First of all, Mohamad is one of my first blog friends. He has supported me during my entire blog journey. A few days ago, I migrated to a Self-hosted blog and then I backed out shortly. I felt honored when Mohamad asked me to do a guest post on my experience. Thanks Mohamad.
For a while, I was getting quite upset about how the quality of my pictures were getting degraded after I uploaded them. I learnt that WordPress compresses the picture by default and I couldn’t edit the setting with the free wordpress.com account. To my horror, the watermark software I was using during the initial days was also doing its part with image degradation. Overnight I decided that I am done and that I am moving to a self-hosted blog. I considered Bluehost and Inmotion hosting after a bunch of online reading & opinions from bloggers – Andrea & Brittany.
I chatted with both the hosting providers for a while asking a lot of questions. There was zero wait time with Inmotion hosting and they responded to my questions within seconds. I felt like they were putting much effort into responding asap rather than understanding my question & really helping me. For a few questions, they kept repeating the same thing. I felt like I was talking to a robot. With Bluehost, the wait time was outrageous anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes. And they took time to respond to every question I asked. Even though I was bothered by the delay, they were professional, patient & answered my questions really well with needed explanations. If I called them the wait time was much lesser. And again they were very good explaining & assisting me during the calls as well. So I thought that if I couldn’t handle the long wait times associated with the chat maybe I could just call them and I went with Bluehost.
I got a good deal and went with basic plan & signed up for 3 years. I was super excited. I claimed my free domain name through chat. The domain name got split as I typed and the agent created a domain with half of the name. It was a honest mistake and he created a ticket to fix it. I didn’t expect it to take so long. After a while, when I requested that I wanted my website up and running asap, they created a higher priority ticket. I didn’t hear anything next morning not even an ETA. So I called them and they said they understand what I am going through and there were many others with similar requests which were all queued up and that they will be handled in the FCFS basis. I enjoyed my free blog and I thought with what I pay I would get more control, more convenience, more speed but it seemed to be not the case.
After about 48 hours and multiple requests, they fixed the issue. I logged in, got wordpress , theme, jetpack installed. The first thing I did was to edit the code so that the WordPress doesn’t compress the pictures and I tried uploading a picture and the quality didn’t actually stand out. When I inquired about it, I realized that I have to pay more for help with web development. Then I created a post with a ping-back to my favorite weekly photography challenge and I would normally see my link appearing among the responses right away but I waited & waited refreshing the page but nothing happened. I called them and they told me that the cache will refresh every 4 hours and there’s no way to tell when the server cache last refreshed and it can take a minimum of four hours to God knows how long! I felt stupid. Not only I didn’t receive any benefits by self-hosting and felt like I actually lost some privileges.
I am assuming if I pay more it may solve the issues that I had. But I felt I had put too much time & effort into it & I didn’t want to do it any more, at least not right now. I did learn a few things. And the people I worked with at Bluehost were very helpful and understanding. When I asked them to close my account, they did it in a snap and refunded my money within minutes. They didnt even ask for feedback! The only thing that bothered me so much was that I migrated my 28 followers to my new location and there was no way to bring them back to my old site. I tried a couple ways and then I reached out to everybody individually explaining the issue & asking them to follow me back. I’m also getting a lot of calls from hosting companies. I don’t know how they got my info.
To Summarize my case:
Pros of Self-hosting
- Unlimited theme customization
- Hosting your own domain means it’s yours. Your hosting company have to answer to you if there’s a downtime.
- You get 24*7 support
Cons of Self-hosting
- Costs seem to add up if you want to fully enjoy all the benefits. Basic plan clearly doesn’t seem to work.
- It takes time & research to find the best hosting company that works for you.
I think one day I will move to a self hosted blog, after a lot more research… Now I am happy with the wordpress.com and I don’t have to worry about Akismet or Jetpack or Backup and just focus on my weblog ! Just hoping they won’t delete my blog 😉
If you have a self-hosted blog and if its working out for you, do comment below.
PS I found some good sites for help on hosting topics or about wordpress.com in general – wp beginner & support . I will keep using them.
29 thoughts on “My experience with self-hosting …”
I enjoy reading personal experience about tech things. Thanks for sharing
You are welcome!
I have been thinking about it… so I guess I will wait – I can’t be asked with tech things – even though there are things I want to do and I can’t! but hey. thanks for sharing!
You are welcome Julz
Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve been thinking about going with the Basic plan instead of the Free, just so I can have my own domain name without the “wordpress.com” on the end of things.
You are welcome Penny
Most welcome, Namagiri! 🙂
Thank you for sharing this piece. You have saved me the stress. I have been thinking of getting a self hosted domain but haven’t decided on which one to go for. I guess I will just wait it out and do more research. Am sorry for the inconveniences you had to go through and am sure you will get it right next time.
Thanks Whitney and you are welcome.