Do you see the difference? If you’ve visited here before, you may recognize the new look: now only one column on the right (not two as before) and the main column is wider; also, different fonts and feel. The change is the end result of a complex process involving moving The Set Fee Real Estate Blog to a new server and changing templates to a less complex one that does not require a subscription to maintain.
I host this blog – and all of my online stuff – with GoDaddy. I know there are less expensive and probably more powerful hosts out there, but I stick with GoDaddy for one good reason:
They have never let me down.
Really: in ten years of building and maintaining an online presence, GoDaddy has always been there with the answer I needed.
I have my own personal rep who helps me decide what I need (and don’t need ) in my cadre of GoDaddy products, helps me save money by consolidating accounts and products, and of course, helps me buy new things.
The best part, however, is technical support. I tend NOT to need much support on anything Internet based. I have a good general knowledge and can Google up a storm when things don’t work. I usually find my own answers. But we all get stuck from time to time and when I do, I call GoDaddy. The support team is stellar. They are knowledgeable and know when to call in the next level of support. More than that, though, they are tenacious. Solving tech problems is often a matter of examining dozens of little things and these guys have hung in there with me, sometimes for more than an hour, as we tried this and tweaked that. No matter how strange the original problem, I always end up with an acceptable solution.
* * * End of testimonial * * *
What I wanted to do was to uproot The Set Fee Real Estate Blog from it’s own individual GoDaddy hosting plan and move it into a directory under my personal website, jamesdingman.com. The move would save me a little money by eliminating a hosting account.
Moving a self-hosted WordPress blog is not an easy thing. You not only have to move the content – and I had 5 years of content to move – you also have to move the database that makes all of that content work. My database was so large and weird that it took six attempts – each taking half a day and requiring a change here and an edit there – to get it moved. Then, once the content was moved, all the links had to be reworked, the images reattached, templates and widgets re-installed. Needless to say, when it was all done, I had a great sense of accomplishment!
I originally set this blog up on a premium, paid template: Thesis. It is probably the most widely used paid template available to WordPress users, and it is excellent in terms of features and flexibility. With Thesis you can create a site that looks almost anyway you want it to look, that does almost anything you can imagine. But the truth is, this blog is very simple. It’s just posts and tags and comments and such. I’m not selling anything, not taking ads, not hosting a forum . . . so I hardly needed the (paid) sophistication of Thesis.
I’ve been working on blogs with a few Help-U-Sell brokers and have them settled into a free WordPress template, ‘Twenty-Twelve’. It has worked so well for them I decided to transition over myself, hence the new look. I was using so little of Thesis that, honestly, I don’t notice the back end difference much at all.
I have just a couple of remaining problems. First is reconnecting my stats and subscribers. When I changed hosting accounts (and, therefore, base URLs), the connections to those items ceased functioning. Now it is as if I am starting from scratch with no historical stats and no subscribers. I am confident I an resurrect these, but have exhausted my own resources. I’ve called in help from WordPress.com and hope they can make an adjustment for me. If you’ve gone through this process yourself, perhaps you could share your experience and success.
Second is getting Google to recognize the move. I’m getting lots of views in the new location, but none are coming from search engines . . . or at least that’s what my dashboard is telling me. I used to get most of my visits from search engine activity so I am very interested in reestablishing this link. I understand it takes some time and am working with an XML sitemap plugin to make it easier for Mother Google to figure out the change.
So thanks for you patience – especially in reading this post that has nothing to do with real estate or anything other than my own personal tech experience! If you are trying to make the same kind of move and need advice (or a shoulder to cry on), I’m available.