I have been blogging for 5 months now – I know that’s not very long in the grand scheme of things but it is quite possibly the longest I have done anything for and I love it. I love having a little piece of the internet which is just mine, and I’m really passionate about making it work for me. It’s been a great creative outlet, and a really good way to get back to me rather than me as a mum or me as a wife. So, I decided at the weekend that I would take the plunge and go self-hosted. After all, so many people are self-hosted and I read with fascination about ‘plugins’ and how to put things onto sidebars, and the thrill of choosing a different theme that really reflected their blogs. It sounded great – so I read as much as I could around moving from my WordPress.com blog, and was reassured that lots of people had done it and had very little difficulties!
In all honesty, it all started so well! I headed over to TSOHost (mainly because I had seen them recommended by some bloggers I love to read!) and found it pretty straightforward to sign up with them. I had also read about the website migration they do for free – so I went ahead and asked them to do that as well. Then I sat back and waited!
This was where the problems started (I have to say right at the start it was all to do with my lack of technical knowledge and understanding and nothing at all to do with TSOHost who have been incredibly patient with me!).
- Firstly, they sent me some emails chock full of things I literally didn’t understand. Reading between the lines, I realised that a lot of it was info for people doing their own migration, so I skipped that and logged into my cloud host (I still have NO idea what it is, what I’m supposed to do with it or why it is there!) I eventually figured out that I needed to install WordPress, which was really easy to do, and then sat back and waited. Surely it would be straightforward from here on in? Ummm…nope!
- The email from TSOHost letting me know about the migration came really quickly and I was delighted – here I go! Or not!! I managed to log into my wordpress admin site and there was literally nothing there! I had a page which had my name on it, a tab which said Dashboard and that was it. After about 30 minutes of tearing my hair out, I calmed down enough to contact TSOHost’s online help, and they went through the whole thing with me, and set me up with an admin login and password which worked like a charm!
- So after playing around and checking that my website looked OK, I had to set the name serves (again, no idea what these are!). But following the instructions, I found the right area only to discover that TSOHost said there would be three name servers to change but I could only find 2. Again, hair tearing and shouting at the computer until I figured out I couldn’t do copy and paste of the name servers from my email address to the WordPress site but if I typed it in manually it all worked fine! (I felt really daft on this one!)
- So, I thought I was there – it was all sorted! I headed for my site and came up against yet another problem. It turns out that WordPress.com puts security on their domains (which then start with https://), but self-hosted doesn’t do this. So anyone trying to get through to my website from any links or from Google would end up with an error message! It turns out that I could either put security onto my new self-hosted blog (which would cost money) or go back to all my links and change them to http. Painful – I could do it on Facebook and decided to give up on Twitter and just make sure they were done correctly in the future.
Phew – what a stress! I managed to get the site up and running, managed to install some plugins (with the help of the TSOHost tech team) and change the theme. It is now 3 days later and I think I’m almost there – I’ve just had another blip where the server with TSOHost was down so no one could access my site, but that seems to be fixed too!
Ultimately, I’m pleased I’ve gone ahead and gone self hosted, but I wish I had known that it wasn’t an instant fix and it would take me several days to get things back to normal!
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