There are a lot of different blogging sites out there, many free, some paid, and some that you just don’t know what they are. I wanted to just post a quick blurb about an experience I have been having with this blog.
I started this blog only a couple months ago. I spend a few hours a week getting content setup and ready for production. It is mostly on autopilot now. I have regular visitors, and every day I get new subscribers (I appreciate it guys!). I do not do much in the way of promotion, yet people still manage to find the site, and they like what they see.
Getting the blog setup was a different story. I spent an entire weekend for 12+ hours on sat and sunday, and a lot more time on monday selecting a theme, organizing content, adding about me pages, putting up pictures, arranging menus’s and getting content into the menus. There was a LOT of work involved……
Now I am at a crossroad. Do I keep the WordPress.com hosted blog or do I go to a self hosted blog? Until this morning I thought I did want to switch to self hosted. I found a service provider that is recommended as one of the best hosting companies for WordPress. I paid the fee, and secured my domain. I followed some tutorials on porting your blog over, and managed to get all my content setup on the new server.
I hit a brick wall though! All the links within my content still points to THIS blog. So, I would have to spend hours on hours going through each post, and re-linking all my internal links. This is NOT FUN!
None of my followers come with me. So I have to beg all of you to come and join my new blog, on my new page.
My theme is not porting over properly at all. I am not a dumb guy, and am good with most the computer languages, yet the plug in system is not as user friendly as a guy would like. And to top it all off there are warnings on the pages for editing the plug in’s “WARNING, if you mess the code up in this section your entire blog will go down and you will have to pay someone to fix your mistake!!!” Ok, maybe it doesn’t say that, but the warning is pretty scary.
DNS errors all the time. Even though the hosting company I went with is supposed to be the best, I am still getting errors for pages that I know exist. If my readers were clicking these links they would get frustrated fast and I would lose them quicker than you can imagine. This is one of the biggest reasons I am thinking of abandoning the move
The reasons I wanted to go to self hosted are only a few.
1) I wanted more customization of the mobile experience. There are some great plugins to make this work and look stunning.
2) I liked the idea of controlling the content. Any time they want to this blog can be shut down and I will have lost everything I have here. The odds are slim, but it can, and has happened.
3) Pop up’s. I know this is a scary word for many people. Pop Up’s have been shown to increase subscription rate by 300% on blogs that have them, vs ones that do not.
4) ad’s. Its great to make money off visitors. Running google ad sense is a great way to earn money off your hard work even when your readers do not buy into anything you specifically offer. A wordpress.com site does not allow ads of this nature. It is an important part of running a good business that is supported on your blog. Currently I have no intention of running ads, but in the future when traffic levels are much higher it is something I wish to explore.
So now the question…….
Since porting the blog to a self hosted site is not as easy as I had hoped, and the reasons for doing the switch are not that important, do I need to do it?
If you are thinking of starting a blog. Decide now to go self hosted or not. Know your options and limitations now, and then make that decision. It is a LOT easier to do all the monkeying around on either one when there is no content to worry about. Once you have content on the site your headaches will be much much bigger.
Have any of you got advice for me? maybe you have ported your own site over all ready? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments section