My Self Hosted Experience

I have been self hosted for a few days and I have to admit it was one of the most stressful and nerve wracking things I have ever done to my blog. I have had ellamaygarrett.com for over a year now and the thought of losing everything that I had worked for was my biggest concern and something that prevented me from taking the plunge before.

As I mentioned on my last update post, other people’s experience posts really helped me throughout the whole process so I thought I would share mine in the hope that it helps anybody else out there thinking of making the leap to being self hosted.

Where Do I Start?

I hopped over to Site Ground where I purchased a plan that was a little over £30 for the year. Their website is reasonably easy to navigate so it doesn’t feel like a daunting process. I have to be honest and say that I didn’t research any companies and I went with Site Ground purely on the recommendation of others in their own experience posts so I have little to compare it to. Site Ground migrated all my WordPress content over for me so that was a nice easy thing that I didn’t have to worry about. Honestly, during this bit, just do some research or chill out. Let them handle the moving process for you. They will let you know when everything is ready for you to take over and make your own edits. I was sent a link when my site was ready and I could begin making changes.

I would totally recommend using the Site Ground help pages as I did find them really clear and useful to use when going through the various steps to becoming self hosted and having a fully functioning site.

The Complications

When you know nothing about this type of venture it is super daunting and you do fear losing everything at points. Because I already had ellamaygarrett.com the mapping from here there and everywhere got quite complicated and I was worried it wasn’t going to work. The best advice I could have is just to be as patient as possible. By this point, I had already been making the transition for a few solid hours and every time I tried to customise my new self hosted site I was kicked off and my old WordPress site would reappear in its place. I was massively frustrated as I kept losing all the changes I made so I decided what was best was for me to close my laptop down for a bit and just come back to it later. Honestly, this made the world of difference and probably benefited the Site Ground support team that I just kept hassling about this that and the other.

Theme

I went to pipdig for my theme as I knew it was a site a lot of reputable bloggers use and love. I will admit that I dived in to buying one very quickly without actually checking out other places so I would recommend finding a theme you love (if you’re going to buy outside of WordPress) before making the whole transition as I was left worried about a half finished site going public and being on some default theme. I chose the Firefly theme and it cost me £39 but was quick and easy to download and looks good (well I think so anyway!). I would say that if you want something very individual to you, pipdig probably isn’t the best source as you will probably see several blogs that are variations of similar themes from them.

Migrating Followers

This is something that I am still attempting to work on. I followed the guide on the Jet Pack help site which was definitely super easy and ensured I didn’t lose the 2150 followers I had. Although, this is something that I am still working on. Yes I now have the followers I had before but I have 11 followers some how still lurking on my old site who followed after I made the migration. If I attempt to migrate them over again, does this replace the ones I have already migrated? I don’t want to attempt to move 11 people and lose over 2000. That is a lot of work to gain back! If anybody knows, I would really appreciate the help!

What’s Next?

I am now attempting to learn the ropes of SEO (I am useless at this stuff!), ads, DA and more. This is all totally outside of my comfort zone and I am thinking in time of doing beginner guides on each of the topics to make the self hosted journey a little easier for each and every person that decides to make the switch and didn’t know very much – like myself! Let me know if you would like to see more when it comes to a beginner in the self hosted journey as I cannot begin to say how much other people’s experience posts helped me and I would very much like to do the same!

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46 Comments

  1. September 13, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    Wow… this sounds quiet stressful to me! I think you did an amazing job and your website looks amazing. xx

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 13, 2017 / 12:33 pm

      Ah that means so much to me, thank you lovely! xx

  2. September 13, 2017 / 2:32 pm

    Congratulations on going self hosted! I will keep this site in mind when i start looking – soon hopefully! Your site looks amazing!xox

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 13, 2017 / 2:45 pm

      Thank you so much lovely! So great to hear from friendly faces as my engagement has already plummeted 🙁 🙁 xxx

  3. September 13, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    I thought about switching over, but I totally chickened out! Good job, the site looks great!

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 13, 2017 / 5:54 pm

      Hopefully you take the leap one day too!! Thank you lovely xxx

  4. Brittney
    September 13, 2017 / 3:37 pm

    I went self-hosted a few months ago and am having the same problem with followers following the old site! I constantly have to go in and migrate the new followers over and for some reason it doesn’t seem as though they know that I’m doing it because they go right back to my page and re-follow the old page – lol. In any case, I like the freedom that self-hosting has given me so I just deal with it for now! Lol. You did an awesome job with your website, I absolutely love the theme and the aesthetic! Thanks for sharing! xo

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 13, 2017 / 5:54 pm

      Thank you so much for dropping by! Ohh so if I migrate the people that are still floating over on the old site they will merge with the ones I have already migrated? My fear is that if I migrate them also they would replace the ones I successfully moved over! I think you take a bit of a hit financially and engagement from WordPress purely because the freedom of owning your own site is just incredible! Thank you so much xx

  5. September 13, 2017 / 3:45 pm

    Great post, everything you said is why I’m reluctant to even consider it. I’m just not tech savvy enough & feel it would be too stressful.
    Although your site looks fab so it all worked out in the end but I just don’t think my nerves would be up to it!! 🙂

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 13, 2017 / 5:52 pm

      I always read these posts and was like “oh what if?” but never did it until I just decided on the spot that I would do it one day because I felt that my blog had got as far as it could under WordPress and wanted to keep going with it! I did panic a lot (and I still am) but luckily WordPress and Site Ground both have insanely helpful teams xx

  6. September 13, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    I’m thinking about switching over sometime soon but I’m too scared to! I don’t have the amount of followers you have but still, losing the amount I have would be upsetting because I’ve worked so hard for them! So I’m unsure yet, but I will definitely bookmark this post for future references! Thank you!

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 13, 2017 / 5:51 pm

      Losing any amount that you have worked for is still worrying! Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope this is useful if you ever make the leap! xx

  7. September 13, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    I went to pipdig to look for a theme but hey were all 59 pounds and more!
    Self hosting was one of the most stressful things for me! I wanted to cry!
    Congratulations though and I wish you lots of success!
    http://sayeedahsparkles.com

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 13, 2017 / 6:05 pm

      They do burn a hole in your pocket, for sure!! Thank you so much, I totally agree! Slowly but surely I will get there too haha xx

  8. September 13, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Blogging has taught me soo many things about branding, marketing, social media, the internet – just about everything! Good luck learning the ropes! I jumped in with a pipdig theme not knowing just how popular the brand was! Now I am sorta regretting getting a theme that looks like everyone else’s haha. Maybe next year, I’ll invest in another one, but for now, it works!

    Simply Lovebirds

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 15, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Thank you so much! I feel like I am learning so much so quickly and it totally reignited my love for blogging which I think was fading slightly before as I felt I knew everything I needed to know in a way? Totally agree but they’re popular for a reason! Functional well and look fab! x

  9. September 13, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    Sounds like we both bugged the Siteground tech guys a lot during the process 😂
    I was a nervous wreck the whole time too. But both of our sites are up and running now! I love the theme you’ve chosen. It looks so good 😄
    I still have no idea about SEO and all that 😂

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 15, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      Hahaha I felt like I was mirroring you in your self hosted experience post!! Thank you so much lovely 🙂 No exactly, all that matters is that it went relatively smoothly and both of our sites look fabbyyy!!
      Aghh I am still learning – such a massive world outside of WordPress!! xx

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 15, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      Thank you so much! xx

  10. September 14, 2017 / 1:14 pm

    I had a similar site ground experience too! I had TONS of people following my old blog, and still do. I tried to re-transfer them, but it doesn’t work that way. I’ve been replying to comments here and there telling them that the site has moved. I found it better to just post a “this site has moved” page and work on my new website. I’ve heard that site ground can redirect users for you, but haven’t tried it out for myself. Your site looks amazing though! xx.

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 15, 2017 / 8:41 pm

      I need to try this out because it is still happening! I migrated my 2150 odd followers over and ensured that my new blog had a wordpress follow button as I find it much more convenient for new followers. However this follow button seems to be a collection of people from my old site as it is on 21 (the number of followers on my old site). Massive nightmare!! Waiting until the 20th when WordPress are open properly again to quiz them! xx

  11. September 14, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    Good tips. Thanks a lot for sharing them. I was thinking of doing it soon, just so I can torture myself, LOL! Seriously, this is so stressful for me… I will bookmark your post for futur references. Thanks!

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 15, 2017 / 9:26 pm

      Hope it helps for the future! I feel like it always helps when someone clueless explains their transition as it makes a little more sense! haha xx

  12. September 16, 2017 / 10:57 am

    Ahh I LOVE your blog! Sounds like a stressful process but it’s all payed off! Xx

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 18, 2017 / 6:46 pm

      Thank you so much hun!! xxx

  13. September 16, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    I’m currently thinking about transferring to a self hosted site in the future and every time I get around to reading/researching about it I get so overwhelmed and stressed! This post really helped though thank you

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 18, 2017 / 6:47 pm

      That is exactly how I felt! I just kept putting it off, over and over, until I just thought to hell with it and took the plunge!! It was totally worth it to just have my “own” website. If you ever come to it and need any help let me know and I’ll do my best!! xx

  14. September 17, 2017 / 9:26 pm

    Back when I had my old blog, I was self-hosted as well. When I created my new blog, I figured it would just be more simple to use the WordPress platform. Although now I’m thinking I’m going to have to upgrade to the premium plan because the free plan does not offer much for theme customization, and I like to switch up the look of my blog. Being self-hosted definitely does have its benefits.

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 18, 2017 / 6:51 pm

      Totally agree with everything you said! I loved the personal plan but I feel like once you get the bug to customise – it really does limit you! Thank you so much for stopping by xx

    • ellamaygarrett
      September 19, 2017 / 7:28 pm

      Thank you so much 🙂

    • ellamaygarrett
      October 10, 2017 / 5:35 pm

      Thank you!

    • ellamaygarrett
      October 21, 2017 / 1:17 pm

      Thank you 🙂

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