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Are you currently running a blog or site hosted on the ever-popular WordPress.com platform? Or even another blogging platform entirely? Whilst using a hosted service like the aforementioned can be an ideal way to get your foot on the ladder of running your own web presence, if you want to take things seriously (or at the very least, have considerably more control of things) – switching to a self-hosted installation of WordPress is a must.

This post aims to highlight just a few of the more major benefits you can expect by making the jump.

Total freedom to run any Plugin or Theme.

One of the largest benefits of running your own installation of WP is the ability to run any plugin or theme you wish. Whilst WordPress.com does allow you to use a number of free themes out of the box – as well as the ability to choose from a selection of premium themes – the offerings available are really only a very small portion of the whopping number of themes available for you to use in the WP eco-system. Using a self-hosted WP setup you can take advantage of the 1000s of themes available today – including our sublime Pillar theme, so you can really make your site stand out of the crowd.

On top of the world of themes available, your free to use any of the 1000s of awesome free plugins also, meaning you can add anything from galleries, so entire e-commerce solutions to your site with ease.

Optimisation and Speed

In this day and age – the speed of a website is paramount, after all, having a slow site can adversely affect your search rankings. This means that having the ability to fine tune your server/caching etc is crucial as it allows you to squeeze every last bit of performance you can from your hosts and theme/plugins. Following guides such as our fabulous Speeding Up WordPress can reap major speed boosts for most sites, and as this kind of customisation is simply not possible on a WordPress.com hosted site.

Search Engine Optimisation

it almost goes without saying, but if your trying to target a certain audience or niche – or even just simply trying to attract more visitors to your content, having control of your sites precious details such as meta tags, keywords etc is critical. This is where a self-hosted WP solution really shines. Using a plugin such as the absolutely indispensable Yoast SEO plugin, you will have the ability to tweak absolutely all aspects of your sites search engine appearance.

Want to ensure your blog post or page is targeting the right keywords for you? No problem Рthe plugin gives you control of each post/page etc so you can tweak things as you wish! Want to setup your own page Titles for optimum performance? Yep, it does that too! Yoast SEO really is a powerhouse, and in many ways the power if provides can be seen as a reason in itself to make the switch. For more details on this amazing free plugin, check out our article Boosting Your SEO.