New Blog Home (in which I gain the coveted label of “spammer”)

So, funny story. Last Tuesday I began the process of designing a new website home for this here blog.

NOTE TO FUTURE SELF: Give yourself more than 3 days (!) to design a website.

Perhaps, if you are an extremely incredible and gifted coder/website designer/IT professional, you would have no problems getting a site up and running in three days.

But, if you have NO CLUE what you’re doing (CSS? What’s that?) like me, give yourself time.

I did not, and I paid for it. WITH ALL OF MY HAIR THAT I PULLED OUT OF MY HEAD.

This hurried deadline did not even need to exist…it was my own fault. I made the mistake of FIRST transferring over my content (just to “see how it’d look”) and THEN designing the site. Since I didn’t want to blog on the old site and transfer that post/comments over manually, voila! LOOMING DEADLINE.

Before I tell you about it, here are some shameless plugs: Like my Facebook page! Follow me on Instagram! Update your BlogLovin‘ feed with my new URL!…I could keep going, but I’ll stop myself there.

Here’s how it all went down. SKIP IF YOU DON’T CARE. I won’t mind. I’m basically posting this to be able to look back at when I get the itch to *gasp* change just oneeee littleeee thingggg. IT’S HARD, GUYS.

It was time to make the switch to a self-hosted wordpress.org blog.

My sister works for a computer company start-up business and they purchased my new domain name (plantingsequoias.com, woot!), installed WordPress.org onto it for me, and then I took over from there. I bartered my way into this bargain by agreeing to put my mad Facebook skills to good use for them.

I exported all my old blog posts from the old blog and imported that file on the new blog (which was not without issues, but it finally worked). I then began searching for a theme. I tried using the same theme that I used on WordPress.com, but it was slightly different and I wanted more flexibility, so I finally settled on using the free Attitude theme. The biggest freedom/fear with using WordPress.org is that you can change the CSS of the website which I literally knew NOTHING about, but I could do it by googling around and reading the support forums for my theme on WordPress.org.

Once I got the blog looking like I wanted it to (A HUMONGOUS HASSLE, it was time to actually redirect the links from my old blog to the new blog, so I purchased the Site Redirect upgrade on WordPress.com ($13) and set that up. IT WAS TERRIFYING. I’m not sure how real people do this, but I ended up implementing it, going to my site, and clicking on links to see if it worked (holding my breath the whole time). At first the only redirect that would work was from homepage to homepage, but I had to do a relatively minor switch to match the permalink structure. Last week I didn’t even know what a permalink was. Now: loss of innocence.

I also took the time to add a few plugins: Jetpack, which gives a lot of the same functions that come standard on wordpress.com (there are way less widget options and different stats on wordpress.org, for example); Redirection, which helps me see when links are not redirecting correctly so I can fix them manually; and Akismet, which in theory helps protect against spam. I’ll probably install more plugins in the next few weeks, so get excited..

My timeline: my sister purchased my domain name Tuesday evening, on Wednesday and Thursday I worked at importing content and testing themes and tweaking the appearance, and then late Thursday evening I did the redirect. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS.

And now, the WORST THING: About half of my pins that all of my bajillion* (gross overestimate) followers have pinned on Pinterest are being MARKED AS SPAM. Apparently Pinterest does NOT like blog redirects at all.

There are still about a billion things I want to tweak, but my brain needs a break from behind-the-scenes-blogdom.

Let’s go on a walk down memory lane, shall we?

Here’s what my blog looked like a LONG time ago.

old blog header

That was when my followers were Kenny (occasionally) and my mother. And any other hapless souls I could lure into my online kingdom.

Then I updated the blog to something like this (using the free Yoko wordpress.com theme). It was classier.

new blog header

And now, BOOM. My blog is a real grown up! Actually, I would place my blog squarely in it’s awkward adolescent years. Acne is running rampant on the blog in the form of 404 errors (new bane of my existence). But it’ll grow up, eventually. Stay tuned–it’s gonna be a fun process.

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