Today, as the title of this post suggests, I am going to talk about my experience of going self hosted with Blogerize. There are tons of great blog posts around helping make the process of going self hosted easier, something which I’ll very loosely outline, but I’ll predominantly be focusing on my experience involving Blogerize.
Blogerize is a free online course that helps new and established bloggers to improve their blogs and offer some great learning material for that purpose. They also have a helpful YouTube page here. Blogerize is able to provide this help for free through a partnership with SiteGround.
Back in September of last year Laura from Blogerize emailed asking if I would be interested in a collaboration. Blogerize was reaching out to select bloggers offering to give them a ‘blog-makeover’. And they believed I was good candidate. Laura quickly informed me that this would be completely free and all that would be required from me in return was a small word testimonial for them to use across their channels.
My first thought was excitement, this was one of my first emails about collaborations and even though my second thought was, “this must be some sort of money scamming trickery”, I was still strangely excited.
However, after some online researching, both into confirming that Blogerize is in fact a genuine site and finding multiple other bloggers who had also been reached out to and offered a ‘blog-makeover’ (where the end product look great I might add) and haven’t been trick somehow into paying for their service I got a bit giddy. This offer was real and it wasn’t going to cost me a penny in regards to the service they would provide.
The only aspect that prevented me from accepting then and there was the fact that for this ‘makeover’ to take place I needed to be self-hosted. I had already thought about going self-hosted a couple of months earlier, however I didn’t believe it was the right step for me yet. Instead I emailed Laura back, thanking her very much for reaching out, explaining that I wasn’t quite ready to go self-hosted but could I reach back out to her when I was. She ensured me that there wasn’t a time limit on this offer, and to just get back in touch when I was ready.
Leap forward to the end of November, lots of bloggers were posting Black Friday Deals, and among them was SiteGrounds. Having looked before, I had found that SiteGround appeared to be the best web hosting site, especially for newbies. Everyone that used it raved about it, so when I found out that they were offering a 70% off on Black Friday I knew I couldn’t pass up on this money saving offer.
I’ve since realised it was technically only another 10% off what I would have paid for the first year on their StartUp Plan anyways, which is already discounted at 60%. Either way I saved money. The overall cost was £45.06 including £12.95 which went to purchasing my domain name, and the 20% VAT.
Money spent and nerves high, I got back in touch with Laura and handed the controls over. All I asked of her was that she use two colours that I liked, and I didn’t even know the code for them and informed her that I wanted a pretty simple and streamline site. From here, she did all the hard work. This included, but wasn’t limited to, exporting everything over from wordpress.com, implementing the theme (which is a customized version of Opulence by pipdig), creating a custom design layout and installing plugins. After sending me a link to preview the site and make any changes I requested we were left with what you see now.
After emailing back and forth Laura brought to my attention that any previous links to my old blog, for instance on Pinterest, or within other blog posts, were still going to take people back to wordpress.com rather than the new www.vintagetearose.co.uk. Rather than having to go through and individually change any and all URL’s there was a purchasable feature which would automatically redirect traffic to my new site. This was going to cost me £11 however Laura very kindly offered to have Blogerize sponsor the cost for me.
The function, by the way, was Site Redirect. To see a basic example of what that does, if you follow this link, which you can see is supposed to take you to my old WordPress vintagetearose.wordpress.com/
From here Laura was on hand to answer any of my questions and there were many; about transferring new followers, missing comments, duplicate posts and anything else that either needed fixing or simply explaining. She was amazing, although there was occasionally a delay, but obviously her world doesn’t revolve around me – sadly – I’d love to always have her on hand for help.
After you have checked out the Blogerize site, their YouTube channel or are interested in the help they could provide you simply from this post then I have a small bonus for you, Laura was kind enough to allow me to give you her email address. So if you’re wanting help with your own blog feel free to reach directly out to her, just let her know you came from here. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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