3 Mistakes I Made as a New Blogger

Self-hosted WordPress blog

Before I started blogging I tried to research whether I should start with a WordPress.com (hosted) or a WordPress.org (self-hosted) platform. Being brand new and feeling overwhelmed by all the terminology, I decided to play it safe and start off with WordPress.com which is the free, hosted platform. Although my learning curve was steep I learned quickly, and I soon became frustrated with “free” because of its limitations. A few months ago I decided to take the leap and switch to self-hosting, but I made some mistakes in the process that other bloggers might learn from.

3 Mistakes

1) Timing – I got wound up and decided to switch to self-hosting the week before taking our daughter to college, thinking it was going to be easy. Well, it wasn’t. And having all the other things I needed to tend to hanging over my head added more stress. I think I made some snap (and poor) decisions as a result. img_1093If you’re going to switch to self-hosting, don’t start the process when you have something important looming on your calendar. Not only to avoid adding stress, but also to allow yourself time to work through any problems that might arise. I encountered some problems during the process, and when it was complete, I then had to go through all my old posts and fix some things.

2) Theme – Have it chosen ahead of time, and verify that it will be supported by your chosen web host. I thought I’d be able to use my same theme, and then after the switch commenced I was told it wasn’t supported, so I panicked and bought one that looked good, but ended up being way too complicated. Then a different tech found that my old theme could be supported and switched me back to it. So I had bought one unnecessarily. The author was kind enough to refund my money, but ThemeForest would only give me an account credit.

3) Domain name – When it came time to register my domain name, I decided to alter it slightly, not realizing that would cause some other problems. I was able to get traffic forwarded from the old domain name, but that added an expense. I also didn’t realize I would be starting over on my statistics.

Advice to New Bloggers

Now that I’ve gained some experience I would offer the following advice to new bloggers:

The idea of self-hosting to begin with was intimidating, but in hindsight I think it would’ve been a lot easier. I only have experience with WordPress, but the dashboard (and learning curve) is the same for both platforms. Choosing self-hosted from the beginning would save the headache of converting later, and give you more freedom with plugins, design, and advertising.

WordPress

I chose SiteGround as my web host and have not regretted it. I can attest that they have great customer service! During my self-induced stress period I tested it thoroughly via “Live Chat.” I think I chatted with everyone in the department and they were all helpful and patient. I wish all companies provided Live Chat!

Web Hosting

As a new blogger, it really helps to find your “tribe,” – bloggers in your niche that you can learn from, and look to for support. Jen Snyder compiled a guide called “Find Your Tribe Online” that lists Facebook groups, Pinterest boards, and more. She put in the time so that you don’t have to. Finding your people will help jumpstart your blog. It helped me find some new blogging friends and inspired me to start my own tribe.

I hope that by sharing the mistakes I made that you might be able to avoid them. If I had to do it over, these are the things I would do differently.

Helpful Links

SiteGround

Find Your Tribe Online

 

Three Mistakes I Made as a New Blogger

Comments

  1. Deborah

    I’ve been with blogger since 2008, and don’t know anything about wordpress or switching over. Just buying my own domain and redirecting my blog through blogger was challenging enough for me! 😀

    1. Post
      Author
      mcurren527

      There’s a lot more to blogging than meets the eye, for sure. I’m amazed at how much I’ve learned, and how much more there is to learn.

    1. Post
      Author
      mcurren527

      Thank you, Amanda! I hope so. I was so confused and overwhelmed in the beginning. I hope to help someone else sort it out.

  2. Home's Cool!

    I have loved WordPress.com for years. I think that since I never plan to monetize my sites, I do not need to bother with the hassle of “going through the change”. Ha! As a writer, all I need is the tribe thing, and I’ve been steadily building that, online, and in person. I think a lot depends on each one’s circumstances, actually.
    I’ve heard having a self-hosted site will build the tribe faster, but honestly, mostly my ideal reader will be on facebook, anyway.
    I keep looking into self-hosting, and hearing so many horror stories, that it totally sounds more like a warning than a recommendation, to me. Still, I keep checking to be sure. 🙂
    Thanks for this openly written post! I almost was scared to read it, but your writing style is not so alarming as some. <3

    1. Post
      Author
      mcurren527

      Thank you! I didn’t mean to be alarming, just honest. It wouldn’t have been as bad if I didn’t have other stuff going on.

  3. Rosanna

    I started with self-hosted from the beginning. I didn’t even plan to monetize at first, but my husband (who is a tech guy) didn’t like the idea of not self-hosting. Since he sells hosting to some of his customers, he just added me to the same server. All that being said, I may not have made the self-hosting mistake but I’ve made plenty of other ones.

    1. Post
      Author
  4. Spring Lake Homestead

    Thanks, that’s all good to know. I wanted to do self-hosted to begin with, but we had a few reasons for not doing it out of the gate. Maybe after the holidays are over I can think more about that switch, and you gave me a few things to think about!

    1. Post
      Author

I'd love to hear what you have to say!