I’ve been flirting with the idea of a little old blog re-design for what felt like years. I wanted pretty sliders, to show off my latest posts. I wanted more freedom to change things up and I wanted an overall more ‘glossy’ look. I guess I wanted to keep up with the cool kids.
I feel like as a person I’ve changed a lot this year – so surely my blog should reflect this in it aesthetics? Or at least that is the excuse I used to finally take the plunge. I’d have bursts of enthusiasm, and spend hours gazing at blog themes on Pipdig and Themeforest, imagining my content (all with better quality photos, of course) in the neat, modern boxes. Then it would creep into my consciousness – having one of those themes would mean taking my blog self-hosted.
Fear always put me off… I’m not terrible at the tech stuff but I’m not exactly brilliant either. Plus I was in two minds about you know, actually investing in the blog…. as awful as it sounds. My blog is a hobby and though I’d eventually like to take it up a level I’ve not put the work in to get it there, nor is it at the top of my list. I love my blog, I do. It’s my baby and my therapist all in one – but things like family, friends and paying the bills take priority so sometimes I don’t give it the attention it deserves.
After many months of on-and-off Googling, review reading and blog stalking, I’ve took the plunge.
The company I chose to host my blog is called TSOHOST. The reviews on forums and Twitter seemed on the whole positive and the ones that weren’t were usually commented on by a member of the TSOHOST team, offering a solution. I liked that they were based in the UK and had round the clock support – which is vital when you work 9-5 in the real world then blog in your free time. The prices were competitive too. I did initially want to migrate my blog from wordpress.com to TSOHOST myself but fell near enough at the first hurdle, so requested the free migration service.
I was emailed and told it could take three working days to move the site, and as I’s made the request on the Saturday of a Bank Holiday I figured it would take agggesss. Surely lots of other people would be doing this over the long weekend, purely because they didn’t have time during the week? I felt like I was on tenterhooks, waiting for something to go wrong. I visited my own site more than ever, on the lookout for down time. I had approximate 50 conversations with family members who just sat there with mildly annoyed, with blank faces. Then an email arrived. The little geniuses had managed it in a day. I wish I’d known earlier how smoothly going self-hosted could be. I know that sounds a bit like one of those cheesy pop up ads, but seriously. I thought it would be full of ‘something’s gone wrong’ emails but it went without any problems.
The new dashboard did take some time to get used to. I knew my blog was there *somewhere* but could not find it for the life of me. Once I found it, logging onto WordPress.org with the new log in details did also cause a minor break down and some emergency chocolate. However, now I’m in I’ve just bookmarked the page and voilá.
So would I recommend taking a blog self-hosted? Yes. It’s not nearly as faffy as it sounds, and all the little extras that can help with SEO and analytics make you feel like a girl boss. I feel that there are many good free themes on WordPress.com and if you’re only going to post once a month they are perfect but if you want something a level up, going self-hosted is a must. Plus having you blog look all shiny and new is nearly as good a feeling as finding one of those dresses that make you go “bloody hell I’m hot” quietly in the changing room.