There are two ways you can use WordPress for blogging:
This is a great platform for beginners to try their hand at blogging. It’s easy to use and needs very little technical expertise.
Because your blog is hosted on WordPress.com, the platform takes care of every technical hiccup your blog may encounter, so you need only concern yourself with churning out quality content.
WordPress is ideal for bloggers who just need a platform to share information.
However, if, you’re interested in growing your blog and making some money from it, you should consider moving to a self hosted WordPress platform.
Self hosted WordPress
With self hosted WordPress, you simply download the WordPress software for free, then host and install it on your own server to get a fully functional blog.
Self hosted WordPress allows you to have more control over your blog without having to worry about the restrictions placed on a managed WordPress platform.
The following seven points will help you understand the wisdom in trading the convenience of a managed WordPress platform for a self hosted one.
1. You can use your very own unique domain name
When it comes to online branding, it’s important you maintain your own identity at any cost. Nothing is worse than using a domain name that is not only lengthy, but also attached to someone else’s brand.
MyVeryOwnBlog.WordPress.com is a notable example of a bad domain name, which is what you might get when using a free managed WordPress platform.
But with a domain name and URL like https://www.discountdomains.co.nz/web-hosting, anyone who comes across the site already know it’s for domain names and web hosting at a discounted price.
Keep in mind that with a self hosted WordPress platform, you can use the domain name of your choice, as long as it’s available.
While you can use a custom domain name with any premium WordPress service, it will cost you a bit for their yearly plan.
Instead, look for a reputable company that offer affordable hosting, where you can host your WordPress blogging software.
2. Access to more customisation
WordPress.com offers very few options when it comes to customisation. They have over 300 free and premium themes that you can use on your blog.
While this might seem like a good number, compare it to the hundreds of thousands of free and premium WordPress themes that you can download from WordPress.org and third party websites.
These themes can only be used on a self hosted WordPress platform, which also allows you to install plugins which can improve the functionality of your blog.
On a managed WordPress platform, you are stuck with the basic functionality that comes with installation.
3. You can customise the code
Even though not everyone needs this feature, a self hosted WordPress blog allows bloggers with a bit of technical expertise to access and modify parts of the website code.
This allows you to improve on the look and layout of your blog, or remove certain functions you don’t need. Even though WordPress.com allows you to modify the CSS files, you have to pay for this privilege.
However, you will not be able to touch the PHP files.
4. You can make money from it
Some managed WordPress plans do not allow users to place advertisements on their blogs or run a web store. This is not a problem for bloggers who only want a place to share their thoughts and express their creativity.
However, serious bloggers who want to make a bit of money from their blogs will have to cough up as much as US$100 for the privilege.
A self hosted WordPress on the other hand allows bloggers to do virtually anything they want on their blog.
On self hosted WordPress, you can monetise your blog by placing adverts on it or even running a web store, which will give you the opportunity to sell your digital or physical products.
5. Better sharing options
Self hosted WordPress gives you the opportunity to share your content across multiple channels.
Because you have the freedom to install plugins of your choice, you can easily improve the sharing functionality on your blog if it’s self hosted.
Not only can you share your content when you post it, visitors can also share, like and comment on their favorite topics.
And your content has a higher chance of going viral when you use multiple means to share it.
6. Better blog management
While Jetpack’s essential features on a managed WordPress platform provide you with traffic and visitor information, a self hosted WordPress allows you to install tools that would present an advanced analysis of your blog traffic.
Third party analytics tools, such as Google Analytics can be used on a self hosted WordPress to gain insight into your visitors’ habits.
With this information, you can create and produce better content for your blog.
7. A chance to grow
WordPress.org (the website via which you download WordPress core files for a self hosted installation) supports a large community of WordPress enthusiasts, coders and designers, who always come together to share ideas, experiences and tips.
As a part of this community, you’ll gain valuable knowledge that will come in very handy. In this community, you can connect with a large number of designers, developers and even marketers that will help you grow your skills.
Ready to switch?
If you have a blog on WordPress.com and feel the need to move over to a self hosted WordPress, you will find this can be both exciting and daunting.
However, the good folks over at WordPress have put together a guided transfer service that will get the migration done for you.
Though switching can prove to be a hurdle, it can be mastered and the advantages are well worth it.
Just remember: your blog can grow as big as you want it to, with nothing holding you back. 🙂