Why Did You Choose Self-Hosted WordPress?

In my “12 Essential Companion Accounts for a Successful Blog” article, Lisa from Greener Pastures asked:

“I am on the free Blogspot Software, but I notice everyone keeps mentioning WordPress. Could you talk more about this? I’m thinking I should convert, but wanted to keep my budget on this project as minimal as possible.”

Instead of answering by saying why WordPress is good, or why Blogspot (Blogger) is bad, I have asked a few of my friends who switched from other blogging platforms to self-hosted WordPress.


Paidtwice from I’ve Paid For This Twice Already… said,

“I started my blog on WordPress.com because I had heard great things about the WordPress platform and I wanted a free blog to write my thoughts. I never intended to go beyond that, actually. I never intended to make blogging more than a very casual hobby and I certainly never intended to have actual readers who were interested in what I had to say.

But, as I kept blogging, I started to grow. I had more and more visitors come to my site and interact and I became more and more a part of the personal finance community. And that is where I started to hit the limitations of using the free WordPress.com blog. I lacked the freedom to customize to the extent I would like, and make improvements I thought would be beneficial to both me and my readers. So after a lot of deliberation, I committed to actively growing my blog and switched to self-hosting. And I haven’t looked back since.

As well as giving me the freedom to customize and monetize and statisticize my blog, being able to install WordPress plugins has really improved the overall functionality of the blog itself and allowed me to spend more time writing and thinking and less time tweaking.”

Mike from Quest For Four Pillars said,

“I never made the switch but hopefully the logic still applies…

I used self-hosted WordPress when I started my blog because I had talked to a couple of more established bloggers who suggested that if I was serious about blogging (I was) then starting with a proper self-hosted blog is the best strategy. WordPress seemed to be the best platform available because of the plugins and support available.

A lot of bloggers who just want to “dip their toes” will go for a free blog platform and it will probably work pretty well for a while. However there are limitations in the customization you can do to a free blog so inevitably most bloggers end up going to a self-hosted platform which is a real pain because you have to move to a new domain name and hope you don’t lose half your readers. Moving old posts over (which have search engine value) can also a problem.

My suggestion for a new blogger is to think about if they want to “do it right” from the beginning and pay for a self-hosted platform. If they want to try a free blog for a while then make the switch as soon as you know you are serious about blogging. The longer you wait the harder the switch will be.”

Plonkee from Plonkee Money said,

“I asked for feedback from some more established bloggers about how I could improve my blog, and one of them said that if I was really serious, the best thing that I could do would be to switch to self-hosted WordPress. At that point I’d been blogging for 3 or so months, and I was more confident that I’d be able to handle the back-end stuff, so I decided to go for it.

I remember thinking that it was awfully expensive, compared to free, at just over $100 for the year, but since then I’ve more than made back what I put in through advertising, and even if I hadn’t made a penny from my blog, it would still have been the best blogging decision I’ve made. The ability to customise what I’m doing, is probably the biggest thing, and the fact that WordPress is ubiquitous means that there is plenty of support. It’s really not as daunting as I first thought.”

Madison from My Dollar Plan said,

“I tried writing articles for two weeks on a free WordPress.com blog that was private. I used it to get a feel for blogging and how to link to other blogs. I also made a goal to keep writing for 2 weeks, since it usually takes 14 days to create a habit.

Once I felt I was ready for my debut I purchased a domain and installed WordPress. It was very easy to move all the articles over to my new site. By spending some time upfront practicing, once I started promoting my site I already had some planning and legwork done.”

Mrs. Micah from Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life said,

“I switched to WordPress.com because I liked the look. I could have stuck with Blogger, but it seemed less professional. The comment page was particularly annoying. WordPress.com was good and I had my domain directed there for a while.

But you also couldn’t really modify a lot of things like the code without paying extra for it. I figured that if I was going to pay money to modify the code and such, I might as well pay a bit more and do whatever I wanted. I’d become very involved in my site and felt constantly thwarted by WordPress.com’s limitations.

Self-hosted WordPress lets you use/add all sorts of tools — plugins, timed posting, etc. You can actually use scripts, unlike WordPress.com (scripts including simple things like Sitemeter and Google Analytics). And WordPress.com doesn’t allow advertisers. It seemed like my views [traffic] were getting pretty good and I might be able to make a bit of money (more than enough to cover web hosting) if only I moved. Which was true, I’m able to cover hosting and have so much control over my blog.”

So there you have it, real-life reasons why bloggers moved from other blogging platform to self-hosted WordPress. If you did the same, I would love to hear your story. Please share.

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11 Responses to “Why Did You Choose Self-Hosted WordPress?”

  1. Troy says:

    You really did your homework on this one, nice collection of quotes! I don’t use WordPress, but I agree that a self-hosted solution is a must for any serious blog, especially if that blog is related at all to technology and the internet.

  2. plonkee says:

    Of course it’s not all about wordpress, there are other tools for managing your blog, but self-hosted is definitely the way to go. It’s much easier and cheaper than people on free blog hosts think.

  3. Lisa says:

    I am currently on blogger, but working on a wordpress set-up. It’s all installed, and I am now formatting it, and learning the software. I’m looking forward to making the switch. If you guys wanted to do a post on making the actual switch that would be helpful. I’ve downloaded my files easily enough. How do I switch over when the time comes, without losing my current subscribers?


  4. Pinyo says:

    Since you already burn your feed through feedburner, it’s an easy task. When you are ready to make the switch, just go to feedburner, and select “Edit Feed Details…”

    Change the “Original Feed” information from Blogspot to WordPress feed.

  5. […] If you haven’t decide on moving to self-hosted WordPress, then this post must give you some clues why you should immediately have your own self-hosted WordPress : Why Did You Choose Self-Hosted WordPress? […]

  6. Ian says:

    I went with wordpress because I was looking to expand my blogging efforts, for more flexibility than blogger offered, and then I found a hosting deal that made up my mind for me.

  7. Lisa says:

    Thanks, Pinyo. I didn’t think it could be that easy-


  8. I didn’t. WordPress is entirely to strict, blogger doesnt give a Crap. I will do blogger until i get more design skills. Great blog though. If i had your skills i would be on wordpress. I always seem to break tos some how. Well i guess thats why i read your blog, to get better. 🙂

  9. Rob Lewis says:

    I decided on self-hosted WordPress because of the control it gave me – luckily, I came from a more technical background, having coded websites and written PHP for a while, so I enjoyed playing with it and working out what it can do.

    There are also many plugins written for it, which makes adding new functionality a breeze (with the newest version plugin upgrades have become really simple).

    Before WordPress I had dabbled with Textpattern, but didn’t find it as intuitive or as extensible. It’s been WordPress all the way since.

  10. bbgoyal says:

    for the last some time, i am thinking to start my blog. but i have apprehensions in my mind as to whether wordpress is the best? though my mind heavily weighs for it.

  11. Pinyo says:

    In my opinion, WordPress is the best blogging platform — bar none.