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24 Apr

Starting a Self-Hosted Blog in 6 Steps

Self-Hosted Blog

As you may know, (or if you missed it…that’s okay, I got you covered! Catch up here) I have moved from a blogger blog to a self-hosted WordPress blog four weeks ago and re-launched my site for the second time this year. I mentioned it a bit last week, but decided that it would be best to make another post explaining why I chose to make the switch and how you can too.

I had been thinking about purchasing a domain and moving from Blogger to WordPress for quite some time, but I never had the will power to do it. To be honest, I had done a lot of research and read ample amounts of posts from bloggers who made the switch, but out of all the posts I read and the evidence I saw to back up each blogger’s claims of why being self-hosted on a WordPress blog was better, I didn’t want to make the switch. I was on Blogger for about a year with my previous blog and a year before that because I started a blog that I never stuck with about 4 years ago, so Blogger was clearly my comfort zone.

Last year, Luxxe and Co, formally known as Label Me Luxxe, started to grow unexpectedly and I thoroughly enjoyed blogging, A LOT. So I decided to take things to the next level to see where the journey with Luxxe and Co. would take me. One night I was trying to create a landing page on Blogger ( I coded everything by myself on Blogger) and I just couldn’t get it to come out the way I wanted; it was late, I was cranky and I got so fed up that I started googling solutions like a maniac. Every single landing page template I discovered and actually liked was geared towards a WordPress blog. Very frustrated, I decided I was fed up and I would be switching to WordPress. Instead of signing up for WordPress that moment, I decided to sleep on it, but still woke up the next day and made the switch.

As far as how I did it and what it took, it was a semi simple process that can be summed up in 6 steps.

001. Deciding if This is What You Really Want: Okay obviously this is what you really want if you’re reading this post, but if you are just starting out I would recommend taking a moment to  think about it. Self-hosting is not by any means free, so before you shell out the money, whether it be 5 dollars or 500 dollars (hopefully not that much) you must know if this is exactly what you want to do (by this I mean blogging). Blogging is hard work no matter how glamorous it may seem from the outside looking in. If you aren’t sure you’ll even be doing this a year from now or you’re still on the border, I would recommend that you not self-host or buy a domain and start on a free Blogger or WordPress blog. It will have either .blogspot or .wordpress at the end, but that’s okay. Get a feel for it and then go from there; I had two .blogspot blogs before I ended up here. There are also a few bloggers who have become successful without being self-hosted or without purchasing a domain, such as one of my favorite bloggers, Annabelle Fleur of Viva Luxury.

002. Choosing a Name:  You’ve decided this is what you really want, so now it’s time to choose a name. Choose a name that you like and put some deep thought into it. You’ll have to keep this name for at least a year and nothing is worse than having to promote your blog  with a name you don’t like. By the way, make it unique and catchy.

003. Choosing your Platform: There are multiple blogging platforms out there that you can use such as: Wix, WordPress, Squarespace and Blogger. I’ve personally only used Blogger or WordPress so I can’t tell you which blogging platform is the absolute best of all time, BUT so far I am very happy with WordPress.

004. Choose a Domain: I received my domain for free when I purchased web hosting through Bluehost. If you do not choose to sign up with Bluehost,  which you can do here, you will need to purchase a domain elsewhere. Domains can start out at about .99 cents per month (Hi Go Daddy).

PAUSING FOR A SECOND.. at this point, you can decide to self host, or just link the domain you purchased in step 4 to either Blogger or WordPress.COM. This may get a bit confusing so refer to the diagram below…

NOW back to our regular scheduled programing….

005. Self- Host (If needed): If you decide to go with WordPress.org as your blogging platform, you will need to find a web host; I chose Bluehost; Bluehost is recommended by WordPress and also was the cheapest option out there. I pay less than $5 per month for a year of web hosting through Bluehost which includes an email address and a free domain. However, you will have to purchase the web hosting in full and can not make monthly payments (I know I sighed when I first realized this as well, but I didn’t notice until the end of checkout so I am warning you so that you are not stunned at the end of the signing up process).

006. Migrate Your Old Blog (if you need to): If you are starting a blog from scratch, you can skip this step, but if you are moving an already existing blog, Bluehost provides you with the option to have someone migrate your blog to your new platform. There are other sites out there that will help you migrate from one blogging platform to the next for prices that are typically around $100.  I personally chose the cheaper route and moved my blog myself through the help of plenty of Youtube videos. It was no easy task but I managed to do it myself and save some money. If you are short on cash I’d recommend you at least trying to do it yourself; if you decide that it’s taking up too much time or too difficult then decide to pay someone else to do it.

So now we’re done…kinda; there are other steps you should take after this, even if you do pay someone to migrate your blog. Since this post has gone way longer than I expected, how about a part 2? I’m thinking yes! In part 2 I’ll talk about what to do once you have migrated or created your blog from scratch on a self-hosted WordPress site, including how to find the right template for you.

Despite the time it took to get to this point, I honestly couldn’t be happier with the semi rash decision I made (I would still recommend you do some research).  Choosing a self-hosted WordPress blog has worked out wonderfully for me and I’m so very proud to call Luxxe and Co my own! Maybe the third time around truly is a charm.

Have you made the switch to a self-hosted blog before? If so, do you think it was a good decision? If no, will you consider it in the future?

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