What Is a Self-Hosted Blog?

Do you want to start or improve your blog? You should look into starting a self-hosted blog.

What Is a Self-Hosted Blog?

Self hosting is an important part of having a professional blog that you can use to make money. Read on to learn more about it and how to set your blog up.

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

What Is a Self-Hosted Blog?

A self-hosted blog is a blog where you pay for hosting separately from the actual blogging platform that you use. Many blog platforms offer hosting within the software.

However, WordPress.org is the most popular exception. If you want to use WordPress, you need to find a third-party website hosting company.

Then, you’ll buy a plan from that company and install WordPress on your site. I did this through SiteGround, which offers a one-click installation for WordPress, so it’s super easy to set up.

Why Set Up a Self-Hosted Blog

Setting up a self-hosted blog is essential if you want to turn that blog into a business or use it to start a separate business. Now, self-hosting can be tricky to start if you don’t choose the right host.

However, going through the steps to set up a site with third-party hosting is well worth the effort. Here’s why.

More Control

First, you’ll have more control over your entire site. WordPress offers tons of plugins to expand the capabilities of your blog. So while you may start with just a blog, you can start a store later on.

Other blogging platforms tend to limit what you can do. You might only be able to publish blog posts, for example.

That may not be a problem at first. But if you want to grow your blog, it can hamper your progress eventually.

Hosting Choices

Another advantage that comes with using a self-hosted blog is that you can choose the host. As I mentioned, I chose SiteGround after researching a few hosting companies.

If you go with a hosted blog, you have to use that platform’s hosting. And some hosting plans can be expensive on hosted blogs. But self-hosting tends to be cheaper, at least in the beginning.

After your blog starts to grow, you might outgrow your hosting plan. If you have self-hosting, though, you can switch hosts. You can usually migrate a WordPress blog easily, and some hosts will help.

Easy to Scale

Some blogging platforms make it hard for you to scale. You may only have a certain amount of bandwidth each month. If you hit that, your host could slow your site down.

Of course, that can happen with third-party hosts. But you can either upgrade to a higher tier from that host or change to a new company that offers more resources.

That will allow you to keep your blog running. You can continue to attract new visitors and make more sales or earn more ad revenue.

More Affordable

I briefly touched on this, but it deserves its own section. Self hosting allows you to choose a host that’s in your budget. Some WordPress hosts have plans starting at a few bucks a month.

And you get access to all of the WordPress features for that price. With many hosted blogs, you have to upgrade to get more features.

If you want to expand your blog on a budget, a self-hosted blog is the natural choice. Then, you don’t have to stick to what one company wants to charge you.

How to Set Up a Self-Hosted Blog

If you want to enjoy the benefits of a self-hosted blog, you need to learn how to set one up. Sadly, it does involve a few more steps than creating a Blogger blog, for example.

Here are some steps to help you set up a new self-hosted blog.

Research Website Hosts

First, you need to research website hosting companies. You can’t just go to WordPress.org and create an account. Be sure to consider your budget, and don’t be afraid to start with a smaller hosting plan.

You can always upgrade later. But I’d recommend prioritizing things like customer service. The company may charge a little extra, but it’s worth it to know you can get help when you need it.

Some of the cheapest hosts have poor customer service. They may have long response times or only offer email support. I’d also suggest avoiding EIG hosts (like Bluehost) if you can because they tend to have a bad reputation.

SiteGround is an excellent option with affordable plans for beginners. I’ve used them since 2016 and love them.

Select Your Hosting Plan

Next, you’ll need to decide what hosting plan you want to use. I currently have the GrowBig plan from SiteGround, but I started on the StartUp plan.

Either option is suitable, so go with what’s in your budget. With any host pay attention to the regular hosting rate. Many companies offer a promo for the first year, and you don’t want to get sticker shock when the year is up and your plan renews.

Consider if you may want to start multiple blogs. Some plans limit the number of websites you can have, while others are unlimited.

Install WordPress

One of my favorite parts of using SiteGround is that they make it super easy to install WordPress. When you start a new site, it will give you the option to choose your content manager.

Click on WordPress, and follow the prompts on your screen. Most website hosts will take you through all of the steps to set up WordPress.

Then, you can create your admin account to use to manage your site.

Create Your WP Login

Now, you get to create your username and password for your new WordPress self-hosted blog. Make sure you choose something you can remember so that you can access the blog without logging into your host.

However, it’s also not too annoying to log into your host. Then, you can access all of your sites at once. And doing that means you can set a difficult password for your WordPress admin.

Add a Theme and Plugins

To help design your WordPress blog, you should choose a theme. Your new blog should come with at least one theme installed. But you can browse the library for other themes.

Another option is to shop for themes on Etsy or other third-party sites. Then, you can download the theme file and upload it to your WordPress dashboard.

You may also want to add some plugins to help you run your blog. I’d recommend installing a few to start, like Yoast and Jetpack or Google SiteKit. Don’t add too many plugins because that can slow down the loading time of your blog.

Write Your First Post

You’re finally ready to start blogging on your self-hosted blog. Go to the Posts section of your dashboard and click on Add New.

Then, you can add a title and write the body content. Add any images or other media, and link to relevant pages.

When you’re done, you can publish the blog post immediately or schedule it to post live at a later time.

Is a Self-Hosted Blog Expensive?

A self-hosted blog can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. It will cost at least a few dollars per month for your domain and hosting.

But you can start for super cheap. If you have more money, you can invest in a larger hosting plan.

Is Setting Up a Self-Hosted Blog Hard?

Setting up a self-hosted blog isn’t too difficult. Many hosts make it easy to create your WordPress blog from your hosting account.

But if you need help, a lot of good hosts will offer that. You can contact customer support to get the assistance you need.

Will You Get a Self-Hosted Blog?

A self-hosted blog can open a lot of doors for your content. Be sure to look into a few hosts and follow the right steps to set up your blog.

Then, you can use WordPress to create posts or even sell products or services. Your options are endless.

Still have questions on creating a blog? I have a whole post on the subject!

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