Which blog to choose?

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Over the years I have gone from Blogger, to WordPress.com over to my blog now: WordPress self hosted site! Why? Well, as most of you know I am some what of a geek with all things ICT related, so I thought other bloggers might want a mummy blogger opinion.

This blog, many moons ago started off as a Blogger hosted site. I used blogger for quite a while, I felt limited to what I could do and the apps were limited also. I had heard about WordPress and so I signed up for a WordPress.com hosted blog. To transfer from blogger all I needed was to export my blog posts, comments etc into an XML file which can then be imported into WordPress!

What’s XML mean?
Without getting too technical an XML document is basically something that can be easily transported between sites/software and it can also be used as storage for data. If you are familiar with Excel it is similar to a CSV file, so used for transferring data between software.

The WordPress.com journey begun with a very positive few months, I discovered the different tools available in my admin area, found the app for this which was great & learnt all about themes and widgets. I loved the fact I could edit my blog so much and choose different widgets to display… Including making my own widgets up displaying HTML code. I purchased my domain through WordPress.com and became www.mummyconstant.com. After about a year I soon found it a little bit restrictive and I started to explore the idea of hosting my own blog. It’s restrictive in the sense that WordPress.com will only allow you to do some things with your blog. You can’t add JavaScript to widgets or posts, which means Rafflecopter cannot be used / google friend connect etc…lots of little things that were starting to stop me from progressing my blog.

So, the move from WordPress.com wasn’t straight forward and here’s why…

Firstly please make sure you buy a Linux server, not a windows based server. WordPress blogs run on Linux using a language called PHP you will also need 1 SQL database as part of your hosting package. I use 1&1 with their standard package, great deal with 10 databases! You can use who ever you wish, if you want advice I’d be happy to help.

If you have a domain purchased via WordPress.com then bear in mind it’ll take 24 hours to change over to your host. I emphasis this point because once your blog files are uploaded to your web server, and you’ve added your domain to the package, it gets a little confusing!!

WordPress.com domains redirect to your WordPress domain. For example my domain www.mummyconstant.com used to redirect to noahconstant.wordpress.com which was my original WordPress site! When I uploaded the new WordPress files to my new Linux server I had to use a different URL to access the setup files, this will be whatever you purchased through your package. I added www.mummyconstant.com to my 1&1 domains list and when the transfer started to go through it stopped me from accessing my setup files, due to the settings and it still kept redirecting to my old WordPress.com blog. This was because WordPress.com didn’t stop the redirection until the last minute.

So my advice would be to set up your blog on your new server, when it’s ready for you to get going, set up your WordPress.com purchased domain and then do the final bit!!

If you haven’t purchased a domain via WordPress you probably won’t have any issues with this as there will be no uncontrollable redirection in place.

Finally, once the blog is live and running you need to export the data from the old WordPress.com and then import it into your new blog hosted on the Linux server. So using that XML system once again. You will then see your new blog, with the right domain and the right posts and comments!! Your readers should then have a steady change without too much confusion and disruption!

I can now edit what I want, get widgets for anything and post JavaScript etc which means I can use Rafflecopter. 🙂

Hope this has helped, if anyone needs any more info please ask I will be happy to help anyone!

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