When I decided to self-host a blog one of the things which convinced me to move over was the idea that I would be paying less. At the time I was paying for a domain, paying to connect the domain to my blog and paying for all sorts of extra features through WordPress. As you can imagine I was quite interested in not paying so much to run my blog and as such moved to a self-hosted blog. However looking back I now realise I hadn’t saved as much money as I thought I would.
THE COST OF SELF-HOSTING WORDPRESS
The really important thing when running a self-hosted blog is finding somewhere to host it. WordPress.org recommends BlueHost. It was literally built for running WordPress, the whole website is designed for that purpose. I signed up for a three-year contract with WordPress which cost me £213. You got a little off the overall price by paying for a larger block of time upfront, but it is also possible to pay monthly.
The price increases again depending on if you want a dedicated server space rather than sharing. Also if you need email or bandwidth. Bluehost also has a number of free features like SSL certificates which show your website is secure. And you have access to Cloudflare which constantly monitors the traffic on your site. It’s possible to upgrade to paid versions of these services which offer even more settings. But I think that is mainly for larger commercial websites.
THE COST OF A HOSTED BLOG
On the other hand, WordPress.com has a number of plans depending on what you need. When I was with WordPress.com I had a premium plan, this cost me £68 for the year and it allowed me to run ads, use premium themes and customize the CSS of my blog.
It’s important to note that I got something like a 40% discount on the Premium plan through some sale WordPress was running at the time. On top of that, I was paying £18.67 every year for my domain. I was then paying another £9 on top of that so I could map my blog to that domain.
In the last year, WordPress has changed their plans slightly, even including a cheaper plan for hobby bloggers. If this had been available last August I probably wouldn’t have gone self-hosted at all. The personal plan is £36 for the year, this includes a custom dot-com domain and the ability to customize your blog. The premium plan is £96 per year, this also includes the dot come domain name along with a huge list of features like premium themes, site monetization and the ability to schedule posts.
The only disadvantage of these plans is that you have to pay for them upfront. The premium plan is also slightly more expensive than a self-hosted service like BlueHost. Though you could assume that extra bit pays for the convenience of someone doing the technical stuff for you.
It turns out there isn’t a huge difference in price between a hosted and self-hosted. It comes back to what you want to use the blog for and how tech savvy you are. Self-hosted blogs can look more professional but it also comes with the knowledge that if anything goes wrong you have to fix it. Using a hosted WordPress service is slightly more expensive but you’re paying someone else to fix problems for you.