Blogging Break or Broken Blog: The Transmogrification

The difference a new day makes in our quest for change

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.”

Tweet: I am inspired by this quote, “Don’t be afraid of change, it leads you to a new beginning.”
The Actual Break

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.

Of course…

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.

Change leads you to a new beginning
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!

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47 thoughts on “Blogging Break or Broken Blog: The Transmogrification

  1. I like the idea of a change challenge. My 2 year blog birthday is coming up in just a few weeks and I’m thinking of taking a break over the holidays to gather some new ideas and get a fresh perspective on what direction to go next. Love it – “don’t be afraid of change…it leads you to a new beginning!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, Terri. I’m so sorry that I didn’t realise everything was that bad for you. You must have had to make so many choices as to which road to take. I’m so happy to hear that the WP engineers sorted everything out for you. I’ve always found them very helpful, but I read so much bad press about them on WordPress.

    You’re the second blogger I know that has come back to WordPress.Com. Reading what’s happened to you and the other blogger with self-hosting has certainly put me off ever considering going down the self-hosting route. I’ll stick with WordPress.

    I hope you will now find a trouble free road of blogging ahead of you.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I remember, now, coming across a couple of your posts where the images were not showing. One of them was the Halloween candy post. I should have informed you at the time, but I thought it was my iMac causing the problem as I’d not long downloaded a new Apple upgrade on it and I know there are usually bugs when new upgrades come out. However, I remember visiting the post some weeks later and finding the images were there, so I put it down to the Apple upgrade.
        Anyway, I’m pleased it’s all be sorted now and that you’re back to WordPress.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Terri I have missed you and was actually sending you an email when I saw this post. Congratulations on five years and also for taking a break. I hope the change goes well with the blog and we see you posting again. Take care and hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the heads up about blogging at WordPress.com. I had thought about self-hosting, but now I don’t think it is for me!

    I’ve been blogging for 7 years. I’ve taken a couple of blogging breaks over the years – sometimes as long as 4 months. Those experiences made me realize that ‘unplugging’ is a good thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad you’re back up running Terri. Yes, there are pros and cons to both. Thankfully, I haven’t had your problem with images on my self hosted. Not to say I haven’t had other problems, lol. And no, we don’t get a reblog button, but ‘Press This’ works beautifully. I have no problem reblogging others in a different way with this tool that we all have in our dashboard. I’ve written a few posts about how to use it, in the past. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for this very informative post, Terri. I am a WordPress.Org user (with BlueHost) and so far this has worked for me. Knock on computer keyboard, I have not (yet) experienced technical problems with my blog (okay, maybe just one) and I have not (yet) found the upkeep to be too taxing. However, I am happy to read about great experiences with WordPress.com, so that I have a good back-up if needed. Thanks again for sharing this.
    Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad you got back to writing after your break. Sometimes it does all get to be too much when life throws other stuff at you. Over the last year, I have found the pressure of looking after my aging parents impacts drastically on my ability to keep up with my own blogs and with reading and commenting on other people’s. I am self-hosted – seems ok – the biggest problem I had was with my hosting (1&1). Had to leave them because of some very serious issues and then they had the cheek to try and get money out of me that I did not owe them! Since I changed hosting, it all seems fine.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s interesting that you used the word traumatic because it truly was exactly that when I went through the issue with1&1. So maybe you also experienced an extreme reaction when you had your issues? I was worried that my reaction was over the top! I felt physically ill that it appeared over two years of work was lost forever. I considered doing a blog post about what 1&1 did to cause it (because it was absolutely despicable) but was concerned about the legalities of saying bad things about a huge company even though they are true – so I just walked away. It does still bother me that I haven’t warned others about what they did but if you Google them it is clear that many people have had serious issues.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve heard of 1&1. I would have freaked out to think I could have lost all that content. Your reaction was perfectly normal! Well, at least you told me, so thanks! It really is nice to hear from you, and look forward to more 🙂

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  8. Thank you for sharing your wonderful post at #OverTheMoon. I look forward to what you will share next week! Do something special. Give yourself a standing ovation today! We hope you’ll come back again next Sunday when we open our doors at 6:00 PM EST. “Like” someone in person today!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Terri, Yes, the technical headaches of blogging can be gruesome. I also switched to WordPress and love it.
    I also agree we must listen to our hearts and if you need a pause or change, take it. Out of what we perceive as “nothing” always comes “something.” Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m sadly about to leap the wordpress dot com to dot org for the plans my personal developer has for my blog. I’ve got some strategies but is definitely not going to be easy, and it is definitely going to be more of a struggle. Going to use as many wordpress plug-ins though and see how those work. I will keep you posted if the plug-ins work as advertised…because they are supposed to fix a couple of your items on your list.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am so happy you are back Terri. You are one of the good ones with your excellent writing and beautiful photography. We need your talent and inspiration in the blogosphere. I love your perspective on change. I’ve endured a great deal of change this past year and though painful at times, has turned out better than I could have imagined. I do self host and have since the beginning but you’ve given me something to ponder. I suppose there are pros and cons to both. I’m glad you pushed through your difficulties!

    Liked by 1 person

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