I Took The Plunge! Moving from WordPress.com to a Self-Hosted Site

After almost a year (my blogiversary is soon approaching!) of blogging over at WordPress.com I decided to take the plunge to a self-hosted site!  If you’ve been floating around with the idea as well, I recommend you read further and hopefully get a clearer understanding of the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.  When I was researching the pros and cons, it left me with more questions than answers, so I’m hoping to clarify some of that for you here.  I’m still tweaking a few things on my site, and learning a whole lot along the way, but excited to share it all with you.

I’ll start by saying that I am a computer geek by nature, and was able to do several customizations on my own when I was on .com.  When you decide to move your blog over to .org, you have the option of doing it yourself, or paying a ‘Happiness Engineer’ to take care of the transfer for you.  I have friends who took care of the transfer on their own and it is really quite simple, but I lack one thing, and that is time, so I opted for a Guided Transfer.  If you follow suit, you will be contacted via email and advised of a 24 hour period for when the transfer will take place.  During that time, your site does not go down, but you are asked not to make any changes to your site so that the transfer goes smoothly.  My transfer went very smoothly, and all my posts, photos, comments, stats, readers came along with me.  As well, WordPress provides additional support for a two-week period after the transfer is completed.  So far, the only hiccup I had was my shiny new website was taking quite long to load.  After some research, my Happiness Engineer informed me that the hundreds of photos I have in my media library were quite huge and this was slowing everything down.  Well, friends, if you aren’t resizing your photos before loading them to your site, beware – eventually you will either run out of space, or slow things down tremendously.  Luckily, (yay for plugins), I managed to install the Smush-It plugin and resize my entire already existing library.  This helped a lot!  For future, I will resize my photos before uploading them, and if you aren’t already, please join me in doing so. 🙂
Regardless of the route you choose (doing the transfer yourself or using a Guided Transfer) in order for it to go smoothly and in a timely manner, you must be prepared.

  1. Begin by purchasing a domain name or redirecting your name servers if you already own your domain.  I used GoDaddy to purchase my domain name a while back, so I just redirected the nameservers to my new web host, Blue Host.  This is very simple to do and if you have more questions on this, please ask!

  2. Choose a Web Host.  As mentioned above, I chose Blue Host, as it was recommended as a secure and stable host by WordPress and after researching and comparing them to others, I felt comfortable with their service and cost, and decided they were the best bet.

  3. At this point you are ready for the transfer.  You can either get your hands dirty and follow some easy step by step guides, I like this one from WordPress, and also these simple tips from my blogging buddy Laura or you can purchase the Guided Transfer and let a Happiness Engineer take care of it for you.  If you are prepared, either process will only take a few hours to complete!

  4.  We obviously want to make sure all our readers are moved along with us, and with a Guided Transfer, they take care of moving your subscribers and readers.  If you transfer your blog on your own, simply email WordPress and request a transfer of your subscriptions and they will take care of that for you.  Along with this, I also wanted to make sure all my favourite blogs which I follow would still be accessible to me.  Wordpress.org does not have a Reader, but I will continue to have access to my WordPress.com account, and therefore to my reader as well!

  5.  You have many more choices for themes in WordPress.org, and although I had a Guided Transfer, they cannot move Premium Themes over from WordPress.com.  So, basically I switched my blog to a regular (free) theme on WordPress.com right before the transfer and then when the transfer was complete, I installed my own theme.  Again, a very simple process which I can happily walk you through if you have any questions!

At this point, you are done!  But the million dollar question is, do you stay on WordPress.com or do you move to WordPress.org?

WordPress.com is a super platform to start your blog.  You don’t need to worry about backing up your content, finding a host, performing regular maintenance and keeping hackers away.  In exchange for the free hosting, your site will be laden with restrictions and advertising. You can pay yearly in order to have these removed. Or, you can commit the time to maintain your own site.  Along with that comes complete control.   You can install plugins to increase the functionality of your site.  You can eliminate ads completely, or if you are looking to monetize your site, you can join affiliate networks of your choice, for example, Google AdSense.

For me, I was starting to feel restricted with things I really wanted to offer on Love and Lentils.  For example, when hosting a giveaway, you cannot install a simple plugin to manage the entries (such as Rafflecopter) on WordPress.com.  Also, simple great tools like a ‘Pin It’ button from Pinterest was not possible on .com.  There are a lot more plugins which I wanted, and the only way to have that control and freedom was to move on over!

I hope this answers some of your curiosities about taking the plunge and if you already have moved to a self-hosted site, I’d love to hear about your experience!

How are you liking WordPress.org?

And please do share;

Are you having any technical difficulties with seeing Love and Lentils posts in your reader or email subscriptions?

Thank you all for your continued support and ever-growing sense of community.

Sophia x

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Q&A With Dream In Green Girl

Q&A With Dream In Green Girl

I’m really excited to share with you all a Q&A I did with Katie from Dream In Green Girl.  I hope you enjoy taking a peak into how Love and Lentils began, what my food philosophies are, and even healthy grocery shopping tips.

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

Sophia

Healthy Juicing Magazine

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I am really excited to share with you all the latest copy of Healthy Juicing Magazine which yours truly contributed to this month!

Check out page 35!  Lots of other great recipes in this issue as well.

http://healthyjuicingmagazine.com/HJissue13.pdf

Enjoy!

Sophia x

There’s A New Veganomicon Owner In Town…

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I am really excited about the holiday giveaway and the amount of people who participated! It was a blast, and I was anxious for today to arrive so that I can announce the winner! I always use Random.org to choose, and the extra facebook and twitter likes obviously gave you more entries.

The lucky winner of Veganomicon is Celeste from Home of The Compassionate Tummies!  A big congratulations to you, Celeste! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Mine is filthy and food stained from the amount of recipes I’ve made from it.  It will definitely be a great resource for feeding your compassionate tummies.

Thank you once again to everyone who played and shared their favourite holiday memories.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading them!  Thank you for sharing the contest among your friends and readers as well!

Have a wonderful weekend and happy holidays!

Celeste, please get in touch with your mailing address. 🙂

Sophia x

100th Post, Holiday Giveaway, A New Logo + Many Thanks!

Eight months, 100 posts, new connections, inspirations, and a whole slew of amazing discoveries.  I started this blog as a way to document my favourite recipes, and explore my interest in photography.  I didn’t really imagine anyone more than my close family and friends would read, but here we are, a lovely, supportive, interactive community!  Even more, I became a much better cook and more creative in the kitchen since starting Silk and Spice, and that is thanks to the many amazing bloggers I follow who inspire me every day.

Today, I am writing my 100th post, and to many that might not be much of a milestone, but I am quite proud of having written 100 posts since I started Silk and Spice back in March.  The best part is I get to have fun creating on this blog, and all of you are so supportive and interactive. I love hearing stories about recipes you made from Silk and Spice, and even more, when friends make my recipes for their omnivore loved ones and they are a hit.  We’re on a food revolution, I tell ya….

Over the last few weeks, many of you were so thoughtful in nominating me for great awards.   Bea from Body Energy Action and Johanna from Whole and Happy Food nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Thank you! Poppy from Poppy’s Patisserie nominated me for the Blog of The Year Award and The Dragon’s Loyalty Award. Thank you! Ajaytao nominated me for a collection of lovely awards.  Thank you!  Marianne from The Oven Diaries nominated me for the Versatile Bloggers Award.  Thank you!  I am extremely grateful, and in return I am hosting a Holiday Giveaway that is open to you all!

I thought about what to give away, and decided I wanted it to be something that would be a great resource for any one who is vegan, vegetarian, or dancing with the idea of going veg.  I am giving away a copy of VEGANOMICON!  This really is the ultimate vegan cookbook.  Everyday meals which are so simple and don’t use weird, unfamiliar ingredients.  I found that when I started cooking from this book, it made me very comfortable with plant-based cooking, and I didn’t really need to go back to it for exact recipes.  It gave me useful, everyday meal ideas which I could whip up quickly.  And, Isa Chandra is my plant-based heroine, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Here’s how to enter!

Answer this question by leaving a comment below this blog post: What is your favourite holiday memory?

For extra entries:

  • Join me on Facebook.
  • Follow the conversation on Twitter.
  • Tweet about this giveaway. Don’t forget to tag @silkandspiceveg.
  • If you’re just stopping by, follow Silk and Spice on WordPress by clicking ‘follow’ at the top of this page.

Please let me know which entries you made so I can include them all when randomly selecting the winner next Saturday, December 14th!  The contest is open to all, worldwide!

Finally, I am excited to share the new Silk and Spice logo! Did you notice it at the top of this page?  A good friend designed it for me.  I would love to know what you think!  If you’re ever in need of graphic design at  very reasonable rates, you can contact Amanda on LinkedIn.

Thank you all once again for stopping by Silk and Spice, taking the time to interact within our community, and for all the inspiration you give me!

Sophia x