This blog is moving.
I’ve been a WordPress.com blog since 2009 and I can honestly say I prefer it a thousand times to other platforms like Blogger – but they’ve got something it doesn’t, and that’s customisability. Every time I go to alter my theme I see exciting colour options, only to try and click them and discover that I need to pay $30 for ‘custom design’. I don’t know what that is in real money, but it’s more than I’m willing to pay for a blog. I mean, I already pay for the domain name. What more do you want, blood?
This blog itself has been in existence since late 2010, which means it’s home to a number of old and embarrassing posts, as well as showing the marginal growth of my audience over that item. (I’m joking. The only person who read my blog then was Charley, and only because I made her. Now there are quite a few of you.) However, I think it’s limiting. I want to have a site designed to my requirements exactly, and after fiddling with my Tumblr theme for hours a couple of weeks back, I’m beginning to believe I’m capable of doing that.
Fear not, however. I am not abandoning WordPress. (The heresy!) Instead, I’m hoping to move to a self-hosted site with WordPress.org, which means I’d be paying a monthly fee that adds up, in a year, to slightly less than I’ve earned so far with Crossroads Poetry, which seems reasonable for infinite customisability and all that jazz.
It also has the option to have an online store, which isn’t possibly with .com, and I’m considering using that to sell copies of Crossroads Poetry direct. I’m not quite sure how to do that – sell them as PDFs? Mobis? What file formats to ebook sellers use when they sell things directly? (Answers on a postcard or, more simply, in the comments.)
I don’t exactly know what this technological tomfoolery is going to entail. I’ve been reading blog post after blog post about it, how to switch, why to switch etc. And none of them have given me 100% straight answers to the things I want to know:
– Will I still have access to the wonderful WordPress stats page that I like so much, with its summary tables that make me berate myself for letting my average drop?
– Will I still have a comment notification system or will it be time to seriously consider installing Disqus?
– Will I lose all my email subscribers unless they choose to come back?
I don’t know the answer to these questions. I know that I’ll never have a chance of being Freshly Pressed, as that’s a .com privilege, but I’ve been blogging more than four years and have never had that sort of fame, so I can safely presume I’m not missing too much as it would probably never happen anyway. I’m also aware that my stats so far will vanish because the site will be a new site. So that’s a little worrying.
But I think it’s worth it, and the longer I leave it before making the switch, the more I’ll have to lose. Better that I should do it now when I still have far fewer than 200 followers than in the future when I risk losing an entire army, right?
I’ll be exporting all my posts, so it’ll still have the backlog of Stuff What I Wrote, except there’ll be no such thing as a ‘most popular post’ and everyone who’s linked to me in the past will find themselves in trouble unless I can sort out a proper redirect, which may be possible. I’ve never walked this path before, so I’m still figuring out where the tree roots are and whether it actually goes anywhere.
I’m not sure entirely when the switch will take place. I keep seeing scary things about CSS in the instructions, and I was planning to teach myself that over the summer, but my scant knowledge of code might tide me over until I can really set aside the time. I’ve always been a computer nerd, but a few half-finished games written with Python and a basic website built solely out of HTML might not be enough experience to help me get through this.
It may happen in the next week. It may happen over the Easter break. I’m not sure. Rest assured that I will be posting the news all over my social media sites so if it does cause you to be unsubscribed, you ought to be able to find me again.
(No, I don’t even know if I can keep the same URL. I think I can. I’d like to – it’s not like I’ve any hope of getting miriamjoy.com, because that’s taken. Alas.)
I thought I ought to warn you, though, so that I stand less chance of losing you all. In the meantime, if you have a self-hosted .org blog – particularly if you switched from .com like I plan to – please tell me anything that might help me in this complex operation in the comments below.