I did the unthinkable today! I deleted my blog.
I had never thought that day would ever come when I would take such a drastic step.
That I have the option of retrieving it back till ninety days doesn’t make me feel any better since it will make no difference to the course I have chartered.
Many of you would be aware that I have moved to WordPress from Blogger a couple of months ago and I have settled down quite well if I may say so. Many of you had asked me to share about my journey and that is how I ended up deleting my blog – the old one at BlogSpot. The new one is still here – you are reading it, aren’t you? 😀
A: How I made the shift?
- I started by consulting a few techie friends & bloggers about the pros and cons of a shift.
- Asked the most obvious questions I could about the change. Trust me they were not enough and neither were they in depth enough for me to understand all the changes involved.
- Read up a little bit and in hindsight, I feel it was a lot less than what I should have read.
- Got up one morning and bought a domain and hosting from BlueHost and immediately started wondering, “What the hell did I do?”
- Got totally scared and weepy on seeing the Control Panel (which I later learnt is one of the best) and the amount of technical stuff involved. I say ‘stuff’ because I had no idea where to begin and how to find my blog on the new website that I had.
- Ended up hounding the customer care for BlueHost, who tried their level best to help but were woefully inadequate. Blogger it seems was another world and they only lived with WordPress.
- Lost all my blog images and all but 4 comments in the shift. This made me even more insecure but still I trusted WordPress since I had used it earlier.
- After a lot of tears for my blog, endless staring at the laptop, numerous phones and chats to various people and shouting at my son I asked for a full refund from BlueHost after 2 days.
- Lost a few hundred in the refund but got my sanity back. Cancelled the domain name too which I had, surprisingly hated from the moment I had bought. It was inderpreetwrites.com and I have no idea why I did not keep it except that I found it too pretentious – no offence. Now I think, I should have kept it at least. Go figure!!
- Then looked around for alternates, since I really wanted that dot-com URL.
B: How I found my new blog name.
- Another round of hurried calls and chats followed. As soon as I decided to cancel my hosting I became so calm and got my focus back. I looked for better options for a technologically challenged person like me.
- Zeroed in on wordpress.com as the solution to my problems since I had to eventually shift to WordPress for self-hosting I started a new blog at WordPress and shifted everything from blogger there. Still no comments & images.
- Surprisingly, help came from where I least expected it. WordPress Happiness Engineers! They are really good, thorough and supportive.
- Not only did the kind and sweet lady answer my numerous questions, she replied to my endless emails too! I found that I could buy a domain for my WordPress blog and link the two. The domain at WordPress is a bit expensive than the other companies but I did not have to do the linking myself. The Happiness Engineers did it for me.
- So here I was with a new platform, new name, and new experiences. I liked what I saw at WordPress and thought I had done pretty well with the shift and all. The tags and categories were also sorted through the dashboard so I was all set or so I thought.
- I did not get my comments back because apparently Google has not done anything to make the transfer possible. G+ comments disappear the moment you disable it from your blog. L Yeah! I know!! I did manage to get the rest of the blog uploaded to the new WordPress blog quite easily.
C : Does my blog show up in searches?
- First and foremost I edited and added the new URL of my blog everywhere I had a link to my blog – think Facebook, Twitter, Good reads and about a dozen sites more and Google+ too! Still this does not ensure my blog/website is found. It did not because there was no redirection or instructions from the old blog. It is called a 301 redirect. With a name like that, I thought it must be pretty easy.
- I had added HTML to my blog on various occasions and it was mostly hit and trial but this is a bit more than that.
- First, I could not edit the WordPress dashboard for any HTML changes – you need to be on self-hosted or dot org to do that.
- Second I could not find the exact HTML that needed to be replaced in blogger’s template in order for the 301 to work.
- The only way to accomplish this is to buy hosting and I am not ready to do it yet. Maybe in the future when I think my blog is big enough to warrant that much technical support.
- I am not a techie and felt totally lost trying to work out the theme and designing and plug-ins and editing the HTML so I am not going to self-hosting anytime soon.
- Self-hosting is expensive, not too much but still it is an expense and with the deal I got from Blue Host I am a bit apprehensive. The same goes for not using a local person to do the transfer for me – not too sure what all will happen and how.
- Most important – I felt so sad losing all my comments that it was like starting from scratch. So losing the links or backlinks to old posts got clubbed with it and I am living with working with what I have.
- I am now working to make the presence of this blog felt again and if anyone knows how we can auto tweet old posts please do let me know.
- Since I could not do a redirect to my old blog with its now dull, boring design due the basic template for a 301 redirect I decided the best course of action would be to delete it.
- I figure that if the blog is not present anymore, Google will not rank it and slowly but automatically it will find the new one. So this is why I deleted my old blog and now all old posts show the silly 404 error.
- Not a good strategy but I got to live with what I find doable. Technology is my friend but jargon is not. I am sticking to simplicity.
D : My advice for all of you thinking of making the shift.
- Buy a domain and point your blog to its URL. It works fine and gives that professional look at the fraction of the cost and effort. If you are afraid of the ‘techie stuff’.
- If you are on blogger turn off those Google+ comments – that way whenever you go to self-hosted you will have all the comments that are native to blogger, unlike my 4 comments.
- WordPress hosts more than 28% of the world’s blogs – it must be doing something right? Right! Don’t be afraid, with the right host you will be fine. www.wpbeginner.com is the perfect place to start. Discounts too!
- In case you do decide to shift then whet the hosting service and facilities offered in great detail – no question is too stupid or dumb!
So what happens now? What about the Alexia ranking, SEO, back links and all the technical stuff we keep hearing about?
Well, I don’t care! To hell with it all! I have no presence or rating – no problem. I never knew all this when I started writing – it was about connecting with my words and my views. It shall remain the same. This blog was never about the numbers. This has and always will be a place where I share my love for words and books. It is a part of me and it cannot be rated because I am unique – an individual and so is my blog. I still have my love of books, blogger friends visiting me and I still have my social media so we are fine.
In spite of this debacle, Eloquent Articulation has added Write It Right to its fold – my editing services. I read, I write, I evaluate and I share and that’s that.
Thanks a ton for being here.
(Pictures from www.Pixabay.com)