Going self hosted with your blog is a big step to take. It gives you tons more freedom on what you can do within your blog, but it comes at a price. That price being confusion of where to start, which company to host with, what platform to host on. While there are many different options, today I’m going to give you the best and easiest way of going self hosted.
What is your blog/website about? You will need to choose a fitting domain name to suit your site. For example, if you’re setting up your craft website and your name is Caroline, you could have something like cazscrafts.co.uk or craftsbycaz.co.uk. There are so many possibilities, so get creative and make sure the domain you purchase is right for your site. If possible, try to get your company name because it will make it easier for customers to find you.
Once you have an idea of what you would like, head over to GoDaddy where you can purchase your domain name, and also other added features that will improve your website like SEO tools (highly recommended, especially for beginners). Your domain name price can start from anything as little as £0.99 and you can be up and running on your website within the hour.
One bonus is if you get stuck at any point, you could seek out a company that offer technology consulting, which will not only be good for those of us that aren’t as educated on computers, but it’s a great way of growing your website too.
Right, so you’ve bought your domain and any added extras you would like. Now what?
WordPress is an incredible platform to host from because it is so user friendly, yet the websites produced always come out looking pristine and professional. The platform offers a free version (where they would give you a domain with .wordpress.com in it), or you can pay for one of their plans. This isn’t recommended because you’re still limited within WordPress itself. You have to stick to the themes they allow you to and there are restrictions.
The final option is to set up WordPress through your domain provider. This works by installing WordPress within your domain account and running it through there. You will be given access to the possibilities of uploading your own themes, (or one of the millions of free themes available to download) and there are lots more options for you to personalize your website. You will also automatically have your chosen domain name assigned to the website.
There are also many plugins that you can download to make your life easier, including SEO plugins which will help you write the best articles you can.
It’s a good idea to set up some way of being able to check how many visitors your site is getting. Luckily, there are many ways of doing this. If you do choose to go with WordPress, there’s a plugin that you can install called JetPack which counts how many visitors your site is getting per day. It will also show you where they were referred from, and which post they visited. Another great way of checking your stats is through Google Analytics. You simply install a code into your page (through a widget) and then Google collects all of the data needed, and can even show you real time how many people are on your website. There is also a handy app that you can download to your phone so you can keep an eye on it even if you’re on the go!
You will likely have content to upload to your shiny new blog, but think about how you can improve on it. It’s no lie that people read an article to take something away from it, so think about what you’re offering your readers. Give them useful information, and a call to action. This is something that gives your readers a reason to come back, or to report back to you with something; therefore generating more views and fans of your site.
Creating interesting content that ties in within your blog is key to gaining and keeping readers. If you’re not sure what it is that you offer your fans, then it might be time to try a new approach on your blog.
Even though you’re likely to already have established social media accounts, make sure your viewers know that you’ve created your new site (especially if you’ve changed your domain name) because then they can start checking it out and give you feedback on your new design.
If you weren’t really posting on your social media accounts before, it’s a good idea to start now. It can generate you loads of traffic each day, and it’s a great way of getting to know your readers and also letting them know what you’re up to on your blog. Be sure to have signed up to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, StumbleUpon, Tumblr and more. Basically anything that you can sign up to will generate you traffic once you’ve built up some fans.
You can also download all of the relevant social media apps to your phone so that you can promote your blog on the go. There are even handy tools which can help you schedule your posts so that you don’t seem spammy to your followers.
It’s fairly simple to go self-hosted with your blog, and also inexpensive too. As mentioned before, going self-hosted gives you so many more options within your blog. Remember, if you’re stuck on any of the process, all of the sites mentioned in this articles have thousands or tutorials all over the internet that you could watch and read to get your website looking it’s best. Good luck with your transition, you will soon start reaping the benefits of being self-hosted!