I began writing this post last week in anticipation of coming back from my blogging break. It was pure coincidence The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge offered the theme of Transmogrify in time for Halloween.
Transmogrify means “to change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.”
I am inspired by this quote, “Don’t be afraid of change, it leads you to a new beginning.”
Many of you may wonder where I have been. I attempted to post about a blogging break in Time for a Water Break; but that post permanently disappeared. I’m tempted to republish it.
I took the break because of two reasons: I was busy with higher education responsibilities and my blog really was broken. All my images stopped showing up on my self-hosted blog.
Images started to not show in my tweets, just sad gray shadows. Facebook would not post thumbnail images. It all began to happen during my eBook promo at the end of September.
Prior to that I was so busy with my classes that I was struggling to write posts. My plan was to take a blog break until Halloween to regroup. By mid-October, I had decided I wanted to move my blog site from self-hosting back to WordPress dot com.
Apparently, I’m not the only one. See my Canadian pal Elena Peter’s post 5 Reasons I Went Back to WordPress dot com
I contacted the Happiness Engineers at WordPress, first by email about my disappearing images issue, then on “chat” to discuss the issue as well as ask how to migrate back to dot com.
Once I opened that can of worms, it took over three weeks to get it fixed and stuff them back in. The break worked its magic, but I found that I was stressed out trying to deal with technological aspects of the self-hosted site. Once my hero Kevin M at WP began patiently helping me, I calmed down and left it in his capable hands.
The WP staff are indeed there to help you, even if you are not currently hosting with dot com. I believe you must have had a WordPress dot com account before you moved, however, to use their services.
Benefits of being back on WordPress dot com
Blogs appear consistently in the Reader
- When your blog appears in the reader, it is so much easier to find and follow your favorite blogs. However, I follow over 200 bloggers, but choose to only receive daily e-mails from about 25 of them.
Moving from non-secure site (e.g: http:// to https://)
- See next point
When you self-host, your website is not automatically made to be a secure site.
- In fact, it is very expensive to buy a security certificate. But without the magic “s” after http, my posts failed to appear in thumbnails in the weekly photo challenge.
- This shortcoming, in and of itself, was the most devastating thing for me. This photo challenge is my favorite blogging event and my biggest generator of visitors to my blog resulting in over 700 followers over the last two years from this event alone.
Ability to re-blog and be re-blogged
- This feature would have been very helpful to my wonderful fellow bloggers who agreed to help me promote my eBook. I intend to repay the kindness and start re-blogging some of their posts.
WordPress dot com is free
- If you want it to be. I bought a premium plan for a few $$ a month. WordPress has a variety of plans available if you wish to monetize your blog.
The Challenge of Change
Back to the quote “Don’t be afraid of change, it leads you to a new beginning.” Coupled with the photo of the beach chairs and the sunrise, it imply that change is a good thing and leads to new beginnings.
That is what I want for my blog. Not necessarily a new beginning, but a fresher start I suppose. I was very close to chucking this blog and starting completely over with just a photo blog. Lost some sleep over this idea. Luckily everything was fixed and I kept all of my posts and images!
Here is a pinnable image for you.
I decided after all this turmoil that what I really want is to share my love of writing and photography in as simple a format as possible. I continue to have a self-hosted site (Windigen Consulting) that is NOT a blog, but has a blog in the menu.
I just celebrated my 5 year blogging anniversary. Unreal. From that first post five years ago, I can say with certainty that “Insights by Terri” transmogrified successfully into “Second Wind Leisure Perspectives.”
What changes or transformations have you experienced in your blogging journey? I would love to hear about it!