Thanks so much for hanging out over here whilst my main blog was being repaired, I'm pleased to say it's now back and running even better than before! I hope you'll hope back over there and say hello and follow my main blog instead!
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
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 Wordpress.org 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
Wordpress.org 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.
Hi all, Those who already follow me will already know this, but I thought I'd outline everything in a new blog, so that I can distract myself from the issues and keep everyone updated. I usually blog at Jayne's Kitschen (http://www.jayneskitschen.co.uk/blog) and have done for over three years. In November 2011 I switched from a free Wordpress account to a self hosted Wordpress account, hosted with 123reg and pretty much every since I did that, I've had endless problems.
I'm going to use this space to teach those pondering about Wordpress and self hosting a few tips before they go too far with it. I think the fact that I've chosen to write this on Blogger speaks buckets, doesn't it? So, at present, my main blog is not loading for me at all, it just keeps showing a loading bar and not getting anywhere, this means I can't see my own site and I can't even log in to see if I can repair anything and I certainly can't do any new posts. Due to the various issues I was having with 123reg, I have a new host now, who has been working hard to move my site over and smooth out the creases, I was advised that the site would have up to 48 hours downtime and it was unlikely that anyone would notice the changeover. Now, a week later I'm actually in a worse position than I was prior to switch. I have to say that the new host is being mega attentive and helpful, which is great, but I suspect that he is as equally stumped about the issues as I am. I'm sure you fellow bloggers will feel my pain, I can't do anything about it. I feel helpless and frustrated, it honestly feels like a pet has died or something, I've put so much time and money into my blog and to have it just hypothetically die on me, is horrible. So, yes, that's what's going on there, I'll blog here momentarily whilst I get sorted. Wish me luck! xx Jayne