Going Self Hosted – What Is It All About?

Going Self Hosted – What Is It All About?

What’s it all about? I asked myself this question when I decided to take the leap of faith and run my OWN blog by going self hosted. I was totally unaware of this term when I first heard it, it took a lot of digging around the internet and asking others what the term actually meant. There wasn’t much in the way of support for beginners who were basically aliens to this whole other part of blogging. But after taking the big step I discovered myself many useful tips and gained more knowledge on this area which I’d like to share with you all.

WordPress vs WordPress.org

When starting a blog I just thought you picked a site like Blogger or WordPress, decided on your domain name and choose a theme and that was that. Then after a while I wondered how I could get rid of the lifeastillyrose.wordpress.com bit, so I looked at the different plan options and was so close to buying the next one up which gave the option of removing this. But after doing a bit more searching around the web, I discovered you couldn’t download custom designed themes from online and upload them to your blog as WordPress.com simply did not allow that. That was when I started looking into other ways around this, I knew there was wordpress.org which I assumed was the American version (LOL I was totally clueless) but no it really is quite more than that.

WordPress.com is a very easy but limited platform, you cannot alter the page structure – you can change things in the body of your page (the middle part), but you don’t have direct access to the HTML source of the blog and sections of your page. This means that the customisation of your theme is very limited. What I like about wordpress.org is that when you upload a theme and someone else is using the same theme, each blog will be different as there is lots of room for personalisation, e.g. show excerpts of your post, a slider at the top of your homepage, add Instagram feed as a footer (bottom on your blog). It allows you to really monetise your blog and make it more like you. However there are themes available on wordpress.org and by all means use them as they’re free. I only decided to buy one as I wanted to make it look more like me and I really liked the look of the PipDig and Esty ones.

Another con of wordpress.com is that you cannot utilise ads to earn money from your free WordPress blog, by this I mean putting ads in the side bar using GoogleAdsense, which is a shame as it is another way that bloggers earn their income – through ads. Think about it this way, by going self hosted your blog looks more presentable and attracts more people therefore you will be benefiting more from the ads as there is an increase in traffic on your site. It also has restrictions on using affiliate links meaning that you cannot have a ‘shop my style/wardrobe’ bar with links to items which when clicked earns you money.

My Host – Siteground

When you move to wordpress.org they are no longer the hosts your site, unlike wordpress.com were. Therefore you have to choose a host site. I recommend Siteground as they have reasonable prices and brilliant support! They were amazing at doing the actual migration and all the little problems that cropped up along the way, with their 24/7 Live Chat someone is always available to help and sort out the problem quickly. When I say problems I mean things to do with the installation process (which takes about 24 hours), like the web address not working or the html being blocked by the wifi network, all complicated things that I do not get! They offered a free migration service, so it was no hassle or cost. For my self I choose the Start Up plan at Β£2.75 per month, you really can’t go wrong. You are paying them for the support, security, automatic updates and speed, and so far I haven’t encountered any sticky problems with Siteground. To view Siteground’s website click HERE.

Transferring Followers, Stats and Posts

Do not panic! It is possible to transfer everything over, including all your previous WordPress followers and stats. Also if you have a large following on Bloglovin then do not worry as it is possible to transfer followers over to your new blog in the settings of your profile, it’s pretty easy. During the migration, Siteground use your login details to transfer all your blog posts over, you will not loose any of those. From what I can remember I asked on the Live Chat to transfer my followers and stats which wasn’t a problem at all, they either redirected me to contact someone else or did it within 10 minutes for me. I was so impressed with their help and support. Everything is taken care of so you do not need to worry about loosing anything – I guess that’s what you are paying for!

Useful Articles:

Free Migrations Services Moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org – RECOMMEND

Why Siteground Is The Best Web-Host For Your WordPress Blog – RECOMMEND

I was once told by two very big bloggers, Hannah Gale and Chloe Plumstead during a blogging workshop, that brands do not have time to sit down and read your content thoroughly, they judge whether or not they want to work with you based on the look of your blog. So if you have amazing content but not the best layout they’ll most likely discard your blog and move onto the next one. PR’s are very busy people, they are dealing with tones of requests to me sent things and are on the hunt for well presented bloggers to work with, so if your serious about making blogging a business then I think it is definitely worth the investment to buy a professional looking theme. I’m not going to lie, it was an expensive decision – moving to self hosted cost me somewhere around Β£80 but I see it as an investment, I won’t have to do it again. I did it in the hope that it will allow me to grow and become more successful.

Unfortunately I do not know anything about Blogger so cannot give advice on that but I will link useful websites down below:

Moving your blog from Blogger to WordPress

All opinions are from my own experiences and I am not trying to force you to move self hosted, so please don’t feel pressured! It is a very pricey and serious thing to consider, its not easy and I must say it was pretty daunting and scary at first but hopefully this post will help you feel a little more confident about taking on the move. Good luck to all who decide to do it and to those who don’t good because your saving 80 quid in ya pocket!

Thank for reading this super long post, please let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear if it helped you!

Tilly Rose x



  1. January 3, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    I’d love to go self hosted at some point because as you say, you can make your blog look so much more professional and can make blogging something more serious rather than just a hobby – which is my ultimate goal!!
    However, being a student I really cannot afford it right now unfortunately. In the future though I’m sure I will take the leap xxx

    • lifeastillyrose
      January 3, 2017 / 4:44 pm

      It is quite pricey but it’s an investment as I said. I would defo recommend doing it one day, but I totally understand it’s so hard to pay for especially as a student! Thanks for reading x

  2. January 3, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    This was such a helpful post as recently I was thinking about just getting rid of the .wordpress.com part like you said but wondered what other options there were! My storage is quickly running out on my blog and as it is something that I would definitely want to continue with in the future I will need more storage than what they offer! I have always wondered if all your data, followers and posts could be transferred as I could imagine me clueless and just loosing it all haha! Anyway thanks for doing this post it really helped me! xxx

    • lifeastillyrose
      January 3, 2017 / 5:36 pm

      Ahh I was the same! It was one of the best decisions I made of 2016, I definitely recommend doing it πŸ™‚ xx

  3. Jessy Tee
    January 3, 2017 / 10:07 pm

    It’s amazing how you’re making an investment into something you’re passionate about πŸ‘πŸ½πŸ˜. It gives me hope! I have blogger but I see what you mean about getting rid of the sites attribution on the URL πŸ˜ͺ Enjoy blogging and more to come πŸ’–

    • lifeastillyrose
      January 3, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      Thank you lovely! Appreciate the comment x

  4. January 3, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    Hey Tilly,

    I hope you dont mind but I linked this post in my 2017 goals post. One of my blogging goals this year is to go self hosted, I came across your tweet on Twitter and found this post extremely helpful. I’m not very technical and most of the information out there is a little above my understanding, haha but your post is just perfect.
    The post >> https://typicallykirsty.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/2017-goals/


    – K xo

    • lifeastillyrose
      January 3, 2017 / 10:58 pm

      Ahh that’s so lovely thank you, I do not mind at all! I hope you find it an okay task! It’s pretty daunting but achievable x

  5. January 4, 2017 / 7:34 am

    This is a great post. I am interested in moving my blog across just maybe when I have a few more views! The only thing I didn’t understand is does this mean you’re making money from your blog with the adverts? Because that also appeals!

    • lifeastillyrose
      January 4, 2017 / 9:19 am

      Thank you! And yes you can now make money with adverts however it isn’t something I have properly looked into yet x

  6. January 4, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    Super helpful πŸ™‚ Unfortunately I am not on wordpress nor blogger so I do not know if I can go self hosted, I’ll have to do some research on that!

    • lifeastillyrose
      January 4, 2017 / 5:22 pm

      Ahh I hope you can! Yes have a good research xx

  7. January 6, 2017 / 6:04 pm

    This is such a lovely post however I don’t have the money at the moment to go self hosted but I want to soon! I was also wondering how did you make the header image for your blog as I’m searching for a new one xx

    • lifeastillyrose
      January 6, 2017 / 6:14 pm

      Thank you very much! And I used DaFont then saved it as an image and uploaded it x

  8. January 7, 2017 / 8:13 am

    This post was so helpful!! I was just wondering if you got the people at pipdig to install your theme or did you do it yourself? and did you add any of the security package things when you signed up for site ground (like automatic backups, hacking protection etc)? Sorry for how many questions I keep asking, I’m just so terrible with technical stuff and you’re one of the only bloggers who puts answers into words I actually understand haha. Much love x

    • lifeastillyrose
      January 7, 2017 / 9:05 am

      Aw thank you! And at first I did get them to do it, but cos I was so in patient I did it myself. It’s so easy! But if u want anything specific then u can tell them and they’ll do it when they upload it. And it don’t think I had any of those packages I’m sure you can get different plugins (which do similar things) to protect your site xx

      • January 7, 2017 / 9:35 am

        Yeah I think I might install the theme myself there’s no way I could wait a few days haha. I’ll definitely do some research on plugins instead and save some money for the moment. Xx

        • lifeastillyrose
          January 7, 2017 / 9:47 am

          Yeah good idea!x

  9. January 15, 2017 / 12:58 am

    I love your blog and just followedxxxxπŸ’•

    • lifeastillyrose
      January 15, 2017 / 8:53 am

      Thank you so muchπŸ™ˆ

  10. February 2, 2017 / 9:27 pm

    Hey, I’ve recently wondered about going self-hosted and was wondering if all of your previous posts are transferred too? Such a useful post, thanks!
    ZoΓ« xx

    • lifeastillyrose
      February 2, 2017 / 9:37 pm

      Hey yes they are if you go with siteground they help you out with that! They do it all for you and all of your posts are transferred!x

  11. March 2, 2017 / 12:58 am

    Wow this was really helpful! I heard of this page from a fellow blogger.

    • lifeastillyrose
      March 2, 2017 / 6:49 am

      Thanks I’m glad it’s helpful!

  12. March 6, 2017 / 6:28 am

    I found this post so useful! I think I might give self-hosting a go at some time in the near future πŸ™‚ this might be an insensitive question, but is blogging a viable source of income? I have been thinking about blogging seriously for a while, but whenever I look up information about how much blogging makes, I couldn’t find a straight answer πŸ™‚

    • lifeastillyrose
      March 6, 2017 / 7:23 am

      I personally do not make anything, it’s more of a free lance job so you get paid when a brand wants to work with you, which might not be consistently. However lots of people make money on things like affiliate links. But I make close to nothing on those, but I’m sure it will increase over time x

      • March 6, 2017 / 7:27 am

        thanks! that really was helpful! πŸ™‚ I hope you do get a few more – you have clearly put a lot of effort into your blog πŸ™‚ it looks really professional πŸ™‚ If I did decide to go self-hosted, would it be ok for me to ask you some questions during the process? πŸ™‚ x

        • lifeastillyrose
          March 6, 2017 / 7:28 am

          Of course it’s okay! Thank you x

          • March 6, 2017 / 7:29 am

            Thanks! πŸ™‚ and that’s alright x

  13. March 12, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    This post was so helpful! I have been thinking about going self-hosted for some time- I am just somehwhat unsure of everything. I’m not very organized when it comes to content/niche/consistency, I haven’t come up with what I’m going to do about social media or how much time I will spend time blogging. Its super complicated, because I don’t have a lot of money (I’m 15 and in high school) so I have to figure that into the equation. I actually really want to start a youtube channel, but I don’t have time for that right now, so I just decided that I will focus on the blog this year and then re-evaluate. Do you reccomend that I spend the money and get self-hosted? Or should I save the money and use it more towards products for blog posts? Thanks πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

    • lifeastillyrose
      March 12, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      This is a tough question because I find my self buying products and clothes just for blog posts and don’t actually get any use out of them and I’ve just brought them because everyone else has them. But I would say going self hosted is an investment. It will bring your blog more success as ur making it look more professional. I would say go self hosted first xx

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