When and Why I Finally Switched to Self-Hosting
Should we talk about the complete overhaul of my blog that you are looking at right now? I think we should!
On Friday night, I decided to stop procrastinating something I had been thinking about for months: moving my blog off WordPress and over to a self-hosted site. Now, I like to believe I’m fairly tech savvy… but something about this process felt daunting. I remember trying to do it myself once, getting stuck, and giving up. If I wanted to make it happen, it was time to talk to someone who knew what they were doing.
Cue Andrea. After her prompt reply to my first email, I knew I was going to like working with her. This was later confirmed when, only 4 hours after I sent my first email to her, she told me she was already done. Seriously. Done done done. Minus the fact that my internet service provider keeps rerouting me back to my old login page… but that hasn’t stop her from trying to brainstorm ways I could fix that myself, too.
On Sunday morning, through the power of my iPhone’s Personal Hotspot, I got my old theme up and running; this is when I decided to make some major changes to the look and feel of Blonde on a Budget. At the top of the front page, you’ll now see a slider showcasing 3 posts of my choosing. Below that, there should be a list of the 7 most recent posts on the blog. And the sidebar and footer are the same as before.
If you were to scroll to the bottom and look at older posts, the pages won’t look as pretty as the front page does; this is because I refuse to go back and make changes to the 190+ old posts I have published. What if I decide to switch themes one day? Or stop using the slider? It’s just not worth changing everything. Going forward, however, the front page will always look and function as nice as it does today.
So, the big question is: why did I decide to move now? First and foremost, I wanted to get Google Analytics on my site. (Can you believe I didn’t have it until yesterday? I can’t either.) I’ve been getting a number of requests lately (both good and bad) that have me questioning my site’s traffic. I want to be able to track some things and, by the new year, also have a grasp of my average monthly visitors and pageviews.
Finally, I want to start hosting a monthly contest/giveaway here. This is something I’ve thought about for a while now and the months leading up to the holiday season seemed like the best time to make it happen. This could potentially give me more opportunity to build sponsorship agreements, as well, but my goal for monthly contests is to give my readers a book or a product I would love to have for myself.
I just need to add a couple finishing touches (including a new picture of myself, which I should be able to get in a week or two) and then my first-ever, self-hosted site will officially be done! I am so grateful to Andrea for her quick work and all of her thoughtful suggestions. I still have to sort out the rerouting issue but, other than that, I’m so happy the result. Now it’s time to take this little personal finance blog to the next level!
If you’ve ever moved a blog, what was your experience like?