I DID IT! I am officially no longer a wordpress.com person. I brought my bookmarklit.net over to a new host and am LOVING every second of it. Before the excitement fades, I want to share with you a little bit about how this came about SO quickly and who my amazing host is. Let me just say, if you are thinking of self-hosting but have no idea how to even begin, please keep reading this post.
Back story, aka when I was a big idiot
I decided I wanted to self-host a while ago. I was sick of not being able to embed widgets like Rafflecopters, sick of manually putting in my book info, and wanted to post my archives to Twitter. After a lot of finagling, I bought my .net name from Name Cheap and tried to do the GoDaddy WordPress transfer. LONG story short, I somehow managed to screw everything up and ended up with the web address of bookmarklit.net, but still over at my WordPress.com account.
Fast forward a month – I mentioned on Twitter that I really wanted to move to self-host but was confused and scared, thanks to my last attempt. Jamie immediately encouraged me to do it and talk to Ashley. I knew she was a guru on all things web, but didn’t really think to bother her for advice. Ashley jumped in right away and gave me some suggestions for blog posts on Nose Graze that could help, and also linked me over to my new savior: Book Host. (Imagine that heavenly noise and major light shining down on that website)
Book Host + Me: a tale of insta-love
We hate insta-love when it appears in our YA books, but it just happened to me in my real life. Ashley mentioned that she had a hosting service that she offered, specifically for book bloggers, that automatically comes with many amazing things. (Do people know about this? Seriously, I feel like I should be shouting about this from the rooftops)
Book Host is managed WordPress hosting for the bookish community. It includes..
- A server optimized for WordPress
- Pre-installed plugins for book bloggers (including the Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-In, aka the entire reason for my switch)
- Instant access to all Creative Whim plugins & themes (most of Ashley’s adorable themes, including the incredibly customizable Tweak Me theme that you currently see being used here!)
- A support team that knows WordPress
Seriously? Everything I wanted rolled into ONE incredibly affordable package? Oh, AND she migrates your existing WordPress site over. For free. You don’t have to do ANYTHING besides sign up and pay each month. She handles migration, setup, installation – all that jazz.
Not to mention the fact that Ashely is extremely responsive to questions throughout the entire process. She held my hand even as I added things into my Cart on the website. She set everything up for me and my site was ready to use way faster than I expected. She answered all questions I had by Twitter and email; she provided all of the support I really needed.
Thinking about self-hosting? Here’s why you should use Book Host.
As if the paragraph above wasn’t enough, let me outline some specific reasons why I’m so incredibly happy I selected Book Host.
- Ashley handles installation 100% so you don’t have to be involved/confuse yourself. BUT, she will keep you in the loop throughout the entire process so you know what’s going on and how to get started.
- You get access to the Ultimate Book Blogger Plug-In, which is the main reason I wanted to move to WordPress.org instead of .com. It populates all of the book’s data for you and makes it so easy to format review posts, wrap-ups, review archives, and insert spoilers. You get the amazing UBB for free with your purchase!
- You get access to her great themes, including the extremely popular and customizable Tweak Me theme. You can do almost anything with this theme, to make sure your site is fully customized and personalized. It’s basically a theme you can build yourself. Also, free.
- She has the best support I’ve seen. You know you’re dealing directly with a book blogger, so she knows exactly what you need and why. She’ll respond as quickly as she can to questions, even if you’re incessantly tweeting at her like I did. (Sorry!)
- In addition to the UBB, you get some other great plug-ins. I love the Revive Old Post one, because it allows me to automatically post old reviews from the blog to Twitter.
Guys, it really could not be easier to do. Check out the website and you won’t be disappointed. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this sooner! I see so many bloggers struggle with the idea of self-hosting and figuring out how to pay for it. This is a really affordable alternative and you get someone who knows what they’re doing, will talk with you throughout the process, and make your life EASY and GREAT.
Please talk to me if you have any questions! I’m usually clueless about this stuff, but I am ready to sign up to be a Book Host Advocate. That should be a thing.