Moving Your Blog Or Website From A Hosted Platform To Your Own Domain

Plan for blog content and marketing

The Importance of Moving Your Blog Or Website To Your Own Self HostedDomain

Moving your blog from a shouted platform to your own domain can seem daunting if you are new to WordPress. It is also very easy to start your website or blog on a hosted platform and many people do this. Hosted website and blogging platforms are free and generally trusted by search engines such as Google, so it can be a good way to start. However be aware, when you hosted your website on someone else’s server there are pitfalls.

To start with, you are at the mercy of the owner of the hosting platform and they all have their own terms and conditions of use, which may restrict how you use your website. For example WordPress does not allow affiliate links to be used on their blogs so it can be difficult to make money by hosting a blog on WordPress’ servers. 

Blogger has been known to delete blogs too. If they feel that a blog is too commercial or a bit spammy they can delete your blog without warning.

Using The Root Domain

Ideally, you want to start your blog on your own server, preferably in the root of the domain rather than in a subdirectory, such as yourdomain.com/blog.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but putting your blog on its own domain can have special benefits.

A root domain (yourdomain.com) often ranks better in the search engines than a subdirectory.  

Putting your blog on the main domain (just yourdomain.com) can help it rank better, and might even give it a little more credibility in the eyes of your visitors.

If you have some sort of content site on the root domain, and you have a blog in a subdirectory, make sure that your blog is easy to find, and that you have a link to it in your main menu.

Self Hosted WordPress Websites And Blogs

The most popular format for creating a blog or website is by far and away the self hosted version of WordPress. When you host the WordPress software on your own server, you are free to have affiliate links. Another advantage is  WordPress has a lot of support – from themed templates and plugins, to many sites on the internet such as this one that share knowledge, tips and advice about using WordPress to set you your own self hosted website.

You will need to buy your own hosting, there are many companies where you can buy hosting from and many have very easy one click installs.

If you’re going to host your blog in the root of your domain, you’ll upload all of the files and folder directly to the root instead of a subdirectory.

301 Redirect

If you had your blog previously in a subfolder or another domain, you’ll need to do a 301 redirect to tell search engines and visitors that the files have moved, and where they’ve moved to.  

If you don’t know how to do this, you can search Google for “301 redirect” to learn how to set this up. If you move your blog from a hosted solution, you’ll need to provide a link to your new blog in a post on the old location.  

Simply create a new post on the old blog, and say something like, “We’ve moved!  This blog has been relocated to a new domain.  Click here to visit the new blog, and be sure to update your bookmarks!”

By linking to the new location, you’ll not only be telling your visitors where to find you, but you’ll also be telling search engines where to find your new blog.  They’ll follow that link to your blog’s new location, and you’ll probably get the new domain indexed faster than if you didn’t link to it from the old one.

You can save yourself from having to do this later by starting your blogs on your own domain from the beginning.  A domain name is generally under $10, and hosting can be found for as little as $5 per month.  

Some people may not even have that much money available when they’re just starting out, and that’s understandable.  But as soon as you can possibly afford it, you should invest in a domain and hosting. Especially if you are running your website for a business.

If you get a new domain, log into your new host and they will have tutorials showing you how to install WordPress with a few clicks. Blue Host is an excellent host that I used when I started my blogs. You can find step by step instructions for installing your WordPress blog on Blue Host at this link.

Once your blog is set up you can find plenty of free themed templates to personalise your blog and make it your own. 

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