If you’re looking to get the most out of a new website, consider going with “self-hosted” WordPress. Unlike Blogger.com or WordPress.com (hosted) blogs, “self-hosted” WordPress means that you rent space on a server and install the WordPress.org software yourself (it’s actually easier than it sounds using tutorials provided by the host or by contacting their support). There are significant advantages to self-hosting and that’s why most of the big online marketers run their businesses on self-hosted wordpress at hosts such as Blue Host and Host Gator.
(Note: See my recent article here about Cheap WordPress Hosting)
What is “Self Hosted”?
Self-hosted means that you have to find and pay for the hosting yourself. It doesn’t mean that you have to buy a server (like a big computer). What most people do is to rent space at a Website host. This typically costs between $60 and $100/year. Luckily WordPress.org (the software you’ll need) is free and the design component (the theme) is either free or fairly inexpensive (between $25 – 75 typically). My favorite themes come from a company called Studiopress – you can see the Studiopress themes here.
You can have a website up in a day even if you go the “self-hosted” route.
What are the advantages of Self-hosted WordPress?
With self-hosted WordPress:
- You can use your own domain name – some hosted platforms append something to your domain like www.myblog.wordpress.com
- You are free to put advertising or to sell whatever you like if you self-host (although some hosts won’t like adult sites)
- You have more add-ons available to you that allow you to add advanced functionality to your site
- Self-hosted blogs (or websites) generally have better search engine optimization
- WordPress can be used to create a site that looks like a website, a blog or a combination of both
These two hosts meet my test for ease of use, reliability and up-to-date hardware and software. If you check host reviews or ratings you will often see these two coming up on top as well.
What About a Domain Name?
If you don’t have a domain name, you can buy any domain name – .com, .net, .org, etc. – to use with the recommended hosts below. You can buy them when you get the hosting or if you want, you can buy them at a domain name registrar like godaddy.com and “point” them to Bluehost or Host Gator. If you already have a domain name, you can often “point” them via the DNS settings to your new host where you would set up your new website or blog.
WordPress and Your Host
Once you purchase a hosting plan (consider adding extra security just to help protect your site against hacking), both services offer a very easy “push button” method of setting up WordPress. I like Simple Scripts in Bluehost the best for ease of use (you find it in your control panel after you sign up). You can be up and running within a few minutes.
3 Tutorials to Help You Get Started
- How to Choose a Domain (and tools to help)
- How to Connect Your Domain Name to Your Hosting Account
- How To Install Your Self-Hosted WordPress Site
Good luck getting your site up and don’t forget to call the hosting support line (or chat online with them) if you run into any issues! 24/7 support is one advantage of good hosting!
(Note: If you sign up using the links on this page I will get a small commission. I use or have used these hosts myself for my business and only recommend them because I believe in their quality. If you prefer not to use those links, feel free to go directly to www.bluehost.com or www.hostgator.com)