The summer is nearly over, friends! Is that adopting the “glass half empty” mentality?

I truly don’t know where the summer has gone, but August arriving means it’s basically September…which means it’s basically Halloween. So I’ll be here excitedly pinning Halloween inspiration and dreaming of pumpkin-flavoured everything.

Here’s a recap of my month on Instagram:

You can find me here, or as raincoatesbeauty on the app!

Are you addicted to Instagram too? Leave your links in the comments!

Did you know that I create monthly wallpapers for phone and computer? You can download them for free here!

If you’re new to the world of blogging, or don’t know the difference between a self-hosted and a hosted website (and what self-hosted even means) I talk all about it in my recent post here!

To recap, a self-hosted blog or website is like owning a space on the internet. Hosting – or free-hosting – (such as using a site like WordPress.com or Blogger, for example) is sort of like renting a space on the internet. It’s faster and easier to get started and usually cheaper in the beginning, but can be really limiting.

Free-Hosting:

For free-hosting, you can create your own website within minutes on WordPress.com or Blogger, completely free of charge. You then have options to upgrade your plan, so you can purchase your domain (for example, the free version would have a site domain something along the lines of www.raincoatesbeauty.wordpress.com instead of www.raincoatesbeauty.com) and customize your site. While this can seem like a great option for people new to blogging who want to get started, it can actually be one of the biggest mistakes bloggers make.

Ultimately, nothing is truly free. The free versions are so limiting that you will end up having to pay for features you need to grow your blog and run it effectively – any abilities to monetize your blog, customize it, and grow it into a business will be very limited.

Why Hosted Blogs Hinder Your Business

  • Free hosting usually offers little ability in customizing your site (changing your fonts, colours, layouts, and more)
  • You likely won’t be able to customize or add custom code/HTML without upgrading to a premium version (which usually ends up costing you more than self-hosting!)
  • While the hosting platform may offer you seemingly inexpensive options to buy your own domain URL, this tends to be less cost-effective than simply paying for a self-hosted site in the first place.
  • If you’re wanting to start making money from your blog, Google Adsense is one of the easiest ways to do that. However, Google Adsense typically doesn’t approve websites that aren’t self-hosted. In fact, you will have major difficulty adding any sort of ad service to your site at all.
  • Plugins – these are one of the greatest features of WordPress! These are amazing tools that can greatly improve your site and make your job much easier. Plugins that show you how to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization,) offer pop-up subscriptions, show your site statistics, backing up your site data, and more. Plugins are not available on most free-hosted platforms. On WordPress.com for example, you can only get plugins if you upgrade to the Business plan which costs over a whopping $300 a year!
  • Technically, your site could be taken down at any moment. The company or platform that hosts your site could be shut down, find themselves in trouble, find problems with your site, and shut down your site.
  • Say your site ends up being a huge success, and a company offers to buy it from you for a very generous price – well, because you don’t technically own the site, you won’t be allowed to sell or transfer it to someone else.

Sadly, I learned this all the hard way. I started with the free version of WordPress.com – and while it was the easiest way for me to get started, I grew instantly frustrated with how limiting it was. Despite having my blog for a few years now, I haven’t been able to build it into a career yet due to these limitations.

So You Want to Switch to A Self-Hosted Site?

If you’ve already got a blog or website and you’re wanting to switch over to self-hosting, this can seem seriously daunting and downright scary. I’m no computer technician, I don’t know how to code, and am always scared of messing something up and breaking my site. I read countless posts on how to switch over to a self-hosted site, but honestly, it went completely over my head.

Then, as if my prayers were answered, I stumbled across the company Blogger2WP!

They’re a team of professionals/technicians that will completely move everything over to a self-hosted site for you. SERIOUSLY. THEY DO EVERYTHING.

The only other companies I’ve seen who offer this sort of service charge an obscene amount of money! Blogger2WP literally does everything for you. You just give them the details, tell them what you want, then sit back and wait for them to finish their magic!

Best of all, they only charge $79 for this! Or if you’ve got a new blog/site, then they only charge $29!! That’s a one-time fee that will completely change the way you blog.

You can get this service for free with the purchase of your hosting from Siteground!! Click here for the details on that!

They work with SiteGround, which is one of the leading web-hosting providers -they’re fast, secure, and offer great support.

There are 2 main expenses with self-hosting: Purchasing your domain (You can purchase your domain for as little as $8.99 a year with iDotz.Net for example!) and your web-hosting. You can host on Siteground for as low as $3.95 a month!) So you can run your site with freedom for as low as $15 a year!

I honestly cannot recommend them enough. They made the entire process so easy and painless. I’m now in control of my blog and slowly starting to turn it into my career!

If you want to switch over yourself, they also offer free step-by-step guides!

One of my goals for 2018 was to re-commit to my blog and content creation; to get re-acquainted with that I fell in love with about blogging in the first place. While I definitely found my spark again, I found myself experiencing a bit of a disconnect; because the vision of what I wanted my blog to look like just didn’t match up with what I was capable of setting up myself. Self-hosting was something I had heard of but really knew nothing about. To be honest, I found the whole thing confusing and intimidating.

I knew I needed a change, but I had no clue where to begin. I’ve contemplated switching to a self-hosted blog since first starting my blog, but again, had no clue where to begin that seemingly overwhelming task. Now, I would consider myself pretty competent with technology and setting up a blog, designing images, etc – but when it comes to coding, creating themes, and the inner workings of web design or set-up, my brain shuts down with a hard “NOPE.”

Free Hosting vs. Self-Hosting:

When you’re starting a blog, you typically have two options:

1) Hosting through a free website like Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr, etc. where they do all the hosting and set up for you.  I think of this like renting an apartment, or living with a friend – you can call it home but you don’t own it. You are limited to what you can and can’t do, and technically can be kicked out at any time.

This is a great option for beginners and those just wanting a simple hobby-type blog, because the site you choose essentially does the work for you. You sign up, choose your theme, your name, and are ready to start blogging.

You do have options to purchase your domain and upgrade to premium packages that give you more control and freedom (such as adding custom coding/html, monetizing your site, etc). There will likely be ads from the free hosted site (for example, when using WordPress.com there will be WordPress logos and ads on your site unless you upgrade to a paid plan.) However, in order to access any of these features, you may end up having to pay quite a bit extra to upgrade.

It can also be limiting in terms of monetizing your blog. Google Adsense, for example, typically will not work with free-hosted WordPress.com blogs. While this is definitely not a deal-breaker for most, for those trying to build their blog into a business this definitely be a problem.

2) Self-hosting is having a blog that resides on your own server, usually done through a hosting account with companies like SiteGround. To self-host on WordPress (otherwise known as WordPress.org) is kind of like owning your own place – you’re buying a “home” on the internet.

You have control over your site, how it’s set up, the design, coding, and more. You are free to download plug ins, which are amazing (usually free) add-ons for all sorts of features that can help your site!

While the initial set up can seem daunting, you can find great guides on how to set up a self-hosted blog easily. Blogger 2 WP is a company that has a step-by-step guide, or they offer technicians who can do this for you for a very affordable price.

Since I originally had a free hosted blog on WordPress.com, I was scared to mess up my site by trying to switch to self-hosting on my own. I’m so happy I found Blogger 2 WP, as they were able to quickly and painlessly transfer everything over for me! I highly recommend them! Stay tuned for a full review of this coming soon! 

 

Price Comparison:

Free hosting –  will be cheaper initially as you can start a blog completely for free. However, if you’re wanting your blog to become your business with monetizing, advertising, owning your own domain name (the .com instead of wordpress.com for example) you will be very limited with free hosting.

You will have to upgrade to paid/premium packages in order to take the hosting ads off your site, access monetization, editing html, using plug-ins, etc. can cost approximately $5 per month to $25 per month.

Here’s a look at the WordPress.com plans you can upgrade to:

As you can see, the Personal plan is very limiting. Upgrading to the Business plan (which basically has all the features you can get when you self-host) will cost you approximately $276 per year.

Self-Hosting –  when self-hosting, you have 2 main expenses: your domain, and your hosting.

Purchasing your domain – this is where you purchase the site address.  You can purchase your domain for as little as $8.99 a year with iDotz.Net for example!

Hosting – There are many companies that offer web hosting – I personally use SiteGround, and absolutely recommend them.
Web Hosting

I like SiteGround because they’re fast, secure, and offer great support. Their basic plans start at as little as $3.95 per month, which is less than $5o a year.

Self-hosting can be as cheap as $58 a year – which is the equivalent of getting 6 lattes from Starbucks. Compared to the $276 a year to access the same features, it’s pretty clear which is the more financially wise decision.

So Which Is Better?

Ultimately, the decision is yours! Do your research, and see what will fit your needs the best. Blogging can be an extremely successful business – what may start as a hobby could become your full-time dream career! For this reason, I definitely recommend self-hosting your blog. I wish I had done that from the beginning!

 

Check out my previous posts:

Makeup Declutter – Makeup I’m Throwing Out!

Colorful Pride Makeup – Huda Beauty Obsessions Palette

*this post is not sponsored, but may contain affiliate links in which I can earn a small commission if you choose to purchase product, at no extra cost to you. You are in no way obligated to use my links, but it is greatly appreciated!*