To Blog or Not to Blog

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A definitive guide on how I started blogging, then migrated from Blogger to WordPress platform.


HOW I STARTED

I have been blogging since 2016. Back then, I wasn’t as active compared right now. Before anything else, you need to ask yourself, why do you want to blog? Blogging is a tiring task that needs your full attention and some time, if not full time. It’s a continuous work that you need to deal with everyday. It will divide your time or eat up all of your time even just by making a single article alone. What more if you have a deadline? You see, when I started, I didn’t know all of these. I remember, I started my content writing in a small publishing house.  My first article is about Writer’s Block and the rest is history. I only got the full grasped of what it meant by blogging only when I started. From being an article writer, I was given the opportunity to handle a website and a group dedicated for indie writers. I didn’t know it was this time consuming especially when you have a regular day job plus writing your book.

For a little background, aside from being an  editor and website manager, I am also joining writing contests and submitting short stories to some writing entities. In addition, I am writing a book in the sideline so I need a channel to show my works to the world. Aside from a writing app, I created a Facebook page. The Facebook page is my dedicated author page. I did it for the sole purpose of channelling all of Chesz Dylan’s works which includes poems and other related stuff. How many articles have I published back then? It’s not as many as you might think. When I became an editor and a head content writer, my spare time was pre-occupied with articles I have to proofread and edit everyday. It has gotten to a point where I can’t write my own article anymore. I’m not saying this to boast how hard-working ass I was. It’s what I love to do and I gained experience from it though it was all a volunteer work. Until I seldom to not update my personal blog in blogspot because of the tasks I have to accomplish.

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THE AMATEUR BL noOGGER

Fast forward, some things happened. I resigned from all that admin work. After that, I managed to self-published my very own book. It was a Young Adult fiction. I started to become active again, first in my author Facebook page. Then I managed my free blogger account and made a copy of my articles in my previous website and published it at my author website. The copyright was all mine so there wasn’t any issues in migrating my works. During this time, I joined in some different blogging and writing groups. I need their experience and knowledge for this demanding industry and learn. I need to utilize that knowledge and use them in my personal advantage. I became accustomed to the blogger community, until such time I realized that I need to monetize from my blogs and site. Blogspot was a great site for amateur bloggers. It’s very intuitive and the site navigation, writing, posting and sharing is easy. But just like any amateur bloggers that needs to improve their craft and monetize from their works, their free site was limited for me or for bloggers in general. This realization didn’t just come from my personal opinion, but rather, reading from experienced bloggers in the social media and the internet.

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Blogger



LOOKING FOR HOSTING SITES

Since I want to level up my blogging career, I started googling for WordPress and the hosting sites that best caters my needs as a writer. I googled and compared different reviews so I can get and know all the best offers of these hosting sites. I narrowed it down and personally deliberated it into five hosting sites.


Bluehost

BLUEHOST

Bluehost is indeed the #1 in almost all reviews I searched. Based in their product and service review, they specializes in a ton of storage compared to what’s in the market. It was enticing but just like any hosting sites, they have their pros and cons.

PRICE – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ $2.95/month (Cheap)
UPTIME AND LOAD TIME– ⭐⭐⭐
STORAGE – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
ADDITIONAL SERVICES – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Affordable)
SEO – ⭐⭐ ⭐
BILLING – YEARLY
REVIEW – They have a bad to mediocre customer support

  • Free domain name for 1 year
  • 30-day Money back guarantee
  • SSL Included
  • 1-click WordPress install
  • Free 30-day Email
  • Bluehost app marketplace
  • 24/7 support

Visit them at: Bluehost


Siteground

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SITEGROUND

This is by far my personal choice, but I didn’t choose this hosting site because of one important factor that I need to addressed. I will tell the reason in my conclusion later.

PRICE – ⭐⭐⭐ $3.95/month (Mediocre)
UPTIME AND LOAD TIME– ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
STORAGE – ⭐⭐⭐
ADDITIONAL SERVICES – ⭐⭐ (Expensive)
SEO – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
BILLING – YEARLY
REVIEW – They have a great customer support

  • 4 Data Centers
  • SSL Included
  • *Free Migration
  • Pre-Wordpress Setup
  • 1-click WordPress install
  • 30-day Money back guarantee
  • Free Email and Daily Backup
  • cPanel
  • Using SSD Storage
  • 24/7 Support via Live Chat, Phone, Email

Visit them: SITEGROUND


Hostgator

HOSTGATOR

This hosting site is just as good as bluehost and siteground when it comes to the numbers of hosted sites. They have cheap intro plan, but they lack some features in its cheap plan that can be found in other competition.

PRICE – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ $2.78/month (Cheap)
UPTIME AND LOAD TIME– ⭐⭐⭐⭐
STORAGE – ⭐⭐⭐
ADDITIONAL SERVICES – ⭐ ⭐ (Expensive)
SEO – ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
BILLING – YEARLY
REVIEW – They have a good customer support

  • Unlimited Email Accounts
  • SSL Included
  • Free Site Migration
  • cPanel
  • Using HDD Storage
  • 24/7 Support via Live Chat, Phone, Email
  • 45-day Money back guarantee

Visit them at: HOSTGATOR


Dreamhost

DREAMHOST

This is what I purchased. I was actually torn between Siteground and Dreamhost. Based on reviews, they have almost the same features like Siteground, both price,  storage and uptime and load time.

PRICE – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ $2.59/month (Cheap)
UPTIME AND LOAD TIME– ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
STORAGE – ⭐⭐⭐
ADDITIONAL SERVICES – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Affordable)
SEO – ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
BILLING – MONTHLY/YEARLY
REVIEW – They have great customer support

  • 97-day Money back guarantee
  • Cheap domain name pricing
  • 1-click WordPress install
  • Unlimited Email
  • Using SSD Storage

Visit them at: DreamHost


WordPress

WORDPRESS HOSTING PLAN

This is a WordPress plan when you registered at the WordPress.com version. What’s great at this plan is the payment is automatically converted to the country you are in, so it’s not a hassle to convert the US dollar into your currency. And since it is already converted, it is practically cheap. It’s already running under WordPress so you already have an advantage.

PRICE – ⭐⭐ $5/month (Expensive)
UPTIME AND LOAD TIME– ⭐⭐⭐
STORAGE – ⭐
ADDITIONAL SERVICES – ⭐⭐⭐ (Reasonable)
SEO – ⭐⭐ ⭐⭐
BILLING – YEARLY
REVIEW – They have a good customer support

  • 24/7 support
  • Must register for an account at WordPress.com
  • Social sharing buttons

Visit them: WORDPRESS.COM
WordPress Pricing


CONCLUSION

Every hosting sites has its great, good, mediocre and bad features. The reasons I chose Dreamhost over other competitions are among as follows:

✔️ Cheap
✔️Domain name fee is cheap
✔️ Free site migration (as I came from Blogger to WordPress)
✔️Pre-Wordpress installation
✔️Uptime and Load time are great
✔️SEO is great
✔️Monthly Billing- the important factor I considered that toppled all the other hosting sites in my personal opinion.

*Storage and email is the least I considered, because personally it’s not that important for now. I could change my plan in the future, just in case.

*I was broke when I purchased the plan. So minus having the discount for the 2 or 3-year plan, if you can avail it, I am not discouraging you to splurge your money in it. Again, monthly payment was the important reason why I availed for the Dreamhost since they are the only hosting site that has a monthly payment terms.

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STARTING A BLOG

After choosing the hosting site. I received my pre-Wordpress account in my email. I also considered Dreamhost because of its Pre-Wordpress setup. I know a lot of technical side but I am not an expert. With this feature, I don’t need to install WordPress in the laptop, where lies one of the problem because most of the time I am using my mobile. I won’t devulge on this matter any further as I only want to emphasize setting up a blog and not the technical terms. So I will just make it easy for non-technical bloggers out there. Please also consider that the domain name you will choose is also important as it will represent your brand. The greater the name, the greater the impact it will have to the readers or consumers.

Dropout

HOSTING PANEL

After signing up for Dreamhost, I was directed to their panel. It isn’t as intuitive due to its lack of cPanel but personally, I can managed with it.

Dreamhost Panel

After choosing the domain name and a little configuration in Dreamhost, I was directed to my pre-made WordPress account. The customization in WordPress dashboard is intuitive and easy. Then I installed plugins for migration of my blogger account into WordPress.

THEME CONFIGURATION

Choose a theme from the wide range of themes available. WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different sites even though they share the same platform which is the WordPress. In WordPress.org it is a self-hosting site customization compared to the former. Meaning you can utilize its full customization and potential depending on your purpose. In addition, it has more themes to choose from and customization is very specific to the site owner, compared to the limitation of utilisation and customization found in WordPress.com although it is free. They also have plan to choose from in case you want to expound your blogging territory but it comes with a cost, of course.

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After that, plugins are essentials and it has a direct effect on the outcome of the website you have in mind. This is one of the important aspect I try not to overlook. You see, I am meticulous in  terms of details, so a very little change is very important to me.

After finishing up all the themes, plugins, widgets and the customization is according to your liking, you can now published it and wallah! Your website is live.

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FREE BLOG VS PAID HOSTING

Going back to what I stated, free blog sites are great for amateur bloggers. There are free blog sites being offered by Blogger (Blogspot), WordPress.com, Wix, Drupal, Joomla, Ghost, Medium etc. to name a few. The primary difference of free blog sites from hosting sites is your full control of the website. While free blog sites can do some  of the main tasks that hosting sites could do, it is still limited to a point where monetizing your free site is difficult to impossible. Whereas, hosting sites will let you manage your sites up to the smallest details you want to do within your site. That what makes it appealing to the bloggers especially the professionals and creative thinkers.

I didn’t make this up for any sponsorship or product endorsement of any hosting sites. It was solely upon my choice as I want to share what I went through when starting a blog. For amateurs like me in such things, I hope you gained knowledge from my little know-how, steps and tips in the blogging world.

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19 thoughts on “To Blog or Not to Blog

  1. Neil Alvin Nicerio says:

    It’s always a challenge to pursue blogging As a career. I hope you continue doing so. I would love to see more of your articles.

    • Ivan Jose says:

      Great that you highlighted various CMS options for bloggers. I wouldn’t agree with you that Blogger is for amateur bloggers only though. I suggest highlighting the pros and cons of each platform without having to discriminate one.

  2. Swee Guan Tan says:

    a lovely sharing, enjoyed my read & appreciate some new info learnt from here, thanks for sharing this. cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  3. Matija Antonić says:

    If you are just starting out getting a free site is the way to go, and after a few months or years you can get up to a paid site, and you gave some good choices 😀 I’ll be sure to share them with my friends 😀

    • cheszdylan says:

      I know right?😄 I just can’t afford the yearly plan yet but once I am established, and if ever there will be problems in Dreamhost, I might check it out.

  4. Blair villanueva says:

    Blogging is a passion project that I never regret doing, and gaves me so many doors and windows of opportunity.

  5. Elizabeth O says:

    You did your homework and found your blogging path. Wishing you all the best on your creative ventures.

  6. Blair Leggatt says:

    I started on a free blog site and then moved to WordPress. Now I’m struggling to find the best way to effectively monetize my site. So many options, which ones are really effective? Lots of research to do.

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