Hey, hi, hello.
I hope everyone is having a fab day.
It’s honestly been one hell of a week if I do say so myself. I know most of you are probably starting off your workweek on this lovely Monday, but I worked on Saturday and got Sunday/Monday off, so I’m technically still in weekend mode.
TBH, I’ve been feeling pretty stressed lately, and really needed to unwind this weekend.
Not only has work been…just A LOT, but I was also having some technological struggles with the blog that were driving me cray recently.
So, basically, ever since I started LS, I wanted to work my way into self-hosting on WordPress.org.
I’m sure some don’t know this, but there is actually a huge difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
With WordPress.org, you have to host your own site. You’ll have to download and install the free WordPress software on your own web server.
You’ll need to choose a hosting provider, which you will likely pay for either monthly or annually. However, you can choose from thousands and thousands of themes and customization options. This is likely the platform the majority of your favorite bloggers are using FYI.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, takes care of the hosting for you. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server. You can choose from multiple plans, one of them being completely free, as well. However, you aren’t able to utilize custom themes and plugins in the same way you can on WordPress.org.
When I created LS, I didn’t know enough about self-hosting or coding to take the initial plunge, so I chose to go with WordPress.com’s Premium Plan (click HERE to see the various plans). The Premium plan gave me just enough creative freedom to get my feet wet in the blogging realm, but I still wasn’t able to add all of the “essential” features I frequently utilized on my favorite lifestyle bloggers’ sites; for instance, “shop the post,” “shop my Instagram,” or the Bloglovin’ button to name only a few.
Many of the codes or plugins needed to display these features were not available on the Premium Plan, which, after a year with this plan, was starting to frustrate me. So, I began looking more and more into self-hosting.
I watched just about every YouTube video out there pertaining to migrating blogs from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, and eventually the concept seemed simple enough that I figured I’d give it a go. What the hell, right?
Welllll…it turns out I may have been a little overly ambitious, because the migration process wasn’t as simple as I thought. This was mostly because I wasn’t migrating from the most basic WordPress.com plan, but rather the Premium Plan.
I attempted to host my site through SiteGround, which I learned through my YouTube research, was a preferred host to use when migrating a blog. I signed up for their “GrowBig” plan, which was being offered at 60% off, or $5.95/month (pretty sure this is still the current deal being advertised if anyone is looking to self-host). This plan allowed you to host multiple websites, included 20GB of Web Space, and supported premium WordPress features.
Since I knew I didn’t post as frequently as I probably should have been (bc life, okay?), and, therefore, didn’t have a crazy amount of blog traffic constantly, I thought this plan was great. Perfect for a blogger starting out with a hobby and working towards growth. Truthfully, it may have been even a little more than I really needed.
In theory, yes, this plan was what I wanted. However, when I actually started the attempt at migration, shit just kind of hit the fan.
Since I already had the Premium Plan on WordPress.com and owned my domain, things got a little tricky. Despite multiple attempts, I couldn’t successfully point my domain to SiteGround, which was an issue. If you have zero clue what that even means, welcome to the club, I didn’t either.
Essentially, “pointing your domain” means that your domain host retains control of your DNS and points your domain to the, in this case, WordPress.org servers.
Personally, I found this confusing, so if you’re planning to migrate and already own your domain, I would suggest doing your research first. Happy Googling!
Anyways, over the course of a weekend, I had collectively spent hours on the phone with SiteGround customer service, and still couldn’t get everything just right. Blame it on my technological deficiencies or my severe lack of patience, but I eventually got so fed up that I decided to say, “Screw self-hosting”.
Just as I was about to throw in the towel, though, I stumbled upon the new WordPress.com Business Plan, which was a TOTAL game-changer.
Honestly, guys, if you aren’t the greatest with code or technological website jargon, and the attempt at self-hosting proves more difficult than it’s worth, I would strongly suggest looking into the WordPress.com Business Plan (ESPECIALLY if you already have the WordPress.com Premium Plan and own your own domain).
In short, though, WordPress.com Business offers the same awesome, extendable, and flexible WordPress experience as self-hosting minus the hassle.
Yep, with this plan, I have been able to install custom plugins and themes that have helped to begin taking LS down the path I’ve always wanted it to go.
And the best part? I’ve been able to completely bypass any type of “migration” since I already have a WordPress.com plan. I literally just pressed “upgrade” and said, “Take my money, WordPress!”
Yes, in comparison to self-hosting, taking this route is more expensive, but it has been SO worth it for me so far. I am incredibly happy with the new flexibility it has given me in revamping LS, and would recommend in a minute for anyone who is willing to invest in their site.
Truly, if I can do it, so can you. It’s just so painless, guys. PLUS I didn’t lose a single word of content, follower, image, link, customization, or ounce of my cool when upgrading.
So, kiddos, what do you think? Are you ready and willing to take your blog to the next level yet or what?!
My advice? Invest in yourself and let WordPress.com take the wheel in getting you right on down to Business.
If you’ve upgraded to the Business Plan or migrated to a self-hosted site recently, tell me about your experience in the comments below.
Until next time,
Nine-to-fiver by day, blogger by night, and avid tea spiller always. Join me here on LS as I share my tips, tricks, travels, and personal style inspo.