When I started blogging in 2014, I used Google Blogger for several reasons. First it was free and second I was not too sure if our (hubby and I) travel blog will be a long term hobby. Back then I was a beginner and was still trying to establish a style for our “travel blog”. Going with Google Blogger as a start seemed like the most appropriate solution.
A year later I was still blogging and enjoying it. I believed that as long as Yat Thong and I went on travelling we would need a place to store all the beautiful memories of our trips. Instead of flipping pages of photo album it was definitely enjoyable to “flip” blog pages. Besides that many of our friends and relatives are fans of our travel blog and were using our experience to plan their travel itineraries.
In 2015, we decided that since our travel blog would be a “permanent” fixture in our lives, we had to stop using Google Blogger. Google Blogger had many limitations and it was difficult to be creativity. Another major concern was regarding the copyrights of the contents on our blog, basically Google Blogger had the rights to our contents, pictures and all and this “bugged” us especially me. It was time to search for a proper website hosting platform. Though it would not be free, I was sure that it was the right direction to forge ahead.
our own website
In mid 2015, I finally signed up with SiteGround, after evaluating several top web hosting service providers. We registered our website url www.jaiktravelblog.com and held the copyrights all the contents in its. Several reasons that led us to choose SiteGround were 1) I read lesser complaints about them, 2) they had hosting servers in Singapore (back then) which meant if I needed support they were close by and 3) they offered very cheap rates for newcomers.
It was a pain to recreate all my contents that was residing in Google Blogger into SiteGround. Google Blogger platform was unique so there was no simple migration to move these contents. It took several months of hard work before our new website at SiteGround was ready. For once I regretted not starting on the right hosting provider on day 1.
At SiteGround, we used WordPress – Travelify Theme to rebuild our travel blog. WordPress was definitely a much better blog builder with more options, versatility and creativity. It was also massively supported by many website hosting service providers. This meant that if we ever have to move on to another service provider, content migration would be easy and our url which we owned would come along too!!
My experience using SiteGround
I signed up for the most basic plan, “StartUp” which gave me 10G space. As a newcomer I paid less than USD$2.95 per month for a one year contract which was a very good deal. I figured that the Startup plan was good enough as it was meant for website that had up to 10,000 visits a month.
When I login into my SiteGround account for the first time, I was a bit overwhelmed to see so many functionalities. I did not know where to start, luckily there were many online tutorials to guide me. Soon I decided that being a simple travel blogger I needed to just focus on functionalities/features that were relevant to me, such as Wordpress, email function, website activity analysis.
In mid 2016, I renewed my Startup plan contract at SiteGround for another year at the normal rate of USD$9.90 a month. I decided to stay on because so far I did not encounter any problem at all.