The Downside of Self-Hosting WordPress

As I’ve mentioned a few times before I’ve had a self-hosted WordPress blog for about a year and though there were good reasons as to why I chose to make the move. I’ve had a number of problems with self-hosting WordPress which have got so annoying I genuinely considered moving to some other blogging platform.

image of desk with laptop and notebook on surface

MY PROBLEMS WITH SELF-HOSTING WORDPRESS

As I’ve mentioned before my problems with WordPress started right away while transferring over to my new host. As far as I could tell this problem was caused more by my host than the actual WordPress software but it was still an annoyance.

The thing is that since you’re self-hosting any problems you have with WordPress are your problems to deal with. On WordPress.com or any other blogging platform, you don’t really have any issues. All the backend stuff is done for you so you can focus on blogging.

In the last year, I have been locked out of my admin panel because though Jetpack plugin decided it didn’t like my IP address. Around October time my blog got a huge amount of views in a few hours, a number of Twitter users were quite jealous when I tweeted about this but it turned out it was just bots. I had to get help from someone and spend an hour changing settings in my security software in order to block the IP addresses these bots were coming from.

While writing this post WordPress decided it didn’t like the image I was trying to upload and refused to upload it. It was a simple problem to fix, the image was missing the .jpg extension. But my problem with WordPress is all the little errors you get. I’m doing this for fun, it’s not something I want to make a job out of. And I feel like all these little things just add a layer of stress which I don’t really need.

THE SSL CERTIFICATE

Then we have all the problems with my SSL certificate. The SSL certificate shows that the user has a secure connection to the website. This is really important if they are going to be inputting any details. The SSL certificate also shows that your website is trustworthy. This is a little thing which is important when it comes to how well your blog blog ranks in search results.

I get a free SSL certificate through BlueHost which renews every three months. The last two times it renewed it has totally broken. The certificate seemed to renew but it didn’t actually update on the server. This meant a drastic drop in the number of daily views my blog would get, almost half on some days.

When a user visited the https version of my site Chrome, and I’m assuming other browsers, would display a message that the website wasn’t secure because there was something wrong with the SSL. It meant every user who got that notification couldn’t access my website the problem was fixed.

I don’t know what is causing this issue, but BlueHost is usually pretty quick about getting it dealt with. A quick message chat with support will get it sorted. But it is an annoyance because I keep having to fix the issue.

FINALLY

I love being able to self-host my WordPress blog. I have so much more freedom with how my blog is set-up. But it also comes with the downside that I have to fix any problems which come from self-hosting WordPress. I need to sort out any problems I have. And I’ve done okay so far. But it’s still an annoyance.

Honestly, if you had asked me a month ago while dealing with my SSL certificate I was 100% ready to transfer my blog again. As it is I’m going to wait until closer to my hosting renewal date before making any decisions. But when considering self-hosting WordPress you do need to think about all the extra work you’re taking on. And if you feel you can handle any problems which may arise.

One thought on “The Downside of Self-Hosting WordPress

  1. Nice post. I think more people need to know that the shift has benefits, but it’s not without stress.

    We self host our company website using WordPress on GoDaddy. We don’t have too many problems with certificates, because we have tons of them, purchased and managed with GoDaddy. But, self-hosting is a lot of work. One reason to self-host is to be able to use plug-ins and change the theme, but everything you add has to be maintained. Some things don’t stay up-to-date with WordPress, so automatic updates often cause problems.

    After maintaining our site for three years. I gave up my plans to self-host my blog. I’ll pay the fees with WordPress when I run out of space.

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