This post may contain affiliate links, but are products that I use and love!
Over the last ten years, I have had four or five different blogs and have been involved in quite a few business endeavors. I’ve always had a passion for writing, but that passion didn’t really take off until my twenties when I had more ideas than I could keep up with, all of which would require a website. Only two of my bevy of blogs were self-hosted in WordPress, and many of my personal ventures have been as well. I also build websites for work and regularly steer my clients toward using WordPress because the platform evolves daily and is extremely user-friendly and customizable.
For the blogs that were not self-hosted – I didn’t realize that the [.wordpress] or [.blogspot] was killing my traffic potential, my brand and my image. I also wasn’t aware of the monetization potential of a self-hosted blog. In that, I have learned a great deal about starting a blog from the roots, and about what to look for in a proper host. I would highly recommend self-hosting your new blog with SiteGround – not just coming from a fellow blogger, but from someone who does this for a living!
The customer care is top-notch (super important to me), the uptime is over 99% (uptime is the measure of uninterrupted time that a hosting system experiences – basically, the amount of time your site is online without crashing or being unavailable to users), and it's very affordable at just $3.95/month (always a win)!
Both of my self-hosted blogs were in WordPress. I tried Blogger, I tried BlogSpot… neither worked nearly as well for me as WordPress has and continues to. I am a WordPress girl fo’ life.
Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’re ready to make the big switch to a self-hosted blog, the major assumption is that you already know what your topic is and what you’re going to call it. Which brings me to the 4 easy steps you can take to start your self-hosted WordPress blog with SiteGround.
Understand the difference between .COM and .ORG
If you already have a WordPress blog via WordPress.com, your domain probably looks something like this:
That’s because your site is free and hosted with WordPress. If you want to drop the [.wordpress], you’ll need to go self-hosted – but you already knew that… that’s why you’re here! WordPress.ORG will allow you to apply a custom domain and connect it with your hosting plan on SiteGround.
With all of the blogs and websites I have created, you can imagine that I have tried a good handful of hosts. Of every provider that I have tried, SiteGround is easily on of the best. Assuming you are working with a WordPress blog, which you should be, SiteGround has managed WordPress-specific hosting options.
- If you’re just starting out, try the StartUp plan. It’s super affordable at $3.95/mo, it can manage 10GB of space, and is suitable for ~10,000 monthly visits. Seriously, such a good deal for a new blog!
- The GrowBig plan can host more than one site, provides 20GB of space, and can manage ~25,000 monthly visits. $5.95/mo.
- If you’ve got a big blog and are looking to switch hosts, try the GoGeek plan, allowing for multiple websites, 30GB of space, and a whopping ~100,000 monthly visitors. For just $11.95/mo!
Invest in the name.
.COMs are cheap! You can purchase your domain name for just $7.99-14.99. Buying a domain can be a bit tough because this is your first step toward committing to your brand, but you have to do it obviously. Think long and hard about who you are and what your blog will be about. How can this be communicated in a simple, memorable way? Short and sweet is always best!
Once your SiteGround hosting plan is set up, you will be given access to something called cPanel, which is the control panel for your entire site. It can be accessed via My Accounts > Go to cPanel (red button). In cPanel, you will see a section called ‘Autoinstallers’ – here, you can select the WordPress icon.
Once you get to the WordPress App installer, click Install or Install Now. This will automatically implement WordPress.
Under Software Setup, select the protocol and domain that you are applying to the plan.
Update your Site Name and Description to reflect the domain you have selected. You know how when you look at the tabs at the top of your browser, you can see the name of the websites you have open for easy navigation? Well, the text you input in the fields below will be the text that your users see when they have your tab open.
WordPress will autogenerate a username and password for you. If you don't like the letter and number jumble that they give you (although it is the most secure!), you can change it here. Don't worry, you can always update this password within your user settings once you are logged into WP-Admin.
Time to sign in! This is where things get exciting. Once you finish installing the app and applying all of the nitty gritty, you'll be taken to your official WP-admin login page! This is where you will access the backend/dashboard of your blog each time you want to make a post or make any type of site update.
If you aren’t tech-savvy (but trust me, SiteGround makes it super easy!), hit that ‘Live Chat’ button in the top-right corner and the amazing SiteGround team will help you out!
The steps are pretty similar with other hosting providers, as many use cPanel, but SiteGround's overall pricing, quality and customer service is on another level! I mean it when I say that my experience with this company is entirely different than my experience with other providers… in a very good way!
Now that you've got your hosting set up, it's time to choose your look! Here are the BEST WordPress Themes for your blog.