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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Thinking about hosting your own blog? November 24, 2007 10:01 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Blog, Publishing, Software, Technology, WordPress
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I am a huge advocate of getting your blog away from 3rd party solutions like blogger.com. If you have blogspot in your blog’s address then you need to consider getting some hosting and using a solution like WordPress.org (note: wordpress.com is a 3rd party solution just like blogger.com and while I advocate every wordpress user having an account at wordpress.com for statistics and askimet key, you really need to use the open source software found at http://wordpress.org) WordPress is not the only content management system out there which is great for blogging. You have a ton of choices! If you have trouble setting up a WordPress blog, just contact me and I will help.

One negative in hosting your own blog is that you have to pay a host for server space. That is akin to renting a building to run your business. In the Internet business, like so many businesses, you get what you pay for. Free hosting will likely have problems but it is available. I have personally found 1&1 hosting to be very reliable with great customer service despite its low cost. I highly recommend 1&1!

The postive of paying for hosting is that you get full control over your content. If Blogger’s robots determined that your blog suddenly appeared like a spam blog, they could take you offline instantly and lock you out of your account. You could find yourself unable to access your posts and drafts. If Blogger suddenly went out of business or just quit, you’d be out of luck. Does this happen? Ask anyone that hosted their photos at Yahoo. Yahoo bought Flickr and did away with their photo hosting. Anyone that failed to move their photos by the deadline lost their pictures. All links to those pictures are now 404 pages. We personally came within minutes of failing to get our pictures moved. By paying for hosting, you get backups of your data, control of your site, and the ability to handle exceptions (like 404s) in a way that can benefit your audience rather than drive them away. Plus with your own domain name, you can virally market your blog by using the address in your emails. You can’t send an email from blogmaster@someblogname.blogspot.com but you can send an email from blogmaster@myowndomain.com and everyone who gets that email has the chance to say, "I wonder what myowndomain.com is?" Each email sent becomes a subtle advertisement for your site.

Banner1&1 has a great deal right now! Since Uncle Danny is testing the limits of my webspace and monthly transfer volume, I thought I should review the limits on my account. When I did, I discovered that 1&1 is offering their Business shared hosting at only $5.82 per month! (normally $9.99) This is for the first year only with a 1 year commitment. It’s worth it! Their standard packages are still month-to-month (no contracts; no commitments) if I am not mistaken. They are $3.99, $4.99, $9.99, and $19.99 for shared hosting with increasing benefit respective to price.

Full disclosure: The 1&1 links in this post are associated with an affiliate id. If you purchase hosting from them by using one of those links I do get a payment but the affiliate link does not influence my decision to recommend 1&1. I genuinely like their service! This is also not pay-to-post. I just did this of my own inspiration.

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1. UJ - November 24, 2007

Great! I just moved my blog from blogger to…wordpress.com. Drat. How easy would it be to move from wordpress.com to my own hosting? I already have my own URLs, what I’m mostly concerned with is A) Can I keep everything? Template? Style? Old Posts? Comments? and B) Is the backend dashboard as simple and intuitive as the dashboard at wordpress.com? I don’t know any XML or scripting or anything. I can make text bold or a link in HTML, that’s about it 😉

2. Doug McCaughan - November 24, 2007

You should be able to keep everything. WordPress.org (the open source software) has a 5 minute setup. It’s super easy! Once in, you will find the dashboard almost identical to WordPress.com. In WordPress.com you will go to Manage->Export and create an export file. In your wordpress.org dashboard you will go to Manage->import and then import everything from that file. You won’t lose a thing.

Import posts, comments, custom fields, pages, and categories from a WordPress export file

You may need install the template that you are using at WordPress.com into your themes wp-content/themes folder. That’s real easy and you don’t need to know any XML or scripting. WordPress fans like myself are always willing to help if you get in a bind.