“Should I host my own blog?” Sooner or later, every blogger will ask that very question. Eventually, you will want to know the pro’s and cons of hosting your own blog vs staying with a free host like blogger or WordPress.com. Is it worth the expense and all the trouble to fly solo?
I recently did the research and came to the conclusion that it was well worth the expense and effort to “wing it” myself. I’ll share everything I learned, some things the hard way! There’s a great deal of information out there but this will be a stripped down collection of what I feel is the most important information you need to know about this subject matter. Ultimately, it’ll still be your decision whether to be your own pilot or continue to let someone else fly your plane.
Let’s start with a simple comparison of the two choices. We will use WordPress.org (self hosting) and WordPress.com (free blog host) just to compare apples to apples.
|WordPress.com (Free)||WordPress.org (Self Hosting)|
|Your own Domain name||No (http://name.wordpress.com)||Yes|
|Hosting cost per month||Free||Average is $5-$10 per month|
|Easy Management||Yes||No (lots of manual updates)|
|Open Plugin support||NO||YES|
|Open Theme support||NO||YES|
|Customizable html/css code||NO||Yes|
The verdict? Well, it depends on you, of course. How serious are you about blogging? What is the goal of your blog? If it’s just a personal blog and you are not that technically savvy then perhaps the free choice is the right fit for you. However, if you enjoy tinkering with this stuff anf want full and complete control of your blog then self-hosting is a no-brainer. It’s also the right choice if you want to have a professional or business blog with any hopes of monetizing it.
- download wordpress software (use peazip to unzip files)
- Register new domain name
- Register new web host (WordPress approved hosts )
- Export all posts/comments from existing blog
Spreading Your Wings! (Here are Detailed instructions from WordPress.org )
- Create a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it.
- Rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.
- Open wp-config.php in your favorite text editor and fill in your database details.
- Upload your WordPress files with an FTP program such as the free Filezilla to the desired location on your web server:
- If you want to integrate WordPress into the root of your domain (e.g. http://example.com/), move or upload all contents of the unzipped WordPress directory (but excluding the directory itself) into the root directory of your web server.
- If you want to have your WordPress installation in its own subdirectory on your web site (e.g. http://example.com/blog/), rename the directory wordpress to the name you’d like the subdirectory to have and move or upload it to your web server. For example if you want the WordPress installation in a subdirectory called “blog”, you should rename the directory called “wordpress” to “blog” and upload it to the root directory of your web server.
- Run the WordPress installation script by accessing wp-admin/install.php in your favorite web browser.If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http://example.com/wp-admin/install.phpIf you installed WordPress in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, you should visit: http://example.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php
- Import all posts/comments into new blog
- Upload all themes and apply the one you want to use
- Upload all plugins and active the ones you want to use
- Add all badges and widgets that you want to use
- change feedburner information
- change technorati information
- change all links to blog in profiles to new url (twitter, friendfeed, etc.)
- Spread the word about the change
- Backup database/blog (schedule regular backups as well)
- Optional: If you want to redirect traffic from your old wordpress.com blog to your new self-hosted wordpress.org blog then checkout this PDF from Blog-Well.com.
Free blog software
Free unzipping utility
Free Automatic Blog Backup Services
Free FTP Software
Free blog themes & templates
Free blog plugins
Speaking for myself, I must admit that I wish I made the decision to fly solo a long time ago!
Despite all warnings and fears, it truly isn’t that difficult to do. Best of all, it’s tremendously more fun and rewarding. Think of it like this: Do you want to be the passenger on a commercial airliner or do you want to fly your very own plane? Do you want to fly from point to point or do you want to go where you want to go and do loop de loops? Give it a test flight and I hope to see you up in the clouds real soon!