I know I have not been very active on the blog, but the few remaining readers may have noted that the looks of this blog has changed significantly over the last week or so. That is because I have decided to shift bases. After almost seven years of blogging on the free, hosted WordPress.com platform, I have decided to jump ship and move bases to a self-hosted WordPress.org installation.
Whilst I remain an extremely loyal WordPress.com user – my scarcely updated ePortfolio still lies there – I started feeling a little stifled by the roomlessness of the platform for my much longer running blog. I guess the decision was partly fueled by the need to make some changes so that I can re-ignite the passion for blogging, which has, honestly speaking, been rather flagging of late. Content-wise, I am not sure which way I will be headed, although I feel that a lot of research blogging nowadays is about Visual Abstracts, and I may try to adopt a regular bunch of posts on that front. I guess I shall have to wait and see how things evolve over time and what direction my blogging takes me in.
The move itself was not very stressful – albeit I had a few jumpy moments when transferring my domain from WordPress.com to Namecheap, where I would be eventually hosting this site. I sent a couple of panicky emails to the Namecheap support staff and not only were they super helpful, they were very understanding of my worries and responded quite rapidly. Once the domain transfer was fixed up, it was the small matter of moving the whole content – about 650 posts, written over seven or so years. And in the first go, I managed to move about a hundred-odd posts. Once again, I got worried that the years and years of blogging was going to be lost if I changed platforms, but a bit of googling around (hint: “why are my wordpress.com posts not getting exported to my self hosted wordpress.org blog?”) told me that there was a number of posts over which the wordpress importer fails to import posts from a pre-existing wordpress.com blog. I ran the wordpress XML files a few times over (the same files), and et voila, all the posts I had written up over the past years were uploaded!
With the transfer of the posts being completed, it was time to do a bit of housekeeping – aka exploring plug-ins. Now I must be one of the very small proportion of wordpress users who still prefer the old interface, despite wordpress reminding me that there is an awesome new writing interface available to us. I never really warmed up to it because I do not really enjoy change in the way my blogging habits have been set. It is a distraction from the main job of writing the blog, which I seem to be doing lesser and lesser with the progress of time!
But all these steps are now done, and I have managed to shift the whole blog (hopefully), from my previous wordpress.com home to this new place. Let us see how Namecheap hosting treats us and here’s hoping that this cosmetic alteration kicks my blogging cogs into motion again.