If your blog is not currently self-hosted, it might be time to make the switch. There are many reasons for doing so, but the main one is to have more control over your website. You’ll have control over how your blog looks, SEO, advertising revenue, and more. You can also install a custom theme (look and feel) to your blog.
Plus, when you choose a good hosting provider, like SiteGround, you can be secure in knowing that you own your own content, and have access to the files to download, move and transfer at any time you might need.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
WordPress.org is a self-hosted site that allows you to have your own hosting and gives you all the freedom we talked about in the paragraph above.
WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress, and while it’s easier to get started, we’ve found that it can be more expensive overall and doesn’t give you the freedoms that self-hosting provides.
Why We Love SiteGround
A little over a year ago we made the switch to SiteGround after our website crashed. It crashed because we had 3 bloggers, each with a huge following, do a swipe up to our website because they were speaking together at our conference. We had not upgraded our hosting to account for this influx of page views and our site crashed. While we were grateful for the traffic, it was a nightmare when we were hoping to sell a lot of tickets when those bloggers shared about the conference.
As soon as it occurred we got on the phone with our current hosting provider and spent the next three hours going around in circles and not getting anywhere. We didn’t understand the issue with them getting our site back online, but time was of the essence. One of our tech friends recommended making the switch to SiteGround and assured us that their customer service was amazing and it would be a fast transition. 24 hours later, SiteGround took everything from our existing website and got it switched over to their system.
So, you can see why we shout their name from the rooftops.
Purchase your Domain & Hosting
Head over to SiteGround and choose your hosting plan. We recommend the StartUp plan, but if you’re getting over 10,000 pageviews a month then you’ll want to choose GrowBig instead. **Money Saving Tip** It’s cheaper when you sign up for a few years with SiteGround (or any hosting provider for that matter), so purchase several years when you first sign up! After all, you're in this for the long haul, right?
After you pick your hosting plan it will walk you through a series of questions, and you’ll be able to purchase your domain there as well.
Now that you’ve created your account it’s time to install WordPress! Log into your account, click your domain name, and then click on cPanel. All you need to do after that is click WordPress Installer and follow the instructions. If you want images walking you through this check out how to start a blog page.
How to Transfer a Current Website
Like we said above, we had issues with our last hosting provider and had to make a switch in a hurry. So we can verify that we have done this and it was so easy. Their support staff was incredible and made the headache go away.
Once you’ve purchased hosting and chosen your domain, the setup wizard will give you the option to either start a new website or migrate a website. You’ll want to choose to migrate! It will then walk you through the steps. Don’t be afraid to reach out to support if you get stuck, they helped us out so much.
How to Customize Your Blog
Now, you’re set-up, but maybe you didn’t migrate your website and you’re starting a brand new blog! How do you make your blog pretty? In order to achieve a certain look on your blog, you’ll need to install a theme. When you first install WordPress it will give you a few themes to choose from for free, but if you’re not seeing something that looks the way you want, you can shop different sites for themes. Our favorite places to go for themes are Bluchic and Creative Market.
The nice thing about Bluchic is they also have an installation service for you. For $149 they’ll set up your blog to look just like the theme within 24 hours! If you’re new to blogging and WordPress, then we recommend taking them up on that offer. It will save you a lot of time and potential frustrations. All you’ll have to do when they’re finished is add your logo, colors, and content. Easy peasy!
Setting up your Email
Now that you’ve got your website ready and looking how you want, there’s one final step we highly recommend. That’s setting up your custom email address. That means something like this: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s really easy to get set up and we even have a 20% off coupon for you. Just head over to GSuite using this link, and use one of these coupons:
- MCAR3DW7V3FLLYV (basic)
- K6RQNMEV4EM7NFM (business)
If you already have a custom domain, make sure you tell the support staff over at SiteGround so it’s a seamless transition to a new hosting provider. We know from experience that an email account that’s not working is super frustrating! Learn from our mistakes so you don’t have to worry about anything down the road.
There you have it! We hope this inspired you to check out SiteGround and make the switch to a self-hosted blog or try a new hosting provider in the future!