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The post I was planning on doing today has been relegated to the back burner because I literally spent half my day attempting to self host this website. The books and Web reviews I read implied that I could simply purchase a domain name from GoDaddy or Network Solutions for anywhere less than $40 a year and map it to my WordPress.com blog. Now, I don’t know if this is a recent change or not, but you can’t. It’s only possible if you have a WordPress Business plan…and that’s like $25 a month for 12 months. I don’t have that kind of money…and I already bought my domain name.
What’s a newbie to do? Turn to WordPress.org and find a cheaper host. I chose to go with SiteGround since it was cheaper than the recommended BlueHost (they are only cheaper if you pay for the long haul…4 or 5 years?!?!) I went with the SiteGround WordPress Startup plan and had them do the installation for free. I recommend this because manual installation looks simple, but it’s easy to make a small, crippling mistake.
In less than 5 minutes, installation was complete and I got a confirmation email. It said I was good to go, but following the link and instructions to finally log in and start FAILED. Yeah…no one mentioned I needed to change the domain name server to point towards the host servers, but thank you, Support, for promptly answering my inquiry. I sent in my support ticket and they responded promptly with detailed instructions! Problem solved.
It is a better value to self host than pay for WordPress.com plans. I paid for two years for just under $140, whereas if I simply paid for the Premium plan (custom domain name and removal of WordPress.com ads included) at $8.25 a month for 24 months…I would still be spending $60 more. If you want to do what I did, buy your domain name at GoDaddy and sign up for hosting with SiteGround.
Transferring the two posts I had to my new site was easy, but I couldn’t find a way to move my followers. I mean, there had to be a way, right? But, it’s not easy to find. There wasn’t any option through the WordPress.org admin panel. I tried using the mobile app to move my followers, but still came up empty. Assuming there was no other way, I resigned myself to deleting my old site. My mistake 🙁
The correct answer: use your desktop and move followers directly from wordpress.com. It’s the last option in Settings for the new site…and the realization came much too late for me. I lost a grand total of four followers, which is a small number, but those four bloggers were special to me and made me feel welcome as a beginner blogger. You will be missed.
If you self-host your own website, which service do you use? Let me know the pros and cons!