Today, Valentine’s Day is my 2 year blog anniversary. Happy blog birthday to me! I was going to write a post about the stuff I’d learnt in the last 2 years of blogging but a week ago, after just a year of procrastinating and thinking about it for far too long, I finally took the leap to self-host my own blog.
Reasons I Wanted to Self- Host:
- I’d seen so many of my other blogging buddies do it and take their blogs on to bigger and better things
- Brands won’t consider working with you unless you’re self-hosted. I’ve no idea if this will happen to me in the future, I only know that it wasn’t going to happen as it was
- I felt fed up and constrained with the design and layout of my blog
Reasons for Not Doing it or Putting it off for Another Year:
- I’m a huge technophobe and the process of switching made me wince every time I thought about it
- Was any of it worth it? I started my blog to write and the basic WordPress site allowed me to do that
I’m in a bit of a dry spell with my freelancing work so if ever there was a time to do it, it was now. I’d seen how a few bloggers had recommended TSO. Even better they did most of the migration for you and I heard they were very good at support.
So last Monday I set about becoming self-hosted. I religiously and slowly followed this post by Wendy at Nap Time Natter who had some great advice. Despite a little bit of confusion relating to domain names, I managed to get through the process fairly easily and painlessly. I’d read horror stories by other bloggers who had said they’d not backed up any of their work and some had lost a lot, and so I was a little bit panicky when I got to the end of the process and waited for TSO to work their magic. I was amazed when I had an email the very next day to say that the migration had occurred and I was no self-hosted! Shouldn’t it take weeks?
My first thought on seeing the new site was that phew! All the blog posts were there. But then I realised that none of the comments had switched over. Not a major deal, but it just looked like no one had ever read my blog. A few panicky emails to TSO and they did something which brought back the comments. I also had a crazy moment where I thought that I’d been logged out of the new site but realised I was trying to login to the old WordPress one with my new passwords. (Yep told you I was a technophobe).
Then the fun began as I realised I had to get to grips with a new way of working. A slightly new WordPress system, a new theme, faffing about with widgets and plugins. Setting the blog up all over again with new menu, headers etc. etc. the list goes on and on. It can be fun, but also overwhelming, consuming and infuriating all at the same time.
For instance, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of themes with the new site. I’d seen some I’d already liked but it turns out you need to pay extra to get these. Which I did. There is still so much to do and a lot to learn, but I think the only way I can cope with it is to do a little bit at a time.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I wrote about what I’d learnt in my first year of blogging. Not much has changed, it’s still something I love and at times I can’t be bothered with. I can lots of inspiration for blog posts and then go for weeks with nothing. Despite 2 years of blogging, I still have so much to learn about it. I’m never going to be one of those bloggers who make a career of it, but there is still a lot I can do. I love the blogging community and how friendly everyone is. Below is a list of everyone that helped and supported me through the self-hosting process either directly or indirectly after my many worries last week. Thank you so much ladies!
Charlie at Mess and Merlot
Laura at Five Little Doves
Wendy at Naptime Natter
Mrs Lighty at All Things Spliced
Emma at Island Living 365
If you don’t hear too much from me in the near future, it’s because I’ll have my head down trying to figure out just what the hell I’m doing!
I’d love to hear about your experiences of going self-hosted with the blog, please let me know in the comments below.