So now you know why you blog and what you blog. But what about where? Where are you building your new blog home? Where are you building this community? A free blog, or a paid blog? I started with a free blog on WordPress back in March, built it up. Then I transitioned to a2 Hosting, and bought a domain. For me, paying $17 a month for hosting was rather expensive. Also, being able to edit the theme and CSS was important to me. But I had no idea how to do that on a2.
I had been experiencing problems trying to edit anything on my site. The page would always crash, and publishing was a nightmare. So I decided, when I started my upstyle, to troubleshoot it. It turned out that there was complications with some plugins I was using. I ended up deactivating all of them, and reactivating all of them one by one. With each one, I made sure that the customization still worked. I’m still not sure which one(s) was causing the problem.
The big change came when I decided that I was going to change hosts. My Professional Portfolio professor uses WordPress, since he does professional photography jobs, he suggested 1and1.com for hosting. It’s only $9.00 a month – half of what I was paying. He also suggested using themeforest.com to get a new theme; one I liked and that I could customize (which is the one I’m currently using and I love. It was only $20!). I was excited about all of the changes I was planning! 1and1 was cheaper, and the interface looked easier to use. I transferred my domain over – and that was when a whole new set of issues arose.
At first, it was simply that I was having issues connecting my domain to the project I started for Pastel Bottle Rocket. Though it quickly escalated. I had accidentally disconnected the WordPress site that had all of my followers on it. All of the followers I’d built up since March – 1200+ – were gone in the blink of an eye.
I freaked out.
I immediately headed over to WordPress support. They told me that my followers should all be in the database from my previous site. So I exported the SQL file, but had no idea how to make an empty database or anything on 1and1 (tech savvy, I am not). So I tweeted support, and then decided to call when I didn’t get a response (although they’d been rather helpful before). It took a bit before the support guy and I were able to figure out what I wanted, and what exactly was going on.
He was gracious enough to connect my domain to my database and get everything up and running. – Although it did take a while, since there were a lot of website files. But after, I discovered that my 1200+ following was still gone. They weren’t connected to anything anymore, just lost somewhere in cyberspace. I still have yet to figure out where they’ve gone off to.
Which leads me to where I am today.
Here, in my home, I’m still trying to invite new guests in. 1and1 is a good host; cheap, easy to use interface, cheap startup price. But, due to my own stupidity, all of my previous guests were gone. Although I’ve never been happier with the look and feel of my blog. I’ve decided to view this as a way to do this the ‘right way.” The way to read that all the big blogs do. I’ve decided to use this as a way to start over fresh.
So where are you making your home? Do you like it? If not, I think it’s time for a change. The look and feel of your blog is very important. Just like you have to like what you’re writing, you also have to like where you’re writing. The blog is your second home – make it yours, make it comfortable. Would you read a blog that looked like yours?
If you’re planning on upstyling your own free blog, I’d say you might want to consider moving to a hosted service! If you already have a self-hosted blog – try buying a theme, giving your site a face lift. Maybe rebranding is the thing you need!
There will probably be one more install of this! See you then!
Thanks for Reading!
Don’t Miss the First Three Installments!!