my yearly renew which I don’t think is right, something I need to look into so watch out for that! But yes, I agree it makes everything more professional. Also if it’s something you’re passionate about it’s important to make it the best version you can xx

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 6:08 pm

      Yeah I’ve heard some people say that about the charges! I’ll have to make sure to change hosting plans before that!

      Jas xx

  8. August 28, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    I’m so happy to hear you had such a great experience with going self-hosted! My only downside was having to bring up my blogging stats, and this year I’ve been doing quite well, I have already doubled my stats from last year, and i’m not even mid-way through the year yet! Congrats again on going self-hosted!

    Melina | http://www.melinaelisa.com

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 28, 2018 / 7:13 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad that you were able to bring up your stats, congrats on doubling them with 4 months to go!

      Jas xx

  9. August 28, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    This is a really great post! I’ve seen lots about going self hosted and they don’t go into how they actually felt about it instead of just the proces! Your blog looks amazing! Really great post x

  10. August 28, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    I am thinking of going self hosted, and am waiting to make sure my finances are in order before I take that leap. I am also worried about my likes, comments, etc not transferring but this was a pleasant surprise! Can’t wait to take the leap

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 10:17 am

      I’m so glad that this helped!

      Jas xx

  11. August 28, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    I went self hosted for the same reasons! I think we have the same theme too but ours look so different! Your blog looks great! I agree, Pipdig made the whole experience so smooth and easy but I also lost my likes 🙁 I should go back and edit some of my blog posts to improve my DA as mine also went back to 0! So glad you mentioned that. I don’t think I will get my money back through paid blog posts for a long long time but I try not to let that bother me as I am so much happier with how my blog looks and I am getting a lot more gifted products to review! Great post!! xx

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 10:19 am

      Yeah I think we do have the same theme! It’s crazy how different you can make them look with customisation! Pipdig honestly were such a lifesaver!

      Jas xx

  12. August 28, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    Yay! I’m so happy that you had such a positive experience going self-hosted! I agree, it’s definitely one of the best blogging things that I did too, so much more customisation, plugins and yay for pretty themes! Your blog is gorgeous, love the colours and it’s individuality. Thank you so much for mentioning my post too Jas, I really appreciate it. Great post girl <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 10:21 am

      Awwww thank you for complimenting my blog, I really tried hard with the customisation! No problem, I mentioned your post because it was such a detailed break down of self-hosting and feel it could help even more people!

      Jas xx

  13. August 28, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    This is such a great post! I’ve been contemplating going self-hosted for a while now, but I’ve always stopped myself from doing because of fears similar to the ones you had. I’m so glad to hear that you had such a positive experience with going self-hosted! I’ll definitely have to seriously consider it! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 10:31 am

      I’m so glad this was able to help you evaluate it!

      Jas xx

  14. August 29, 2018 / 5:44 am

    I love your post Jasmine! It’s so informative. Now I know what to look out for if I’m to be self hosted but the charges are much. I kinda have some other important questions I would like to ask you though for more clarifications.

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 10:14 am

      I’m so glad you found it informative! Feel free to ask more questions in reply to this comment and I’ll answer them all to the best of my ability!

      Jas xx

      • August 29, 2018 / 3:49 pm

        Thanks, Jas! I’m planning to monetize my blog either with WordPress or any other self-hosting site. As a Nigerian, I don’t know how possible it will be in terms of the pros and cons. Help me out please.

        • thoughtsfromjasmine
          Author
          August 30, 2018 / 2:16 pm

          I’ve listed the pros and cons in my piece, but do you have any specific questions? Xx

          • August 30, 2018 / 3:59 pm

            Oh okay. No specific question. Thanks dear. 😊

  15. Hannah
    August 29, 2018 / 9:20 am

    I’ve been thinking about going self hosted for a while, sometimes due to it looking more professional I feel it gives blog an edge, especially if you want to use your blog as a way to make money. Your experience sounds like such a pleasant one, I’ve been scared of doing it in the past incase something goes wrong! Think when I’ve got the money I’m going to make the switch!

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 10:16 am

      Yeah I was also on the fence about doing it for so long, but it’s been such smooth sailing! I strongly recommend making the switch when you’ve got the money!

      Jas xx

  16. August 30, 2018 / 7:40 am

    Thanks for this post. Tbh, I’m thinking about self-hosting for a long time, but the reason I have not done it yet is because I have no idea how, if I should pay someone to do all the work or can I do it on my own.
    I am also thinking about branching out as a blogger, because there are so many things that interest me beside books, so I think self-hosting would be a right move.
    I am glad to see that you are satisfied and it makes me even more see that it’s time to take that step.

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 30, 2018 / 2:15 pm

      Good luck taking the next step, I reckon branching out would work out greatly!

      Jas xx

  17. August 30, 2018 / 11:16 am

    Brilliant post! I recently went self-hosted and I’m so glad I did. Love the freedom involved and all the plugins etc. I think it’s worth the investment. I, like you, need to go back and change lots of posts though. It takes time, but it’s such a good thing to do X

    Megan | https://meganelizabethlifestyle.com/

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 30, 2018 / 2:17 pm

      Thank you! It takes so long, but definitely worth it!

      Jas xx

  18. August 30, 2018 / 5:06 pm

    Glad to read that the process went very smoothly and that you do not regret it. My DA went from 32 to 0 when I started again but it’s up to where it was. All defo worth it!

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 30, 2018 / 5:09 pm

      Yeah, it’s definitely worth it!

      Jas xx

  19. August 30, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    I’m glad you have no regrets really!! I have just started blogging so I would not consider goi g selfhosted by now 😅 Your writing style is also amazing and it feels so good reading your words!!

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 30, 2018 / 6:19 pm

      Awwww thank you so much, it honestly means a lot!!

      Jas xx

  20. August 30, 2018 / 6:15 pm

    This is a really helpful balanced view Jas thank you 💕 I’d like to think I’d be able to put more in to my blog next year so this is something I’m considering

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 30, 2018 / 6:27 pm

      I hope it goes well!

      Jas xx

  21. August 30, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    I was wondering what it was like to be self-hosted! Maybe some day when I’m more successful I will take the jump and do the same thing as well 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience. Laura / https://laustworld.blogspot.com/

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 30, 2018 / 9:02 pm

      No worries! Thanks for your lovely comment!

      Jas xx

  22. August 31, 2018 / 9:43 am

    LOVED this post, my dear! I always go back & fourth when it comes to buying my own domain… I just have one question: what’s the difference between buying my domain & hosting my blog? Thank you! <3
    https://octoberslallu.blogspot.com/

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 31, 2018 / 10:40 am

      If you buy your own domain, you still can’t use it with a free plan, so you’d have to upgrade to WordPress premium (which still costs money, but then you don’t get plugins etc). Whereas, if you host your site yourself, you still have to buy the domain, but you have far more freedom!

      Jas xx

  23. August 31, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    It was really interesting to read that it made a big difference to your stats and you managed to grow your DA so quickly! I went all in and became self hosted from day one so I love reading about other people’s experience switching x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      August 31, 2018 / 8:46 pm

      Oh wow, you went right from the start, that’s so cool! I’d love to hear all about that too!

      Jas xx

  24. September 2, 2018 / 8:58 pm

    Can totally relate!! The main thing I was heartbroken about when I moved over was my views and how it’d look to brands on my media kit but I realised the quicker I did it, the faster I could build them up again. I would recommend anyone serious about their blog to go self-hosted as it is SUCH a good investment and brands take you so much more seriously!
    Alice Xx

    • thoughtsfromjasmine
      Author
      September 2, 2018 / 9:10 pm

      Yeah, I was a bit sad having to start my views all over again as well! Honestly, it’s such a good investment! I’ve only been self-hosted for a month and I know it’s been one of the best decisions!

      Jas xx

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