If you’re reading this post on my blog website right now, you might notice that this little blog of mine has gotten a facelift! A theme change is something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, but I never had the guts to pursue it. Depending on the theme, the extent to which changing it can royally mess up most everything on your blog is maddening.
But earlier this week, out of the blue, I decided that I’m ready to move forward a bit in the world of blogging. Meaning, I thought it was high time to upgrade my blog!
No, not THAT kind of upgrade!
I mean upgrade to a self-hosted site at WordPress.org. Initially, this is something I never thought I’d do, because I have negligible computer skills to be able to make such a transfer. When I hear the word “code,” my thoughts are of cardiac arrest and CPR. But then I discovered that if you signed up for a host site through WordPress, they would do the transfer for you! Altogether, it took four days of emailing back and forth with WordPress support as they informed me of the progress of the upgrade each day. Occasionally, there would be something simple I needed to do on my end to move the process along.
As I couldn’t sleep last night, I was looking around at some themes on my new dashboard. I hadn’t found any I was particularly in love with, so I had decided to keep my old theme. But then I stumbled across this theme and saw that it was exactly what I’d been looking for! So since it was the middle of the night, I figured it would be a good time to change over to the new theme and configure it the way I wanted, which took maybe two hours.
And this morning, I finally got the email from WordPress that the upgrade was complete!
But oh, there were some issues that had me yelling loud enough to send the cats running from the bedroom. (Although I made it up to them later by fixing their drinking fountain.)
The first time I logged in with the login I was given, I nearly had a stroke when I saw that everything had changed back to my old theme. I literally started crying. Then all of a sudden I couldn’t access my blog at all because the browser couldn’t established a secure connection. I emailed WordPress support and they fixed my SSL certificate on the host site (whatever that means.) The next time I logged in, my new theme was back. But then it would randomly switch back to my old theme if I clicked on a different part of the blog. So WordPress told me to clear my cache (which I had already done twice today) and turn off the cache plugin (do I really need a plugin for that?)
After spending two hours emailing back and forth with WordPress and yelling at my iPad, everything seemed to settle down. *knock on wood* I set up my Google Analytics account so I can now know in excruciating detail everything from which posts are most popular to exactly how long people spend perusing my blog. I’m getting used to some new plugins, particularly the SEO (search engine optimization) plugin. At this very moment it’s telling me how much this post sucks and how I need to improve it for it to show up in any search engines. It’s like having my 12th grade AP English Literature teacher looking over my shoulder as I write. (I digress, but she hated my writing. She even failed me on some essays. But I got the last laugh by scoring a 5, the highest possible score, on the AP exam. Nyeh.)
What I am most sad about is that as a result of switching to a self-hosted site, all my blog stats are gone. All of them. I had over 60,000 views and I knew which posts were my most popular. (Even after all this time, this one still dominates.) But now that’s all gone and I feel lost. I know it’s not a huge deal, but those numbers were validating to me. And now I have to literally start from scratch. Sigh. I’ll get over it someday.
Anyhoo, take a look around at my new place! And if you haven’t already, go ahead and sign up to receive my posts via email! It really makes things a whole lot simpler, doesn’t it?
Have you made the upgrade to a self-hosted site? Was it a nightmare for you, too?
What is your favorite plugin?
PS- If you follow me through the WordPress.com Reader, in order to keep following my posts, you need to subscribe to my self-hosted blog via e-mail (see the sidebar on my new blog.) You will only receive an e-mail when I publish a post. Please make my day and sign up! ??