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5 reasons NOT to go self-hosted with your blog

 |  Interwebs

I’ve seen a lot of fuss over the past month or so about (parent) bloggers who ‘have’ to go from a or Blogger account to a self-hosted blog. As a web developer, it’s obviously in my best interest for there to be lots of self-hosted blogs and sites out there because ultimately it means greater potential for work. However, the reality is that not everyone will need to, and here’s 5 reasons to stay put:

1. You’ll not have to worry about plugin or software updates

Although WordPress has made updates super simple with the implementation of the single click updater in 2.7 (we’re now on 3.5.1 to give that context) there’s no guarantee that a) the core upgrade is going to run smoothly or b) your plugins and themes are going to be compatible. Unless you’re running a local copy of apache or similar to test run your updates offline first, you can end up in trouble with conflicting versions of different things. handles all this for you.

2. You’ll not have to worry about hackers and bots

Because of the popularity of standalone WordPress, it has recently come under fire from “hackers” (I use this term loosely) brute-forcing installations relying on the default username ‘admin’. In some cases, the sites have been brought down by the sheer amount of attempts on the admin account username in what is effectively a denial of service attack. What’s more worrying is that security researches believe that compromised installs could be used to form a “super botnet” to attack even more sites.

3. It’s free

Free is my favourite cost :)

4. You get a community with no extra work

As a new blogger, one of the hardest things is keeping the motivation up to carry on posting with very little in the way of feedback (comments, subscribers etc). The advantage to hosted services, be that, Tumblr, Blogger or similar is that you effectively become part of a community straight away, leaning on the identity of that service. Most hosted services have tools which allow you to ‘reblog’ posts, comment on them through your profile etc which builds up the momentum with little extra work on your side.

5. You get the stability of a massive network

Unlike a shaky little shared box, which is what the majority of personal blogs (and indeed many business sites) are hosted on, you get to be part of a massive network of servers which often have excellent uptime stats because they have “worst case scenario” traffic management and redundant hardware. To quote the FAQ directly: runs on hundreds of servers located in several separate data centers in different parts of the USA. Weโ€™re not perfect and we do occasionally experience problems, but our network is designed so that sites continue working even when servers or parts of the network fail. Outages are rare and brief.

The great part is, this stability is all part of the service and you’re not tied in to any contracts (see point 3!)

Of course, there are advantages to going self-hosted, and I’ll follow this up with a 5 reasons to go self-hosted post just to present a balanced argument… but it’s not for everyone & you should not feel forced into it!

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

7 comments so far

    • Bells said:

      Did you decide? I don’t know if I really understand what I’m deciding haha! I love your blog btw, this article came up in google and by chance yours was the first comment! Pretty recognisable blog name you have ;-) x

  1. Stephanie said:

    I am hosted on WordPress. For $17 a year, I get my own domain and WP won’t put ads on my blog. It actually works quite well for me. I don’t get a lot of control over my themes, but there are plenty of nice ones available for me to use, and even then there are some that offer a lot of customization. I can’t put ads on my site, which is probably the single-worst thing a lot of bloggers on self-hosted sites may experience. However, that is just WP that blocks you from that. Blogs that use Tumblr’s format or Blogspot can use Google Adsense and such. And even then, WordPress has come out with its own version of Adsense called WordAds, I think, that bloggers who host on their servers and want to monetize can use. My blog, at this point in my life, does what I need it to do. I just want a place to write. In time, if I find myself more interested in theme development again, I may move to a self-hosted server. But for now, this works. I think the greatest benefit is I can count on that.

  2. Evette garside said:

    Im glad you posted this
    Been blogging just over two month on WordPress and already past 10000 views.
    Been in two minds about self hosted but worried I’ll lose my followers and have to restart fresh with stats etc

  3. Katherine said:

    I self host, but I use a shared server. While the price for the hosting is cheap, I still suffer on loading times during peak hours, it all turns into a huge trade off in the end. I could buy dedicated hosting, but that seems silly as I don’t use adds on my blog and have no intention of monetizing it and dedicated hosting is expensive as all hell.

    I will say that shared can be horrid, sometimes during peak hours heavy (but lovely) themes can cause page loading times to heighten to an almost abusive level. Reliability of the hosting also varies depending on who you are purchasing your hosting from, it really comes down to you are paying for exactly what you get, no host is going to do you any favors if you are only paying $7/month for their server space.

  4. Han said:

    Make sure you mention that even though you can have your own domain/design on its unbelievably expensive for what you get!

    (Also you should mention vaultpress, plus if you have low traffic you could use an ec2 instance with wpsuper cache and it will cost you pennies)

    Having said all that I’m currently dithering on what to do with my blog. I can’t wait for ghost to come out, WP is so overrated now :P I’m tempted by Octopress. decisions decisions! All sites seem to be static/mega cached now too.

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