Two years ago I joined the masses and I opened a blog. I have never regretted that decision.Looking back I must admit, that there are other decisions that I now regret.
The decision making was fairly easy.
- Where to Blog
- Name of the Blog
- Theme and layout
Some friends used LiveJournal and others used either Blogger or WordPress. I decided to go with Blogger because who can go wrong when you have Google on your side? To be honest, there was nothing wrong with my decision to go with Blogger. The dashboard wasn`t that great and I had a couple of minor issues but I had a lot of control over the code and meta tags in my blog. I stayed with Blogger for a year and a half before I made a drastic change.
When I opened my account I didn`t pay much attention to purchasing my own domain. Why spend money if you are not sure if Blogging is going to work for you or not? In March this year I decided to purchase my own domain and I moved over to WordPress.com. It was a very big step and a major decision in my Blogging `career`. Why did I make the change if I was happy with Blogger? Well, I wanted to be taken more seriously.
I had some decisions to make before I moved over to WordPress which included:
- Name of my new domain
- WordPress.com or WordPress.org
- How to redirect all the old posts from nelietatravellingadventures.blogspot.com to my new domain?
During the course of the 1 1/2 years I often played with the words Nelmi. It is the first 3 letters of my name and the first 2 letters of my surname. I felt that my Blogger name was too long and not practical. I should have given a lot more thought into choosing a Bloggin name. I regret that now.
When I wanted to register the domain Nelmi.com, I realized it was already taken. What now? Well, my blog is about travelling so I added travel to the word and Nelmitravel.com was born.
I loved the WordPress dashboard from the word `Go`. The first `problem`that I encountered was when I wanted to upload an external theme and I realized that it was not possible in WordPress.com. I could buy a custom made theme but I didn`t have the money so I stuck with one of the free themes. I had no control over the code of the blog or any keywords for SEO purposes. That became a major problem when I noticed that my statistics dropped from 600+ visits a day to 170 on a very busy day. I also couldn`t use any PlugIns and I felt my hands were tied.
It was during this time that my Blog started to generate income. I realized that if I continue working with hands tied behind my back, I was not going to get anywhere. I started to investigate the possibility to go self hosting.
Self-hosting was a daunting thought. I had no idea where to start and what to expect. I couldn`t find all the information on the Internet because people normally purchase a domain and hosting and then start to blog. I wanted to jump on the wagon 1 1/2 years later!
Once again I had some decisions to make before I moved over to Self-hosting:
- Hosting company
- Who will move the content of my Blog across to the new host company?
With the help of the Blogging community I managed to secure hosting through HostGator. They also migrated my blog for free to their servers. This time round I investigated all possibilities and I was happy to finally make the move to self-hosting. I made many internet calls to the HostGator helpdesk and the guys patiently answered all my questions. Without their help I am not sure I would have survived the migrating process.
I still use the WordPress platform but my files are now stored on a different server and I have total control over my blog. I can change the theme, add keywords, use meta tags and use a variety of Plugins. Life is good again! I haven`t tried anything fancy and I am still using a free WordPress theme but that will change soon.
My advice to all new Bloggers out there. Choose the name of your blog wisely. If you have the money purchase your own domain and start branding your blog properly. Go Self-hosting if you are serious about Blogging or if you want to generate income from your Blog. Remember if you go self-hosting it will be costing you money. You need to pay for a domain name and hosting fees.
Last but not least. Friends of Nelmitravel.com thank you for your continuous support, for visiting my blog and for commenting. You have made this all possible and I blogging wouldn`t have been so enjoyable if it wasn`t for your interest in me and my blog. I thank you!