This post was originally written & posted at my frugal blog back in February 2010. It was long before Rose Bakes was even an idea for me. I just thought it would be a fun post to share since I’m currently writing and updating my How to Start a Food Blog and Make Money Doing It page.
*Warning* This post will be long. It’s not one of those fun freebies, or list of deals, or some great coupon. Maybe most of you (my lovely readers) won’t be interested in reading it, but writing relieves stress for me – so I write….because yesterday, I was super stressed out and I need some relief!!
Oh, and when I get stressed, or upset, or excited, or pretty much any extreme emotion, I ramble. This post will include lots of ellipses and italics and CAPS and probably quite a few run-on sentences. That’s just how I roll. I’m aware of my weakness…and I’m okay with it. It’s a problem that I honestly have no desire to fix. See? I’m rambling already. So…you were warned. Read on if you dare.
Yesterday I woke up all pumped and enthusiastic about moving my blog to WordPress. Why? Well all the hottest bloggers use it – it’s the best platform out there (or that’s what I’m hearing)! And the word in the blogosphere is…move to WordPress, move to WordPress fast, move to WordPress NOW! I was convinced; I had to do it!
Well..let’s just say that I totally busted on moving to WordPress! While I’m sure it’s a great move for some bloggers, maybe for most bloggers, I’m going to tell you why it’s not a great move for all bloggers! Or at the very least, why it was not a good move for me (at least not right now, anyway)!
First and foremost. I’m new to blogging. I do not recommend trying to do what I tried to do yesterday if you’re new to blogging. Some bloggers have even said that they wished they had moved sooner, or started there in the first place. Well I won’t even say that, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.
But first, to use WordPress.org (the big stuff platform that everybody whose anybody is using), you need to own your domain and have hosting. I already owned my domain (although I wasn’t really clear on what that meant when I initially did it a few weeks ago), but I did NOT have hosting.
So, what did I do first thing this morning? I learned what hosting was. I did a few google searches. I checked the bottom of several blogs that I like. I read a few posts, read a few reviews, checked some prices, and I made up my mind on a hosting company. I called my hubby to make sure he was okay with the expenditure, and BAM – I shucked out almost $100 for 2 years of hosting.
Well, now I’m committed. I’ve spent the money, made up my mind, and I’m on my way. And you know, at this point, I’m thinking…I’m a pretty smart girl. I can do Calculus (for crying out loud)…surely I can transfer a blog from one platform to another. Right? WRONG!
After several tweets (is that the correct terminology? I’m new to the little blue bird too!) with some really smart girls (bloggers) on #savvyblogging, I had some pointers and some encouragement on how to get my blog “moving”.
I found one really great explanation and Amy was very helpful on Twitter. I followed her instructions, set up my WP blog and really didn’t have any problems at this point. Then I even got my page server thingy all fixed up working between my platform, my domain name, and my hosting site (yeah, rolling my eyes…whatever that means). My point is…when I typed in my .com address, my blog was there. I was getting it done! Sort of. I still had no posts.
Oh, but that’s supposed to be easy too. Apparently (google searches said so) all you have to do is use the ‘Import’ tool in WordPress to move your posts. YAY! That seems easy enough. And it was. I clicked a few times and within minutes…almost every post (11 were missing, not sure why) was moved over to my brand spankin’ new WordPress blog. My domain was properly directed. Everything was moving along.
Then it happened. The very first blip on my otherwise very easy transition. I noticed there was no friendly dashboard in WordPress like in Blogger, where you just click “Add Gadget” and enter your code to add ads or pictures, or gadgets, or widgets or whatever else you might dream up. No, there’s this new thing called Plugins. And I don’t care what anyone tells you, Plugins are not as easy as gadgets in Blogger. Or maybe they are and I’m just not as smart as I think, but I’m sticking to my story – Plugins are! not! easy!
I installed and activated one for Twitter – saw no change. I installed and activated one for RSS Feed – still not seeing it. I then installed something else..can’t even remember what that was called, and as the minutes passed, I realized I might be in trouble. This is not as easy as Blogger! There’s not click and add and little things show up pattern happening. I’m really not getting anywhere. But I will not be discouraged…no, I will not!
So, I got off my ‘gadget, widget, plugin’ kick, and decided to try and make my blog pretty. I always feel better when I’m my blog is pretty. So I searched for free WordPress themes, found more than I could possibly imagine, and chose the first simple pink one that jumped out at me (so shoot me..I like pink). I installed it with ease and my confidence was *temporarily* restored. I clicked on ‘View Blog’ and yes..it was pretty. It was pink. But wait, it also had all these little empty squares where I was supposed to put ads. Heck…I’m back to that
At this point, the tears that I had been fighting all day began to flow. What in the world was I thinking? I have no idea what I’m doing! I searched “how to use plugins in WordPress” and found tons of articles…unfortunately none of them were in English. Well, okay, they were in English…just not English for us run-of-the-mill stay at home Mommys. It was more like English for computer techies with years of experience in blogging, platforms, coding, etc.
Here’s where I tell you why I would not agree with the statement, “I wish I had started at WordPress.” If I had started blogging on WordPress.org 3 months ago and gotten this frustrated and overwhelmed this fast…my blog would. not. exist. Nope. I would’ve quit in a hurry.
So, back to my story, I got really, really overwhelmed and I cried. Then another blogger sent me an email saying a link I sent her wasn’t working. I cried some more. After a few clicks, it became clear to me that mostly none of my links were working. Yes, I had moved my posts. But the links in all of my posts led to nowhere. My blog was broken. Waaahhhhh!
So…I decided to take a break. After all, my kids needed to eat lunch. They didn’t really ‘get it’ that Mommy is having a meltdown because she totally broke her blog! They just want the beans and rice, you know? So they eat, I get them all started on their lessons, I get the little ones napping, and I approach my laptop again (with great angst). Do people still say angst? Is that even how you spell it? Anywho…
I open it up, type in the website address, and WHAT? I get this: “This URL is not found.” Oh No It Does Not!! I really did break my blog! It was gone – and I have no idea what happened between crying and lunch that made this happen, but it really was GONE!
This was the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camels back’. I gave up. Usually, I’m not a quitter, but at that moment, I quit. I clicked around for a few more minutes while I dried my tears and then I dialed the toll-free number to my host. I told the really nice guy on the other end that I had totally gotten in over my head, made a mess of my cutesy little Blogger blog, and I asked him nicely if he could just please undo whatever the heck I had done, clear up the nasty mess I had made, and make my domain point back to my blogspot address. Please.
He kindly told me that I really didn’t need the crazy $100 services that I had paid for if I wanted it set up like that, and I said, “Yes, I know, but I can’t take any more right now and I just want my simple, easy, little Blogger-blog back!” I told him (with confidence in my voice?) that I would have to work on figuring out WordPress and try again soon. He granted my request and got it all fixed up. Whew! I finally started to relax a bit and my blood pressure started to go back near normal.
At this point, God spoke to me. I’m being literal here. I hadn’t really prayed throughout this ordeal (mistake) but still, I heard Him say, “This too shall pass.” I smiled…almost laughed out loud. I took a long, deep breath. That is one of my favorite quotes and it was just what I needed to hear. He always has the ability to put things back into perspective for me.
I had just spent the better part of 6 hours agonizing over this little blip of a blog. I had yelled at my kids, ignored my household chores, and well…acted like a total jerk. Until that moment when I heard His voice, I had become a miserable woman, with a headache, high blood pressure and tears…I cried over a blog, for heavens sakes!
But then…”This too shall pass.” His quiet voice in my mind reminded me of how insignificant this is – it’ll be nothing in the scope of eternity. Afterall, it’s just a blog. It’s not my life. What was I so worked up about? Sorry…didn’t plan to go all serious on you. But really. In a few days or weeks or months, I’ll look back on this and laugh.
One day I’ll whiz through the WordPress blogging thing with no problems…or I won’t, but it’ll be okay. In the meantime, I just need to step back and take it easy. There is no reason I have to move to WordPress right at this moment. You know? I don’t know why the urgency overtook me!
So, if you’re feeling the pressure to make the move…take it slow. Be sure. Either be really smart and know what you’re doing in WordPress, or have the funds to have a professional do it for you (or help you with it). I’m all about taking risks and going for the big win, but don’t lose your ‘religion’ over it. Take it from someone who had a complete meltdown yesterday…it’s not worth it! That’s my 2 cents worth for the day.
In the meantime, I’m going to read all about WordPress. I’m going to be a student of blogging. I’m going to figure out how to make myself a practice blog on WP and learn what I can, when I can. I’m also going to press on with my Blogger blog with joy in my heart. I’m not going to feel intimidated or ‘less than’ the next blogger because I’m one of few who has not moved to WordPress. In time, I’ll make the move and put to use that fancy hosting service I’ve paid for. For now, I’m staying put!
Update January 2015: I never did move that frugal blog to WordPress but when I started Rose Bakes in 2012, I started it on WordPress. And while I did some of the foot work to get it up and running – I paid a designer to do all the hard stuff! I continue to pay a designer (not the same one I started with) to this day to do updates and work out kinks for me… I just like actual blogging a lot more than I like making blogs work! 🙂 If you want to read a little more of my story and how I started Rose Bakes – read here.