Are you blinded by the shininess of my spanking NEW blog????
Okay, some of you may be slightly confused as to why this is no longer Mama Wants This yet it looks eerily similar.
What can I say, I loved my old design so much, all I wanted was a tweak in color and graphics. Also, it’s not so much a shock to the system yes?
So do you like it?
Anyway, if you EVER think of changing your blog name – DON’T.
Seriously, it’s a pain in the behind. It’s all very techy and stuff and the available information is mind boggling.
Free advice for you who don’t blog but you’re thinking of starting one – think long and hard about your blog name!
However, since I already went through this painful process, I thought I’d shell out more free, unsolicited advice on how to move your blog to a new domain (if you so unwisely choose to, you’re in the right place!).
Note: This advice applies to moving a self-hosted WordPress blog to another WordPress blog on the same host.
1. Purchase and register your new domain. If you are on WordPress.org, you can find out if your hosting companies sell domains. Mine does, but I bought my new one from GoDaddy.com and had to redirect my name servers and move my domain to BlueHost. This part is easy and relatively painless. It can also be done pretty instantly.
2. New design! This is the fun part. I worked with Cynthia of NW Designs again as she designed my old blog and already knows what I like. Cynthia works fast, I like that! I find that when you respond quickly to your designer, they will reciprocate. You want a quick turnover with your design, they like moving their jobs quickly through their work queue. Win-win.
3. You can do this part later, but I had Cynthia install my new design first, before moving the content from my old blog. Once it was installed, I went about downloading plugins and customizing my sidebar.
4. Now, the actual moving of stuff. I Googled and I looked on the help forums within my hosting company to see what it involved. If you’re a tech idiot like me, all the language is fairly technical and the amount of information, overwhelming. You will find that many sources will give you different information on the best way to move your blog content without losing anything. This is because there are least 3 to 4 ways of moving your content over (4 if you’re on BlueHost).I won’t go into the technicalities, let’s just say you need a little know-how so you don’t stuff it up.
5. Point #4 is just to let you know – if you want to do it yourself, you can. There is enough information and you just need brass balls. Which I don’t possess. So I called in a tech whiz – Vanita Cyril. People, she is FABULOUS. A work-at-home mom of FOUR, Vanita is friendly, professional and so very patient with my many questions. Vanita moved my posts, pictures and comments, fixed all the broken links and did the site redirect (i.e. if you type in my old URL, you’ll land on this site) within days. I cannot say enough how awesome she is and highly recommend her services to anyone who needs help with moving domains, or just any WordPress stuff.
6. Next, make sure you check your Feedburner! Don’t change the feed address as you’ll lose all your subscribers, RSS and email. Vanita sorted this out for me too.
7. Don’t forget to check your email subscription settings to ensure that the title of your posts delivered to inboxes reflect the change in your blog name.
8. If you want a blog specific email (mine is alison at writingwishing dot com), you can set that up in your Control Panel at your host. BlueHost has a Google App Wizard which allows me to set up my email within Google (like a Gmail account) with just a couple of clicks.
9. Do you have a Facebook page for your blog? If you do and you have 200 or more likes, note that you CANNOT change the name on your page. Facebook only allows you to change the name if you have less than 200 fans. You can only submit a name change request for your page if it is for a business or product, and they may ask for documentation to prove this. My page had nearly 500 likes, so I had to start over. What I did was let my page likers know early, and I set up my new Facebook page before my new blog was up. I then asked nicely for my regulars to go like the new page (over 100 of you did in the first 24 hours, thank you!). I’ll be keeping the old page up for a few months to slowly move everyone (or as many people as possible) to the new page. And if you haven’t liked the new page yet, see the box on your right? Just one click!
10. Don’t forget to go to all your social media accounts (Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Instagram and so on) and update the details of your blog name and URL to the new one, as well as blog commenting sign-in systems like IntenseDebate, Disqus, LiveFyre and your Google and Gravatar profiles (if you have one).
And THEN, you’re done.
Do you like my new look and name? Be honest, I won’t take offense, promise. I just won’t share my chocolate with you.