Growing Pains – What I’ve Learned From Switching to Self-Hosting

Dearly beloved, we’re gathered here to say our goodbyes….to wordpress.com, because Scifi and Scary is now completely self-hosted!

(This is going to be very stream of consciousness.)

So I’ve been making a bit of money from proofreading jobs on the side, and decided (as impulsively as I normally do) switching to self-hosted was a good idea. Maybe I can save someone out there a little bit of trouble by relating the issues I’ve experienced.

Okay, so, Number 1.) Make sure you’re prepared.  This might sound silly, but I thought I was prepared, and I obviously was not. I thought it’d just be transferring my site over and that would be it. I was wrong. Unless you want to go through and correct every. single. link. you’ve done since your site has opened (if you’re like me and keep tidy lists for your readers to access past reviews), make sure when you’re setting options up for permalinks, you choose the exact same ones for your new site. So note what you have.

(Authors, yes, this means your review link has probably changed. I apologize, but this actually works out for the best because it removes the date of review from the permalink and can apparently make search engines treat it a bit nicer. I’m going to ask you to NOT try to get your fresh link immediately. Give me a few days to make sure everything’s perfect before you do that.)

Number 2.) For a brief while (24-48 hours) there are going to be 2 copies of your site, and you might as well forget about doing any work on your site because its going to be periodically up and down as the name servers change. (So don’t freak out, your site is not permanently crashing. You just need to… find something else to do for 48 hours.)

Number 3.) If you self-host on Bluehost, at least for the time being,do not use the online chat if you need help.. Seriously, its about worthless. According to the guys I talked to on the phone, they’re trying a new outsourcing thing, and the people they’re outsourcing technical chat to absolutely suck. So call in if you need assistance. Trust me on this.

Number 4.) If you’re using one of the free wordpress.com themes, its probably NOT going to be available to you after you make the switch. (*tears*) I had to switch my theme, and I miss it so much. I didn’t even think losing the theme was a possibility. I thought since it was one of those freebie ones that it would transfer between .com and .org.WRONG!

Number 5.) Yeah, technically it might only take 5 minutes to *install* wordpress when you switch to self-hosting, but be prepared to spend literally hours getting everything looking right again. (See Number 1, again, also, about links.)

Number 6.) If you are old enough to indulge in adult beverages, and are the type of person that indulges in them…make sure you have plenty on hand. ‘Cause ARRRRRRGH.

So what does self-hosting mean for Scifi and Scary?

It means, folks, that I’ve got more than one project in the works to expand Scifi and Scary’s boundaries. (You might see a hint for one of them if you look in the menus area.)

Book reviews will definitely slow down at some point, but only because I’m going to have more great content of other sorts for you!

Hmm, if I think of anything else, I’ll add it later… but yeah, I hope this saves someone’s sanity.

 

10 thoughts on “Growing Pains – What I’ve Learned From Switching to Self-Hosting

  1. Ah, that explains why your site seemed to vanish or appear as a definitely unattractive generic bluehost page at one point. I was wondering about that. Congratulations, and may your lost links be few!

    1. Yeah. It was nerve-wracking for a while. I’ve fixed a lot of the links. Its going to take a while, but this was definitely a good move 🙂

  2. I self-hosted my blog from the very beginning, and I must say it wasn’t a positive experience. I was completely new to blogging and leading my own website, so I don’t know what I was thinking. I clearly should have started with a wordpress.com blog to make it easier for me to gather a following and learn the ins and outs of blogging as I made the made mistakes I made.

    For weeks, I regretted not starting with a wordpress.com blog because I so desperately wanted the built-in community that it brought. I experienced so many issues and I didn’t know how to fix them, which made me regret self-hosting even more. I’m blogging mainly as hobby and wasn’t planning to make it a source of income or a business, so I will always always regret (to a small extent) self-hosting. But it’s too late now. I paid for custom themes and put in too much work into my blog to transfer it over to wordpress and mess it up again somehow.

    ANYWAY, I hope your self-hosting experience is positive and am looking forward to what you have in store for us!

    1. Hi! Thanks for giving your input. I only imagine how overwhelming it would have been if I self-hosted from the beginning. I will say that today, since everything seems to have migrated over okay finally, I’m happy with it. I don’t know if I’ll ever hit the point where I”m willing to pay for a custom theme, though!

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

      1. I bought a custom theme ($30) day 1. lol
        Not sure it was the best decision because there are better themes I could have chosen, but I’m satisfied with what I have now. Mostly, I had to learn to live and be ok with my mistakes, otherwise I would have gone completely mad! :p

        1. I can imagine. I will check out your site later 🙂 Diversity is something I want to champion further. (I already try to.)

  3. I already said it but it’s a milestone so… Congrats!! The switch sounds like a pain in the… It’s really nice of you to let others learn from your experience. I know that I would have totally freaked out if I’d had to go through all the steps it’s taken you to get the site working. There is always so much we don’t know when we jump into a new world! I love how smooth the menu is. It all looks neat and easy to access, I love it!

    1. Thanks 🙂 Yeah, I went through a couple themes before I hit this one – and even though I don’t like it as much as my old one – its definitely nice looking. (I think part of me just hates change – for as much as I go around changing things! LOL)

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