A Guide to Self-Hosting for Bloggers

A guide to self-hosting for bloggers who have no idea where to start (we’ve all been there!)

A lot of bloggers will start off on a free hosting site with a domain that ends with .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com. But what happens when you want to buy your own domain and take your blog self-hosted?

 

Firstly, what are the benefits of going self-hosted?

There are plenty of benefits of being self-hosted. The most important thing is that you’ll have much more freedom over what your blog looks like. It’s much more ‘yours’, rather than being restricted to templates, and what you can and can’t add. With a self-hosted blog, you can add your own code to completely personalise it.

You can choose from thousands of templates rather than just a select few (and they tend to be nicer looking). You can also add plugins which include monetising your blog through affiliate links, adverts, and more.

 

So how do you get self-hosted?

1. Choose a Name

Like any business, you have to find a good name that sums up what you and your blog are about. This is kind of your main selling point. If you’re looking to work with agencies, they need to understand from your name what kind of blog you are. So don’t choose Miss Interior Design if your blog is nothing to do with houses, but is instead about parenting and family life.

You then need to check that this name is available to buy. You can use something like Check Domain to do this. Don’t forget that there are lots of options available. If the .co.uk version is taken, try .com or .net.

You need your own domain if you want to make money off your blog. If you have a domain like www.dreamofhome.wordpress.com, the domain doesn’t belong to you, and you won’t have your own domain authority.

2. Choose a Host

Once you’ve bought your domain you need to find someone who can host your website. There are plenty of companies available, but be careful. A lot will offer you a great deal for the first year and then shoot their prices up in the second. Find a fixed price host who is reliable. Check any blogger Facebook groups to find which are rated or slated. Most companies offer 24-hour help but do check. This is a handy tool to have if your blog crashes for any reason.

Don’t forget that you can buy a domain through a host so this might work out cheaper, or just easier.

3. Choose your blogging software

Next you need to find a software to actually create your blog. WordPress and Blogger are the two biggies and the best. Blogger is wonderful for those just starting out, but a LOT of bloggers find that as they grow and improve, it doesn’t do everything they need it to. They end up transferring to WordPress which is a difficult task when you’ve already got a substantial amount of blog content.

WordPress.org is more complicated, and therefore might take a bit of playing around for you to get used to it. However it might be more beneficial in the long run. I’ve always used WordPress and haven’t had any issues.

4.Design your site

Now for the exciting bit! You’ve bought your domain and got someone to host your site. You’ve also got all the software set up. You can either choose a template or get an official site created through a company. Getting a bespoke web design will make you stand out, but might cost more. If you’re serious about making money off your blog through collaborative posts, affiliate links or adverts, then spending money on your blog is an investment. It’s absolutely worth spending the money to get your website looking fabulous.

 

I hope this guide to self-hosting has helped and that you’ll go out and try it for yourself!

 

*Collaborative post

5 Steps To A Minimalist Living Room

Minimalist, modern living is a way to form a relaxing space, so here are the basic steps to achieve a minimalist living room.

Love them or hate them, you have to admit that minimalist, open plan spaces manage to tread the tightrope of being both impactful and relaxing all at the same time.

When we first looked around our house, we knew straightaway that we’d be knocking a wall down to create an open plan living space.

You want a space where you can combine a dining area with a lounge, or even a kitchen too if you choose to go fully open plan like me. Such spaces aren’t that hard to create. Just read the guide below to find out how to create a minimalist living room.

 

Step 1: Create space

The thing that you must do before all others when creating a minimalist living room is to examine the space you have to work with. You’ll have more work ahead of you if the rooms are separated off, as you will need to knock those walls down before you get going.

However, that doesn’t mean you get an easy ride if your space is already open-plan. Now is absolutely the time to clear any clutter and old items out. You need to create more space to allow new items to come in. 

Just remember to be sensible about the things that you are getting rid of, especially if they still have some use in them. You could donate this to charity, or friends and family instead of throwing them in the bin.

You don’t even need to have a car big enough to fit the larger items in because you can use a company like Shiply to pick them up and deliver them for you. This service makes it easier to be environmentally friendly with your minimalist renovation than ever before.

 

Step 2: Neutral pallet

Step Two is to define your neutral pallet for the space. Modern neutrals include different hues of white, greys, and even the odd splash of black to emphasise certain elements of the room here and there.

Just don’t go overboard on the latter through, as it’s likely to shrink your living space and make things seem smaller than they really are.  

 

Step 3: Consider utility

Step Three is all about choosing the new furniture with what you need in mind first, rather than just getting it because it looks pretty. The idea being that to achieve a truly minimal space you want the least amount of items to fulfil the job in the room as possible.

 

Step 4: Consider placement

Step Four is all about deciding where to place the items mentioned in Step Three for the best effect. Consider the space between pieces of furniture and the effect that this has on the room before you make your final decision.

 

Step 5: Decorate with a light touch

Last of all, even minimalist rooms can have a few decorative touches. This, however, must be done with a particularly light touch.

That means the occasional objet d’art, or picture on the wall. These items should be chosen to coordinate with the original colours you’re working with. The reason for this being that it will help you retain that sense of space that is such a calming and expansive part of a minimalist living room. 

 

So there you go. Five easy steps to obtain a minimalist and clean living space. Do you like tidy and minimalist, or cosy and lived in?

 

Trying to Add Modern Interiors to your Home?

There are many reasons why you might want to add modern interiors to your home.

Your intentions don’t matter. What really matters are the steps you take. It can be hard to know where to start when you want to turn a traditional home style into something a bit more modern and elegant. If you’re wondering what you need to do to add modern interiors, read on to find out for yourself.

 

Ditch the Frills and Flair

You should start off by ditching any of the frills and flair that are found in your home. If these touches were put in place decades ago, they will certainly look very dated and out of context now.

Modern designs tend to be clean, and blocks of colour rather than patterns are used more often than not.

 

Replace Your Tired Old Sofa and Armchair

The seating arrangements you have in place in your living room need to be dealt with if you want a more modern home.

Old sofas stand out like sore thumbs in your home, and your living space will never look modern if you get these things wrong. So, replace your old sofa with something like modern fabric recliner sofas. You should also change your old armchair, even if you like the comfort it offers.

 

Hang Contemporary Art on the Walls

Art can play an important role in your home. If you don’t have any modern and contemporary art, you’re definitely missing out on something important.

It’s a shortcut that you should definitely be taking advantage of right now. Find modern art that you like and feel is in keeping with the rest of your room’s design. When you do that, your home will feel more vibrant and alive.

 

Add More Colour

There definitely needs to be more colour in your rooms if you want the home to feel up to date. If you look at your room and see mostly brown, then that’s a problem. Your home will immediately feel more modern when it has a splash of colour. You don’t even have to paint the walls to make this happen either. Instead, you can choose a statement piece of furniture that has a bright and vibrant colour.

 

Use Open Storage Units

The way in which you store things in your home is one of the things that matters a lot when you’re trying to make your home seem more modern. Old cabinets and storage units can easily feel dated if they’ve been in place for a long time.

For a more modern and ultimately timeless feel, you should opt for open storage units. These are often simple shelves that have very clean structures. Everything is then out in the open, making it seem more relaxed too.

 

Add modern interiors to your home by using my five top tips!

 



Tools to Home Make DIY Easier

For a lot of people, DIY isn’t a passion which fills them with joy and satisfaction, but you can make DIY easier.

Instead, this sort of work is done out of necessity, as you want to save money around your home. But it isn’t always easy.

In a lot of cases, barriers will be presented to you, and you won’t have a way to overcome them. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best tools out there to make DIY easier.

 

  • Cutting

 

One of the hardest jobs a novice DIYer will have to undertake is cutting. Unlike paper or other thin materials, wood and metal aren’t a simple matter of using scissors. Instead, you will need a saw, but you have to choose the right one.

For most jobs, a mitre saw will be enough to make all of the cuts you need. Along with this, you should also consider the idea of a cheap circular saw to help you out, too.

 

  • Measuring

 

Before you can make a cut, it’s always good to make sure that you’ve measured it twice. However, with all the modern tools on the market, you don’t really need to go to this effort.

Laser measuring tools have become very reliable over the last few years and make DIY easier. Offering unparalleled accuracy, this sort of tool is perfect for anyone who struggles to measure the right lines.

 

  • Joining

 

Once you’ve measured and made the cuts of the material you need, it’s time to start putting things together. For wood, one of the best ways to do this is using a nail gun. This sort of tool is perfectly safe if you use it correctly. You have to be careful, though. This sort of tool can often damage softer woods. Along with this, nails aren’t always the most attractive option, anyway.

To solve this issue, glue is here to save the day, and you have loads of examples to choose from. Spray adhesives have come a long way over the last few years, with a lot of companies offering options which can dry within minutes, giving you years of strong hold. We put brackets on our mantelpiece to hold our oak beam, but then glued the beam to the wall. Worked perfectly and saved using any nails to mount it!

This sort of material won’t always be appropriate for the job you’re doing. So, it’s always worth doing some research to make sure you’re getting the right glue for your project.

 

  • Painting

 

Finally, it’s time to think about one of the biggest jobs a DIYer will ever have to do; painting.

In a lot of cases, this work will take up a huge amount of your project time, and can be very hard to get right. To help you with this, there are loads of modern paint systems out there which take this work out of your hands. They dispense the paint for you at an even rate; it’s never been easier to give your walls a perfect coat.

 

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start taking on some bigger projects, while also making them a lot easier for yourself. A lot of people will be daunted by a job they think they can’t do. Make DIY easier by finding some kind of tool to help you, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

 



How To Disaster-Proof Your Wedding

Weddings are expensive occasions that require lots of planning.

Nobody wants their wedding to be ruined by an unforeseen disaster resulting in a last minute cancellation. Here’s how you can disaster-proof your wedding and prevent wedding bells from turning into alarm bells.

 

Plan ahead

Some disasters can be down to our own forgetfulness. Thoroughly planning everything in advance can prevent important details from being missed. Create a checklist and aim to have everything on it ticked off a few weeks before the wedding.

You don’t want to be scrambling around last minute for a make-up artist or a wedding photographer only to find they’re all fully booked up. Make sure you’re inviting guests at least six months before the event and ring around to confirm who can make it. This will ensure that all the important people are able to make your special day.

 

Prepare for all weathers

If you’ve got an outdoor wedding planned, it’s worth having an emergency backup plan in case of bad weather. This could be something as simple as having the ceremony under a marquee. This way, if the heavens do open, everyone will be sheltered. Companies such as http://www.countymarquees.com/ specialise in these marquees and could give you a wide range to choose from. You may even want to buy some windbreaks in case of blustery weather.

A heatwave can also have unexpected results. The first most common disaster is frizzy hair. It could be worth packing some anti-frizz hairspray or asking your beautician to provide some, so that aren’t reminded of your messy hair in photos for years to come.

Another thing to watch out for is insects, especially around the cake on a hot day. Nobody wants fly eggs in their wedding cake.

As for your wedding vehicle, if you’re opting for an open-top car, make sure the roof can easily be put on in the event of a shower – too many brides can be caught out by this. At the very least, bring an umbrella.

 

wedding cookie with bride and groom figurines

Get insured

Just as you may take out holiday insurance when going on vacation, it’s worth taking out wedding insurance.

You can find such schemes at sites such as https://www.wedinsure.co.uk/. Wedding insurance may be able to protect against cancellation and rearrangement but only in certain circumstances such as when the bride or groom is ill or when catering services don’t turn up. Always read into insurance schemes to see exactly what is covered.

It isn’t expensive — mine was £50 — and it covers against any suppliers that don’t turn up, or even if your cake arrives damaged, etc.

 

Use a wedding planner

Disaster-proof your wedding by hiring a wedding planner. A wedding planner can take a lot of the stress out of organising your day such as arranging catering services, hiring a photographer and decorating the venue. This could prevent you forgetting important aspects of your wedding.

Some wedding planners may also be able to find last minute replacements if a wedding DJ or photographer doesn’t turn up. This could save you phoning around on the day — something no-one should have to do on their wedding.

Wedding planners do cost a fair amount of money. Shop around for a wedding planner that doesn’t charge a fortune and read reviews and testimonials to ensure you get a reliable and experienced one.

 

There are some problems that will be out of your control, but do what you can. Disaster-proof your wedding as much as possible, so if anything does go wrong, you’re prepared. You don’t want to regret any part of your day, so take these measures to ensure your day goes perfectly!