Welcome to the new & improved Love, Soph!
I’ve been harping on all over twitter and instagram recently about going self hosted and how I wanted bigger things for my blog. I’ve been doing this for three years now, and those of you who’ve been following me for a while will no doubt remember my ‘I’m a Zalfie Fanatic’ days. The old URL of my blog matched my old name, and as I’d transitioned to Love, Soph I always knew I wanted to change up my domain and my blog, make it look more professional and feel more me.
I’m so happy to say that I think I’m finally there!
I have known since around autumn 2017 that I wanted to go self hosted, and although it took me so much courage to do it, and I was so nervous to do it, I’m now extremely glad that I have!
Anyway, while this is all well and good me rambling on about how excited I am for my new blog, I figured I’d get into the exact process which I took to go self hosted. It was so easy, although I did have a few minor blips along the way, overall the entire process went extremely well.
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GOING SELF HOSTED
For my hosting, I used siteground. I’d read a lot about siteground, and I knew a few bloggers who used them for their hosting so it seemed like a good choice. Now I have my blog with them, I can say it is amazing – it’s so fast & the customer support is amazing. I had an issue with going self hosted where my domain wasn’t yet registered, however this is because siteground hadn’t sent me the validation email. I got straight onto their customer support team (which is available 24/7 through live chat and is amazing) and they solved my issue within ten minutes – I literally cannot express how good they were. I thought that I might have to pay more money to register my domain (this is what pipdig was telling me to do before I resolved the issue) however I didn’t, and this was all because of sitegrounds amazing customer service (and a little bit of help from some lovely bloggers on twitter!).
In terms of price, self hosting can be quite expensive – it was one of the things which initially put me off it. Baring in mind I’m 15 and don’t have a job, so it’s not exactly like it’s a quick thing for me to pay for! Overall, the entire process of going self hosted cost me about £140, give or take a few quid. I bought the start up plan from siteground, which is £2.75 a month for the initial period in which you buy it for – I bought mine for two years, which means I’m going to be self hosted throughout all of my A Levels and I don’t have to worry about it. After those two years, it’s going to cost £8.95 a month. I also purchased a domain which cost me £14.95 per year, and that is billed yearly. With the added 20% VAT, the whole hosting package cost me £97.14.
However, I also wanted to buy a theme through Pipdig as I’ve seen many bloggers using their themes and they always look so pretty. What made this even better was that if I bought a theme via pipdig, they’d take my blog self hosted for free. This meant I didn’t need to be involved in any of the technical bits and gave me virtually no opportunity to screw up my blog (which I’m delighted about – I definitely wouldn’t have been able to go self hosted without this service, I’m a total flop when it comes to techy stuff!). I bought the Blossom theme (if you’re reading this on my blog and not the wordpress reader, isn’t it pretty? I think I may be in love!) for £49, although they do offer slightly cheaper and equally as gorgeous themes at £39. I’m so glad I bought a pipdig theme, it looks so professional and I am loving the customisation options I get with it. They completed the transfer from my old blog in a day, which is so amazing – I was so shocked at how quickly it was done.
Overall, I think that £140 is a decent price for going self hosted – it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while now and I don’t think that it’s a bad price for two years and a beautiful theme. It is obviously expensive however I think it’s the step I needed to take in order to fully progress with my blog and to build it up to what I want it to be. I’ll be putting in a lot of effort with my blog over the summer and hopefully it will be as much of a success as I’d like. I’ve just spent my evening editing the theme and getting everything looking as I’d like it, and I can now see my weeks being filled with creating all the posts I’ve been missing over my exams!
Thank you for reading my self hosted experience. If you’ve got any more questions, make sure to leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them all for you!