A New Thumbprint

a new thumbprint: my blogger to wordpress story

apricot thumbprint cookie (marché, east nashville)

New Beginnings. July 2013 marked a few key events. First, my blog had recently and unassumingly passed it’s third birthday. Second, I moved to Nashville to start a new job. Third, I realized something unexpected had happened under my nose: my blog’s original domain (cwfrosting.com) was purchased by a domain investor in Thailand.

The third realization led me to read more about the possibility of transitioning from Google-owned Blogger to WordPress. Eventually I sought professional help and made the leap. So here I am at WordPress, making a new blogging thumbprint.

Thank you both to Andrea Whitmer at Nuts & Bolts Media and Jesse Michelsen at Splyced Hosting for seamlessly performing the migration.

Read on for the detailed story.

Clueless. When I started this journey, all I knew about WordPress was that some people really liked it. Bloggers had made the Blogger to WordPress transition & written about it, but I hadn’t been wise enough to pin any of their posts. You know, the ones that say “pin now! read later.” So I was essentially information-less without much time to read on the topic.

My Experience. I am a doctor. In my profession we learn to gather facts from a patient’s perspective, attempt to explain what happened medically, and then come up with a solution for the problem. So naturally, that’s the way I tried to piece together what happened to my blog.

In the Spring of 2013 I was a busy medical intern running around various ICU’s in Southern California, not paying much attention to my personal blog. In the depths of my mind I remembered it was about the time of year to renew everything blog-related, including my blog’s domain. I only noticed one thing different about my blog. Instead of typing in just “cwfrosting.com” to reach my blog, I had to add the “www” part in.

Before moving across the country from Los Angeles to Nashville, I navigated Google’s new convoluted process of renewing my blog domain. It was so convoluted that I can’t recall the details now, besides that it might have involved google plus. A few days after I arrived in Nashville, my blog simply stopped working. I couldn’t see my blog, and apparently no one else could either.

blog stats shocker

blog stats shocker

What Actually Happened. I hadn’t been checking my blog email very carefully and overlooked the reminder email from Google telling me to renew my domain. When I finally sat down to renew my domain, I could’t find the correct link. A quick Google search revealed that I wasn’t alone. Google had developed a new procedure to renew a blogger-hosted blog domain. After finally figuring out where to renew my domain, I paid the $20 fee.

Since I wasn’t reading my blog email, I also overlooked the Google email stating my payment had not gone through. Oops again.

In the mean time, a domain investor located in Thailand bought my domain “cwfrosting.com”. I’m not entirely sure of the exact order of events, but in retrospect it could be thought of as flattering that someone thought it profitable to buy my domain.

Blogless. I found myself fuming at a faceless person in Thailand and without a blog. I went for a run in the sweltering Nashville summer humidity & got eaten by mosquitoes. Wonderful, my blog & my extremities had both been eaten alive.

I sat down & started the process of investigating how to buy back “my” domain. I found a domain buy-back service, paid their service fee & put in an offer for $50. The next day I received an email reply basically laughing in my face. It said something to the effect of “if that’s your real offer, please withdraw and we will refund all your money.” Needless to say, I didn’t want to bid $150-200 (plus the $70 non-refundable service charge) on something that wasn’t guaranteed. I took the refund & fumed some more.

I also learned from an attorney friend that since I wasn’t using my blog commercially in any way, I wasn’t protected by “anti-cybersquatting” legislation. I decided to seek professional help.

Finding a new home. At that moment, I decided I wanted to move my blog to WordPress. I can’t describe exactly why. I could have bought another domain & had it hosted by Blogger. A quick search through my Pinterest pins revealed I had never pinned anything about WordPress migration.

A google search brought me to Jeni at The Blog Maven, who was unavailable at the time but promptly referred me to Andrea at Nuts & Bolts Media. After a short email exchange, Andrea advised me to restore the “blogspot” address so at least we could see my blog, and then we decided on the Columbian country code “.co”.

The next question was where to host my blog. Apparently, I had to find my own server space. So many new concepts here. Google found me the very affordable iPages hosting, so I signed up. Concurrently, Andrea referred me to Jesse Michelsen’s beta Splyced Hosting. After emailing with Jesse for a bit, my gut instinct was it’s nice to be in contact with an actual person. So I cancelled the iPages and signed up with Splyced.

Since I was willing to attempt WordPress design on my own time, I chose a basic migration package with no design aspects included. Andrea & Jesse seamlessly migrated my blogger blog over to cwfrosting.co. It didn’t look much like my old blog, but all the posts, comments, and sidebar content had arrived unscathed.

Fastforward a few months. I slowly learned how WordPress web design worked. I deciphered parts of mostly-cryptic-to-me message boards about Child Themes, css style sheets, and php documents. I copied, pasted, guessed at and modified code, much in the way I had learned html. The result is the blog you see here.

Although my Type A personality wanted to fix every link and detail before writing this post, that same Type A-ness also wanted to write this post before taking the time to write any other new posts. In spite of a long to-do list remaining, including places with unmatching fonts, linkies full of broken links, a design.lab page to re-code, and buttons to re-design, I’ve at least written this post.

In Retrospect. Moving my blog here was the best possible solution for my specific situation. It did cost money and as much as I like trying to figure out bloggy-related things on my own, blog migration was not something I wanted to mess up.

♥ Have you moved a blog from Blogger to WordPress? If so, I’d love to learn why you did so!

xo caroline

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