I decided back in October of 2010 that I wanted to move my main blog to self-hosted WordPress. I had heard a lot about it and knew it was the right move for my blog. I had been on Blogger as well as WordPress.com. I liked Blogger but I felt that I could do more if I went with self-hosted WordPress. WordPress.com simply wasn’t an option as you can’t monetize on it and I would get frustrated over being able to add certain codes and such. At least I could do all of that on Blogger.
I did a little bit of research when I picked out my hosting company. I decided to go with HostGator as I liked what I had heard. I went with the “baby” plan because I wanted to be able to add more sites as time went on. I currently host about 15 right now and have enough room to do so although not all of them are active.
I have heard stories about hosting going down for people but I have never had that happen to be in the last 21 months of being with HostGator. I have heard their customer service is amazing but since I have not had any issues I haven’t been able to try it out for myself.
Setting up my blogs on WordPress through HostGator was pretty easy. They have a WordPress application to use on their site and you can get things going in just a few minutes.
I decided to buy my domains through GoDaddy as I am use to them and they seem to have random specials going on. I have been able to buy some sites for $2.99!
Right now they have a Go Daddy Deal of the Week: Get 20% off your order! Offer expires 7/17/12.
I have heard it is best to not use the same domain and hosting company.
Once I got WordPress set up I started adding plugins right away! This is one of the best parts of WordPress. They have so many great plugins to use and to make blogging a better experience. For every site I use:
All in One SEO Pack- Helpful to set up your Mega Tags
Google XML Sitemaps-creating your sitemap and getting noticed by Google quicker
Google Analyticator-More stats. Then I will add more as needed.
I like to use the Jetpack for the stats I check everyday and Google Analytics to see more in-depth stats I might check once a week or so.
What is nice about plugins is that there are so many and they are easy to try. If one doesn’t work for you, you can simply deactivate and move on.
With most of my sites I like to use the Genesis Framework which is a search optimized blogging platform. You can also buy a child theme to go with it. I really like Genesis because of how much easier it makes it to do what I want. I also think it helps with traffic.
Setting up a self-hosted WordPress blog isn’t as hard as you would think. If you are moving a blog from another platform it may take a little longer. I am glad I made the move over to WordPress and although I sometimes use Blogger to “test” out blog ideas, I like to start new blogs using WordPress.
I do recommend HostGator for hosting as I had such good success with it. It keeps things pretty simple for me and I love that.
I hope you do decide to make the change to WordPress and help your blog grow to a new level
* This post includes affiliate links for products I have found useful in my blogging experience!