It’s official! My blog has moved house and is now self-hosted on my new website. Please update your bookmarks to www.dillonslattery.com – feeds should redirect automatically.
For those of you interested in gorey details, this is what has been going on back-end chez the naked translator this week:
1. New hosting package bought with Aplus.net, to go with my long-owned dillonslattery.com domain. I settled on this domain after much dithering and, as is often the way, came full circle to the decision: sarahdillon.com was the preferred option, but it’s taken and has been for some time (I know, I’ve been cyberstalking it for nigh-on 4 years now). A .co.uk is too region-specific for me personally, a .ie is outrageously expensive and only available to purchase for specific kinds of businesses registered in Ireland (i.e. not me). and a .com.au comes with hosting restrictions which turn me off… but I don’t want to have to change my email address, and I want consistency too, so why not stick with what I have?!
2. Installed wordpress.org onto my server. Sense of achievement. Found out afterwards that it came pre-installed with the hosting package.
3. Settled on a template that would allow me to have pages (for my website part) and posts (for my blog). Requirements: clean, widget-friendly, easy to read when filled with content.
4. Customised layout, added widgets, wrote a couple of pages for the website element.
5. Imported all posts and comments from www.dillonslattery.com with one easy, painless click. Changed a few settings and voilà, my blog was comfortably settled in its new home.
6. Tried to establish a redirect from each individual post on my old site to its corresponding post on my new site. Of course, Blogger (who host my free www.dillonslattery.com site) don’t want you to be able to do this, so it involves much cloak-and-dagger coding. This is difficult when you can’t do coding, full stop. The idea is not just to spare readers the dreaded http 404 error, but to preserve what is known in the business as my Google juice, i.e. all the Google goodness that my old site has built up over the past 2 – 3 years, which combines to push my site higher and higher up the list of Google search results. Two days of fiddling about with redirect codes, php files and MySQL tables and the idea of starting from scratch on the Google juice front didn’t seem so bad after all. So I set up a simple redirect and left it at that.
7. Deleted all posts at www.dillonslattery.com (to avoid duplicating content and therefore being sent to Google hell). Hovering over the big red delete button at first made me feel a ripple of fear, but this quickly turned to a sense of omnipotence at the thought of the destruction I was about to wreak, albeit within my own small domain. Of course, I’d already checked that my backup had worked.
8. Cleaned up. Requested old site be removed from Google indexing, submitted a Sitemap of new site. Changed feed at Feedburner and started a new listing at Technorati.
All that remains now is to make a couple of more design tweaks over the coming weeks as the site beds in, and to start the slow climb back up Google’s ranking system.
House warming party, anyone?