I’ve always been a bit of a risk taker in some ways. [See My Travel Journal: “From Paris to Russia and Back in 1968“]. Different cultures and new landscapes, tasting foreign foods, learning about faraway countries and their languages, have always attracted me. In 1970, on the way back to Australia, I rode on a bicycle in a twenty kilometre radius around the ruins of the Cambodian temples, notably the beautiful Angkor Watt. This was not long before the Communist takeover, and remains in my memory as one of the high points of my life. A French archeologist accompanied me back to the Angkor Watt at dusk on his motorcycle, to take photos and to purchase a temple rubbing from the monks there.
On the other hand, I have always had a strong self-preservative instinct, and I’ve been incredibly stable and lucky during long periods of my life. We’re all made up of contradictions, I guess. Anyway, recently, I made the decision to change over to a self-hosted website on WordPress. I can tell you, it’s not for the faint-hearted! The first step was to migrate the site from WordPress.com across to WordPress.org, and to open an account with a web host (BlueHost in my case).
After that, the real troubles began. I’ve spent many minutes, hours, days, weeks, struggling to learn all the jargon associated with troubleshooting, changing things, chatting with online helpers bearing funny names, like Rajneeshi devotees, and it’s not over yet. On the bright side, I’m pleased with the look of the site. On the other hand, I hadn’t been able to figure out, or “configure”, comments from followers, which my friends had complained about. You see, I had to spend time re-organising my categories and my menu, too.
You might well ask why did you do it? I had an attractive free blog already on WordPress, so why go to all the trouble — paying a host provider, and learning the new rules? I think it was, partly, that I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, and because I wanted to become the owner of a professional-looking blog with a blogging tool built into it. Perhaps I was wrong…
When I looked at the main advantages of “.org” over “.com”, it wasn’t about cost, because I was already paying about the same fee annually, for premium upgrades—only about $100—as I will be now for the host. The main advantage is the plugins: there are hundreds to choose from with the hosted site, and you can learn to use them to advantage. But again, it was a sharp learning curve for me.
So I had to ask my friends and followers to please bear with me, while I muddled around a bit more, trying to put the finishing touches to my “website”, like a painter or artist, who hasn’t quite mastered a certain technique yet.
And then, after all that, I discovered that I could retain the .com site and benefit from the WordPress community there, if I so chose.
More recently, however, I have decided to employ a digital expert here in Australia to assist me in improving my site. This has been the best move yet!