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5 Things I Learned After Leaving WordPress.com

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Holy crap, I made it through the bulk of moving my blog from WordPress.com to a self-hosted instance of WordPress. It feels good to finally make the move, but boy, was it a learning experience. As such, here are five things I learned while migrating away from WordPress hosting.

People still like lists, right?

  1. The import process sucks. If you were to go by instructions alone, exporting a WordPress.com blog and importing it to WordPress.org is a snap.

    All lies.

    Exporting is easy enough. You get a nice little XML file with all of your blog’s data and attachment links. Importing gets rough when you want to copy over your media files, specifically because failures appear to happen for no particular reason. Well, I got a reason, jus not a helpful one.

    After flexing my nerd muscles by tweaking memory allocation to PHP…

    No, wait, don’t fall asleep. My nerd moment has passed.

    …I decided to download a plugin called Attachment Importer. It failed also, but in a different way – it simply froze on the file that was causing it issues. As such, I found three files that I had to copy over manually after removing their entries from the import XML.

    Whew, crisis averted.

    Except my posts still point to the media on WordPress.com instead of to the ones that were copied over.

    Sigh.

  2. Jetpack lets you migrate followers. One of the few things I’ll miss about being on WordPress hosting is having easy access to other WordPress.com users. It’s not like I became anything huge from it, but I’ve gained followers that are near and dear to my heart. I mean, they cared enough to stick with me, right?

    Luckily, the Jetpack plugin connects to your WordPress.com account making transferring followers a breeze! So thanks to everyone who stuck with me through the transition.

    Smiley face.

  3. Google Analytics is awesome. That is all.
  4. Themes are great for a quick start, but it’s still good to know some coding. Even if it’s light. Maybe it’s just my luck with the couple themes I bought, but their control options never quite cover everything I want. Good thing I’m familiar with coding so editing pre-existing work is a breeze.
  5. My previous podcast solutions sucked. Though it got the job done, simply embedding mp3 files (non-optimized ones at that) into blog posts wasn’t necessarily the best approach I could have taken. I haven’t settled on my next solution (I’m debating SoundCloud, but we’ll see) so if you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know!

Anyway, this week was a learning experience, but it was nowhere near as rough as I first thought it would be. I have some pretty lofty goals on how I want to grow this meager little blog so I’ll be sure to share my experiences along the way!

Oh yeah, shout out to Stephanie! Even though she didn’t know it at the time, this was all inspired by a little email conversation about finding a focus for blogging. The seed has been planted, folks.

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