How I Moved To A Self Hosted WordPress Blog!

I’ve mentioned it in basically every blog post since but if you didn’t know, I moved to a self hosted blog recently! I stayed with Wordpress overall but moved from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. It’s a move I’d considered over a long period of time but just prolonged actually doing it. Moving to a self hosted blog has it’s pros and cons of which I’ll cover in another blog post but this post will just cover how I actually did it. Just so you’re aware, this isn’t necessarily the best way of doing it and I’m still a beginner, still learning so feel free to comment any help below! I do wish I had a step by step blog post like this to follow though so I hope it helps!

I’d also start by suggesting that before you do any of these steps, create a post to let your followers know that you’re moving. I stupidly didn’t do this until I had already moved my followers so it was basically a pointless post! If you don’t have many followers or if you want to start over then of course this doesn’t apply but if you’ve built up a connection, let them know of the change you’re making!


Find A Host

While you’re using WordPress.com, WordPress is your blog’s host however once you move to self hosted, you need to find another platform that will host your blog. I researched a fair few at this stage, Godaddy, 1-2-3reg and Bluehost being three of these I heard good reviews about. I ended up going with Tsohost simply because the reviews were good and it was also cheap – £2 a month! On the whole, I’ve been really pleased with Tsohost but literally a day or two after I went self hosted, they had some issues and I couldn’t get on my blog for about a day and a half! That seems to be over with now though and all is running amazingly. As I said, I can’t speak for different hosts overall but if you’re after a good price then Tsohost is a good one to go for!

Once you’ve chosen your host you need to search for a domain. You then have to pay for your domain annually. This could be a long process depending on your name choice. My name is obviously not all that common so I was able to get kaieshastewart.com but you might need to step away from your first choice if it’s more common and think a little out of the box! This is of course just a basic step anyway whether starting a normal blog or self hosted. Side note: I’m going to do a general post soon on Starting a blog!

Install WordPress

Once you’ve set up your host, you need to install WordPress. I’m obviously going to talk through how I did this for Tsohost but it will of course vary. I actually Google searched how to do this (as I googled basically everything for this move). Once you’re signed up with Tsohost, you’re now installing it to the Cloud. To do this:

Cloud Dashboard > Manage website (next to your domain) > Install applications > Click Install next to WordPress

Once WordPress is installed you will need to type in to your browser: www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin to get to your typical WordPress dashboard. You may have already done this but I was always lazy and just searched my blog and then clicked My Sites > WP Admin. Your dashboard is then basically the typical WordPress other than a few changes (eg. plugins!! But I’ll cover that in my pros & cons post.

The only problem I had at this step was that when I installed WordPress, it made me login with a random username / password and then I couldn’t change my username from random letters efth to kaieshastewart. I ended up being able to do this by:

Users > Add New > Insert details & set as an administrator > Save > Logout of efth > Log back in with the new user > Users > Delete efth > Assign their content to your new user

But to be honest, this was probably a silly mistake I did!

Import Your Blog (unless you want to start over of course)

I wanted my blog to basically be my WordPress.com blog other than having my own .com so  I exported my blog. You can do this by:

Dashboard > Tools > Export > Start Export & save the file 

Once you have the file saved, go to your new self hosted WordPress’ dashboard and …

Dashboard > Tools > Import > WordPress and upload the file

This can take quite long depending on the amount of blog posts you have / comments etc but once done, all your blog posts and comments will have moved over!

Install Jetpack

I hadn’t heard of Jetpack until making the move. It’s basically a plugin you install:

Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Search Jetpack > Install Now

That allows you to move across your followers rather than starting from 0 again. It has a lot more benefits (I won’t pretend I’ve used them / noticed them all) but keeping my followers and being able to see simple stats (I mostly use Google analytics now) on the app is helpful!

Customise!!

Despite importing an old blog and installing Jetpack, you’re blog reverts to a basic template so in terms of themes you need to start over. This is different from WordPress.com as they are already installed on WordPress.com and you simply activate them/ do simple customisation. Once using WordPress.org, all themes need downloading.

Appearance > Themes > Add New > Install

You can then of course customise in the same way as you customised before but there are now more features available to play around with – more colour choice and Instagram footer as two examples.

Of course having self hosted means you can now buy themes and import them yourself

Appearance > Themes > Add New > Upload Theme

I personally think the themes you can buy are much better than the ones WordPress has to offer so this is a massive perk of being self hosted, although it of course involves spending money!

Side note: If you do self host your blog and you’re looking for a typical blogger theme then Olsen Light is a good choice if you don’t want to pay for one!

You can of course do a lot more customisation in general with the variety of Plugins you can install!

Make your WordPress.com Blog Private

I personally have made my http://kaieshastewart.wordpress.com blog private simply because I don’t want two blogs! I have read that you can pay WordPress to direct all users who try to access your blog to your new self hosted blog but to be honest I don’t want to spend any more money on making my blog self hosted and I manged to move my followers. I obviously have got a few blog posts from my WordPress.com high up in Google traffic however I’m happy to wait for my new self hosted blog to make it’s way on there! If you know a free way of doing this then please, let me know!


So, that is all I’ve personally done with my blog. I annoyingly had to also re-upload some blog posts from months ago because WordPress either didn’t export or import properly but other than that it’s been a smooth journey. I say smooth journey but I’ve had many late nights, endlessly Google searched, changed my theme about 100 times, changed my header and logo about 1000 times but I finally have a blog I’m happy with!

As I said, I’ve had to Google search my way through this so I hope this is somewhat helpful if you’re thinking of moving to self hosted. If there’s anything you want to know that I haven’t covered then please leave a comment and I’ll reply – whether I know the answer or not is a different story but you’ll definitely get a response! 

I’ll post within the next week or so the good and bad of going self hosted!


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  • Najida (The Average Gurl)

    One of my long term goals is to be self hosted so I’ll definitely come back to this post!

    • kaiesha stewart

      I’m glad it will help you!

  • Jessica Jade

    Bookmarked! Going to be soooo useful so thank you! ❤️

    • kaiesha stewart

      Glad it will help! xx

  • Anonymous

    Wow! What an accomplishment. Why did you decide to move? Blessings for your process of self-hosting.

    • kaiesha stewart

      I wanted to move mainly because I really wanted to get rid of the .wordpress.com and just have my own .com. I also really wanted to be able to have more customisation options with my blog x

  • This is so helpful thank you!

    • kaiesha stewart

      I’m glad! Thankyou for leaving your comment xx

  • THANK YOU! I’ve been considering moving to self-hosted soon, but I literally had no idea how to go about it – so this is really helpful! Definitely bookmarking it for when the time comes.
    Nicky x | http://www.teaandtakeaways.wordpress.com

    • kaiesha stewart

      That was literally me before I did it and just had to Google my way through it haha. I’m glad it will help you, look forward to seeing your blog when you eventually self host! x

  • Parie Joshi

    I’m really tempted to do this soon..

    Parie x
    classandglitter.com

    • kaiesha stewart

      It’s 100% worth it! x

  • Megan

    So clever! I had to get someone to do all of mine for me (bu it was from blogger to self hosted). So happy that I changed.

    Megan
    Denton & Lou 

    • kaiesha stewart

      Me too, I prefer my blog so much more now that I’m self hosted! x

  • Thank you for the tips! I’m thinking about changing to self hosted as well. Do you know perhaps if tsohost.com is only for UK bloggers or not? I couldn’t find that information at their webpage.

    Love your blog!

    xx

    • kaiesha stewart

      Sorry for the really long reply but I see you have now moved to self hosted. Hope it was easy enough for you! I too love your blog, it’s so pretty and simplistic and the photography is amazing! xx