At 1 month, Baby Ri is changing my life. Everything I write, scribble or present gets altered. I re-think, would he like my story, this way? After all, the new digital storytelling is supposed to be visually cooler, right? Surely I have to find ways to attract him to my Alice madness stories other than handing him Flipkart book packages.
Hence Someplace Else is new and redesigned. A big change after 9 years. I didn’t change the image from the theme I picked, just because it sort of felt nice to me. It aligns with my abstract heart and Pinterest loving side. And growing up is all embracing these little aspects, right?
My favorite pages on the site is the collection of all that’s important currently. It’s also critical because grateful as I am for all the friend requests, emails and comments (ok, not thousands) I get via various channels, I would like people to see how and if I can help them. It’s not productive for me to respond to individual messages saying how I can potentially not write market research or consulting reports on your conditions (my baby even showed a Facepalm there, he even understands). Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate you asking!
For the longest time since 2005, I was on Blogger. Sometimes I suffered, most times I just ignored. I felt lazy to improve and take control of what I was writing and how it was being seen. Now, I’m just concerned that digitally native kids will look at my Blogger page and claim that it sucks. The absolute last thing was people not being able to comment on my Blog using iOS. I tried several ways of solving it and eventually just decided to do nothing and leave. Additionally, just the smallest thing on Blogger involved editing the HTML because none of the plugins easily available for the WordPress environment were Blogger friendly. It was too time consuming. My heart was still crying over the lost Posterous posts (when you’re not hosting, you live by their rules, right?)
So far, I like the transition to a self-hosted blog. It feels the same as moving into an apartment all by myself. I need to take care of electricity, water, waste and cleaning all the time, on my own.
This site transition isn’t any different.
- Buying the domain: In the 24 hours of having it, I have lost money by buying a domain name (thankfully in the 10s): when most hosting providers give it for free. I eventually now have two, because the struggle of using a domain name from one and having a different hosting body is TOO much. You need a 60 day transfer period no matter when you bought the domain.
- Transferring data from Blogger to WordPress.org with thousands of 9 years worth of comments, posts and images with the “one click” process did not work (it was supposed to be quick). Due to an error in not realising I was on WordPress.com instead of org which had a manual transfer process, I had created an additional WordPress.com blog. Finally when nothing would transfer from Blogger to WordPress.org, I used my WordPress.com backup blog to transfer. That worked!
- The right hosting partner: I selected one and immediately cancelled with them (hopefully the money is coming back soon!) because their customer care was the worst ever. It seemed like they were typing in from a pre-written script and not listening. Eventually, found another, this site is hosted by BlueHost. They were recommended partners for WordPress.org, and quickly proved that. I choose hosting partners based on ‘live chat’ options on their website. I just have absolutely no energy for phone calls.
- Redirection from Blogger to WordPress: Blogger does not want you to shift perhaps. Which is maybe why this process is the most painful ever. I used some YouTube videos with links and code that skillfully corrupted my brand new theme. I had several struggling PHP error hours. BlueHost helped. Later, I found a plugin- Blogger 301 redirect. So far it’s working, but if you guys can’t find something, please search here. All the data is here, the old blog is ideally only supposed to ‘redirect’.
- Finding help from ‘WordPress experts‘: Many people claim to help you set up WordPress sites but they often come with conditions like only migration from WordPress.com etc. which they do not define before. My friends helped answer a few queries, Twitter helped the most. WordPress.org forums are too nerdy and time consuming for me to bother with at least initially till I get used to the system. Very few give quick answers. So, I prefer other channels.
- Look customization: I only just started so have not customized everything, but used a theme I liked. I guess it’s a slow process with me getting used to this new CMS and figuring things around. But I also felt, I was ready to share this space.
- Other sites and services: Indiblogger (anyway I must delete myself from there for the sheer number of junk Emails), Bloglovin and other such fancy ‘services’ do not allow me to edit blog links if I wanted to update it. OK. Whatever purpose that serves, fails me.
- Blogroll: I need to find a reader service to have all my blogroll-ed blogs in one service for me to follow. Suggestions welcome on that one!
I’m learning. I hope you like the new site :). I feel like such a girl with that heart on the first page. But I was having a heart moment. It was for my baby. I do feel pictures create better stories because they allow him to see my feelings. Even when he starts with words.
PS: Also, please update your blogrolls for Someplace Else (there’s an entirely dedicated site now, the feed differs) 🙂