The story of a move: my journey to a self-hosted blog

Around the start of the month, as I was idly scrolling through Twitter, I saw a tweet about Host My Blog. Curious, I clicked over to their profile, and saw that they offer web hosting solutions for Indian bloggers and small businesses.

Then I saw their pinned tweet – Start a blog with .in @ INR 227 a year.

I rubbed my eyes and looked again. Yup, it was INR 227 for the year.

That’s roughly the price of a cup of coffee, I thought to myself, and immediately dropped them a message to find out more.

The story of a move

I had been toying with the idea of moving to a self hosted blog since a while, but it seemed like a really scary proposition. had been home for about 10 years, and they took care of everything – spam, SEO, space et al. But my dreams were growing, and the blog was starting to feel a bit restricted.

So when I saw this offer, it was almost like a sign from the Universe telling me to just go for it.

After a lot of back and forth with Host My Blog on Twitter and some serious research on the nitty-gritties of self-hosting and figuring out how to do it, I finally decided to take the leap. At worse, I would lose INR 227, at best, I’d finally own my own little corner of the Internet.

Once I made the payment, I immediately headed over to to export my blog. But when I saw that had sent me two xml files {as opposed to one file mentioned in the WPBeginner article I was referring to}, and I immediately panicked. I messaged Host My Blog to ask them if they knew what was up, and they promptly guided me through the process. However, half my stuff didn’t get imported, so I messaged them again, and they very calmly said: Don’t worry. We will do it.

So I handed them the keys to my home…err, the password to my blog, and they worked their magic.

From exporting my xml files to working on ensuring that all my image files got imported and finally importing all my subscribers, they did it all.

Wait, do I hear you say that’s all part of basic set up help? Because that isn’t all that they did.

404 error screen shotThey made sure all my internal links were working fine and fixed the ones that weren’t; they ensured all my media files got imported, and are still working with to import the ones that are missing; they recommended the most important plugins and helped me set them up; and they beautified all my internal pages (404, search, etc), just because I sent them this message, which was more for me, really. I didn’t expect them to do it for me, and it was such a pleasure when they did!

One of the biggest things they helped me with – and I’m still not exactly sure how they did it – was setting up the main blog page. You see, I decided to design a nice swanky landing page, but then couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get to the main blog. There was no blog page that I could see, and I was ready to throw in the towel and start crying, because it was 12:30am and I had spent all day making this beautiful page, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to use it after all. But then these guys went in and worked their magic – and ta-da, I woke up to find Blog on my menu bar! After the initial excitement, I noticed all the things that were missing – post metadata, comment counts, and an author name I didn’t want. And my blog genies worked their beautiful magic for me.

So really, that is the story of this move. A leap of faith, absolutely amazing support from Host My Blog, a ton of CSS research to get the site looking just so, a complete redesign of the blog header and all my social media headers {all done by yours truly}; and lots of tinkering around with the theme to get the site looking pretty on both the desktop and mobile.

It’s been quite an adventure, and I’m still fixing a few things here and there. But I can say, with complete honesty, that this site wouldn’t have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for Host My Blog and their absolutely awesome support.

So if you’re still on the fence about getting a self-hosted blog, give these guys a chance. If you put in some elbow grease on the front end, they’ll do all they can for you at the back end to make sure you have a smile on your face.

And if you’d like some design support, take a look at my blog design services – I’ll be happy to prettify your blog for you!

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter Global Alexa rank: 5,259,966
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  1. AWESOME!!! Ditto and same pinch for our very first blogpost on our real -e- estate!!!! You made me feel good about myself – I thought I was painful while making the move; your trials were damn bit more than mine. No wonder they were so breezy with my apologies- already been through the grind with you πŸ˜‰
    Good going and a great looking website! Cheers

    • LOL! Yes, the trials were many. But then again, it was 10 years worth of posts, images and content. πŸ™‚ And Host My Blog did a great job of turning my tears into smiles.

      Thanks for the appreciation on the website. The front end was all my hard work and late nights – feels good to hear it paid off. πŸ™‚

  2. I heard about them and enquired things. Since I have my exams and may not be able to do justice to my blog, I have kept aside the decision to November.

    Your blog looks wonderful & homely as I said before. Oh & I can run to you for help when I make my move right? πŸ˜‹

    • Thank you so much Ranjini. Host My Blog are really good. Their tech support is awesome. If a non-techie like me could make the move, I’m sure you can too!

      Thank you for the kind words on the website – that means a lot to me! πŸ™‚ And yes, I’ll be happy to help to the best of my (limited) abilities.

      All the best with your exams!

  3. Isn’t it amazing to have your own little space? Your post made me recall all the tension I experienced when I moved my blog over. Sadly I lost a whole lot of comments thanks to the vendor not telling me to change over from Disqus to Blogger comments. But now that seems aeons ago, and I have not one regret about moving!

    • It is, Corrine! I never understood the fuss until I made the move. It feels so good, though, to say this really and truly belongs to me. πŸ™‚

      It must have been devastating to lose comments! But I suppose the good thing with blogging is you can build it up again. πŸ™‚

  4. now that’s really cool. I was losing my mind just for a domain name change. Hosting your own blog is a whole new deal. Congratulations on the new space. And that’s a great price too πŸ™‚

  5. This is so lovely to read πŸ™‚ Many congratulations on the move and kudos to HostMyBlog for such a wonderful and supportive job. May you both reach more heights of glory as you move ahead πŸ™‚

    • YAY! Thank you Shalzzz!! xx
      Yeah, HostMyBlog sure are amazing! I’m sorry you had a hard time making the move, but your blog is really cute!!

  6. Congratulations. This is your personal real estate on the Internet. It is a top level domain in the form of as opposed to wordpress or blogspot. However, it is always better to make a small initial investment in a custom domain. Personal branding is important.

  7. I had a blog on Blogger from 2005 to somewhere in 2012. In 2015, I decided to start my current blog. I was torn between hosting it on or Self-Hosting it. After close to three weeks of pondering, deliberating, weighing in on everything, I finally decided to get a Self-Hosted blog. Of course, I didn’t know anout Host My Blog then, so ended up choosing BlueHost, which was a bad decision.
    It’s a good thing that you moved. It makes you a bigger authority in your own words. πŸ™‚

    • BlueHost isn’t good? I believe WordPress recommends them, but they’re quite expensive I think. Maybe you should switch over to HostMyBlog. πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you!! I was also wary of self-hosting for the longest time. But now that I’ve taken the leap, I’m loving it!

  8. Congrats! Your post made me think of the time I moved to my own space almost an year ago. I did all by myself so I was so nervous. I totally understand how you would have felt butterflies in stomach.

    • Oh yes – there were so many scary moments, and a couple when I thought I’d just chuck the whole thing. But HostMyBlog was amazing, and I’m so happy I made this switch. πŸ™‚

  9. It is always a great feeling when you see a custom domain on your name. Free domains or say free blog publishing services are good when you start but self hosted sites always gives you a feel that you own something. Congratulations on the move! And the blog is looking in pretty good shape too πŸ™‚

    And Kudos to Host My Blog team! πŸ™‚

  10. Pingback: How Host My Blog helped me Graduate | Sirimiri

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