Be Unafraid, Self-Hosted WordPress Is WAY Easier Nowadays
By: Jennine Jacob

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Are you scared of WordPress? The self-hosted one… not the WordPress.com that doesn’t allow widgets, advertising, etc. In case you are wondering, self-hosted WordPress.org is the open source content management system (CMS) that many professional bloggers use, magazines, ecommerce sites, portfolio sites run on. The beauty of self-hosted WordPress, is that you can build your site however you like, want to add forums to your website? Done. Want to add a ecommerce to your blog? Done. Heck, even if you want to add a “social network” to your blog… that can be done too!

But for the most part, people love WordPress because of ownership. You own your content, no one can mark it as “spam” or shut it down (unless you do something REALLY crazy!) you own your own URL, email address, etc.

The main thing that has stopped me from recommending WordPress to everyone, was that it used to be difficult to set up and maintain if you were technically challenged. That is just not true anymore.

Many Web Hosts Have Automatic WordPress Installations

I am launching a new blog. Of course, as a WordPress junky, I purchased a hosting plan (this time at GoDaddy) and lo behold, upon logging in, WordPress was listed as one of their “Applications” I clicked on the icon, and was brought to a page which automatically installs WordPress within a few clicks.

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Check with the the web-host you are interested in using to see if they also have automatic installs for WordPress. And yes, it’s super easy!

WordPress Has Automatic Updates

WordPress has had this for a long time, but it keeps getting easier to keep updating your blog (it used to be a REAL pain). In a couple of clicks (after you backup your files, which see, next point…) you’ll be running on the latest version of WordPress in a snap. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re someone who has to prepare mentally for change, or has plugins that are finicky, updating on your own schedule is a much better alternative to being at the whim of the blog platform service provider.

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WordPress has PLENTY of automatic backup options

Have you ever lost your work? Has your site ever crashed? Have you ever messed up your site and needed to restore it to how it was before you started hacking away? Don’t not try to do things because you’re afraid of messing up… that’s what backups are for. There are LOADS of free options for backing up your blog available on WordPress.  So check around!

It’s Easy to Install Plugins

This option has been around for years…but the beauty of WordPress is that because it is open source, there are a lot of people working on it! You can install plugins right from your site, or upload them to the proper folder again, right from your blog.

Many themes have design options

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Depending on which theme you install, there are various tweaking options. This Responsive WordPress Theme (I got the Pro Version, but you can get the free version here) Allows me to use whatever Google Font I like or background color, menu color, even custom CSS right from the customize panel. It’s pretty amazing considering back in the day, it was much, much harder.

So there. Every excuse I used to have for not recommending WordPress across the board is now a thing of the past because it’s super easy nowadays.

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

Comments

  1. Ais says:

    I have a self-hosted wordpress blog; so much better than the free wordpress.com. I haven’t added my affiliate links yet, I really should I just like the idea of an add-free space.

  2. Anna Belle says:

    I am glad they have made it so simple – plus there are some great step-by-step instructions out there for set-up and all kinds of other finishing touches. (I used the instructions on switching to self-host from the Clever Girl Collective!)

  3. Lix says:

    I definitely recommend self-hosted WordPress – I have two sites on it, a blog and a portfolio, and a third one (for now) coming, and it’s such a user-friendly platform to use! I started out on WP.com and eventually got my own webhosting to get rid of all the limitations at once – and as a matter of fact, my webhosting + domain plan (on Dreamhost, which also has one-click install WordPress available) came out to be cheaper than the Custom CSS Upgrade on WP.com I needed to widen my content for photos would have been.

    And anyway, if you need help, there are plenty of bloggers who will help you. I’d be happy to myself.

  4. Avatar of mel&eve
    mel&eve says:

    I’ve been self hosting since the beginning. Bluehost offers a one-click installation of wordpress as well.

    I like WP and I think it’s quite easy to customize once you get the hang of it. You can find lots of great articles on the internet and guides about how to customize a template with child themes etc. (sounds a lot scarier than it actually is).

    Good luck everyone who tries it out, if you need help, just give me a shout :)

  5. Avatar of Miss Monet
    Miss Monet says:

    I started out with WordPress.com but migrated to my own self hosted site because I wanted the freedom to be more creative. It has been a wonderful experience, I still have a lot to learn and figure out and I’m looking forward to it. Blue host is what I use and it’s been very easy! Good luck to any bloggers that are thinking about self hosting!

    Http://missmonet.net

  6. Avatar of Lesia
    Lesia says:

    Yep, also self-hosted. Of course, I have troubles sometimes on certain steps but that’s bound to happen on any hosting. You just figure them out as you go :)

  7. Something to think about, for sure. I started my (first ever!) blog about six months ago with Blogger, and am still on a pretty steep learning curve there!! Maybe once my blog really takes off…?! How difficult would it be to move my blog contents from Blogger to WordPress when/if the time came? I DO have my own domain through GoDaddy.

    http://www.StyleIsMyPudding.com

  8. Angel says:

    I started out on Blogspot and it was great until it became Blogger and Google. After all the issues I’ve come across, I think I’m giving up on it for good. I’ve taken a long time thinking of alternative platforms, but this article really gives me the push to try and test WordPress. Thank you for writing this!

  9. Avatar of debi c
    debi c says:

    I am fed up with blogger because of all the sudden warnings and changes. i want to shift. but i am positive something will go wrong in the process..either i will lose content during the shift or all my readers.

  10. Avatar of Chelsey
    Chelsey says:

    I started out on Blogger and started having the itch to expand to WordPress for a year before I finally made the switch. I don’t have any regrets about making the switch, only that I wish I had done it sooner. It was much easier than I anticipated, and the freedom that comes along with WordPress is amazing. My one big tip is to definitely search the web for useful “how-to” guides. I found a few bloggers with step by step things on what to do, what not to do, and key plugins to have when starting out that made the move easier.

  11. Avatar of CynthiaCM
    CynthiaCM says:

    To tell you the truth, I don’t understand why people stay on Blogger these days. There’s less freedom on templates and to be quite honest, can get a bit messy. I have been using (self-hosted) WordPress for six years (basically since my original site launched in January of 2008) and absolutely LOVE IT – especially since I have more of a magazine style publication. It was easy in 2008 and even easier in 2014! I’m always looking for good plugins, though. They help A LOT!

    http://www.delectablychic.com

  12. Self-hosted WP here, too. Another reason I love it is not only are plug-ins easy to install, but there are so many good ones. One I always recommend to everyone is Yoast’s SEO and Google Analytics plug-ins. They make optimization, webmaster verification and management of your tracking scripts much easier.

  13. Thanks for sharing! Very helpful as we make our transition to wordpress.org.
    -Nicole
    http://sistersisternyc.com

  14. Avatar of Zamri A.
    Zamri A. says:

    I thought I’m the only one who fed up with Blogger. Looks like lots of the bloggers also think so too. I think I should do the shift to WordPress too I guess. Time for change!

  15. Avatar of New Complaint

    I feel like I would still prefer Blogger. I like that it’s integrated with google.

  16. Avatar of Joi
    joi Tanner says:

    It takes a while to get used to the transfer over to self hosted but all in all its 10x better! so much more freedom!

    http://curiousjoi.com/

  17. Avatar of dulcie
    dulcie says:

    How do you transfer your content from blogger to wordpress though? I’ve been using WordPress lately for my uni newspaper’s website… I can’t figure out how to add pictures nicely haha but I love the drop down menus etc. I’ve already got my own domain name for my blog… whats next?

    http://www.dulciedulcie.com/

  18. Hollie Mollie says:

    I blog part-time as a way to relax from work and started with WP.com for a while and moved to self-hosted WP initially because I was curious about how WordPress works. I am bit of a geeky tinkerer type so it has been lots of fun trying out all the themes, plugins, tools, etc. (There is definitely a lot of flexibility in what you can do! Kind of overwhelming sometimes.) Doing the install for first time can be intimidating but like anything, once you get hang of it the process is really not so bad.
    Http:/holliemollie.com

  19. Darcy Boynton says:

    This is a very helpful article (thank you!), but it’s rife with typos and errors. I hate to be THAT person, but I think it diminishes the integrity of the advice when the content is so poorly edited. I really hope that’s not obnoxious — just trying to be helpful..

  20. I have a great post on my blog with 10 tips for bloggers featuring wordpress specific advise to gainging traffic traction. http://www.JaxCouture.com .. don’t miss it. xoxox

  21. Avatar of Sarah Kilgannon

    I’ve been tossing up whether to move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org recently. Still can’t seem to make my mind up but great post full of info!

  22. FiFi Qin says:

    WordPress.com blog is a good kick-start point for beginners with a unique domain name. (mine: Http://fifiqin.com) But as audience and contents grow, getting a self-hosted blog is no-doubtedly the best option for established bloggers to step up to the next level!

  23. isida says:

    Great post! I’m currently thinking to switch to wordpress from Blogger but just don’t know how easy it is to do. Have you got any tips?

  24. Avatar of Vicky
    Vicky says:

    Self hosted wordpress blog is much better for branding as well.. it shows how serious you are about your blogging, if you are looking for sponsors.. note that they also look if your blog is self hosted or not. This adds confidence.

    Vicky

    http://www.fashionflu.com

  25. Luke Mansell says:

    So many people these days create WordPress.com websites and I’m constantly having to convert them to WordPress.org a few weeks later for friends!

    WordPress.org is so much better and easier these days.

  26. I love this post!!! I am going to use it as a reference for my followers who are taking my WordPress Workshop in Atlanta called “BLOG & BITES”. I love, love, love WordPress! If you live in Atlanta and want to be apart of the 3-hour workshop, please let me know!! It is only $40 and it is a group training with other bloggers. You’ll have your blog set up and running in 3 hours! Fully designed and all :-) Thanks again for this article!

  27. Katie says:

    It’s true. At first it is a little intimidating, but it is so manageable. I love using it and I don’t think I would want to switch to anything else in the near future!

  28. I recently started my blog on self-hosted WordPress, which turned out to be much less scary than I thought. I’m struggling to edit the theme to my liking though.

  29. Avatar of Hello There, Jade

    I’m currently using the .com platform because I just use my blog as a personal outlet. However, I’m thinking of upgrading my site into something bigger someday :) This articles helped!

  30. Eva Pal says:

    Thank you so much for this article as well as all your comments that were just the answers to my questions. I have started my blog only a few weeks ago on Blogger right after my world literally collapsed and I found myself in a reality that I needed to escape from. Almost from the beginning I have been unhappy with Blogger and looking for an alternative web hosting platform. I am a little scared of how to transfer, but since I only have 5 published posts, the worst case scenario is that I just re-publish them one by one.

    Eva Pal

  31. Jessica Luxe says:

    It’s funny that this would be posted now because I just decided to suck it up and switch over to WordPress.org and I really wish I had done it sooner.

    The amount of control and creativity you have over the design is practically unlimited and my website went from pretty basic to beauuutiful if I do say so myself.

    It’s definitely some next level commitment as it took me about 2 days over the weekend to perfect it and feel comfortable, but so worth it!

    http://www.jessicaluxe.com

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