I’ve mentioned a few times before that I had a major revamp of my blog planned.
I’m pleased to announce that the process has started! I’ve transferred it from WordPress.com to a self-hosted site – hence the generic background, etc.
Some things will be returning to the original, but over the next few weeks, there will be many changes. I’ll keep you updated with my progress as I go along.
A few details:
For those non-techy folks among you who might be intimidated by doing the same, I’ve decided to provide a few details. I consider myself barely technologically literate – I can use my simple little cell phone, though not to capacity; I can set the DVR to record something in advance; I can use most soft-ware as long as it is straight forward and has decent help files just in case. So if I can carry this makeover off, you can too, unless you’re completely tech-illiterate.
The first thing I had to do was understand the difference between the free WordPress-hosted blogs, and a self-hosted WordPress blog. There’s plenty of accurate info out there, so I’m not going to explain it here.
Then I had to decide if I really wanted to go through with it. I would have far more flexibility if I did, but, at this point in my writing career, before publication, could I justify the expense? It wasn’t necessary – the free blog offered everything I needed. But, would I have the time to make the change later when I needed that additional flexibility?
I decided not to take the chance, and spent the roughly $100 to register my domain and set up a hosting account for one year. Other associated expenses that aren’t required are: a small fee to keep my domain registration info private, the price of a premium WordPress Theme, professional website development, and I’m sure there are other possibilities.
Choosing a hosting service was a bit daunting. I didn’t want to get stuck with crappy service, and I didn’t want to pay more than necessary for decent service. After looking at several services, I chose Bluehost.com. There were several others I considered with similar hosting packages. I made the final decision based on Bluehost’s demo. The interface seemed pretty straightforward and I liked the way it was arranged.
Since I’d already registered my domain a few months ago, I had to transfer it to Bluehost from WordPress’ registrar. I’m amazed I was able to accomplish it in a matter of hours. WordPress Support gave step by step instructions that were easy to follow, and Bluehost has a video tutorial.
With the domain transferred to Bluehost, I had to figure out what next. I’d already decided to stay with the WordPress platform, since I was familiar with it and it offers a great deal of flexibility. Bluehost has a one-click WordPress Install, which I did. Then I went to the WordPress.com blog, clicked “Export” in Tools. It prompted me to download a file with my blog content, which I did.
Then back to the new WordPress installation, and clicked “Import” in Tools. (Oh, yeah, the sign-in is different. The old one doesn’t work for the new site. I received an email with a new username and password for the new one.) “Import” prompted me to select the file I downloaded from the old blog and upload it.
So that’s where we are right now. Simple.