Self hosting & blog makeover…

This little haven of the internet world has been mine now for about three and a half years. During this time I have learnt so, so much about blogging and the amount of work that’s involved. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that it can be a total shock when you first start blogging, when you realise just how much there is to do and learn if you really want to make your blog successful.

Thankfully, as I’ve mentioned before in my post ‘Big up the bloggers‘, the blogging community is fantastic and there is so much support available. Pretty much anyone will help you out in any way that they can if you ask. So if you are reading this as a newbie blogger, don’t be afraid to ask your blogger buddies for advice. We’ve all been there and will only be too happy to help where we can.

So after long deliberation, vast amounts of research and deliberating of whether I had it in me, I took the plunge and decided to go self hosted! I figured if I was going to do it, I just need to bite the bullet and just do it. There’s no point umming and ahhing. I wanted to do it and so I was brave.

I researched the hosts available to me. The cost and what support was available. I already had my domain name that I purchased through WordPress earlier on in the year, so you can see I have been taking baby steps. I wanted to make sure I was going to stick it out before putting hard earned pennies into it.

Eventually I decided on the company TSO Host. They were recommended to me by someone on Twitter. I looked up their website and was instantly impressed by them from an online chat I had with them. Before even making the final decision they had reassured me and I felt confident that purchasing the hosting package through them, I would be supported all the way through and if there were any problems, they would be there to sort them out.

So I went for it. I clicked the purchase button on Β£14.99 a year and went on to provide them with all of the vital information they needed to migrate my WordPress.com blog over to a pretty new self hosted blog all of my own.

I have to say. They. Were. Amazing.

I didn’t really have to do anything. Apart from send a couple of emails, I gave them my log in details and they took care of everything. When the time came to point my website in the right direction of their servers, they told me what to do and overnight it went live. Jakijellz.com – the self hosted version, was born.

The next few days were spent playing around with layouts and themes and colour schemes and logos and so on and so forth. Actually it’s taken me a few weeks to end up with the final product you see today. I spent a bit of time looking at other blogs and making a note of particular things I liked to then implement on my own.

I purchased my blog theme from Pipdig. I’d had my eye on it for a few weeks before I bought it. Again. I wanted to make sure it was the right one before I committed.

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I made the right decision. I love it and all that I can do with it. I am particularly now fond of my Instagram bar at the top, my popular posts at the side and the Pinterest boards also at the side. Since having this option I have rediscovered my love of Pinterest. It’s a great way to add some different images to the site whilst also getting an insight into my mind. Given that I’m a quote loving Queen, you’ll regularly have an idea of my frame of mind by the type of quote that is displayed!

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I’ve also discovered a love of taking photos again. Having the Instagram pictures as one of the first thing my readers see, it’s really important to me to make sure that they are of good quality. Colourful. Well shot and interesting. I don’t just post anything to Instagram anymore. I’ve got very fussy! In a good way of course.

I am also now very happy with my colour scheme. Believe it or not, I took the inspiration for that from a favourite phone case of mine. Turquoise and gold. I love the font of my header and there’s just enough colour to give it a classic look.

I love the fresh look of my blog and the fact that it’s easy to read and navigate around. It’s very easy on the eye which was something I was very keen to implement.

No doubt there will be tweaks and changes in the future. I think this is important to keep it interesting. After all, we all redecorate our homes, this is no different. And it’s also the beauty of being self hosted. There are so many options now available that I didn’t have before. I love the feeling of being in control of my content and its appearance.

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So if you are like I was and are in two minds as to whether to take the plunge and go self hosted, I would honestly recommend it. It’s not nearly as daunting as you expect it to be and if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up wishing you did it ages ago.

If I can help in anyway, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m by no means an expert. But I’m just like you and sometimes it’s nicer to talk to people who have learnt themselves. Feel free to drop me an email or tweet me. I’d be happy to help.

Thank you for reading.

Linked up the following awesome linkys:

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Rhyming with Wine
My Random Musings
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26 Comments

  1. 21st August 2016 / 12:33 am

    Wow! Your blog looks amazing! When would you recommend switching to being self-hosted? I haven’t been blogging very long but I feel like I’ve been doing it forever… I don’t know if that really makes sense! Thanks xx

    • Jaki
      21st August 2016 / 12:47 am

      Ah thank you! I am quite proud of it! If you’re enjoying it I’d say go for it. It gives you so much more freedom and makes it even more enjoyable. It’s very straight forward with WordPress. And the people I used are super helpful. If you want to chat more, drop me an email. Happy to help where I can πŸ™‚ xx

      • 24th August 2016 / 7:27 pm

        I started my blog years ago through self-hosting…but just now have been given the freedom and time to dedicate the time it needs to really use the self-hosting benefits. Back then, I felt like it was overwhelming, but also feel like I’ve been able to learn what that means as I’ve also learned what it is to be a blogger. So cool to connect via this little similarities ☺️

        • Jaki
          24th August 2016 / 7:47 pm

          I can imagine it would be daunting starting out that way. I’m pleased I’ve done it in baby steps! I’m not sure I would have stuck it out. \mivh happier with it now though. Time is still a little on the tight side but I make time for it, and it’s worth it πŸ™‚

  2. 23rd August 2016 / 1:03 pm

    I love how fresh your blog design feels. Well done on the move to going self hosted. I moved over at the beginning of the year and with TSO too. Being self hosted really does make a difference on what you can do. #FartGlitter x
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#DreamTeam Linky 17My Profile

    • Jaki
      23rd August 2016 / 7:21 pm

      Oh I just wish I had done it months ago. I feel so much more in control now. And thanks for the compliment on the design. I am so pleased with it. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment x

  3. 24th August 2016 / 4:57 pm

    Well done on going for it. I’ve heard a number of bloggers opting for TSO hosting. #FartGlitter

    • Jaki
      24th August 2016 / 5:13 pm

      They are outstanding. I’ve got nothing to compare them to but I wouldn’t consider anyone else with my experience so far. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

  4. 24th August 2016 / 8:53 pm

    Great post, and some handy tips! I feel a bit like the new kid at school at the moment as I am a complete newbie to blogging. You are right, it seems so daunting and I have got so much to learn, but everyone seems lovely & really supportive so far! #bestandworst

    • Jaki
      25th August 2016 / 5:08 pm

      It does feel a bit like that at first and to be honest I don’t think we ever stop learning. Three years in & im still finding out something new most days. I hope you’re enjoying your blogging journey!

  5. 25th August 2016 / 10:06 am

    Ohhh I love and and the colour scheme is sooo pretty, it looks fresh and inviting. Thansk for linking up lovely! #bestandworst
    helen gandy recently posted…Best and Worst Linky #62My Profile

    • Jaki
      25th August 2016 / 5:09 pm

      Thanks so much. I am so pleased with it. Nice to know others appreciate it too πŸ™‚

  6. 25th August 2016 / 2:41 pm

    I love your new look site Jaki. It really is fresh, crisp and classy. It sounds like TSO were really supportive which is what you want when you take the leap isn’t it. Congratulations on your new blog. Thanks for linking up with #fartglitter x
    Rhyming with Wine recently posted…#toddlertranslations 2: “Dinner Time”My Profile

    • Jaki
      25th August 2016 / 5:12 pm

      Thank you! I really love it. I’m so pleased to have found a them and colour scheme I’m happy with. Nice to know others like it too. And yes TSO are wonderful. Highly recommended.

  7. 25th August 2016 / 2:55 pm

    this is a great read and something ive been umming and ahhing about for ages. currently purchased my domain but on wordpress.com
    are you on wordpress.org now?

    • Jaki
      25th August 2016 / 5:14 pm

      Go for it! You won’t regret it I assure you.
      That’s exactly how I do it. Yes you continue to use the WordPress dashboard which I actually find far easier than the .com software. You just have a different host. If you need any help just drop me an email, I’d be happy to help πŸ™‚

  8. 25th August 2016 / 6:12 pm

    I love your new look, the colour scheme is awesome. I ummed and ahhed about going self hosted and I finally took the plunge after I’d been blogging for around 9 months. I agree, it’s definitely something I would recommend and it’s nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes πŸ™‚
    Debbie
    Random Musings recently posted…How To Write Fiction In Any GenreMy Profile

    • Jaki
      25th August 2016 / 9:46 pm

      Thank you so much! I am so pleased with it πŸ™‚ it sounds so much more daunting than it actually is doesn’t it. Thanks for hosting πŸ™‚ x

  9. 25th August 2016 / 8:58 pm

    I love this and your site looks beaut! I really need to do the same at some point, I’m on blogger though with zero clue where to start and terrified of losing everything! Thanks so much for sharing xx
    laura recently posted…The FriYAY Linky >> 26/08My Profile

    • Jaki
      25th August 2016 / 9:48 pm

      Ooh I can’t help I’m afraid. I looked at Blogger at the beginning and it confused me completely. That’s how I ended up at WordPress. I’m sure TSO would be able to point you in the right direction. They do a free online chat which is always helpful πŸ™‚ xx

  10. 28th August 2016 / 10:29 am

    It looks great – and so pleased it was easy for you to move. I think you’re right you have to just take the plunge and go for it – as long as you’ve done your research and made an informed decision. Thanks for linking up to #PoCoLo
    Stephanie Robinson recently posted…My week this week: DiscoveryMy Profile

    • Jaki
      29th August 2016 / 4:43 pm

      I think research is key. And to make sure you have the time to implement the changes! I’m so pleased I’ve done it now though and the freedom it brings is great πŸ™‚

  11. 9th September 2016 / 7:44 pm

    Thanks for tips,this post is really useful as it is something that we are considering and really unsure about. What have you found the main benefits of being self hosted are?
    Andrea @Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Fig & Nut Energy BarsMy Profile

    • Jaki
      9th September 2016 / 9:30 pm

      It has to be the freedom to create a blog especially for you. WordPress is great, don’t get me wrong and the platform is still perfect for me to blog from, but I love the themes available from self hosting, the ability to add plug ins to make your site your own. With my host I get email aswell. Overall I love the professionalism it gives. If I can help in any other way, please do give me a shout. I’m still learning new things every day but I will always help where I can πŸ™‚

  12. 10th September 2016 / 11:35 am

    Love the new look hun! Well done you for taking that step!
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo (sorry for the late comment). xx

    • Jaki
      10th September 2016 / 8:42 pm

      Thank you lovely 😚

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