Better Blogging / Blogging for Money / Building a Better Blog / self-hosting / Tips /

Self Hosting: What’s Your Hurry?

woman at computerThe free features available for free hosted blogs at are great. There’s a such a wide variety available that no matter what kind of a blog you have in mind,  or what premium features you need, is not only a great place to start blogging,  but may even be  your last stop.

Matt Mullenweg:
I took a look back at all the feature announcements we’ve made here, and it came to 370 posts, 82 in 2009 alone. That’s a lot of features. So in case you missed anything along the way here are some of my picks for cool things you can do with
My Tips on

The pros and cons of being free hosted by or self hosting software  are summed up very well in vs.

The make money motivation for moving to self hosting

Although it may not be the only reason, the most common reason for leaving and self hosting a blog that I’m aware of is the desire to make money by blogging.

If your blog does not currently attract 1,000 – 1,500 unique visitors every day, and your traffic stats do not demonstrate a growth trend, and your SEO is not up in the 90 percentile range, then it’s unlikely that you will make a significant income from blogging. You will be lucky if you make enough to cover web hosting costs.

If you are a skillful blogger with an archive of quality content, a  knowledge base and skill sets that make it possible for you to “deliver the goods” See  1- 17  in How to Make Money by Blogging,  then self hosting may be appealing but it doesn’t have to be immediate.

1. Purchase a Domain and Domain Mapping

The  first step can be purchasing your own domain and domain mapping. You don’t need to leave to do that, and the sooner all bloggers do this, the better.

The new domain will start with a PageRank of 0/10 and it will take at least 4 – 6 months to regain it, provided your traffic stats don’t fall off, and the number of backlinks your new posts secure are about the same as the number of backlinks your older posts secured.

In addition, if and when you begin self hosting a install your blog will no longer part of the community. That means your posts will no longer appear on the tagging pages, and the traffic that your blog used to derive from there will disappear.

Here’s the catch 22 that arises after you have worked hard for 4 – 6 months to bring the PageRank of the new blog up.  If you are blogging for money then PageRank will be a major issue for you as a self hosting blogger.

While it may be true that once your site has a higher PageRank (4 or 5) that  higher paying writing opportunities may become available to you, provided you seek them out, if you choose to write for services like ReviewMe, Text Link Ads, Smorty, and/or PayPerPost, etc. then  understand that Google doesn’t like paid links.

Google’s position is that you must  indicate paid links with “nofollow”.  But when you work for the sites listed above or others like them they require that their “do-follow” links must be in your posts and their badges in your sidebar. There’s the catch. If you make that choice to write for those services or others like them then you will be kissing PageRank goodbye, so consider chilling for awhile and doing some information gathering.

Going into the business of blogging for money means undertaking due diligence, doing research first, developing a business plan, spending some money up front to hopefully make more money later on, and being prepared for the the fierce competition that exists. So, if  you are convinced that you have what it takes to enter that competitive milieu in the future then you will have some homework to do first.

2. Take Note of the Metrics – Scout Out the Competition

The next step can be getting a clear picture of the all  metrics that apply to your own blog at as it is now, and the blogs of  similar sites that you are preparing to compete within a niche and make comparisons.

  • SEO
  • backlinks
  • PageRank
  • traffic
  • demographic metrics

Some tools you can use: website grader; quantcast; cubestats; similar sites

3. Research the Various Monetization Methods

According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2009 report, in popularity it [affiliate links]  beats paid postings, rich media ads, and is third only to display ads and search ads. … A number of monetization methods is being employed by the 28% of bloggers that do monetize. — Affiliate Links: Third Most Popular Blog Monetization method.

Read also: Twenty Income Streams for Bloggers

4. Research How Much Bloggers Get Paid to Blog

During discussions with bloggers, I have found that the average blogger (not a superstar, but not a slouch) earns around $10 per 250-word post. Of course, most people exceed the word count to please their employer. (Heck, this post is contracted for 250 words and it’s closer to 500!). — Calculating Your Worth as a Blogger

To make the average annual US income of $60,000, you need to make $34 an hour. If you are paid $5 a blog post, you would have to write 12,000 blog posts. At $25 a blog post, you would have to publish 2,400. For $50 per post, that’s 1200 posts. At $100 per blog post, you would have to generate 600 posts. — Blogging Jobs: How Much Are Bloggers Paid to Blog?

The issue of the blogging pay scale is very important, not just because I’m one of the workers in this new industry who expects to be able to pay the rent or meet a mortgage, but also because I represent the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of people who want to make money blogging. — Blogging Jobs: How Much is Blogging Worth?

More advice on preparing to self-host

As part of your preparation to move to self hosting to make a significant amount of money blogging, and to avoid  the pitfalls I recommend that you lurk on make money blogging forums before you commit to choosing a monetization method or combination of monetization methods. Specifically, I advise you to aim to be able to correctly answer over 80% of the questions asked on those forums before you commit to self hosting.

There’s so much to learn about so many aspects of self hosting and blogging for money that I’ve come full circle.  What’s Your Hurry?

Related posts found in this blog:
How and why to get your own domain
Bloggers Get Your Own Domain
Setting Up a Self Hosted Install

45 thoughts on “Self Hosting: What’s Your Hurry?

  1. Wow. What a wealth of information. The comments I’ve read are just as valuable as the article (if not more so.)

    Thought I’m late to the conversation, I wanted to say I’ve learned quite a bit and am now seriously pondering the fate of my tiny little blog. I did not realize that there might be ads outside of my mobile site (which I have seen on my phone), and I am disheartened by how I’ll need to put another year of work into getting a solid Google ranking if I move to On the flip side, I’m wondering if it is better to take the hit now while I have fewer subscribers, or if I should wait. I am prepared to pay for a good template and because my husband is an IT guy and we host another website and have server space, I am not afraid of the more tech-y side of hosting my own. My main concern is losing the Feedburner RSS subscribers and Google rankings for my highest search terms.

    Lots to think about. Thank you!

    • Let me explain this a bit more clearly. Pagerank is not transferable from the subdomain URLs to the domain URLs. Technically the new domain starts from “unranked”. After purchasing domain mapping it will take about 4 months for your content to be re-indexed by the search engines and, all things being equal, the pagerank will end up where it was at previously.

      Purchasing domain mapping means visitors clicking any URLs that have already been indexed will be seamlessly transfered to the same content under the domain URL. That means any visitor using the search terms your blog is already appearing in the SERPs (search engine page results) for will be seamlessly redirected to the same content, and that redirection continues for as long as you renew your domain name and domain mapping.

      To eliminate ads on your blog entirely, you can purchase the No-Ads Upgrade. The upgrade is especially attractive and useful to business blogs in order to eliminate any possibility of competitors’ ads displaying on their domains. No Ads is a paid upgrade that costs $29.97 per blog, per year.

      You can move your content later into a install. If you’ve registered your domain through and later want it to point to a blog or website hosted elsewhere then you can do this by updating the nameservers. Feedburner subscribers aren’t lost.

      P.S. The best time to purchase a domain name and domain mapping for your blog is right from the get go.

  2. This has been a very informative blog and subsequent discussion. I began blogging because I love to write and this forces me to keep writing (which is what writers should do!).
    I wonder what your advice would be to increase traffic on one’s blog? I currently post to Facebook and get a few referrals from there.

  3. From time to time I think about self-hosting to make a bit of money from blogging but I can’t really see myself doing so and I’m not even sure I’d be able to adjust to a self-hosted blog… with all the hassle of maintaining a site, getting the plugins and stuff, etc. And then – where to find the energy to blog ‘professionally’? But aside from any financial considerations which – as you rightly say – probably wouldn’t happen because my blog most definitely doesn’t attract 1,000 – 1,500 unique visitors every day! – my major reason for wanting to stay on is that I love it here and I’d really miss it. With only a very few exceptions, most of the bloggers I’ve encountered on have been rather cold and so money-orientated that I’ve not been able to relate to them and, to me, the major reason for having a blog in the first place is to be able to connect with people.

    PS. I only just realised that I hadn’t subscribed to your blog via the dashboard here, so I have now. I’ve been subscribed for ages now via RSS feeds but I like to add subs so that people know I’m reading them!

    • @Val
      I had a install but I chose to move my blog back to after a couple of years of self-hosting. If you are an experienced software user, and have the skill sets required to set up and manage your own self hosted install then the instructions for making the move are easy to follow. But if you are not skilled at blogging, and also lack the skill sets required to self host your own install then acquiring those skills first is recommended. You will be responsible for all upgrades, installations, backups and troubleshooting. If you install a theme or a plugin that negatively affects your blog, then you have to figure out what went wrong and fix it.

      Here at we don’t have to worry about any of that — we are free to blog while Staff takes care of the rest. I found that my blog did not retain the traffic it once had after moving it and decided to move it back to free hosting.

      Thanks so much for subscribing to my blog. :)

  4. Pingback: Why my WordPress Blog is hosted at « John Levandowski

  5. Glad i’ve ran across this post again, as you know TT we’re about to self host in a matter of weeks, however as suggested from another user that we should keep our current blog (swaggtalk100) up, export our comments and posts to the new blog, leave this one up. Now is there or has there been any issues with that you know? I was wonderng since all the same comments, posts and links would be one two different blogs perhaps that would be a major deal or perhaps not.


  6. You know I have a self hosting blog through GoDaddy and I am pretty happy with it. But I have noticed 2 BIG problems.

    1. When other wordpress users leave a comment on my blog it does not allow them to keep their avatar.

    2. When I leave a comment on a blogger site it allows me to login using WordPress. When the comment asks me for this URL ( I cant give them that. I have to give them ( ) But when I try to submit the comment there is an error. I usually end up logging into the their blogs by using google but my link back never goes to my website it goes to my google profile. A bit frustrating.

    Do you have any suggestions to fix this?

  7. Yes, Timethief.
    I hurried for selfhosted blogging and with no help and little knowledge about .org I suffered.
    My site was a load for the server and was down for 3 months .
    I lost the hope.
    tried 000webhosts free hosting which was = my paid but less features.
    then plesk then back to cpanel.

    But the conclusion is, Its idea of being independent and a complete self website.
    There is not much fun for me in blogger or wordpress anymore.
    Now with months of experience my site is back and fully functional.
    No prob with bandwith now, as I use best cache plugin, web optimization
    My SEO is still poor 29%
    Hope to do better

    • I’m sorry to hear your experience was a negative one. I think many bloggers are in a hurry to get self hosted installs and don’t recognize what a good thing we have going at where we can have free hosting for our domains, still be part of the community, get traffic from the global tags pages, and entitled to all the free features and benefits which are many in number. Among them is reliable hosting and the fact that Staff do all the geek work for us. In addition we have excellent peer support from forum Volunteers and when they can’t help then we have Staff who can. Best wishes with improving your on page and off page SEO. You will find there are helpful posts under “SEO tips” on my popular posts page.

  8. I thought I should leave a comment after reading that article a few times.

    I am looking out information “everywhere” on how to move to a self-hosted wordpress.
    Obviously, searching answers in the Forum, I read your advices on many post, and followed the link.

    What’s my hurry? domain name, Css, videopress, private users.. If I check the prices of webhost provided in it seems that it would be cheaper to go that way.

    I might be wrong though..

    Reason for that comment, if needed be? A Thanks for the content of your site. I believe most of my questions are being answer in it.

    And if not, I may just find the courage to post on the forum, and you may even be the person who will provide me the answer.

    • I believe that getting a domain name ASAP makes sense and I have already explained why. I also believe remaining on free hosting at makes sense:
      (1) if you do not have the skills required to manage your own self-hosted site;
      (2) or if you are satified with the free features;
      (3) or you are prepared to pay for upgrades that must be renewed annualy.

      If you do have the required skills then you can hack your template and the CSS charge free of charge on a blog and plugins are also free.

      If you wish to compare the cost of various upgrades to self hosting then the prices are available and that’s easy to do.

      With regard to videopress there are free alternatives available. You can locate sites that allow you to upload your videos free of charge and if you choose to remain on free hosting at you can use the vodpod widget If you are into music you can use Fielden.

  9. Pingback: How To: Migrate Your Blog Hosting | Canadian Tech Blogger

  10. TiTi, Arafat,
    I’m back again to say thanks for I have purchased a new domain http://www.GuidingFriends.Com and mapped it with my blogger blog http://www.GuidingFriends.Blogspot.Com successfuly.

    Infact, I did not know anything about Blogger’s free domain mapping service. Because I learnt about it from this wonderful post of your blog
    therefore I am highly grateful to you for the assistance you provide with your informative and well explained posts.

    Thank you very much.
    Wish you all the best.

    Ibn Hanif

  11. This being about the 30th time I’ve read this post, I thought I should say something.
    I’m actually hurrying to buy hosting for a new domain, but that is because it will take me many months to set up.
    I don’t hope to make money blogging really (although to pay for my fees would be nice), I just want to gain freedom to customise and edit the site.

    I ddn’t realise quite how much knowledge I was missing until you answered my query on wordpress support! Clicking on your name then has helped me more than I could have imagined.

  12. I currently own

    Unfortunately, the server I’m hosting it on, which I paid money for premium features, has screwed my site up again and again to the point that I’m on the verge of coming back here.

    Frankly, I wasn’t making a fraction of the amount of traffic necessary to even have my own hosted domain and server, let alone any money off of ads. Twas a waste of precious time.

    What I should have done first is used normal blogging here to the point where I’ve gained a multitude of readers and have locked in my ability to blog with professional skill. So here I am to hopefully achieve this – mastering the art of blogging for the mere fun of blogging instead of money FIRST (which is key to everything else).

    I think I’m going to stay here for a while and establish myself before going back out there to be a hero.

    Thanks for this post!

    – E

      • What I should have done first is used normal blogging here to the point where I’ve gained a multitude of readers and have locked in my ability to blog with professional skill. So here I am to hopefully achieve this – mastering the art of blogging for the mere fun of blogging instead of money FIRST (which is key to everything else).

        Exactly! I’m so glad you are willing to listen to advice from an old lady who has been there and back again. It really galls me that so many “old hands” advise that new bloggers ought to immediately get into self hosting. Granted, a domain is quickly becoming an essential asset. But being in a hurry to leave this free hosted blogging platform where we are not under duress in terms of hosting issues like poor support, downtime, bandwidth restrictions, etc. is not sensible. Staying here and learning everything one can, benefiting in every way one can from free features and the community support, and building a blog centered community of regular readers is the best course of action.

  13. First, let me say I love this site! I found it accidentally and have learned more in the past couple of hours here than days elsewhere.

    I especially like the “Self-Hosting: What’s the Hurry?” post. It is the first piece I’ve read that actually said one can get started without making that decision. For this reason, I think I’ve finally decided on to get going.

    Having said that, I don’t want to short-circuit any commercial viability of my new site. I’m not interested in Adsense so much, but would like to one day explore some affiliate relationships with Amazon and maybe others. I can’t seem to find a clear answer on this… does allow affiliate type advertising? Also, IF I do decide to sell something, I assume I can do that on as well… correct?

    One last question. Is it ok to go with the standard hosting that includes wordpress in the url or should I start out with a domain name without the .wordpress?

    Thanks very much for this great blog!

    • @David
      I’m so glad you accidentally found my blog. Woo hoo! May thousands of other bloggers likewise find it accidentally too. :D

      Many bloggers spend a long time getting started on Their blog’s PageRank is higher because the SEO here on the stuff we can’t affect is excellent ( 8/10). The peer support here is great and there is a supportive community as well as Staff support. However, there is a down side to lingering on a subdomain as I have explained in Bloggers Get Your Own Domain.

      All the Google juice and backlinks and PageRank belong to the URL so if you blog is and has 9,000 backlinks and a PageRank of 5, if you later buy a domain and domain mapping for it, even though the blog contents are the same, the URL is what counts and it has changed. So you find yourself working your way upward from zero backlinks and a PageRank of 0/10 again.

      So yes you can get started here even if you know you will eventually move to self hosting. If you are committed to blogging long term, and you are smart, then you will immediately purchase a domain and keep renewing it every year. Then you will not be required to purchase domain mapping in the future, and all the “credit” to the blog will be there as the URL will not change, so you won’t have the climb the ladder again scenario I have described above.

      This is the link to the support entry for the kinds of blogs allowed and not allowed at Read the affiliate section carefully and also do not assume you can sell anything at all without Staff permission. Key question: Did you create what you want to sell? Also read this and read this forum thread noting where Staff speak as opposed to where members speak I do not speak for The bottom line is run it by Staff first and you may get permission, or not.

      Spend your time at wisely. Learn everything you can about how to apply both on page and off page SEO and use it properly. Comment, form relationships and learn how to promote your blog contents effectively.

      Bye for now

  14. timethief, Arafat Hussain, I have checked Blogger’s domain mapping option and I think it’s suitable in my case. Thank you so much for your suggestions.
    Best Wishes!
    Ibn Hanif

    • @Pearl Trader
      It’s good to know you have checked out the options and found the one that suits you.

      Best wishes for even better blogging. :)

  15. Bonjour,
    Très interessant comme article,c’est vraiment un plaisir de vous lire
    A Bientôt.
    (sorry to write in french but i’m bad in english)

  16. Pingback: Thinking of Self-Hosting « Changing Way

  17. Hmm. is a highly excellent service.

    Users who like to post tons of non-youtube video though may want to try blogspot since vodpod disables fullscreen on most embedded vodpod videos.

    Currently with my main blog pulling in only 100+ visits a day (with a random 2,000 hit spike once a month) I am pondering if I should pull from paid hosting (which I have till march), and move to blogspot/ (depending if blogspot can fix there convert bug by march!).

    There is free hosting from zymic but since it’s a free host…up time could be an issue.

    Your thoughts?

    • @dreamsburnred
      I do have some thoughts to share but I also must get some income generating work done. I’ll come back to this comment and answer you this evening, okay?

      In the meanwhile I think you might gain a lot by reading my post on blogspot versus wordpress. com In it you will find a comparison table of features for both.

      Off the top
      (1) blogspot does not have an importer for blogs that are not blogspot blogs;
      (2) right out of the box their templates do not validate – typically they throw over 300 HTML markup errors at you that you have to “fix” using web developer and firebug; that’s not to mention the CSS errors you have to “fix” as well,
      (3) using any of the free themes for Blogger blogs requires an indepth audit by a code wise person because many contain hidden links, as well as, the multiple visible “sponsorr” links in the footer (these tend to provide links to casinos, drug peddlars, real estate companies, etc.) every time a page loads on your blog. I could go on and on …

      Re: videos – I don’t have any information about blogspot blogs and videos from sources other than youtube. There’s a research job to be done there.

      Until later …

      • @dreamsburnred
        I hesitated to say this before because it sounds do disparaging, but I decided to say it now. Every blogger that I know who went to a small free web hosting service did have trouble. Their blogs were frequently off-line and frequently unavailable when the search bots came to index. Consequently, their readers became frustrated, their subscribers bagn to un-subscribe, they had few comments, got very few backlinks, and their PageRank plummeted. None of them are still free hosted by the same small web hosts at this time.

        I want to make a distinction here for edublogs, which is also a free hosting service that runs on worpress MU like we do here. (Edublogs – Blogging for teachers and students, made easy) They are terrific and everything I have ever heard from anyone with a student or teacher blog hosted there has been positive.

        If Blogger (blospot) intends to introduce an importer for blogs from other blogging platforms, then I’m not aware of that.

        As far as prorities go I’m not you , of course, I would blog at and link to videos of the kind that you cannot have at As a reader I’m not bothered by making another click to see a video. The fact it isn’t being shown in the post usually means the blogger has written something of substance in it that “hooks” me into clicking one more click to see it.

        I hope this addresses your concerns. I apologize for not getting back to you . I have stuff going on in my private life that must be my first priority.

        Best wishes,

        • No support, and the fact that blogger just added pages today kinda shows that blogger is old school.

          They fixed the import bug but I noticed that all my images got corrupted…not cool google.

          I am not glad that I have moved on from blogspot, and on to wordpress :).

        • So they finally added static pages. :D I have answered so many questions, and provided the links to tutorials to blogspot bloggers so many times, on how to create pseudo pages that I can’t even count them. As there were no static pages one had to create a horizontal navbar, and then create and backdate posts (pseudo pages) and hook them to it.

  18. @PearlTrader: Blogger do have free domain mapping service so you can use your own domain, no need to setup a selfhosted blog for that reason. Another thing is if you have the money then get a good hosting account from US or UK server. Cheap is not always worst – host gator, host monster, blue host are some good known name on cheap hosting.

    @timethief: Unless someone providing SEO service or other similar service, no one need a high page rank to earn money from blogging. PR have very minor effect of SERP, it’s on page SEO which bring traffic from search engine. But when someone build a community depended site, they usually want good PR to show their SEO skill and later they setup their own SEO service. SEO service is a good way to earn money. The unfortunate thing is most people think PR decide SEO success. I saw some site in my 1 year blogging career with good PR(4-5) but they don’t have anything useful in their bucket, hence they don’t get traffic from search engine.

    • Hello there.

      We agree that good SEO is provided so we can have our blogs indexed by search engines and made available to “potential” readers. I also agree that one does not have to have an optimized blog to montetize it. However, do understand where I am coming from. I am a teacher by calling and this is a learn how to blog blog. In my blog posts I express my opinions. So what I am saying is that it’s my opinion that any blogger on wordpresscom,who sucks at SEO is not ready to move. IMO they need to learn how to blog.

      @Arafat Hossain Piyada
      You say in part: “… no one need a high page rank to earn money from blogging …”

      I agree and whatever your PageRank your blog may have before you place paid links on the blog it’s going to fall. So if what you are blogging for is bucks alone, and you do not wish to employ SEO which does bring in organic traffic, then PageRank won’t matter a whit to you, and you’ll be happy with the traffic you get.

      Thanks so much for your comment.
      Best wishes for happy blogging. :)

  19. Very interesting post! I often feel is more feature rich!

    Commercialisation of a niche blog is more advisable. See how this Indian makes some 3k-4k dollars per month by blogging and associated activities:

    • @Vikas
      Hello there. It’s good to hear f5rom you. Indeed I’m aware that there are bloggers who do make a good income. They are skilled writers, bloggers, social networkers and business people.

      The bloggers who ask me about making money cannot be so described. Most lack a “business mindset”. They do not write well; they do not have highly developed blogging skills and social networking skills, and they are unwilling to devote any time to improving in these areas. They speak in terms of “passive income” and “passive blog promotion” and assume that the blog readers they have now will somehow multiply like rabbits and become ad clickers overnight.

      The blogosphere is full of deluded and confused people who have yet to learn how to blog, network, think like a business person thinks, and remain within the confines of the contractual arrangements they make. Example:

      I have spent almost 2 years dealing with people who fail to achieve their make money goals with a blogspot blog. I have spent 5 years hgosting forums for make money bloggers and witnessing their struggles. That’s what has shaped my contents in the post above. However, I think I neglected to state the most important advice which is as follows and which I intend to edit the post above to include:

      As part of your preparation to moving to self hosting by make money blogging, I recommend that you lurk on make money blogging forums before you commit to choosing a monetization method or combination of monetization methods. I advice you to aim to be able to correctly answer over 80% of the questions asked on those forums before you commit to self hosting.

  20. I don’t want a .com blog, I just want to blog for fun :)

    But I’m amazed what a business blogging can be and it is for some people! It’s unbelievable. I thought that bloggers earn money only by advertising, I didn’t even know they can be paid by words or post- thanks for clearing me up ;)

    • @copinglkoala
      I think you made a typing error above because you do have a blog. I think you meant to say you did not want a blog.

      Yes, blogging for money is a business activity. Unfortunately, the real figures with regard to what bloggers make from, paid postings, rich media ads, display ads and search ads, and paid affiliate links often get lost int the bullshite like this ““I made a million on the internet and so can you” type of advertising (i.e. MLM, network marketing, cash gifting, etc.).”

  21. “Self Hosting: What’s Your Hurry?”

    I don’t blog for earning. But still I have a desire to have a .Com blog without words of .Blogspot perhaps this is the only reason that makes me desire a self hosted blog.
    But I’m afraid that a blog hosted with a Pakistani web hosting company will not be available for 24 hours. Electricity problems etc.
    Am I right, TT?

    Thanks again for writing and sharing this wondrful article.

    I wish you all the best ever.
    Ibn Hanif

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