Writer's Life

Blog Reinvention Gets Messier Each Time

The longer I looked at my screen to assess the damage, the more I cringed. I could not delete things fast enough. This should have been taken care of years ago. I thought it was. Unfortunately, I had to go on a very unwelcome trip down memory lane through all of my oldest blog posts.

Many moons ago, I chose to buy my domain and self-host this site. A couple friends and I got on Skype to figure out how to do that ourselves in the middle of the night. As the process went on, we devolved into playing the anthem of the time on the hour every hour we worked on this. I mean, what else would you be listening to at 3 a.m.?

Ahhhh, memories.

I have no idea how long it took or how many times we asked each other what the fox says. But once it was resolved, we didn’t have to mess with the hosting or many other technical aspects of running a blog for a long time.

Until recently, when my friend let me know he was shutting down his server soon, so he’d help me get my site hosted elsewhere.

Up until 2014, my site had free hosting on WordPress.com. When I bought my domain, we essentially cloned the site and rebuilt it on WordPress.org. The old version on WordPress.com was still there, but invisible to the public because of a domain redirect we set up. Based on my needs and available options, I chose to return to WordPress.com. It wasn’t a complicated process on my end. Most of it came down to waiting for my content files (pages and blog posts) to import into WordPress.com.

I expected this to completely replace all the content that had been collecting dust since 2014, but I was wrong. Every blog post I’d ever made since 2010 was still right there. Even worse: it was the design I used in 2014.

This could have been a great opportunity to examine how far I’ve come. All I’ve learned about user experience design, basic SEO, content creation, and treating a blog as a business instead of a diary. Maybe it would have been entertaining to pick one or two to show off as an example of what it was like when I first started out.

Nope. That was disgusting.

Instead, I went on a deleting rampage.

Once that was over, I found new hurdles. All the plugins I’d gotten used to on WordPress.org? I could get some of them back maybe… if I paid for a more expensive hosting plan than I really need right now. The modern layout design theme I enjoyed for the last few years? Unavailable.

Like it or not, we’re in refine and reinvent mode over here. And it’s going to be messy.

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