I’ve wrote out this post a thousand times now trying to explain everything the best I can but I just can’t seem to type out what’s in my head. You might have seen me mention a few times that I’ve been struggling a lot recently with moving my blog over to self hosted and quite a few things went wrong or got misunderstood and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else so I decided to write this post. In the end it ended up 2000 words long, so I’ve decided to split it into two parts. The second part will be up Friday.
To explain a little, I’d been wanting to be self hosted ever since I started jessicajadebeauty.com but I just didn’t dare, I mean, I’m not bad with a computer, but I’m not amazing and all the technical words I kept reading just terrified me so I kept pushing it to the side. Eventually I decided it’s time to move, so I set myself a goal for this year to do it, to finally become self hosted. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be as hard as it was, for me anyway. You might be sat there rolling your eyes, but for someone like me, it’s a very daunting and confusing process.
I’m not writing this post to put you off, not at all, now, I’m feeling a lot more better about finally moving over, but my god was it hard. I decided to write this post for anyone that might be feeling like me, it’s not a tutorial in any way, it’s simply me telling you about my (very long) struggle of moving to WordPress.org. I’m sharing all the things that I wish I’d known before I decided to make the move, to share the things that no one told me.
So, to kick it off. I started my blog at the end of 2015 on WordPress.com (.com is the free hosting platform) and in March I purchased my domain – jessicajadebeauty.com through WordPress.com, I think is was around £15 for the year.
A year later I was ready to go self hosted and move to WordPress.org (.org is the payed hosting platform) So I did my research I learnt what I (thought) I needed to learn and was ready to buy my hosting plan. (this is who I will be paying to host my site) I decided to go for the most popular, which is Bluehost. Bluehost had a pretty good offer on so I signed up as soon as I could. I decided on their basic plan for 36 months.
So, I’d bought my hosting plan, already had my domain and even downloaded my theme. I thought I was already to go, but while doing my research I’d missed something quite important. I found out my domain needed to be pointing to or registered with Bluehost for my new site to be able to move, I thought it might just ‘point’ to it automatically. I ignorantly assumed that it would be a simple process – which it definitely wasn’t. I originally wanted my domain moving over completely so it would be registered with Bluehost, but after speaking to them, I found out it would be easier to point it to them and then move it over after my new WordPress.org site was set up. So I agreed and was ready to just get on with it.
This process ended up lasting over 2 weeks due to quite a few reasons. I’d contact Bluehost, WordPress and Googled the hell out of domains but I was still left confused. In the end I finally got somewhere when speaking to WordPress, I was told I needed to tell them to change the ‘A’ records or the ‘NS’ records with some codes that Bluehost will give me and the the process of pointing my domain to Bluehost would start (this process is called propagation) So, I got the codes from Bluehost which was 1 IP code and 3 NS codes which I sent over to WordPress. They used the NS codes and started the propagation. At first, before they started the process I was told my site would be down, but this wasn’t explained to me properly so I assumed that I meant I could not access my site till it was done, which would be from 4 to 48 hours. This freaked me out a bit because I didn’t understand how I would migrate my blog to WordPress.org if I couldn’t access my site – turns out I had no need to panic and I was still able access my site but it would be through my old domain which was jessicajadebeauty.wordpress.com. First problem solved, or so I thought.
WordPress.com started to propagation and told me it would take anything from 4 – 48 hours while the domain works it way through pointing to your new host, in my case, Bluehost. This was not the case, my domain took over 48h to point to Bluehost and over 5 days to completely finish propagation and to my knowledge, I just had to wait until it had done. For 72 hours I just waited, checking back on this link to see if it was finished. Till I got fed up of waiting and contacted WP.com again, who then told me that I could start moving my site over and the propagation will just finish in it’s own time. Great.
Then I was a bit like, infact what on earth do I do now? So I went back to Google. Found this post and followed the steps I needed to as a couple of things were already done. A few little things I got confused with but over all, this bit was straight forward. For the bits I didn’t get how to do I emailed WP.com again and explained about all the little things that I didn’t understand. They fixed all the little things I couldn’t do myself and redirected all my followers over for me. All I had to do next was redesign my site and install the plugins.
I’d already downloaded the theme I wanted to use from ThemeForest.com which was the Cinco theme and I adore it, then I just followed the instructions on how to install it. Then I had to design it. All themes are different so I can’t really say how easy or hard that might be for you but if you’ve moved from WordPress.com, you should be able to find your way around the new customiser as it’s pretty much the same as the old one except with theme options which you can just have a play around with till you decide on what you want. I had a few little things that I wanted to change on my theme but I didn’t really know where to start so since my theme comes with 6 month support I asked the designer if he could help me change the things I needed to. The support is brilliant and he’s managed to help me change everything that I couldn’t do. So if you aren’t able to do the coding you may want, it’s best to check that support is available before buying a theme.
By this part I thought I was getting somewhere, turns out there was still a lot more problems to come. But since this post turned out to be way longer that I anticipated, I’ll be sharing the rest with you on Friday
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