WordPress: The advantages & disadvantages of self-hosting

I recently made the leap from WordPress.com to self-hosted – which in simple terms means that I bought server space and installed WordPress’s free software to run my own blog. It didn’t take long to see the downside of the transition. Traffic increased unexpectedly, my web host freaked out, and caught between a rock and a hard place, I moved my blog back to WordPress.com.

Since that time, I have contacted several other web hosts and asked about how they would have handled the same situation. None of them have guaranteed that they wouldn’t have handled it the same way, but BlueHost does look the most promising with their shared hosting CPU protection. If and when I decide to make the jump again, I will probably be giving them a shot.

If you’re still reading, you might be interested in knowing why I’d want to leave WordPress.com where I get relatively free hosting and don’t have to worry about behind-the-scenes things like server overload and backups. I say “relatively” because I do pay for certain things – like my domain name, domain mapping (connecting the domain name to my blog), and the ability to edit my CSS file. All of that runs me about $35/year. While self-hosting would cost a bit more annually, it would give me access to many more options… and responsibilities.

Advantages

  • Thousands of themes at the click of a button
  • The ability to edit the functions and display of my themes & CSS files
  • Thousands of available plugins (add-ons that can be used for virtually anything on a blog you can imagine)
  • Total control over my own website
  • Option to add advertising or keep blog completely ad-free
  • Ability to access and backup my files via FTP
  • Managing my own database
  • Excellent resources online for fixing almost any WordPress problem
  • Can add Google Analytics for in depth reports on traffic to site

Disadvantages

  • Worrying about site going down because of spikes in traffic
  • Worrying about backups
  • No direct support for WordPress software (only via other users)
  • Being responsible for installing updates for WordPress and any activated plugins
  • More money out of pocket
  • Virtually no traffic from WordPress.com blogs

It seems that the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages… at least for me. =)

Author: Brian

Blogger. Bookworm. Michael Jackson fanatic. Lives in Kentucky with partner of 12 years and three fabulous felines.

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