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Come December and it will be three years since I moved my writing blog to self hosted WordPress.  Then in 2016 August, this blog, Shailajav.com , also switched to self hosted WordPress after being on Blogger for over 9 years. And you know what? It’s the best decision I ever made for both my blogs!

I’ll confess it wasn’t something I was sure about, so I talked to a few bloggers, found out the pros and cons, weighed out the costs versus my efforts in blogging and finally took the leap.

Today, I’m going to talk about why I made the shift from free WordPress and a custom domain on Blogger to my self-hosted space.

I’ll offer some compelling reasons for you to consider and hey, the decision will still be yours! If you’re a blogger, thinking about making the shift, then you’ve come to the right place.

*This post originally contained links to the Bluehost affiliate programme, since I used their services for 3 years. But once I made the switch to my current provider, I’ve not looked back at Bluehost. And neither will you. πŸ™‚

Laptop on table. text: Why you should move to self hosted WordPress

This post contains Referral/Affiliate links. What that means is if you click on any of the links and make a purchase, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. Read my complete disclosure policy here.

10 Important reasons for you to shift to SelfHosted #WordPress Click to Tweet

Self hosted Blog? How is it different from a free blog? Why should you move to self hosted? What are the advantages? Find out ten reasons to make the move to self hosted WordPress and why I recommend Bluehost for the same!

#Shailajav #SelfHosted #Blogging #Bloggers #WordPress

TABLE OF CONTENTS:


Your own space on the web

If you’ve ever lived in a rented space and moved later to a home of your own, you’d understand this analogy. I was on Blogger for 9 years and found it very convenient to manage, since the interface is easy to  understand.

But, when I started trying my hand at WordPress in mid-2014, I was fascinated by how much more I could do with a blog!

In order to move from a free space (blogspot.com or wordpress.com) to a paid version (.com or .org, for example), you need to pay for a couple of things. And if you don’t have either of the two below, don’t worry. ChemiCloud offers just that! {Affiliate link}

  1. A domain name of your choice (mine are shailajav.com and shailajav.in)
  2. A hosting package (I am on Chemicloud’s Neutronic plan)

To explain in simple terms, think of it this way: you’re now owning a piece of your own space on the internet. Now isn’t that something you’d enjoy?


A professional look

So, what’s the big deal with a self-hosted website, you ask?

Well, it has a very professional look to it, for one thing. My earlier website was http://www.shailajav.wordpress.com. The parenting blog was http://www.momdiary.blogspot.in

  • A custom domain removes the ‘wordpress.com’ and the ‘blogspot.in’ from the URL giving it a more business-like look. This makes a big difference.
  • Also, let’s admit it. You’re motivated to blog more regularly, to make that investment in self-hosted worthwhile.
  • Oh and let’s not forget that you get access to so many more blog themes when you make the shift!

But wait, can you get a custom domain without moving to self-hosted? Yes, you can, but you won’t get the amazing features that I talk about in the next point.


 Ability to use plugins

Β Β Plugins are my favourite part about going self-hosted! You get to download some interesting ones which you wouldn’t get on a free domain or a custom domain.

Most plugins are free for those on self-hosted, so you’re pretty much set! These are just some of my favourites:

  • Content-Protection: Prevent your text from being copied with the right-click protect plugin
  • Short Pixel: Allows you to compress all images (both previously uploaded ones and new ones to optimise your page speed)
  • Thirsty Affiliates: This is simply perfect if you have affiliate links and want to create a shorter, easy-to-remember version
  • Insert Headers and Footers: All those complex codes you need to add to your website? Well, this plugin makes it super simple!
  • Ultimate Blocks: If you use Gutenberg like I do, this is the BEST plugin for inserting everything from a table of contents to a countdown timer to pleasing landing pages. There’s so much you can do with this one!
5 of my favourite #plugins on self-hosted WordPress! Click to Tweet

Access to SEO/ Yoast

By far the best thing about self-hosted is how you can use the Yoast plugin! It’s a boon if you want to optimize your posts for SEO and work on the readability index of your posts. It can take a bit of time to get it right but once you do, the features are wonderful!


Better security/ Backups

Did you know that Google can delete your blog without warning? Yes! That happened to artist Dennis Cooper, who had been blogging for 14 years on Blogger. 14 years of hard work were wiped out without a trace and no explanation.

On self-hosted websites, that risk is minimized to a large extent since it’s hosted on a platform you’ve paid for. And if you’re serious about blogging then you know that shelling out some money to keep this gig going is worth all the effort.

My Host also does a wonderful job of backups on a daily,weekly or monthly basis in their control panel. I still have a second Backup plugin, by the way (yay for plugins!) to ensure my data is safe. Taking weekly backups is recommended if you blog weekly, which is what I do.

More recently, the other good thing was ChemiCloud (my host) offered free SSL certificates for all their users! That was a boon! Considering most of us had to make the switch by October 1st, that was a significant saving made. I know other hosting providers charged for the SSL certificate.


Have you moved to HTTPS yet? You should! Read my tutorial today!


Monetize better

Now this is where things get a little bit more interesting when you are on self-hosted. A custom domain definitely ranks higher on Google search. So if you’re keen to start monetizing your blog using affiliate tools, advertisements, brand collaborations or sponsored posts, a self-hosted blog works wonders!

In the past year alone, I’ve been approached by multiple brands and platforms keen to work on collaborations. That’s after I moved to self-hosted. So if you’re considering a serious future in blogging, make the move to self-hosted.


Better options to share your content

Yes, I know that Jetpack on wordpress.com works just great with sharing your content and I love it too. But, when I switched to SSL, I lost all my share counts and was a bit worried about losing the social proof for my content.

Enter this gorgeous plugin: Easy Social Share. I bought the paid version of Easy social sharing and it’s a dream! From retrieving old share counts to creating a subscriber box, it’s gorgeous!

I’ve heard great things about the Social Warfare plugin too, by the way. If you’re not keen on shelling out money on sharing plugins, use the free versions of Sumo or Shareaholic.

The one thing I will warn against though is that both the latter plugins are heavy on page loading time and slow down your site. But they work well for most websites. I had them too until I switched over to Easy Social Share.


Making the switch is easy

One of the best reasons to switch to self-hosted using ChemiCloud is that they do all the heavy lifting for you! When you sign up with ChemiCloud, they just ask for your login details to your existing domain and then ask you to sit back and relax.

Within the hour, you will get a mail explaining that your site is live! All their plans include the following:

  • FREE Let’s Encrypt SSL
  • FREE Migration
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • Disk space starts at 5 GB
  • A special intro offer with a 45-day money-back guarantee

ChemiCloud offers the best value for money

We come to the most compelling reason on this list today.

I am not kidding when I tell you that you really get the best value for money when you go with ChemiCloud. Don’t believe me?

Check out their plans I’ve shared below. The basic one works just fine for bloggers and small businesses. You can choose to upgrade later if you feel the need.

Chemicloud Web Hosting

Excellent customer support

ChemiCloud has been the most responsive and helpful through their 24 X 7 support. I’ve found them accessible both through their chat support and their e-mail tech support.

Every site has this risk of what’s called down time. This means that the site will be unable to load or return a ‘Bad gateway’ message to users. 

As site owners, this can be worrying, but ChemiCloud has a dedicated team that works to ensure your site is back up and running as soon as possible.

I’ve had down times of 1 minute at the most and it’s been stress-free. This leaves me with time to work on things that I actually love: Blogging and creating content.


So, have I convinced you to take the leap to self-hosted? Do you think it’s something you’d enjoy? Let me know in the comments below.

Take the decision to make the move today. It’s worth it, trust me!

***


What is self hosted WordPress and why is it better than a free platform? The answer is 10-fold! Not only do you get a more professional site, you get to earn money through your blog. Read that and 8 other reasons why I recommend making the move and why you should use Bluehost for this. #Shailajav #SelfHosted #WordPress #Bloggers #Blogging

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