Thursday, 3 May 2012

Things to Consider Before Starting a Self Hosted Wordpress

So, I've had a lot of requests for a blog post on how to self host on Wordpress and some advice, so I thought now might be a good time. First off, I think it's important to identify the difference between regular Wordpress (.com) and self hosted Wordpress (.org)

  • You can't have adverts
  • You can't run affiliate links
  • You can't insert custom HTML
  • You can't add new plugins
  • You have to use a standard Wordpress template
  • It's free
  • You can't use Google Analytics
  • There is NO GFC option

  • You need to find your own host
  • Buy your own domain
  • Import and edit code to make your site functional
  • You can pretty much do what you like on the site: ads, affiliates, plugins...etc.
  • If you have the time and skill you have endless options with design and functionality, but it's not easy!
  • If it breaks you need to know how to fix it
  • You can use Google Analytics
  • There is NO GFC

So, do you still want a self hosted Wordpress site? Here's the steps and a few tips...

1. Find a Host

If you don't know what that means, I would suggest stopping here and sticking with a free site or Blogger. There are LOADS of hosting options and without technical knowledge it's really difficult to know which to go with. I was with 123reg and they were pretty poor with Wordpress, so if you do REALLY want to self host a Wordpress site make sure you pick someone who is an expert in Wordpress, I would ideally go for someone who Wordpress recommends. You will have to pay, this is not something you can do for free. You have to work with someone you can trust and who can offer you support.

2. Create a Template

This is not at all easy! You can't just drag and drop modules like you can on Blogger, you need to have extensive knowledge of HTML code, or willing to hire or work with someone who does. This might incur expenses to you plus you've got to be mega trusting with someone to take control of YOUR site. There are places where you can buy or download templates for very little, but you need to be cautious, as some of these can be infected with viruses, malware or elements that can cause problems at a later date. So, even if you do get a good template you still need to know how to fix it if it breaks.

3. Read the Wordpress Codex and Blog Materials

In theory, everything you need to know is on the site, but if you are not technically minded, like me, you will really struggle to understand a single blooming thing on these sites, it's honestly like reading a foreign language and if you don't have the patience, brain power or time to learn, I would think twice about this! I flipping hate it when I end up on these Wordpress sites and it doesn't help at all because I have NO IDEA what it means.

4. Attach the Plugins sites (self hosted version, not the free ones) have endless supply of wonderful plugins to improve the usability of your site. However, as I have experienced, some of these plugins aren't alwasy fully legit or they are not compatible or they clash with other plugins or designs, often causing you quite a lot of bother, so I say, keep them simple and make sure you check the reputation of those plugins first. 

Any questions? Let me know and I'll do my best to give my opinion.

By the way, my main blog is STILL broken.

Wish me luck!


1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear you're having so many problems with Wordpress :( I'm self-hosted with 600host, they seem to be quite good but to be honest my boyfriend takes care of all that because he's in IT. Have you tried the default templates? I've had so many free templates, which is so useful because you can fiddle around a little with the html to make it your own without the hassle of building/buying your own. I often find if I'm struggling to fix a problem if I google it there can be a lot of people who aren't technically minded (such as myself) who will put instructions in human language. I really hope you recover your blog soon!! <3 xx