When it comes to business blogging there are lots of options, but sometimes lots of options can result in you being so confused, you end up doing nothing. I know, because, if it weren’t for my techy husband, I’d be at a loss. Trying to decide, which platform is best can turn your hair grey but once you figure out what you need, the choice becomes pretty clear. Ultimately, having a blog that you can fully integrate with your social media marketing, that performs well on search engines and that enables you to brand and customize your blog exactly how you want to is what most businesses want, right?
So, if you’re looking for a solution, a self-hosted WordPress website is a great way to go and here’s why:
#1 The sheer volume of customisable themes will leave you feeling like you’ve just walked into a clothing store where everything fits and looks fabulous!
A self-hosted WordPress blog enables you to use a tonne of different commercial themes and theme frameworks that enhance your website’s functionality and appearance. In other words, you can access done-for-you theme templates made by professional WordPress blog developers such as Studiopress (Genesis framework, which I use) and Thesis. Theme options on Blogger, Typad, Weebly and smaller platforms just don’t compare when it comes to design and customisability.
#2 Social plugins mean shareability skyrockets
Social media integration on your blog means that you can utilize every inch of your website to build your following on social media and this, in turn, helps you build relationships with your potential clients and customers. A WordPress self-hosted website offers incredible flexibility when it comes to social integration.
#3 You can place call to action boxes in every nook and cranny
A WordPress self-hosted website enables you to place call to action boxes and ads in a variety of places on your website, which means you can leverage your blog/website to invite visitors to sign up for your mailing list or visit a landing page with incredible ease.
#4 It makes SEO a piece of cake
There are a few brilliant SEO plugins that are available for self-hosted WordPress sites but not for cloud-hosted sites. SEO is built into the Genesis theme framework and you just have to plug in the SEO tags, descriptions and titles with every post. You can also use plugins like Scribe (also Studiopress) to help you with finding the right keywords for your blog posts.
#5 You can extend the functionality of your blog and turn it into a membership site.
One of the key benefits of a self-hosted site is that you have the capability to turn it into a membership site. This enables you to monetize your blog, so that you can earn passive income from products and programs and give people instant access to premium content.
#6 You can integrate e-commerce into your WordPress site.
Linking a shopping cart to your WordPress website is a breeze and you can even make use of shopping cart plugins if you want to house your online store directly on your website.
So, now that you’ve heard some of the benefits, let’s have a look at how to install WordPress on your own host.
The good news is, it’s not scary or difficult (I must confess, I thought it was before setting up my WordPress sites). In face, it’s incredibly easy to set up WordPress. For most webhosts, it’s just a click of a button.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ve found some awesome guides to help you on your way to your very own self-hosted WordPress site.
Here’s an awesome, easy to follow installation guide (the video doesn’t work but the step-by-step instructions are pretty good): http://michaelhyatt.com/ez-wordpress-setup.html.
Here’s a link to some other host installation guides:
- Dreamhost: http://www.shoutmeloud.com/step-by-step-guide-to-install-self-hosted-wordpress-blog-on-dreamhost-hosting-service.html
- Hostgator: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYBgKUGy4TI
- Just Host: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsOPB4LCjHM
- GoDaddy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSS_GKtLOiA
You can do a search for installation videos and tutorials for the hosting account you choose. I recommend you check out www.hosting-review.com to see how different hosts compare.
If your designer provides web hosting that just means they resell hosting from a larger company. So, make sure you shop around. Just because someone’s designing your website, doesn’t mean they also have to host it. You can host a website anywhere you like. The reason designers do this is because:
a) it’s easier for them when they’re setting up new websites.
b) It makes them money and
c) it gives them more control over your website.
The downside is that it makes it harder for you, when you need to part ways (if you ever do).
Personally, I prefer to choose my own host and I also prefer my customers do the same. That way, they’re in complete control of their website.
So, I hope this has shed some light on why self-hosted WordPress is great for small business bloggers.
If you have questions, I’d love to help you find the answers, so post away.