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Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation. Brian Tracy.
Read more here
I took a hiatus from my blog recently to contemplate my next move.
Actually, I decided that in order to truly follow my passion — blogging about my personal experiences while providing a helpful resource to my audience — I needed to move to self-hosting. Sensing I was just “blogging” and not writing my heart, I took a leap of faith into the world of self-hosting on WordPress.org.
First, I scoured through some online resources on blogging such as the article by Susan Gunelius, 10 Steps to Start a Blog with WordPress.org. I also did some reading on the WordPress.com support forum about transferring a blog. WordPress does a very good job in providing easy to follow instructions for its users.
Next I watched this video by Christina Warren HOW TO: Transfer Your Blog From WordPress.com to WordPress.org [VIDEO]. I found this post quite useful and informative. I was able to get a sense of what I was in for just enough to take the plunge. But if I thought it was going to be an easy process, I was a bit mistaken. I took the following steps based on my research:
1. I created a Bluehost web hosting account and attempted to transfer my domains (I own both the .com and .co version of my web address). My domains were being hosted by iPage. I could not, however, at the time move my .com address because due to a billing mishap, my ownership was reset to May 2015. And, because of ICANN rules, you cannot transfer your domain from one host to another unless you have owned that domain for more than 60 days.
So I proceeded to transfer my .co domain.
2. After generating my EPP code, I went on to transfer my domain, which included changing my name servers.
3. I “exported” my blog files to my desktop computer. Incidentally, if you are using a Mac, you will need to create a folder first and then download your files to that folder. This is because the MAC platform unzips the files and you end up with a mish-mash of files instead of one neat folder. I obtained this little nugget from Tyler Moore’s video. He’s a bit obnoxious but if you cut through the drivel, there is some very useful information there.
4. This is where things got a little complicated. I purchased a new “responsive” theme from Mojo Marketplace, Bluehost’s site partner. I also asked Mojo to install the theme to look like the purchased theme (cost: $149). This is because these types of themes seldom looks like the original. Completion time promised was 1-3 days. However, after 3 days, nothing was done. It took a few phone calls, and emails before I was able to get a reply from Mojo. Further, it took 5 days instead for my blog to become live.
I’m relating these details so others may not make the same mistakes I made. I have no issues with Mojo now and I will definitely use their service again. I didn’t use the Wunderful theme I paid for. That is because it was more difficult to customize than other themes I could obtain for free…anything but wonderful. A very expensive lesson indeed!
Takeaways from this experience:
1. WordPress.com does keep the “yoursitename.wordpress.com” so basically your original site is still fully operational. I didn’t know this at the time which caused me some obvious angst.
2. Choose a free “workable” theme, when you first transfer your blog. There are so many free themes, you are bound to find one that works immediately until you feel comfortable enough to move up to one of the more “powerful” themes.
3. Having continued access to my old account on WP.com made the process more comfortable….a bit like moving into a new house while still having full access to your former house.
Though still a work in progress, I’m basically satisfied with my blog.
So as stated earlier, the main reason for this major change is that I want to blog my passion. I’ve always wanted to tell stories that reflect my life experiences with the wish that it would help other single mothers. I feel this moved has enhanced my ability to do so.
Finally, I agree that “…blogging gives you a voice in this world. What you say can make an impact on someone else. You have a message. Your message is needed in the world”. quote by Jonathan Milligan in his book, The 15 Success Traits of Pro Bloggers: A Proven Roadmap to Becoming a Full-Time Blogger.
I don’t want to waste this opportunity.