As many of you know I went self hosted just over a week ago, initially I was going to leave it a month before sharing my experiences. However its been a bit of a rollercoaster of learning so I thought I would share it now incase you are considering doing the same thing….

On the day it went live I got my logins by calling TSOhost, for some reason they hadn’t been sent through. I needed to get a post up because of a deadline so I didn’t really do much with my shiny new site initially. I was more concerned about getting content out there, I hadn’t published for over a week, normally I post daily so I was really struggling. Although in the same way finding it refreshing!

self-hosted-what-i-did-next

Once I had time to think about it this is what I did and some of the issues I had…

  • Back Up & Spam – the first thing I did was activate a back up and spam plugins. However this is really only a temporary solution
  • Broken Links – the lovely Laura over at Dear Bear Beany had given me a list of the basic plugins I needed. Next week I will be sharing with you the ones I have downloaded to date but if you need them before then, please contact me. One of them was Broken Link Checker. I wasn’t expecting many as I had used a link checker every now and again. However the first email it sent me I had over 450! What? Turned out that the links had pulled through differently in the new site, the address no longer had a date. Which meant that all my internal links between posts were showing broken. Panic. Thankfully I asked the question in UK Parent Bloggers (join if you haven’t already the group is amazing) and Mama Geek suggested changing the permalink and it fixed the problem.
  • Sidebar – the lovely Helen over at Ellie Illustrates had already loaded up my header, category graphics and follow buttons into my side bar. However I needed to add in some of the other functionality I had previously such as a search function, bio, recent posts, some buttons and of course my Tots100 badge. To be honest that was straight forward. Although I was quite surprised the widgets available under wordpress.com were not there under wordpress.org and I had to download some plugins to get what I had previously. The ones I specifically downloaded for the sidebar are – Image Widget and Social Media Followers Counter.
  • Jet Pack – now this was a plugin I was looking forward to having but it took me two days to get the damn thing to work. It kept coming up that it was connecting but it wasn’t. So if this happens to you it could be that you logins to the old wordpress.com site are not working due to the migration. Well at least this was my experience. Once I had sorted that bit out Jet Pack connected to the new site fine.
  • Sharing Buttons – these were also high on my to do list. After looking at some of the different plugins available for sharing buttons I opted for SUMO. I had no idea of all the different things that it did. I am yet to get my head round it all, but I wanted to get a sign up to my newsletter banner so I added this in too along with the pinnable image app.
  • Republish – I recently attended the baby show again and wanted to re-publicise the Red Cross Session I attended. I tried a republish tool called Republish Old Posts. It worked fine. However for some reason it also decided to republish my first (ever) three posts over three days. I am guessing somewhere theres a box to tick, but I hadn’t seen it. Now lets face it those first three posts are a little embarrassing. I keep meaning to review them and haven’t quite got round to it so I was horrified!! I still have the plugin but I have deactivated it until I need it again. As for those old posts… well they are on the to do list.

What with the Jet Pack not working, the publishing of old posts and the broken links I wondered if I have done the right thing! Ultimately I know I have, but there have been some kinks which I wasn’t expecting. I am so glad I have did it while on maternity leave and not while I am trying to juggle work as well. To top the whole experience off TSOhost had issues with one of their servers, the one I am attached to. I was happily writing a post only to find that it wouldn’t save, when I checked the site an error message came up. What? This is new! I dutifully raised the ticket, after half an hour of no response. Yes I am impatient. I called and they were really helpful and did something in the background and the site was back up and running. I don’t check my site constantly as a lot of my posts publish throughout the week so it does make me wonder if it will go down and I won’t notice it?

So as you can see its been a busy week or so, yet I am for some reason a lot more productive than I have ever been, publishing every day and actually publishing two posts on three of those days. I am loving the copy plugin for the Blogger Club UK Linky and the #RememberingTheseDays community posts and of course my Editorial Calendar. All of these are teething issues which I have found my way round with a lot of help from dear blogging buddies.

The next things to tackle on my list in the coming week(s) are:

  1. I still can’t get google analytics to recognise the site so I need to try and resolve this
  2. Whats all this meta stuff – this never appeared in my sidebar previously so I need to look into whether it should be on view/hidden or moved
  3. Sort out the email list and newsletter, since I am getting sign ups!! Yay
  4. Investigate SUMO more and see if am using its full functionality
  5. Back up/security – I am not satirised that a plugin is enough, so I want to get my site double checked
  6. Research some more plugins – naturally I have the bug and although I knew I was missing something under .com I had no idea how much….

So there we have it, I am sure if you are not technically incompetent like me that the move to self hosted really is simple. And to be honest none of these problems have been insurmountable… but for all you out there at the moment that are considering it I thought I would share my experiences.

I would love to hear how you found the move in the comments below.

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40 Comments

  1. Oh well done – you’ve learnt heaps too! Site is looking gorgeous – love Ellie illustrates too. I’m veery impressed with your skills! Oh and you’re so right about UK parent bloggers – such a great fb group! #BloggerClubUK

  2. Sounds like you’ve done a lot in a week. Keep plugging away, you’ll get there! The list will become shorter. I know what it’s like though. Once simple thing can take two days and it drives you nuts.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  3. Wow this does sound a little complicated. I have toyed with idea but really don’t want the headache at the moment. Hubby is technologically astute so if I ever do his services will be enlisted instantly! Good luck with it all x
    #BloggerClubUK

  4. I contemplating to self host but I feel like I have no clue when it comes to all the technical aspect of running a blog.Thanks for sharing your experience I’m sure I will find it extremely handy when I start self hosting #BloggerClubUK

  5. I started with self hosted so now I kind of have the hang f things- there were some rants and tears when starting up though. I just added SUMO- no idea what to do with it.

    Jetpack is MY FAV!

    #bloggerclubUK

  6. Oh my…That does look very complicated. I’ve been putting off going self hosted for this reason exactly! Will get there eventually!
    Well done on doing all that in a week… It would probably take me the best part of a year!
    ‘BloggerClubUk

  7. I started out self-hosted and all of the issues you have come across are what I encountered in the beginning as well. It can be tedious and very frustrating. I hope you are able to resolve these issues soon. Also the plugins you are using are pretty great. I use all of them. The broken link checker for me is a bit of a hassle as I get emails all the time about broken links and many of them are from people who have just posted a comment on blog. But I also like the function of the plugin so it’s worth it. #bloggerclubuk

  8. Wow, very complicated! I think I might go self hosted in the New Years (a good New Years resolution!) I will be coming back to this series when I do! #BloggerClubUK

  9. Wow what a busy week! What I really love about this post is the number of people who’ve helped you out. Bloggers are really lovely people! It sounds like you’re making great progress and I hope you get on top of it all soon.

    P.S. even though my blog is only 6mths old, I’d still be soooo embarrassed if my earlier posts were suddenly republished – I feel your pain! #BloggerClubUK

  10. Mess and Merlot Reply

    Oh my word you’re doing so well – I’d be in tears by now!! 🙂 Hope everything goes smoothly from here on in for you. I’ll be watching with interest to see how you get on x BloggerClubUK

  11. This is really useful stuff, thanks very much. I have just bought my domain but my new site is being designed so I haven’t done anything else as yet. I would love to see the list of basic plugins you started out with, that would be really useful.
    Thanks for hosting
    #bloggerclubuk

  12. Petite Words Reply

    This is so so helpful! It is tricky business being responsible for your own site, but well worth it in my opinion #BloggersClubuK

  13. It IS a steep learning curve. Well done on the progress. I’m with TSO host too and haven’t had any problems with them.
    #BloggerclubUK

  14. I can see that you were busy:) I started self hosted from the beginning but I still don’t know a lot so I’m waiting for your post about plugins:D
    #BloggerClubUK

  15. Thanks for sharing. When I went live as a new self hosted sight, I had no idea all that was involved! It took me a while! #bloggerclubuk

  16. Well done! My brain fries at the trying to even understand half of the terms that come with blogging, I am still very much a newbie though so I’m sure it’s all in good time. It’s nice to know that not everyone picks up a computer and magic happens.

    #BloggerClubUK

  17. Jane Taylor Reply

    Wow! You’ve been busy. Well done on overcoming those obstacles. I wish I had kept a note of all of my ups and downs so I could help people work out all the wrinkles like you have! #BloggerclubUK

  18. I loved reading how you finished off your new blog, I’m getting so impatient about getting a new site as time goes on!
    #bloggersclubUK

  19. You’ve done so much in a week, more than I have in months! Broken links are my bug bear at the minute, I’m still trying to work out how to fix them but will install Broken Link Checker and see! Thank you! #BloggerClubUK

  20. Your site is looking great! I really struggle to understand most of what I do with my blog. Most of it is like another language. Looking forward to hearing about recommended plugins!
    #bloggerclubuk

  21. Clare I am self-hosted and have lost hours of my life this morning I won’t get back trying to fix a problem regarding uploading images, namely the linky badge which is not showing on my site only on my dashboard. I am off to check out your recommendation for the Broken Link Checker and head into the UK Parent Bloggers forum. Thanks. #bloggerclubuk

  22. Congratulations on the new site. I love the illustrations. I jumped straight into self hosted, and I must admit I did nearly throw the laptop out of the window when I was setting it up. I look forward reading about what plugins you find useful, I also find them addictive! #BloggerClubUK

  23. I love posts about going self hosted. It’s something I want to do one day. I really enjoy reading about this process. Being “technically incompetent” I find the process scary and reading about other people’s experiences helps me mentally prepare for the transition, whenever that may come. #BloggerClubUK

  24. Wow! I have no idea what most of that means as I am seriously lacking in technical knowledge so I think you are doing brilliantly! #BloggerClubUK

  25. oh god i keep hearing people talk about self hosted and it terrifies me. i dont even know what it means and why i should do it?? #bloggerclubuk

  26. Sounds like you’re getting there now! You can get GA through your SumoMe plugin if the main site is playing up for you 🙂
    Debbie

  27. Congratulations on your new site! It sounds time-consuming but ultimately rewarding. I would love to take this step but think I need a decent computer first and I need to learn more about all the technical side of things. And be braver! #BloggerClubUK

  28. It has been a slow process over the course of this year to make my blog better after self-hosting. Sounds like you are making great progress. Thanks for sharing. #MarvelousMondays

  29. It’s such a learning curve isn’t it?! Sounds like you’ve had a bit of a run of bad luck though as I moved over with hardly any problems. Still, it’s all experience and think of all that you’ve learned. You won’t stop fiddling either, I’m still doing it now all these months later! #bloggerclubuk

  30. Really interesting article and what you need to think about after becoming self-hosted. I have a completely different story with a custom CMS and as a web designer/front-end developer, I’ve always built my own sites from scratch so I’m lucky in that respect! Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  31. Oh gosh just reading this brings back memories of changing hosting companies & I was self-hosted to start with, all the extra things you had to figure out was a big project! It’s great that it’s all done now though – your site is looking fab! #BloggerClubUK

  32. I went self-hosted back in June and had similar issues to you although I haven’t added a broken link plug in which I suspect is something I need to do. I found it all fairly straight forward, the hardest thing was deciding which host to go with as there are so many to choose from and everyone has their own opinions and preferences.

    Will be interested to see how you get on!

    #BloggersClubUK

  33. literally going through this now and have paid a guy on people per hour to sort it out for me. i havent pointed the name servers over yet so still on .com at the mo. but the migration is done. i feel in blog limbo though as i cant publish anything new until its all done. thanks for the write up though – useful to know what might pop up…!

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