How to move to a self-hosted blog

Why move to a self-hosted blog?

One of the big blogger milestones is deciding to move from your free blog to a self-hosted blog. There are so many reasons for doing it, but most people choose to go self-hosted because they want much more control and flexibility on their site. You might want a different theme, to run certain plug-ins of even to run a linky – and to do that, you need to be self-hosted.

A lot of people, myself included, put off going self-hosted for a long time. I was blogging on free WordPress for 3 years before I finally went self-hosted. (It took me another 18 months to really work out what I wanted to blog about, and then I got rid of a whole load of posts, so there’s another lesson in itself.)

I think people are scared to make the commitment. Why pay money for something if it’s just a hobby?

Well, why not? Every other hobby costs money in terms of equipment, resources or membership, so why not blogging? Additionally, once you go self-hosted, you can start earning from your blog, so you could make your money back pretty quickly.

If you haven’t started blogging yet, I’d recommend going self-hosted right from the start. A year’s self-hosting isn’t that expensive (£2.75 a month from Siteground, so less than a coffee at Starbucks), and you’ll save yourself time and effort later on.

However, for the purposes of this tutorial, let’s assume that you want to move from a free WordPress blog to a self-hosted blog.

How to move to a self-hosted blog from a WordPress blog

  1. Choose your host. I’ve been with Siteground, TSO Host and Bluehost over the last few years. Siteground is definitely my host of choice. Their pricing is reasonable, their uptime is excellent – my site hasn’t been down at all since I’ve moved to them, and their support is very good.
  2. Register your domain name with Siteground. You can also register a domain name with Go Daddy, or you might have paid WordPress to remove the part from your site address. That’s fine, and you can move all of those across to your new host.
  3. Pay for your hosting programme. You’ll be charged for a year in one go.
  4. Go to your current blog. Export it by going to Tools then Export.
  5. Log in to Siteground. Install a fresh WordPress application by opening the Siteground WordPress Installer. This installs WordPress onto your new site, meaning you can edit your new site easily. Your new WordPress site will look very similar (the back-end, at least) to your old one, but it’ll be completely independent – woo hoo!
  6. Import your blog – again, go to Tools, then Import.
  7. Have fun choosing a theme, the plug-ins you like and get your blog to the next level!

Changing the nameservers

Very occasionally, if you haven’t bought your domain name through your hosting provider, you’ll have to change the domain nameservers to make them point to your new host.

This is actually much easier to do than it sounds. You need to log in to your site and choose the domain you want to change. You have to toggle off WordPress’s servers, and copy and paste in your host’s servers – which the host will give you.

It does sometimes take up to 48 hours for the site to transfer. I’ve found that all hosts are really happy to help you in this time, but I do completely recommend Siteground for their reliability and value for money.

This post contains affiliate links. That means that I get a little bit of money – no extra cost to you – for recommending Siteground. However, they are definitely the best web host out there at the moment, so I am more than happy to recommend them.

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