After 5 years, 3 hosting sites, 2 name changes and a whole lotta blog posts, I finally made the decision to go self-hosted. I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me this long. Even though free templates and hosting sites have helped my blog get to where it has, with my own domain and design, my blog finally looks so professional and I couldn’t be happier!

*This post contains affiliate links. This doesn’t change my opinion in any way, it just means that by clicking any of the links in this post, I will make some money that helps me to run this blog.

Please note that I transferred my blog from Blogger to WordPress. I actually originally started on WordPress but changed to Blogger around 2 years ago, so if you have a blog with another host then this post may not be of any help to you.

When I first started blogging, there were so many bloggers that I looked up to who had these beautiful and professional-looking blogs, and it looked so difficult to get! I was pretty scared about it and I had no idea how to go about it. Now that I’ve taken the plunge, I really wanted to do this blog post to help others who are thinking about taking the plunge but like me, are scared.

I went self-hosted with SiteGround and they were so amazing and professional to work with. There are three simple steps you need to take in order to get your site up and running (which FYI, takes around 24 hours – insane!)

1. Choose Your Plan

I chose the StartUp plan, it was the cheapest but I also only have the one website so it was the best option for me. If you have one or more websites, you might want to look at the other options.

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Picture taken from SiteGround – prices are subject to change.

2. Pick Your Domain

It will definitely help you to have a few different options just in case your first choice is unavailable.

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3. Complete Your Order

 

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And that’s it! It really is that easy! If you are thinking of going self-hosted for your blog, I would really appreciate if you clicked any of the links in this blog post like this one. It won’t cost you anything, it just means that I will receive a little bit of money, which goes towards this blog.

If you are still not convinced, there are so many reasons to go self-hosted and that’s probably why you’ve read this post and you’re probably aware of the majority of them, but let me list the ones that swayed me.

  • No more .blogspot or .wordpress – it’s your website and it can be called anything you like!
  • There are more varieties of themes. The free ones on Blogger and WordPress are great, but it’s nice to be able to customize and download ones to make the process easier and have your blog looking the way you want it.
  • Advertising is also easier. You may have noticed that I have a few ads on my blog right now, I couldn’t have had that with my old .blogspot blog! It’s a great way to earn a few pennies here and there, which you can put back into your blog.
  • It looks so much more professional. I tried my hardest to make myself look more serious, but when someone visits my blog now, it’s clear that I have put time and effort in.

Also there are a lot of benefits with signing up with SiteGround:

  • One fixed price for the entire year – no hidden fees!
  • You get your own email address – ooh fancy, e.g. hello@yourblogname.com
  • Discounts at the time of purchase. For example, SiteGround had an offer for a free virus checker for the year which was added to my basket.
  • Free site migration – this means they move your site over to a self-hosted blog with no complications. Bear in mind that you have to give them your username and password to do this, but you can always change it once they’re finished.
  • They have an amazing set-up. They have a live chat which is so helpful, because even though my site has been up and running for a few weeks, I still have questions and they always respond so quickly. On top of that, they call you to make sure everything is good!

After I signed up for my own hosting, I decided I wanted to buy my own design to make my blog look more professional. I’ve always heard fantastic things about PipDig, and they did not disappoint! After hunting around on their website for a design that I liked, I finally found one, and PipDig were so helpful in their set-up, and even when you have questions way after, they always respond so quickly. I can’t recommend them enough!

I hope this blog post helped any of you who are feeling unsure about going self-hosted. If you have any more questions about going self-hosted, or if you’re unsure about something then feel free to comment below or email me!

First of all, can I just say that I have FINALLY updated my blog, bought myself a new domain and a new design and although it is not exactly how I want it, I’m so glad that I’ve taken the plunge because I loveeeee it! Blogpost on my experiences coming soon!

So last Christmas, I had the Yankee Candle Advent Calendar and even though I am candle-obsessed, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. It was very repetitive and I would’ve preferred to buy one of their bigger jars! So thats why, this year I decided to buy myself an advent calendar that I would actually enjoy. 

I love Sanctuary Spa brand, I’ve always used their products and they just always smell insane. I knew I’d use everything so I was so excited to open this on December 1st!

It was also a lot cheaper than other beauty/non-chocolate advent calendars I’d seen so I jumped at the chance when I saw it online! I’ve seen people say that they didn’t like it so much or didn’t think it was worth the money but I totally disagree! It’s only £25 which was a lot cheaper compared to other advent calendars (my little sister had the Jack Wills advent calendar which was worth £35 and had smaller products and didn’t have the same variety). I feel as though you got good sized products and different varieties. For example, I got a detox mask, and various lotions and their matching body scrubs but never more than one variety of the same product, and they were all between 30-75ml, which I was impressed with!

There were a few things that were clearly fillers, a cookie cutter and the bulldog clip weren’t particularly relevant, but I really liked the eye mask and the toe dividers. They were items that I needed to buy for myself but never got around to getting, so it was quite handy for me.

One thing I didn’t particularly like was how flimsy the doors were. I kept ripping the cardboard and I’m so fussy when it comes to advent calendars, but it is definitely something that I can live with.

I honestly think that this advent calendar was a bargain and I’m definitely going to be buying it next year!

Did you have an advent calendar this year? Which one was it?