Going Self Hosted – The basics
So, I’ve only gone and went self hosted! A while ago I attempted to. What a failure that was. Partially, on my part might I add. Moving on though, after a few months of being part of a very helpful facebook group (Uk parent bloggers – highly recommended). I kept hearing about TSO Host, and how they do the whole switch for you and it’s quite easy to set up. So after looking into them, I bit the bullet and went for it. Another plus was that this time there was no huge expense (£80 ish all in last time!) I went for their average plan £3 a month (I’m sure!) Great price. I already have my domain for the next 4 years or something so only paid to transfer it to them (by choice!) which added some additional time for the transfer on.
I decided to buy a decent theme for the site (Went with a pipdig theme – again highly recommend an absolute dream and works very well) but I wasn’t 100% happy with how it looked with my old design and decided to look into different illustrators for a blog header. Ultimately I went with Daydreams and Ice Creams who create the cutest graphics and personalised prints and I must admit – very competitively priced for blog graphics!
The techy stuff
I say techy stuff – It’s less tech more trial and error. So after having gone self hosted, I realised the transition wasnt particularly difficult but it’s certainly not easy. I mean they don’t do EVERYTHING for you in transferring.. They get your posts from whichever platform you used previously, and put it on your newly active wordpress.org account on a basic theme. You have to change your host file to edit the site before it goes live which is fairly easy if you follow the instructions to the word.
As for the theme of your blog – free or paid for (etsy has fairly nice, relatively cheap ones!) There’s lots of free ones that are beautiful when you match the colour scheme to your header, so buying a theme is definitely not necessary. You go ahead and install your theme (mines came with very clear instructions as part of the download!)
You then watch a million videos looking into the best plugins – only to realise everyones kinda going for whatever. There is definite solid favourites that continue to be mentioned time and time again. Firstly I figured out which types of plugins would be beneficial towards me. Then I researched various plug ins based on their use. I then downloaded and installed them. It was a lot of trial and error and at one point one of the plugins I downloaded had failed and crashed my site – but a swift deleting of said plug in sorted it out very quickly.
After I downloaded YOAST SEO, I realised each post was not categorised or tagged appropriately. SEO was also terrible on each post (according to the pretty snazzy traffic light system!) So I went in and individually edited each one to suit – which took a ridiculous length of time! But alas it is done, and I couldn’t be happier with how it looks now it’s completed. Still have a bit of playing about with menu options to do but all in due time.
So yeah overall I’m fairly proud of myself for going ahead with it. Getting it done. Dealing with the bits that messed up without quitting. Very thankful for the facebook groups that helped out with advice.
As for me personally I’m allowing myself a bit of a relaxed week ahead after a very stressful 3 weeks or so (Rant coming soon – most likely).