About a year ago, I bit the bullet and finally made the switch from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress. Since then I have built five different sites using it, and I have learned enough about it that I can give you all a very real idea now of the whats/whys/and shoulds of switching over. If there’s one thing I’m sure of, self-hosted WordPress isn’t for everyone.
As a blogger, there are basically two kinds of blogging content management systems (blogging platforms) available to you:
1) Web-hosted platforms
2) Self-hosted platforms
The most popular web-hosted platforms are Blogger, WordPress.com, and Tumblr. They all have their pros and cons, but all of them are made to make life for you, the blogger, as easy as possible. With all of them you can be up and running within minutes.
There’s really only one widely used and excellent self-hosted blogging platform, and that’s self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org). It also has many pros and cons which I’ll get into below, and is not necessarily super user-friendly (though there are certain tools that make it more so).
As a fellow-blogger, I can tell you this. When your blog gets a big enough following, you will want/need to switch to self-hosted WordPress eventually. And when that time comes, you’ll probably wish you had done it long before (I’m speaking from experience here).
But before we dive into specifics, let’s look at what it actually is, starting with the difference between web-hosted WordPress and self-hosted WordPress.
The two are completely different, and you’d do well to immediately put a connection out of your mind. The only real thing they really have in common is their name.
Self-hosted WordPress is a software that you install on a server. Your server. That means you have to either buy a server, or pay for a hosting service.
Don’t buy a server.