What I Learned After My Website Move to a New Host
The Best Laid Plans... "NOT!"
If you’ve visited my website over the past six months, you might have noticed that there was a period when things looked kind of wonky until recently.
Don’t know what I mean?
Picture a whole bunch of <a title= “Gobbelty Goop” href= “https://idontknowwhatimdoing” target=”_blank”></a> messy code, followed by another bunch of crazy code markup language that makes up the bones of a website kind of stuff.
Lucky for me, my site didn’t crash, and it didn’t vanish.
Now here comes the “But”…
BUT, like a bad haircut that takes way to long to grow out, what happened during my site move to a new host was a SUPER scary thing for me.
What I’m going to tell you next may come as a bit of a surprise, seeing as you’re reading this post on a website I created.
The truth is, I don’t know ANYTHING about making websites.
Wait, let me clarify that statement. I don’t know anything about how to CODE a website.
Since the beginning of G-Free Deliciously, I’ve used templates and a site building plugin called Elementor created for people like me with ZERO coding experience. I have a great little system that uses pages, sections and widgets created in the page builder that lets me type in my content, then drag and drop website elements around until I have everything where I want it.
So, here is where things during my site move to a new host took a major nosedive:
I was too trusting to ask the right questions and too nervous about what I didn’t know to talk about what I didn’t know.
- I didn’t dig into if moving my website to a new host was a wise decision.
- I discovered that there are a lot of questions to ask yourself and research that should be done before starting this process. What are the actual reasons why you want to move to a new host? What will you be able to do after the move that you can’t already do now? Changing hosting platforms, website design, or changing to a new domain name can make, break, or result in a huge setback for your business.
Trusting what I was being told by the new host’s customer service reps, was a BIG mistake. The bottom line is that host CSRs are salespeople. Most CSRs will tell you exactly what you want to hear. I wanted to believe the things I was being told. Things like: “Oh, it will be fine. USUALLY, everything migrates over seamlessly.” “You’ve backed up everything. Right?” “No worries, we move WordPress.com sites to WordPress.org sites all the time, relax.”
- At no point in the conversation had anyone mentioned something about how anything from a WordPress.com site that fails to be migrated is unrecoverable.
- I never quizzed anyone about what it meant that the WordPress.com data export process only allows for raw text and images to be exported and migrated.
- We never talked about site traffic fluctuations, Google Analytics data, or losing any of my site traffic and if my site SEO would be intact or affected in any significant way.
- There was no conversation about my site reviews and rankings that I had collected over the past two years.
I believed and trusted that everything, including my Elementor designed content, would magically migrate over making a move seamless.
- Will the design elements of my site transfer?
- Will the professional services geek assigned to my migration use a site duplicator plugin or manually export my content?
- Will they migrate my site user/subscriber database and followers?
- Will I still be the main site administrator after the migration happens?
- Can all my templates, sections, and widgets be migrated to the new site?
- What does data mirroring actually mean?
- Would they be setting up a staging site so that I could review everything to make sure it’s working and checked before the domain transfer is complete?
- Will I have time to make edits and changes, or who might help me if something is wrong?
- What will it cost me if I need help?
I didn’t take the time to fully LEARN the Elementor plugin and how to use it to its potential.
Had I created templates for every area of my site in the Elementor Theme Builder rather than only creating page elements, quite possibly, my customization in the framework of the site pages and posts may have retained the styling and dynamic content through the move.
Lifesavers – All the things I did right…
- After the initial mourning what happened (and yes, I’ll admit that I did cry a time or two), I convinced myself to stay calm and look at what happened as a learning experience and an opportunity.
- Next, I accepted that there’s a lot I’ve got to learn, and if other non-geek people can do this so can I.
- After an initial assessment of my losses, I patted myself on the back for:
- Giving myself credit for everything I’ve learned and accomplished since starting my blog
- Recognizing and accepting that my husband is in total support of what I do and he is always here for my encouragement
- Regularly downloading and creating file backups of my site subscribers
- Writing all the copy for pages and posts on my computer then saving those documents in organized folders set up under the same menu headings that I use on my site
- Filing my site page photos, post photos, and Pinterest graphic files in the same folders as the content documents in my computer
- Having a backup hard drive where I save versions of my files
- Keeping track of each plugin that I’d used, along with plugin account usernames and passwords in my book of secrets
- Having used Nutrifox for generating the nutrition labels on my site, it allowed me to easily find all the recipes I’ve published to be able to double-check them for accuracy and any tweaks that I’d made before posting
- Printing PDFs of my site pages for a look-back reference whenever I add a new page or make changes to an existing page
- Having an editorial calendar for upcoming posts already in place
- Taking the time to nail down who my site is for and have put together a clear outline of the products and services that I offer
- Having taken the time to write down my goals and mapping out a marketing plan for growth and promotion
- The processes I’ve put in place for running my business, reaching out to my subscribers and working with clients
- Keeping a journal of what worked, what didn’t, the victories I’ve had, and what I could have done better since starting my blog
- Allowing time for myself with God, sunshine, exercise, family and friends and anything else that makes me feel grounded and good
- Creating an ‘Open in case of emergency’ letter to myself to read during my life moments when I’m feeling fed up, frustrated and wanting to quit
How to Continue On When Things GO WRONG...
- No freak-outs allowed. After the initial shock of learning what’s happened, you must tell yourself that flying into a hyper-spaz or an ongoing crying jag doesn’t solve anything. Step back, access the situation, and look at what happened objectively.
- Set immediate goals. I immediately set the goal of getting everything fixed in six months.
- No playing the Blame-Game or feeling sorry for yourself. NO “Why did this happen to me?” I became completely focused on getting my website back up and running smoothly.
- Stay in the present moment – focus on baby steps. You can’t let emotions and negative self-talk run the show. Keeping yourself in waaaaaaaay better headspace will help you deal with the challenges that are facing you.
- Don’t let anger, frustration, or fear keep you from moving forward. This is your dream. You’re a smart person and capable of learning new skill sets. If others have done it, so can you.
When Things ARE STILL Going WRONG...
- Do more homework.
- Connect with others to ask for recommendations.
- Call or email and interview the businesses offering their services.
Eleven Months Later, I'm A Whole LOT Smarter...
- I connected with Food Blogger PRO (my number one trusted source) to take courses, ask questions, and get a recommendation of who I could talk to.
- I connected with the expert recommendations and asked a lot of questions.
- Nervously, I made the decision to switch hosts again. This time making sure that all the bases were covered.
I ended up with a US-based host BigScoots that is fabulous!!
To say that I'm proud of myself is putting it mildly.
I’m proud of showing up with my best self to move my business and life forward, every day, if only in a small way.
I’m proud to value myself and support my wellbeing by committing to schedule time to take care of myself during this setback and in this journey called life.
Ultimately, I’m proud to be capable of pushing my body, mind, and skills beyond what I ever dreamed possible – to new levels of abundance and joy.
Wondering how to recover from your setback? Check out the Personal Growth section of Books I Love for my recommendations on what to read to clear your mind.
Before you go...
Let me know in the comment section or by email if you’ve had a similar site disaster experience, if there’s a certain blogging topic you’d like me to write about, or if you’ve taken an extended blogging break recently? And, if you’ve taken a break, forced or otherwise, how did you get back into blogging afterward?
Thanks for reading, and thanks for sticking with me during this blogging journey as I conquer new challenges and continue to grow G-Free Deliciously.
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Being creative, cooking, fresh veggies, the violin, decorating for holidays, sewing, hand-quilting, cowgirl boots, country music, fresh herbs in pots, blowing dandelions to the wind, walking barefoot in the grass, hanging out with eclectic interesting people, reading, writing, warm lazy summer days, and yoga!
Gluten, cilantro, mixed vegetables (the frozen kind I grew up with), negativism, rudeness, narcissism, overstaying a welcome,
not helping out, liars, promiscuity, cockiness, know-it-alls, being overly-dramatic, goal-less-ness, poor hygiene, chauvinism, lacking a sense of humor, excessive competitiveness, Laziness, horrifying spellers, people-bashing, criticism and mockery of others and their beliefs, flakiness (because flaky people are really unappealing), more swagger than substance, people who constantly manage others (those folks who think they have all the answers…)
Lambrusco, my iPad, popcorn suppers, dark chocolate, cookbooks, Almond-Rocca, historical romances, sun-bathing, weekend coffee with a good book in bed, PBS cooking shows, romantic comedies, cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, and fragrant bubble baths with soft music and wine…
Say please and thank you, LAUGH, Pray often, ENCOURAGE others, Be KIND, HONEST, HAPPY, Keep your PROMISES, Be GRATEFUL, Wash your hands, FORGIVE yourself and others, LISTEN, Have FAITH, Be CONFIDENT, Honor your parents, CHERISH your children and grandchildren, TREASURE your family, ABIDE in GOD’s love, Be POLITE, Guard your HEART, SEEK your purpose, FEED your mind, body and soul, Be HOPEFUL, Resist temptation, Lay your burdens down, TRUST your gut, CONNECT with nature, Know that GOD made you perfect just the way you are, SERVE others, LIVE to love, Be COURAGEOUS, Shine bright, OPEN your mind, RESPECT differences, HONOR your inner hunger, SING loud, Be PROUD of who you are, Practice PATIENCE, Never give up, WEATHER the storms of life, Say I love you, LOVE one another
- I’ve traveled to 32 states in the USA where I’ve enjoyed the food, history, people and the local culture while visiting.
- Among the states, I’ve lived in are Arizona, California, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
- My favorite island is Maui.
- I’ve also been to Canada and Mexico.
- I rode horses as a kid, and barrel-raced.
- I broke my neck when I was 18 and went to senior prom in a neck brace.
- As a little girl, I grew up living next door to my grandma and grandpa on a small lake in rural southern Michigan.
- The first thing I learned to cook was pancakes.
- The craziest thing I ever made was mint-flavored green cupcakes when I was 13. My family didn’t like them much…