When deciding to set up my own self-hosted blog, it was pretty easy to decide to go with WordPress as my Content Management System or CMS. There are other choices out there, but WordPress seemed like the best fit for me.
WordPress is open-source software, which means it’s free to use. WordPress runs millions of websites on the web. I did briefly touch on before why I decided to run my own self-hosted site, the main reason being, I wanted to have total control over every aspect of my site.
If you have a DIY mindset, a willingness to take on more responsibilities such as backing up and maintenance, then running your own self-hosted WordPress site means you can modify to your heart’s desire. You can change the PHP code, you can use any plugins you want (free or purchased)…you are in complete control.
If you’re a control freak like me, you’ll really like the abilities you get running a self-hosted WP site. The only rules are my own and I like that. A lot.
To me, self-hosted means Freedom.
You’re in charge, so you’re responsible for everything. If you love flexibility, then self-hosted is the way to go.
Self-hosting a WordPress site offers the complete freedom to do what I want with my site. There are no restrictions in place, you are in complete control of what you wish to do. If you decide you want to experiment with advertising, you can. If you want total freedom to use or modify custom themes, you can. If you want to be able to change code to suit your needs, you can. If you want to be able to install any plug-ins you want, you can. If you want to create your own theme, you guessed it, you can. These are but just a few of the awesome things that you can do when running a self-hosted site.
It is a lot of work, don’t get me wrong, but I really enjoy it. It’s not nearly as challenging as you might think. There are tons of great resources out there on running and using WordPress. WordPress.org has great resources in the Forums and Documentation pages. WordPress is one of the most popular CMS and blogging platforms out there, there is so much great information to find and it’s literally at your fingertips. All you have to do is go looking.
There is something so very satisfying about making it your own. Yes, even when I break something and pull my hair out trying to figure out what went wrong. I always figure it out though and that is very satisfying! And well, hair grows back, right 🙂
However, if you don’t want to have to bother with things like keeping your site updated or have to deal with security or backups, basically you’d be really happy if someone else was managing your WP installation for you. You are most likely someone for WordPress.com which is a managed shared hosting option. It’s brought to you by the people who developed WordPress. They handle all the stuff you don’t want to and lets you focus on what you want to do most, blogging. And it’s free to use. It comes with restrictions on what you can or can’t do, so it’s up to you to decide if it’s right for you or not.
Compare the two and decide for yourself what you need. As I mentioned before, there are other choices for CMS out there. I went with WordPress because that’s what I liked and wanted to use the most, but it’s certainly not the only one out there. It’s what I talk about, because it’s what I use.
As always, take your time to do your research, compare services/products and try to think ahead, what do you want to do with your blog, not just today, but down the road. Whatever you choose to use, should allow you to change as easily as possible when you need to.
Deciding to go with a self-hosted WordPress site was as much about all the things I couldn’t think of or imagine in the now as for all the stuff I could. I believe it lets me do the most today and down the road, no matter what that might turn out to be.
It gives me total flexibility. And I don’t find it takes all that much more work to self-host. I use plug-ins for my backups, security, SEO, spam protection, recipes and much more. Updating WP has never been an issue, click a button and it’s done. WordPress alerts you when there are updates available that need to be installed.
I am by no means a super tech nerd, but I am willing to learn and I have managed to support my self-hosted WP site for a couple of years now with no major issues.
If you need more motivation to try out a self-hosted WordPress site, check out the WordPress.org showcase and see who else is using it. Pretty impressive, right! 🙂
I’ll be touching upon some of the plug-ins that I use to run Culinary Zest in a future post. They really expand the functionality of your WP site, there are literally thousands of free plug-ins, as well as premium ones to choose from. I recently purchased my first premium plug-in for Culinary Zest and I love it! More on it later.
Up next in Experiences In Blogging – Premium Themes. I started out using free themes but pretty quickly moved into using a premium theme. They’re reasonably affordable and offer me the ability to put in place the look and feel I want for minimal cost. It saves me a lot of time and trouble in the long run. A total plus.
Now get out there and start creating your Passion!