Blogging Basics

The Importance of Having a Self-Hosted Blog

Many bloggers don’t have a self-hosted blog, and that’s a huge mistake. Most bloggers know that having your own website is crucial for building an audience and growing your business. But they don’t realize how risky it can be not setting up a self-hosted site.

It can seem too complicated or expensive, and they may not want to take the time to set it up. But creating a self-hosted site not only ensures your content will remain safe but there are numerous other benefits that we will explain to you as well so that you can make an informed decision before building your website.

women's hands on keyboard on white desk next to coffee cup and monitor

Reasons to Have a Self-Hosted Site

Control of your Content

One of the main reasons not to use a free blogging service like Blogger or Tumblr is that you’re giving control away. You’re allowing a third party company to host your content, and they could take it down whenever they want.

Additionally, using a site-builder like Squarespace or Wix comes with its own set of risks. Since you’re not actually hosting your own site, you’re essentially just building a website using their tools and publishing through them. If they decide to shut down, so do all of your websites that you’ve created with them.

In contrast, when you have a self-hosted blog, your content is entirely in your control.

Monetization

If you plan to monetize your blog someday (and most people should!), then your site needs to be self-hosted.

Most website builders and free blogging services have strict limits on the types of ads that can be placed on your site if any. And ads on your site are one of the easiest ways to make money from your blog.

The best way to make money from ads on your site for most bloggers is to qualify and use an ad network. They can often get you better rates for the ads on your site and will do all of the work of placing them on your site and ensuring the best performance. However, most ad networks will require your site to be self-hosted.

Analytics

Another reason not to use a free blogging service is that it will limit your ability to analyze your blog. Analytics are one of the most important things you can implement on your site to make sure you’re posting content that people want and engaging them in the right way.

If you use a service like Blogger or Tumblr, the analytics you can implement are very limited. In fact, you won’t be able to install any at all on your site! And if you use a website builder like Squarespace or Wix, you’ll only be able to use their analytics. Which won’t allow you to see the whole picture of your site’s traffic and performance

When you have a self-hosted blog, then you’re free to install any type of analytics that you choose for your site, including Google Analytics.

When you have a self-hosted blog not only will it allow you to have complete control over the look and feel of your site and the type of monetization methods that can run on it, but also how you use it as well as the analytical data to make continuous improvements to your site.

Customization

Having a self-hosted blog will give you complete customization ability over your site. No other blogging platform comes close to offering this much flexibility. While most free blogging platforms offer some basic design elements, they don’t provide the level of control that WordPress does.

So if you have specific design needs or want to create a custom look for your site, the only way to do it is by using a self-hosted blog.

Plugins

When you have a self-hosted blog, the sky is the limit. Remember when we mentioned above that most blogging platforms place limitations on what your site can do? Well, with WordPress, nothing is off-limits.

You’ll be able to use many different plugins to improve the functionality of your site. If you need a certain functionality, there is likely a plugin for that. Most plugins are only developed for WordPress. So there’s always something new to check out that will help improve your site or add an extra feature.

SEO and Ranking

When you have a self-hosted blog, it’s much easier to rank in search engines. Every time that someone links to your site using your URL, it becomes more likely that search engines will notice and start ranking your site higher over time.

All you have to do is use simple SEO strategies on your self-hosted blog and watch as the site’s rankings improve over time – making it easier for people to find your site.

Safety and Backup 

By far, the best part about having a self-hosted blog is that you have control over the security and backup procedures that you implement.

First, if you choose a good hosting company, they will ensure that your site is not only secure but that regular backups of your site are being done.

In addition, there are several different services that can provide both security and backup support on top of what will be provided by your hosting company.

typewriter with WordPress typed on paper coming out

Are there any downsides to using WordPress?

There are a few downsides to using WordPress. The first is that it’s much more complex than other blogging platforms and this can be overwhelming for new users.

Additionally, unlike some other blogging platforms like Blogger, you’ll have to purchase your domain name and pay hosting fees – which can add up over time.

However, the benefits usually outweigh the costs for most bloggers who truly want to grow their site.

How much does a self-hosted WordPress site cost?

The cost of a self-hosted WordPress site will depend on the features and functionality that you want to provide for your visitors. On average, though, it can cost anywhere from $30 per year up to $100 or more per month, depending on what additional features you add.

How can you get started with self-hosted WordPress today?

If you are ready to get started and have decided that a self-hosted blog is right for you, you can check out our blogging basics for more help.

Or, if you know for sure this is the right step for you, but you’d like some help and guidance along the way, be sure to sign up for our waitlist for The Ultimate Blog Bootcamp! In this course we walk you through every step of setting up your blog in 8 weeks!

Conclusion

If you want to grow your blog and take it from a hobby to a business, self-hosting is the way to go. You’ll gain complete control over everything about your site–design, functionality, security, and backup procedures. The only downside of self-hosted WordPress sites are the hosting costs which can be expensive for beginners or bloggers who don’t plan on making their blogs into businesses. But if this isn’t an issue for you then we highly recommend taking advantage of all the benefits that come with owning your own self-hosted website today!

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