As a beginner blogger, it can be overwhelming choosing where you would like to create your blog. Although sites like Wix and Square space are appealing because they do the hard work for you and offer drag and drop building features, as tempting as they may be, do not create your blog through them. We are here to tell you that the best way to create your blog is through self-hosting and the benefits of self-hosting for a blog.
What is self-hosting?
Self-hosting your blog means you are running your website independently. Instead of using a platform or cloud server, you will run your own network and be responsible for the maintenance of your blog.
You’re probably thinking, why would I want to give myself the work if I can use a site that will do it for me, that’s why we have created this post to share the 13 benefits of self-hosting for a blog.
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Customize your domain
Having a self-hosted website allows you to create a domain that is fully customized to you. You can pick the .com, co.uk and you also don’t have to include .wix or .squarespace in your URL.
Having a fully customized domain will make your website and brand more official.
Ranking on Google using SEO
Having a self-hosted website allows you to rank on Google using SEO, search engine optimization. You can do this by adding meta tags, SEO titles and keywords. You can also amend your permalinks.
A permalink is a permanent link that you assign to your pages, posts and products. For example, a permalink would be www.example.com/permalink.
If you are looking to become a full-time blogger, ranking on Google is an essential part as it brings in traffic without posting on social media. This is the ideal situation as it’s passive traffic, meaning we don’t have to put in the work of sharing the post to create blog views.
Full control over your website
You have full control over your website which for a blogger is the best situation. If you are looking to customize it or add a little sparkle, you can! There is no limit with self-hosting as you can create the code for your site and insert it using a code plugin.
Having full control over your website also gives you peace of mind. If Wix went out of business, your site would too and sadly all your hard work would be lost.
We really don’t want that!
As mentioned above, you can add plugins for just about anything. If you would like to add social share buttons or your Instagram feed on your blog, you will need a plugin. Most free website builders don’t include plugins, therefore you are very limited.
Although you can add your own code, there are already over 54,000 plugins on WordPress that are available for you to use.
If you are looking to place ads on your website, which we don’t recommend doing until you have built a larger following, ad networks will not accept Wix or other platforms that are not self-hosted.
Also, in order to add advertising, you need to use plugins.
The cost of self-hosting a website and using Wix is an incredible difference. Yes, you are doing more of the work with a self-hosted website, but you have more freedom.
|Information Wix Self-hosting|
|Price $12.50 $4.95|
|Storage 10GB Unlimited|
|Plugins No Yes|
|SSL Certificate Yes Yes|
|Bandwith Unlimited Unlimited|
|Remove ads Yes Yes|
As per the above table, although Wix offers some similar features, the price point is a lot higher than self-hosting.
A self-hosted website is more professional looking as it’s clear you have created the website yourself. As mentioned above, you can create a personalized domain. Otherwise, it would look like this:
If you’re a hobby blogger this isn’t a problem, but if you are looking to blog full-time, you will need a customized domain.
Also, removing the ads off your website. If you use a free account, you will have Wix ads all over your website, which again doesn’t look professional.
Choose your theme
When creating a WordPress site, you can download a pre-made theme onto your site. WordPress offers a number of free themes but you can also purchase them off Etsy and other theme builder websites.
Using a theme will allow you to customize the colours, fonts and layout of your site with a wide selection of choices. For example, you could add the sidebar to the right-hand side instead of the left.
Build an email list
If you are a full-time blogger, you need an email list. In order to create an email list, you need to include plugins on your site to gather the data. You can collect emails using other sites, but you have to create separate landing pages, this would mean your readers would have to jump through hoops to add their email and sadly no one is going to do that.
Having an email list is an important part of blogging as it allows you to build a relationship with your readers and have a direct line of contact with them.
Work with brands
Brands are more likely to reach out if your site is branded and professional. If a brand is checking out your site and you have Wix ads all over it with no real customization that makes you stand out from other bloggers, they aren’t going to reach out.
First impressions matter, ensure that your blog is optimized.
Build more experience
Although using a self-hosted site is the correct way to build a blog, it does require more work. As you build your website, you will obtain a lot more skills doing it yourself, which will benefit you in the long run.
WordPress is the most popular site to build a website on, because of this, the community out there is huge. If you have a question or you’re stuck with something, someone will know the answer.
There are a number of blogging Facebook groups that are there to help beginner bloggers with building a website and doing it through self-hosting.
Monetize your blog
The dream of a full-time blogger is to create an income. In order to create a livable income, you need a self-hosted website. The main ways that bloggers make money is by doing the following:
- Affiliate marketing
- Ads (requires self-hosting)
- Sponsorship posts (You will have a better chance at working with brands having a self-hosted website)
- Digital products (Creating an e-commerce store would cost extra and you would be required to update your plan using Wix, with self-hosting, it’s free!)
How to get started with a self-hosted website
If after reading this post, you now feel ready to create a self-hosted website, we are here to talk you through the process.
We use a site called Dreamhost to host all of our blogs. They offer a monthly subscription plan, which a lot of self-hosting companies don’t offer, they only offer yearly plans. If you’re a beginner blogger and want to keep the outgoings down, Dreamhost offers a very affordable plan.
The starter sharer plan is only £3.06 per month and this will allow you to create your full self-hosted website with WordPress and include all of the above benefits. Their support team is also on call 24/7 and will help with any queries that you may have.
If you are looking for a full guide on how to set up a Dreamhost account along with creating your WordPress blog from scratch, check out our full guide on how to start a blog from scratch.
13 benefits of self-hosting for a blog
Although self-hosting does require more work and knowledge, the above 13 benefits of self-hosting for a blog speak for themselves. If you’re looking to move across from a hobby blogger to a full-time blogger, having a self-hosted WordPress site is the best move to make.
What are some benefits you’ve noticed with using a self-hosted website for blogging?
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