More and more site owners are transitioning to self hosting because it allows for more flexibility with their site.
The following are just a few benefits of leaving your free site behind and becoming a self host:
Freedom of Customization
WordPress.com only offers a limited selection of themes to choose from – and you can hardly customize the colors, not to mention the inability to tweak the layout.
This can lead to cookie-cutter websites that have the same look & feel as your competition and can be a deterrent for many readers.
Not only do you have the ability to install any WordPress theme on the market, but you can create your own as well. A self hosted WordPress site also allows you to modify any file or template in any theme you buy or downloads (thanks to the GPL), so you can tweak or turn any theme into your dream site.
With a self hosted WordPress site, you can very easily customize every bit of your site and stand out from the crowd.
Plugins for Website Backup & Migration
Backing up your website is vital.
This should be done on a fairly regular basis to keep your web content safe. With free hosting, you don’t know when or if your website is protected.
Self hosted WordPress sites have access to plugins like BackupBuddy that allow you to backup your site with the push of a button – leaving a copy of your site in your hands if anything goes awry. Many self hosting services will even automatically backup your site for you, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
On top of being able to back up your site, you’ll have the ability to migrate your site to a new domain name or host as well. Simply pack up your website and move everything elsewhere if you so choose – or pick and choose the pieces you need to start over.
The hosted WordPress.com does not allow you the freedom to migrate your website completely. In fact, you may lose your theme completely if you decide to self host later on.
Stay in control of your site’s content and framework with a self hosted WordPress site.
Not only will you have access to backup plugins, but you’ll also have access to an entire realm of free and paid plugins that WordPress.com does not permit.
You’ll be free to extend your website however you want without any limitations from your host – giving you access to premium WordPress shops like wpmudev and Elegant Themes. You can even commission a plugin to be created just for your site – something that you definitely cannot do with free WordPress.com hosting.
Like most free hosting services, WordPress.com leaves little to no recourse with regard to technical support.
You may find some information, but you will have to search for it or post on a forum. Self hosted sites not only have a plethora of information available for you to read, but you can also easily call the hosting company and speak to a person.
Since WordPress is the largest web building platform on the Internet, the technicians may also be able to answer any questions you have about WordPress. On top of that, may expert WordPress companies offer maintenance plans to further cater to your needs.
Another benefit to self hosted websites is the increased level of security that is available to you. Free hosting does usually come with a decent security system.
However, self hosted sites are much more secure due to the extra security features that are available, such as the ability to add security plugins, backend code, and the use of advanced traffic routing. These extra security measures are quite helpful in keeping culprits from damaging your website in any way.
Check out the best ways to secure your self hosted WordPress website.
There are plenty of great hosting services available, so choose the one that best fits your needs. You may even want to ask friends or colleagues for their suggestions.
Once you have settled on your host, simply install WordPress and get started or read more on the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.