In the blogging community, there are two types of bloggers: those who blog for free and those who don’t. There’s nothing wrong with either side, but the divide is noticeable. In the last few months I’ve been branching outside of WordPress for networking and I see a lot of bloggers (big ones, too) praise self-hosting and its perks, so I’ve been looking into it. I mentioned here that buying a domain and going self-hosted seems like the next step for someone like me who has been blogging for a while and does so regularly and wants to grow.
There are, of course, a bunch of pros and cons to going self-hosted and it’s important to know them before you make a decision. The pros are all very appealing, but the fact is one can still blog successfully without them.
And that’s what I keep telling myself every time I consider changing things up. As I’ve mentioned, buying a domain from WordPress isn’t too expensive, and I think that if I did decide to do anything, it’d be that. I don’t think I can handle full self hosting. There’s too many things to consider and maintain. Hosting, domain, coding, subscribers…and I’m a fairly tech-savvy person, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like for others. And then there’s havoc when your site goes down. That never happens to me.
So aside from the maintenance effort I would have to apply, why am I not going self-hosted? Because I don’t need to. I blog for fun. Most of my posts are casual rants I wrote instead of studying or sleeping. I’m not selling anything or trying to eventually sell something or trying to create a community or anything. I’m just here because I want to be. It costs zero dollars and zero cents to let y’all read whatever nonsense I put together and you in turn pay zero dollars and zero cents to spend five minutes reading it and hopefully commenting/liking/sharing. I can’t justify spending money to let you guys read the exact same content from a website that doesn’t have .wordpress in the URL. In fact, most people who have their own domains say one of the reasons they have it is because it makes their site seem more professional. But I literally have a post about Snuggies, so I lost all professional credibility a long time ago.
And I really like WordPress. It’s easy to use and they don’t try to extort money from me and they have so many cool features. I especially love the Reader. All the other bloggers have to use Bloglovin’ (which I am on if you do use it) but I can follow blogs right in Wordpress’ Reader, and they’re all there and neat and formatted and accessible. WordPress also allows a lot of customization on the free plan. While there are a few things I’d change if I had CSS access, for the most part I am completely satisfied with how my blog looks. I chose the colours, the font, and the general layout. It’s exactly how I want it. For free.
I also read that if you get a new domain, you lose some things in the process. Not only do you probably lose readers because some people (myself included sometimes and I’m sorry) can’t be bothered to click the redirect link and open a new tab, but I think you lose all your likes. Comments and followers should transfer, but likes go. Maybe that’s not true or maybe there’s ways of fixing it. Still, it’s a risk.
I know there are so many .wordpress or .wix or .blogger users out there and I know that a lot of them probably also feel the pressure to upgrade, but I hope this post is a reminder that one is perfectly capable of running a successful blog without paying for anything. Blogging is about writing and personality, two things that can’t be bought.
Buying a domain or going self-hosted is a big deal and by no means do I wish to talk someone out of it with this post. If it’s something you want, then of course go for it! This post is just to take an opposing stance on a rather large topic in the blogosphere.
And I’m not saying that I’ll never buy a domain or try going self-hosted. I’m just saying that for the foreseeable future, I am comfortable with how things are now. And that’s fine. This is fine.
I’d love to hear thoughts from both parties so please leave a comment!