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What I Learned After My Website Move to a New Host

Assuming that I’m typical of anyone who has a website. I’m sure that at some point you’ve thought, like I have, about how awful it would be if your website suddenly crashed or worse yet if it vanished altogether.
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 a period when things looked wonky.

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 too 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 actually to CODE a website.

Since the beginning of GfreeDeliciously, 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, elements, containers, and widgets produced in the page builder that lets me type in my content and 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:

Takeaway #1

I was too trusting to ask my previous host the right questions and too nervous about what I didn’t know to talk about what I didn’t know.

  • There was no consideration of whether moving my website to a new platform and new host was wise when moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org.
  • So, I discovered too late that there are many questions to ask yourself and research that should be done before starting this process. What are the actual reasons why you want to move your website? Will making the transition help you do more after the move than you can do now? Changing hosting platforms, website design, or switching to a new domain name can make, break, or result in a massive setback for your business.

Takeaway #2

Trusting everything I was 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 say to you precisely what you want to hear. I wanted to BELIEVE the things I was being told. Something 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 did anyone mention 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 whether my site SEO would be intact or affected significantly.
  • There was no conversation about my site reviews and rankings that I had collected over the past two years.

I naively believed and trusted that everything, including my Elementor-designed content, would magically migrate over, making a move seamless.

Takeaway #3

I didn’t ask the right questions:

  • 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 primary site administrator after the migration happens?
  • Can all my templates, sections, and widgets be migrated to the new site?
  • What does data mirroring mean?
  • Would they be setting up a staging site so I could review everything to ensure 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?

Takeaway #4

I didn’t take the time to thoroughly 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…

  1. After 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.
  2. Next, I accepted that there’s a lot I’ve got to learn, and if other non-geek people can do this, I can, too.
  3. After an initial assessment of my losses, I patted myself on the back for:
    • I give myself credit for everything I’ve learned and accomplished since starting my blog
    • Recognize and accept 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
    • I write all the copy for pages and posts on my computer and then save those documents in organized folders under the same menu headings I use on my site.
    • I now file my site page photos, post photos, and Pinterest graphic files in the same folders as the content documents on 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 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 map 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
    • I keep 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

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Eleven Months Later, I'm A Whole LOT Smarter...

  1. I connected with Food Blogger PRO (my number one trusted source) to take courses, ask questions, and get a recommendation of whom I could talk to.
  2. I connected with the expert recommendations and asked a lot of questions.
  3. Nervously, I decided to switch hosts again. But this time, making sure that all the bases were covered.

I ended up with a US-based host, BigScoots, who is fabulous!!

How to Continue On When Things GO WRONG...

  1. No freak-outs allowed. After 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, assess the situation, and look at what happened objectively.
  2. Set immediate goals. I immediately set the goal of getting everything fixed in six months.
  3. No playing the blame game or feeling sorry for yourself. NO “Why did this happen to me?” I became utterly focused on getting my website back up and running smoothly.
  4. Stay in the present moment – focus on baby steps. You can’t let emotions and negative self-talk run the show. Keeping yourself in a better headspace will help you deal with your challenges.
  5. Don’t let anger, frustration, or fear keep you from moving forward. This is your dream. You’re an intelligent person and capable of learning new skill sets. If others have done it, so can you.

When Things ARE STILL Going WRONG...

  1. Do more homework.
  2. Connect with others to ask for recommendations.
  3. Call or email and interview the businesses offering their services.

Success...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 well-being by committing to scheduling time to care for myself during this setback and in this life journey.

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.

Are you 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 we go...

Let me know in the comment section or by email if you’ve had a similar site disaster experience if there’s a specific 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 sticking with me during this blogging journey as I conquer new challenges and grow GfreeDeliciously.

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Where there's a whisk, there's always a way to enjoy it gluten-free...

Picture of Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Kymberley @gfreedeliciously

Hi, I'm Kymberley, the creator of GfreeDeliciously and the Amazing, Glorious Journey Programs. I pray that my work will inspire you to honor your body through God and Good Food from the inside out, all while enjoying your Amazing, Glorious Journey!

Take a peek at the behind GfreeDeliciously

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…
  •  

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Kymberley @gfreedeliciously
Coach | Cook | Creator | Publisher

Meet Kymberley [Upson] Pekrul

A professional writer and self-taught Gfree lifestyle expert on [most] gluten-free things, I’ve always loved cooking and creating delicious foods from scratch for myself and those I love.

My journey began when everything I thought I knew about cooking and eating suddenly changed one day when I discovered I was celiac. So, I re-learned how to eat, cook, and navigate through life gluten-free – trusting God and His plan for me.

I live in what’s known as the Holylands of Central Wisconsin. All the recipes you’ll find here are gluten-free and inspired by the people and places I love most. Whenever possible, I cook with seasonal ingredients using whole foods – Making dishes suitable for everyday life and all food lovers gathered at the same table.

Gfree cooking, health, and wellness ARE my life. And this little corner of the internet is where I share what I’ve learned – Where my passion IS to nourish everyday GfreeDeliciously!

Thanks for stopping by!

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