Thinking about self hosting and WordPress.org

I spent a lot of this last weekend wondering whether I should move from the free WordPress.com platform to a self hosted WordPress.org platform.

And what it all means!

My blog is currently on WordPress.com.  It’s basically a giant free shared blogging platform hosted by WordPress.com.   Your typical hostname is sitename.wordpress.com.  Along with joining this free community, you get benefits from linking and exposure in the WordPress community, but you also get restrictions like no ads, limited flexibility in customization, etc.

However, the “software” that gives you the templates, the administration, look and feel and customisability of WordPress.com can also be installed on your own machine, or a third party hosted web server on the internet.   Some people refer to this as WordPress.org, although this gives the impression that your website is hosted by WordPress.org and thus has a sitename.wordpress.org hostname, but it doesn’t.   It means that you’re using the WordPress software installed on a different server – “self-hosted” as opposed to hosted by WordPress.com.

So why was I thinking about doing this?   More control, ability to add more types of widgets, and the ability to run some ads to generate some income.   But after reading about some recent embarrassing debacles (where a whole lot of food bloggers blogged about the same free dinner) I think I would need to think strongly about doing reviews on freebies from companies!

I read these posts on the weekend:

Setting up a self-hosted WordPress.org install – http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2010/11/06/setting-up-a-self-hosted-wordpress-org-install/.  Some useful on here but I’m guessing instructions will depend on which hosting provider you go with.

How and why to get your own domain name – http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2008/06/26/how-and-why-to-get-your-own-domain/.  A good list of advantages of getting your own domain name and identity.   Being self-hosted also means you can run ads on your blog.   I’ve been seriously thinking about this – if I’m putting all this effort into my blog, why not make some pocket money from it?   I’d seriously have to set some rules for myself – that the money is just pocket money, and that I would still blog for the same reasons I am now.

Moving a blog – http://en.support.wordpress.com/moving-a-blog/#moving-from-wordpress-org.   If I did want to move, then this has some tips on moving all your posts from your WordPress.com blog to your new blog.  I think the tricky bit is moving the images and updating all the links, but there are tools out there to do this.

I also looked up various web hosting providers:

WordPress web hosting providers – http://get.wp.com/hosting/.   These are all recommended by WordPress.com so they must be good right?   From my surfing, GoDaddy doesn’t seem to have many good reviews but I do see quite a few good reviews for Blue Host.

There seem to be a lot of Australian hosting providers too.  Jumba seems to be recommended quite often:

Jumba – http://www.jumba.com.au/hosting/personal/

but I wouldn’t be able to run ads on a personal plan.

It sounds the “right” thing to do to use an Australian provider – but I’m guessing they’re more expensive.  Any tips or suggestions anyone?

And the last thing I learnt.  I couldn’t believe, but there are companies out there that let you BUY Facebook friends, fans and likes!  I know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but didn’t realise that things had moved so far that you can buy Twitter subscribers and Facebook fans…  all so you get more traffic and more money from your site or blog.  Whoa…   sounds like a path I do not want to go down.   Example of businesses here – http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2010/09/buy-facebook-fans-friends-likes/

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4 thoughts on “Thinking about self hosting and WordPress.org”

  1. Hey Jason!

    Finally – someone who actually “gets” self-hosted.

    “It means that you’re using the WordPress software installed on a different server – “self-hosted” as opposed to hosted by WordPress.com.”

    And what I really like about WordPress is that you can run it on your own server, on your own Internet connection, and not be be-holding to anyone (except your ISP of course)

    So congratulations on not following the general “self-hosted” rubbish that I see spouted all over the place – after all, what are the users hosting?

    Nothing!

    Self-hosted? Sorry. You’re not “hosting” anything! (if you use a 3rd party hosting company)

    You can only be “self-hosted” on your own computer/server, on your own Internet connection.

    Forgive my rant – I hate seeing the term “self-hosted” referring to some website “hosted” on some company server pointed to by a domain name purchased for like $10 a year.

    *That* folks, is NOT “self-hosted”

    #justsaying

    Cheers
    Brad
    (in *sunny* if wet Brisbane)

    1. Brad – hope you’re not too wet over there and all is OK for you and your family!

      True – I guess “self-hosted” really means running WordPress on my very own home computer!! OK, I’m not looking at doing that… I’m thinking of “third-party hosting” hmm..

  2. It is better to pick the Self Hosted WordPress.org. If you are running a self-hosted WordPress blog that isn’t up-to-date (version 2.8.4), you are advised to upgrade instantly to the latest version of the software to avoid an ongoing attack.

    1. Michael, thanks for the visit and tip. I guess that’s one downside – it becomes your responsibility to ensure your site is up to date with the latest version, but many of the larger self hosting sites can probably assist here.

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