If I’m being honest, the one thing that hit home to me and really made me want to switch, was that whilst you blog on Blogger, Google own your blog. When you go self-hosted, you own it. Now I know it’s a bit silly to care about the actual ownership because in all seriousness I’m not into posting naughty things on my blog that Google might find offensive and choose to shut me down over, but it just seemed strange to me that I was putting all this time and effort into something that technically didn’t even belong to me.
So, on a bit of a whim last Saturday I decided to make the switch. As my domain was registered with GoDaddy, I looked into their hosting packages. Surprised with the cost, I decided to do a bit more investigating and managed to find a hosting package for much cheaper (with basically the same things included) on LCN.com. The first tricky part then came when I considered having a domain with GoDaddy and my hosting with LCN. In theory it works, as you can direct one to the other and all that techy jazz, but in practice I knew I would rather have them both together. So, I made a few phone calls and got my domain transferred to LCN. I had hoped to start my self-hosting journey on Saturday and finish it on Sunday, but the domain migration ended up being a more complex process than I’d anticipated, so I was put on hold. When I first started the process, LCN said the domain transfer should take less than 24 hours depending on the provider you were switching from. When I spoke to GoDaddy, I was told 24 hours with a possibility it could take up to 72 hours. What I hadn’t accounted for was the time it would take for the 24 hours to kick in. I don’t know if it’s a process that only happens during the week, but I finally got an email from GoDaddy on Monday evening telling me that my domain migration would start as soon as I confirmed the change with them. I replied within the hour, and my migration happened overnight.
Having to ring people and tell them what I needed (wtf is an IPS tag!? Just kidding, I know now *smug face*) was a bit daunting, and the first bump in the road that made me think “is this a bad idea? I should pay someone to do this for me” but ultimately the process was a lot simpler than I thought.
I followed this guide to move my blog across and it was honestly SO helpful. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it on my own. Moving over my actual posts was easy enough as I used a plugin to do it, but the real problem came with the comments. As I used Disqus on my old blog and wanted to keep Disqus over here too, I had to play around with some techy things in an Excel document, but for the most part migrated my comments across. Some of them haven’t worked properly and this is something that I intend to fix, but it can wait for now.
I made the mistake of purchasing the first theme I found on Etsy that I liked, which it turned out wasn’t really what I wanted at all. This delayed me for a bit as I ended up installing a whole new theme today (which I love btw) but it set me back time-wise as I spent more time focusing on a theme than I did migrating my blog.
Overall, the process was fairly easy when I was following the guide, and I’m excited to now own my own blog, have my own domain, and also have my own custom email (the bit I’m most excited about!!). If you want to reach me by email, the place to go is now firstname.lastname@example.org (thought about going for contact or admin but hey, this is a personal blog, let’s keep it personal).