Becoming suchamama.com was kind of a big deal for me. For a couple of reasons… First, it meant I was pretty committed to this blogging thing. Second, it meant I needed to learn a little more than I did about hosting and coding. Third, it meant that I could also start applying to host ads.
I was inspired by on online blogging workshop that I did that offered a free year of web hosting on GoDaddy. The workshop wasn’t that helpful, but explained the importance of moving to wordpress.org in order to host advertising through the company I was interested in.
I also had pinned Kat’s post on Starting your own blog. on Living like the Kings. Her post really clarified the order in which to take each step.
Once I had my GoDaddy account set up with my year of web hosting, I bought my domain name through GoDaddy. My understanding is that if you try and purchase your domain name through wordpress, GoDaddy makes you wait six months before you can use it. Doing it all through one company made it pretty seamless. I was comfortable with the prices too.
Then I installed the WordPress.org app into GoDadddy. I remember that this was a pretty easy part of the process. Once I did that, the admin side looked fairly similar, but there are some differences.
- Editing in the WYSIWYG is a little bit trickier. You have to play a bit with formatting and do a lot of previewing! However, it does allow you a whole lot more flexibility in terms of photo size and layout.
- You can add plugins. In fact you need to in order to get some of the basics in wordpress.com like site stats and spam protection. There is a nifty Jetpack plugin that includes many of those basics. I am still trying different ones out to see what I like/need.
- You have unlimited photo uploading! This was big for me since I take all of my photos in fairly large sizes and don’t always have time to resize them down.
I also wanted to import all of my content to the new site. This part was a bit frustrating and made me a little nauseous. I just kept telling myself I could abandon it and stick with wordpress.com if I couldn’t figure it out. But I did it… with a few hits and misses.
I followed the directions from ProBlogger.Net. First I exported my wordpress.com site under tools > export in the admin side of the wordpress.com site and saved to my desktop. Fortunately my wordpress.com site stays in tact while you are doing this. I chose to transfer everything at first.
I added the plugin “WordPress.com Importer” to the admin of the new wordpress.org site. There are many so make sure you have the right one. It took several tries to get the content to import. I kept getting these error messages. After about four tries, it turns out that most of my pictures came over (except my header!) and only about half of my posts. It appeared that hardly any comments came over regardless of the error messages. The next day, I exported/imported just the posts from the last date that showed up and then everything seemed to be in place, even comments. If I were to do it again, I would try and do smaller date ranges, maybe one month at a time.
I had just redesigned the look of the blog and didn’t want to it again. It turns out that Adelle wasn’t available in wordpress.org! Argh! Fortunately a quick Google search turned up the designers site and I could download it for free.
Finally after just a couple of days of tweaking, I was ready to post my last post at suchamama.wordpress.com and my first new post to suchamama.com and then announce it to the world!
Timing wise, I was just starting to see a lot more activity on my blog in terms of followers, stats and comments. I was a little nervous about losing what little growth I had made. However, I figure it was better to switch sooner with less followers than later when I had the potential to lose a lot more. Since the transition, I have done a lot more reaching out, commenting, liking and linking to make sure the new URL is out there.
To celebrate there is even a new button!