We recently decided to launch a website based upon our Blog about our farm and daily life. There are some reasons for this, but this post is going to be about the growing pains associated with that move.
Our previous blog, www.heritagebreedsfarm.wordpress.com was beginning to get referrals from a few search engines, google being the largest and main referrer. The blog was doing well with about 40 followers and 25 views or so per day. With that as a background, we purchased our domain name through namecheap.com and hosted our site through hostgator.com. we were up and running for about $30 (we purchased two domains and paid for one month of hosting). According to several websites, it is not recommended to self host a site until you have 1000 clicks and views per day. This number is for those simply trying to monetize their blog. Though that would be nice, we wanted some autonomy and liked the thought of self hosting our site. We had good success with wordpress.com and thought we could springboard off of that.
Image via CrunchBase
I setting up our own website, we used the offer from the guys at bloggingyourpassion. They have a current offer free website setup if you click on their links for namecheap and hostgator. So they got us up and running. I was disappointed to see no content and no page ranking carry over. It seems as though we lost our footing in this world called the internet. They installed the plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast as a Search Engine Optimization, which should help us move up the page ranking rather quickly. AS for the content, we were able to figure the entire old blog and move it into this website seamlessly. This was accomplished by clicking on tools—-> Export on the wordpress.com site and then importing the download by clicking tools—-> Import on this site. I am assuming that most of that content will not be recognized by google, since google tends to look for unique content.
Well, so far the jump has been a learning experience. It seems as though wordpress.com is simple and very user friendly. It also seems to be a place to build a blogging community. It was easy to read other blogs and to get followers.
Image via CrunchBase
So far, the self hosted site has not been as user friendly. There is deifintely a lot to learn. First off, the plugins and widgets have to be located. We performed a google search to figure out which ones to install to get up and running. The first that was critical was jetpack. This allowed us to ass the subscribe by email button/ widget. Just tonight, we uploaded several more plugins that we hope will help us manage our content more along the lines of our wordpress.com site. They appear to not be working as they do on the wordpress.com site. Maybe we will tinker with it later. What we like about wordpress.com is the related links feature and the recommended tags features, both of which we have yet to find on wordpress.org
It looks like the tools the we desired are on the site now. This will make it easier to enchance the posts. We now have the In Text links app and the related articles app. There is also a media gallery, which allows us to add public photos easily to the site. These were all easy to find and use on wordpress.com. We are excited to find these plugins. I think the the plugins we downloaded to accomplish this were: Zamanta, wordpress related posts and yet another related posts plugin.
So that is it for now as we continue down this journey. It is definitely a learning experience as we move forward. A lot of progress had been made already, check back for more.
Until Next Time!