The Benefits of Self-Hosting Your Site

Hey guys! On my last post I asked if anyone would be interested in me writing a post about becoming self-hosted and my thoughts on it. I got a ton of positive feedback requesting one, so here ya go!

Let’s start off with a basic definition and what web host I use.

What is self-hosting exactly? 

“Self hosting is the act of having your website totally under your control. This can include you managing all whole aspects of it, from setting up the web server to installing software, to simply managing your weblog software like WordPress.”

What Web Host I Use: Bluehost!


I personally use Bluehost as my hosting site and love it. Here are some reasons why:

  • They have fantastic 24/7 support via phone (they called me to help me set up and to answer any questions I might have when I first signed up!), email, or live chat.
  • Bluehost is affordable and only cost $4.95-$6.99 a month.
  • WordPress only recommends three hosting services- Bluehost is it’s top choice!
  • It doesn’t have limits on your disk space or domains. That means you can host multiple blogs on one site!

What do you have now?

“The opposite of self-hosting is free hosting, where you use a free service to host your site. Usually this is done either through Blogger,, Livejournal or any other popular system. This means that you have very little control over your site other than the content and you have to follow specific TOS, which are very frequently quite limited.”

 I know, I know. SNOOZEVILLE.

Try to keep your eyes from glazing over! To make it more simple (I don’t really even get what all that mumbo-jumbo means), here’s a more understandable list of what changes becoming self-hosted will bring.


1. More freedom over your blog code.

1. Hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of available themes/designs for your blog.  

After you become self-hosted, you have much more control over how you want your blog to appear. When I first made the switch, I scrolled down the available layouts for over 30 minutes before finding the perfect fit for me, but I still haven’t seen nearly all of them.

Screen Shot 2013-09-01 at 2.33.58 PM3. Countless different plugins.

Plugins are similar to the apps you can get on your iPhone and are only available to self-hosted sites. There are countless numbers of them and each one of them serves a different purpose, is free, and you can install them with a single click. 

 For example, if you look at my site you can see the boxes on the side that show my latest pinterest pins, twitter feed, about me, “Share” on twitter/pinterest/facebook etc.

Self-Hosting Plugin Pic

One of my favorites is called “EasyRecipe”, which puts my recipes in a cute and easy to read/print format. It also has an added bonus that lets a picture snippet of my recipes or blog to show up if you google me!

Plug In Example 1 Plugin Example 2

 Plugins allow me to customize my site in any way I’d like and to bring much more of a personal feel to it. I noticed a big spike in traffic form people finding me on Google since being able to add my pictures next to my site! **Probably my favorite benefit of self-hosting! 

4. Advertising and monetizing your blog.

This can be a touchy subject among bloggers, but I feel like it’s definitely worth mentioning. While I don’t blog for the purpose of making money (it’s really something I just LOVE to do), earning a little on the side from advertisements and getting to review products for free is a major bonus.

One of the biggest differences from self-hosted blogs to free-hosted blogs is that you are able to run advertisements on your blog. For example, free blogs on WordPress are banned from putting up Google advertisements and could get in serious trouble if they tried to do so. 

Advertising Limits of Non Self-Hosted Blogs

While I don’t make a ton of money off my site, it’s more than enough to cover my monthly fees from being self-hosted and pay for my Starbucks addiction! So, in my honest opinion, it’s a win-win since making the switch to self-hosted doesn’t cost me anything (I actually make a tiny bit of profit!) and I reap a ton of benefits for my blog.


As far as disadvantages, I can only really think of two:

1. You have to pay. 

Like I mentioned before, this doesn’t bother me since the few ads I run and products I get to review more than make up the cost, but it definitely is a downside.

2. Setting it up can be a pain in the butt.

I was pretty frustrated for about two days after I made the switch. I feel like this comes with any new change, though, and now I have absolutely no problem navigating my site (the dashboard will still look almost exactly like your free WordPress one). Luckily, there are some pretty great guides out there to help you out with step-by-step instructions. If you’re good with technology, it shouldn’t be a problem for ya! 

Let me know if you have any questions!

**If you are thinking of signing up and found this helpful, I’d love it if you could click to the site from my affiliate link :). If you go from my site to Bluehost (with this link), I get a portion of the cost they get paid from you signing up (with NO expense to you of course)! That just means I can afford more pumpkin spice lattes! 

Click Here to Sign Up For Bluehost!

xo Christine

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  1. says

    This post was so helpful! thanks so much, Christine! I am definitely planning on making the switch in the next week or so, but I might have to study those guides hard as when it comes to technology….lets just say when I first got my macbook I was so damn unco, I had to google on my phone how to do basic things like shut the damn machine down :p
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…MIMM- Positive Body Image Awareness WeekMy Profile
    • says

      I’m glad it helped! You’re SO welcome :D. I’m sure you’ll be able to get everything done. It’s annoying, but I guess it’s sort of a blogger right of passage hahaha ;)
  2. says

    Thanks for the mention, girlie! I’m glad you’ve had a positive experience with it so far. You’re right–it’s definitely a pain in the butt, but I think it’s worth it in the end. I knew that recipe plugins did exist, but I didn’t know that they put a picture next to google searches! Although I don’t really come up with recipes because I’m pretty much lost when it comes to anything more than drizzling oil on something and then popping them in the oven, but hey, a girl can dream, right? ;)
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles recently posted…I ran a half marathon just because and then I ate a lotMy Profile
    • says

      No problem! I used your guide to set up mine, so it was only fitting to mention it haha! There are some more steps that you need to take to get your picture next to your site, but you need to get that plugin first! I feel so badass whenever I google myself and see my lasagna or truffles ;). Hahaha that sounds like A+ cookin’ to me!
  3. says

    Such a lovely and informative post. If I had read a post like this sooner, I would probably have made the switch even earlier instead of last week. Plugins and themes are probably the main reason I decided to do it. :) Since it happened so recently, I’m still a bit confused, thank goodness for google. :P By the way, I’m also using bluehost and I’ve been really satisfied so far. :D
    Shawn @ Fruity ‘N’ Nutty recently posted…{MIMM} Making The SwitchMy Profile
    • says

      Glad you found it helpful! I was SO confused when I first started looking into switching, so I wanted to make it easy to understand and clear :). Haha I’m with ya on that one! Google has saved me on countless occasions ;)
    • says

      Aww Thanks Amanda! I COMPLETELY agree! I also feel like I get taken more seriously as a blogger since you can make your site more personal and fit your style better. :D
  4. says

    Such an amazing post. I’ve been thinking about self hosting quite a while now and I am ready to make the switch as soon as I find the time to get the initial set up done. BlueHost sounds amazing and I will definitely add it to the list of possibilities. Thanks for all the information lovely!
    Ksenija @ Health Ninja recently posted…Health Ninja Weekly {35/13}My Profile
    • says

      I think that’s a great idea! I really love how much you can personalize your site and as an added bonus, I’m pretty sure the hosting service I use is on a temporary discounted price of $7 to $5 a month right now :). No problem love!
  5. says

    I’ve been looking into Self-Hosting for quite some time and this DEFINITELY helped me out! I really want to start making the switch one of these days, and I’ll probably use this hosting site!
    • says

      So glad you found this helpful! If you have any questions, just let me know! I tried to make it easy to understand since it’s hard to find a clearcut definition of what self-hosting actually does for ya haha! Bluehost seems like the #1 choice among bloggers- I personally love it!
    • says

      Awesome! Are you hosting with Bluehost :)? I’m so glad I could help! There are a couple of different ad hosts, but I use google adsense as my main one! If you set up an account there, they have step-by-step instructions :)
  6. Graeme says

    Thanks for this, it helped me with my course work for my on-line course.

    Don’t worry I referenced it back to you and put a link back to this page.

    Great stuff

  7. says


    Thanks for this great article. You wrote: “it’s more than enough to cover my monthly fees from being self-hosted and pay for my Starbucks addiction!”

    My ask how many daily visits would I need approximately to just cover the expenses of self-hosting at BlueHost? That is, $5.95/year in year plans.

    Moa’bite recently posted…للأسف، معظم إنجازاتنا في الوطن العربي ما تزال كوبي-بيست… الأستاذ الدكتور عبدالله عويدي العبادي وواقع الخلايا الجذعية في الأردنMy Profile

    • says

      Hi there! Honestly, it completely depends on your niche and what type of visitors you get to your site. Being a pretty broad food site, many of the people who visit Apple of My Eye aren’t looking to purchase anything- just read my blog. So, I don’t get as many clicks as a more focused niche would!

      Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact number of pageviews that correlate to a certain amount of profit since Adsense basis its payments of the number of clicks on your ads that you get.

  8. says

    I’m really impressed together with your writing skills as well as with the layout for your blog. Is this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent high quality writing, it’s uncommon to peer a great weblog like this one these days..