To self-host or not to self-host… that is the question.
Since I’ve started this blog in January 2013 we’ve had some really encouraging site stats. At least, I think they’re encouraging. I really don’t know what could be considered “good” when it comes to internet traffic on a four-month-old blog. But our stats look good to me. Since we’ve started we’ve had over 25,000 hits.
In January we had 889 visitors and 2,420 views. In February we had 2,962 visitors and 4,595 views. March gave us 4,532 visitors and a whopping 7,209 views. April is not over yet – but already we’ve had 8,682 visitors and 11,542 views. I’ve been blown away by what I consider to be a very positive response to our website. We have over 100 subscribers! And our Chicken Pot Pie recipe (our most popular post with over 7,000 views) has been pinned over 300 times.
A good day in February.
Improvement in March.
Taking off in April!
I’m considering moving to a self-hosted site. There are many things I love about wordpress.com – it’s just so easy to blog using their site! There’s a built-in network of fellow bloggers and a sense of community. With several free themes to choose from, it’s simple to arrange an attractive site for your posts. We’ve done well using the free options available with wordpress.com.
But there are some drawbacks. You can’t customize the themes – plug-ins and java script are not allowed with the free WordPress blogs. And they show ads on your site. Now, I understand, I’m using a free site and the company should be able to place a few ads. That makes sense. But a lot of the ads featured don’t exactly line up with our faith values and family-friendly atmosphere. I realize I can pay to have no ads, but if I’m going to do that I might as well look into self-hosting.
I’ve been blessed to partner with companies I love like See The Light as an affiliate. I want to host affiliate links on our blog, but it’s frowned upon by wordpress.com. This is in place to keep blogs from piling up spam links to outside sites and jamming up readers with nonsense. But it’s a shame that legitimate bloggers who partner with companies they love can’t post a link or two as a simple way to earn a few dollars to support their site.
Our family is also looking into some exciting ministry opportunities in the near future that might require us to host ads for income and ministry support. We need java script capabilities to do this.
So it looks like we’re moving to self-hosting very soon! I’m excited (and a little intimidated) by this prospect. But I trust God to lead us in the right direction. He’s blessed us so far and I’m very thankful for the great reader response.
We’ll still maintain this site for a year. We paid for the domain name, so we’ll be double posting on the two sites for a while. I’m hoping our subscribers will make the move with us when we launch our new site. And we plan to start an official Facebook page in May after we’ve had some new family pictures – babies have gotten bigger and I’ve gotten smaller! We definitely need new pictures.
Thank you all so much for reading and supporting us! You’ve blessed my heart with positive comments and more. I look forward to providing more recipes, funny stories, informative articles and product reviews, and uplifting notes in the year to come.