Why I Abandoned my Self-Hosted Blog and Returned to WordPress

On Monday my computer died, spawning a code red on my blog. Not this blog, but the .com Perspective of a Writer. I can’t afford a new computer, but I do have a tablet. Upon consulting my writing partner who knows me best we discussed the different choice she I had going forward. This is what I decided and why…

I need to be able to setup and post from my tablet.

And there was no way with my graphic, and coding intensive blog that I could maintain it on a tablet. I would need a new theme and a totally different way of setting up my reviews.

And since self-hosting costs are high, I only have 4 months to move to a new home.

The logical thing to do was to start fresh on WordPress.com with a free blog. In the end I decided to return to my old address because of the new way addresses are assigned with free blogs. And it didn’t take me long to clear this blog of the old content.

A new home means a new theme. A new theme means adjusting my review format.

I found the perfect free theme. It meets the goal of lessening my need for graphics. And it showcases the text in a way my self hosted theme never did. I also was able to use the new block format I resisted so hard with my previous theme. And I fell in love with it!!

Reusing content means I can work on writing better. A goal I’ve been wanting to tackle.

I wanted to pull from my blog older content. Many posts are in the moment and no one reads them after their first published. But many are still pertinent. Reviews for one. Discussions can also be updated with new experiences adding a fresh take on the topics.

When I first went self hosting I was so jazzed. But I learned sometimes freedom is too overwhelming.

There are many hidden tasks and work that you make for yourself with a self-hosted blog.

  • SEO that WordPress.com handles pretty competently. It’s a bit of work for each post.
  • Paying for a theme… and being stuck with hidden design flaws. No easy switch like with a free blog.
  • Coding CSS design details to get everything looking just right. Which I can still do free but easier!
  • I got so bogged down with maintaining the blog that I lost sight of loving my content!

This last one especially stressed me out. And blogging shouldn’t be stressful. We do it as a hobby because we love the process. From reading the book, formulating our thoughts and writing posts.

There are some issues though.

Since I’m back to commenting from the tablet there are some commenting systems where I have no clue if it went through and many times it doesn’t. Those I will tweet about!

Also while I convert posts there will be many new posts of old content that’s been rewritten. Either on a minor level or extensively. This will last for about 4 months until my old site disappears. There will also be new content, of course!

But I’m loving blogging again!

  • With this theme I can choose my header and body fonts! (My old theme had horrible fonts!)
  • I made the decision to not include so many details about the book. I also simplified my categories and am using complex tags. It’s so much easier and cleaner.
  • I’m focusing more on how the book made me feel. I started this process on my self-hosted blog but now I can focus on what I’m fangirling about and what I’m not, and sharing why.
  • Incorporating my Instagram photos as the major graphics for each post makes things so easy with my tablet!
  • After completing the transition I’m hoping to have the energy and time to focus on other waiting projects.
I hope you stick around as I work through this process and make the transition. Life isn’t always greener on the other side… but sometimes the experience does us good.
Any questions for me about self-hosting?

49 comments

  1. I thought you were going away 😭 I’m so glad you’re still here, Dani! You’re one of the bloggers I look up to ❤️❤️❤️

    It’s terrible what happened with your computer so the move is completely practical. I’m happy you didn’t let an old laptop beat you 😊

  2. phewww you got me all worried there for a minute. first I couldn’t find how to comment on your blog. Then when I was looking for your social media to message you I found the “good bye” post. I was in agony the entire post thinking you were not blogging anymore! LOL I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE HERE 🙂
    You got good reasons to change your platform. Hope you have more fun now.

  3. It sounds like you’ve really thought out this decision. I agree with you on all of these points. I saw your tweet back when you first made this decision. I was in a pretty bad place at the time and am only just visiting your new site. I’m going on a month late. I want to let you know that I’m sorry about the things going on, and I’m delighted that you’re still in the blogging community. I love your blog, and your new site looks fantastic. I look forward to continuing to visit your blog and read your wonderful posts. I hope things get better!

    • Thanks Crystal! I’m so happy I was able to make things work so I could still be here. And I totally get being in a bad place. I’ve spent two solid weeks in the hospital with my loved one, one of which I slept there with them! It’s not conducive to blogging. ☹️

  4. So sorry for the computer issues!! I have a self-hosted WP blog, but I honestly don’t do much to maintain it (I mean, I do have to pay for hosting, though). I’m probably not getting all that many benefits from self-hosting. I went from Blogger to self-hosted WP, though, so I don’t know that I’d ever go back. I’m really glad that you can do everything you want here, and it’s actually EASIER in a lot of ways! Good for you!!

  5. I read your post on your .com blog and got scared for a second, I’m so happy to see you here and to see that you’re not quitting blogging! ❤ I'm so sorry about your computer and I hope that this new chapter in your blogging adventure and on wordpress will work smoothly for you, Dani. Sending you all the love ❤

  6. Oh no, I’m so sorry that your laptop died 😦 But I’m happy to see that WordPress does have some advantages and I hope that everything will work out & that you’ll be happy with the ‘new’ blog! I personally love the design here as well and I’m happy to hear that the switch allows you to rework some of your old content 💖

  7. I’m late catching up on posts, but I’m so happy you’re not gone! That Goodbye post on the other site surprised me. I was like wah??!! And then I read it and was like whew ok. And then I hopped over here and was like yeahie!! 😀 Cause I found the blog okay.

    Hope all is going well for you and your significant other as well.

  8. Sorry about your computer dying on you! When I started reading your post I thought it sounded like you might leave blogging. I’m really glad you just switched over sites, because I really enjoy reading your posts. It sounds like there are a lot of positives to going back to your free WordPress blog. I hope your loved one is doing better Dani 🙂

  9. Oh man, I was a bit stunned to see the .wordpress in your link when you did a quick shoutout to one of your own reviews and started wondering if I was seeing in double. I’m sorry to hear about the tragic news regarding your computer and your self-hosted blog. I’m glad, however, that the wordpress blog is an option that you don’t mind and will be continuing on. Hope the best for you regarding the rest of the transition, Dani! Keep up the great work you’ve done for and within the book blogging community! 😀

  10. Sometimes real-life slaps you silly- but glad you are making the best of it. Blogging should be a joy not a chore, so I look forward to seeing you back on WordPress!

  11. Sorry about your computer, but nice to see your new blog home. 🙂 I don’t do self hosting either because I’m not a coder, I just want to write stuff and keep it simple, so I can relate. Love the new look!

  12. Oof that’s a bummer with your computer! I completely get having to blog on your tablet – it’s rough and painful and definitely a challenge. I’m really glad you found a way to make things work, and I’m happy to see you’re not leaving the community! 🙂

  13. You’re a boss being able to do all this from a tablet. I am trash with a virtual keyboard. Yeah! to loving blogging again. I will admit, you had amazing graphics and layouts, and I remember showing my daughter your bulletin board, and thinking about how much time that took, but, like you said, it’s about the content. I think it’s a well known fact, that I do short, fangirl reviews, so. I am sure I will love your shorter reviews as much as I loved your longer reviews.

    • Awww thanks Sam! It’s certainly a huge change for me. I had to resist reviving my bulletin board here because it just doesn’t fit my new blog, but I’ll miss it. It was a lovely way to recap my week. ♥️ You are my blogger idol Sam! 😍

  14. I’m sorry about your computer but I am glad that the experience seems to be a positive one for you! There are times that I wish I didn’t leave the free wordpress all that time ago, but I still love self-hosted. But I’m REALLY GLAD I found a free theme I like, because giant yikes at paying for one and having flaws.

    Good luck finishing up the transition

  15. Oh my god, i’m sorry for your computer 😨 was it something you kind of known it would be happening someday or totally out of the blue? Either way it really sucks :/

    All thoses reasons are pretty logical ones, so I can understand your decision! All that matters is that you are an happy blogger ❤️❤️ Cheers for this new adventure! Xx

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