Switching Back to WordPress.com

After self-hosting for 2 months or so I decided to go back to the comfort and ease of WordPress.com. I know, I know, you’re asking out loud:

“WHAT?! You didn’t even give self-hosting a real shot!”

You may be right, but I’m very fickle, mercurial, whimsical and a bunch load of other adjectives that’s just a fancy way of saying I’m never satisfied. As I am not like most people, I think for my own temperament, I feel I gave it just the right amount of time. Let me explain.

Self-hosting wasn’t completely frustrating for me. In fact I did enjoy the aspect of having complete control of my site (mostly anyway). The problem with having complete control is that it’s a double-edge sword. You get all the credit as well as all the blame if anything goes wrong with your site. You also have to devote more time to other things besides the content portion of your site. I’m more of a content producer than an admin and the constant tweaking aspect wasn’t as much fun, once the excitement of learning new tricks and code started to die down.

“But what about Squarespace? You don’t need to know any code with them. They do all the dirty work so you can focus on blogging,  podcasting or whatever”

Yes, Squarespace is an option; however, it costs a lot more than what I was paying at hostgator and unlike my previous hosting provider, Squarespace doesn’t support media files. Which means I would have to find another hosting option like Libsyn which would cost more money, or a free one like the Internet Archive. And if I’m going to use the free hosting option anyway I might as well go the whole shebang and use WordPress.com, like I am now using.

Also, I’m sure I mentioned, more than one time, my unemployment status and I have to be tighter on my budget expenses. I was hoping the ads around the website would garner enough to cover the costs of maintenance. I wasn’t expecting to finance my life with my blogging and podcasting attempts (I know that isn’t realistic). So with the ads garnering $0.00 I decided it was best to cut my losses now and just go back to blogging and podcasting for the fun of it, instead of thinking of it as a side-business.

The fact of the matter is, I recently, finally, started working. The crazy schedule that this recent temp job gave me, left little time to do any blogging or any other creative or recreational pursuits of any kind. This of course leads to the buildup of mental nagging inside my head, which only leads to perpetual frustration because of my inability to produce any output at that moment (this state of mind was discussed a bit in a recent blog post and at more length in my podcast).

As you can already tell, I put more than enough pressure on myself to accomplish things. I don’t need the added pressure that self-hosting, or an entrepreneurial business-model, would put on my already expended shoulders. I have a lot of silly notions (I’ll admittedly say that I’m weirder than most). One of them is that I don’t like to mix my hobbies or interests with business because it’ll just rob the fun out of them. It is one of the reasons why I didn’t pursue a career in illustration or writing (that and my lack of faith that my skills would warrant a decent living, but that’s for another post for another time).

By re-labelling my sites to amateur status (in my mind anyway), I take away some of the added pressure of time that a professional site would warrant. For instance, if my weekly podcast were to become more semi-weekly because of obstacles beyond my control, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It’s for fun after all, right? I also alleviate the silly compulsion to use 300 or so stat engines and try to make sense out of all the numbers (yeah this is an exaggeration but that is how it felt to me. Stats can be overwhelming sometimes).

So to sum up, I no longer have to worry about uploading the latest WordPress software, make sure that all the plug-ins are up to date and compatible, constantly tweak up my site index (whatever that means), continue to police Spam, backup my site in case it gets corrupted and I need to restore it, watch to see when and if my site goes down, figure out why my RSS feed and Feedburner is on the fritz, spend time and effort on SEO and SMO methods, wonder why some browsers are having compatibility problems and a volley of other issues I’m sure I forgot to mention.

Instead, for my annual $12.oo fee, I re-map my domain name to wordpress.com, and just worry about what to write on my blog or record for my podcast. All those other issues will be WordPress’s headaches. Which is great because I have at least 7 other blogging ideas bouncing around my head that are demanding to be spilled into the blogging ether. Another plus to switching back is that I now have all the sites that I deal with under the same global Dashboard (NoF ezine turned blog, the podcast and this blog), which saves me even more time and hassle. One login and Global Dashboard to rule them all (yeah that was my lame attempt at using a Lord of the Rings reference LOL).

“Does this mean that we have to resubscribe? What about all our comments that  we’ve written on your site thus far?!”

The beauty of domain names and Feedburner is that no matter how many times I dabble with other hosting methods, the subscribers, readers and the like need not suffer for my tomfoolery. Just keep doing what you’re doing and you’ll still get all my blog posts and podcast episodes. Frankly, I’m surprised you’re still here indulging my quirks and eccentricities.

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13 thoughts on “Switching Back to WordPress.com

  1. I can’t say I didn’t see this coming but WOW… LOL! How could you expect to get any ad revenues when you say that SEO is useless to you? People can’t find your site if you don’t market it.. That’s sort of how it works. I’d be shocked (and offended) if you even made fifty cents from your blogs. Just saying.

    Now, you know I’m just busting your chops.. I did offer to help and I know you can’t afford my services. It didn’t seem you were very serious about it to boot so it’s good to have you back on WordPress.com and get rid of some of those nagging feelings.

    I definitely hear you on corrupting your art and passions for the sake of making a living. I’ve actually found a happy medium to transition myself into what I love most full-time so I can’t complain. I used to feel the same way you do but I’ve switched my perspective: if I can carve out the time to do the things I love most, why not?

    BTW, as much of a WordPress fanatic I am, I’ve launched some sites using Blogspot and WOW do they make it much easier and cost-effective. You get the ease-of-use of WordPress with the flexibility of being able to hack the code any way you want. Full Javascript, widget, and ad revenue support.

    Still, WordPress is more widely-supporter and you get tighter control over design elements. It’s just hard to argue against Blogger when Google clearly favors their publishing platform on search engines. Needless to say, I’m using that side of the blogosphere to do pan for gold. ;o)

    Back to your frustrations, I understand, I really do. Yes, you are nearly impossible to please and you’re a bit of a control freak, but your concerns here do make sense. Maybe one day, when I get my training curriculum more formalized, I can show you that having fun and doing work don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, I have turned down projects that were total snorefests so I can speak from personal experiences here.

    I’m just saying: maybe you owe yourself more than just sticking to the mundane. Of course, having a traditional job will ease the pressure off but then there’s the matter of spare time…

    Eh, just trying to help you out. I feel like you sell yourself short sometimes and create your own frustrations. I say this because many of the clients I coach go through the very same steps of over-analyzing and rationalizing everything. I call it “analysis paralysis”. I’m not generalizing, but I do worry about you sometimes cause I care.. As a friend or buddy or person-in-your-life. ;o)

  2. How could you expect to get any ad revenues when you say that SEO is useless to you?

    I never said that SEO was useless, just that I didn’t know how to do it and I didn’t have the time to learn about it.

    Now, you know I’m just busting your chops.. I did offer to help and I know you can’t afford my services. It didn’t seem you were very serious about it to boot so it’s good to have you back on WordPress.com and get rid of some of those nagging feelings.

    Not sure where these hurt feelings are coming from. We never discussed you offering me business services. Just about doing the podcast together. In fact, all we ever talk about was what we’re going to do on the show. I’m very serious about doing my podcast. Always have been. Podcasting is a passion I have.

    The only thing in regards to SEO that I remember us discussing is that you said you would take up that responsibility if anything using Squidoo and studying up on Google Analytics. I’m sorry if I offended you somewhere down the line. But there seems to have been some misunderstanding going on in between our chats, correspondence and SMS.

    I definitely hear you on corrupting your art and passions for the sake of making a living.

    I wasn’t even saying that. I just can’t wrap my head around doing what you love for money. It’s just a personal issue that I have.

    ..you’re a bit of a control freak…

    Don’t know why this needs to be brought up. I never bring up that you’re also a control freak in everything you do and what you’re saying is akin to, “the pot calling the kettle black”. Not hurt by this comment at all, just pointing out it’s irrelevance to this post.

    I’ve launched some sites using Blogspot and WOW do they make it much easier and cost-effective. You get the ease-of-use of WordPress with the flexibility of being able to hack the code any way you want. Full Javascript, widget, and ad revenue support.

    Glad you found a new weapon in your arsenal. Hacking code is definitely something you have a thing for. I have a bit of a short-attention span for that level of detail when it comes to designing a site. I did learn a few html tricks while I was self-hosting but I rather focus on my creative energies. Still if you can make a Blogger site look as aesthetically pleasing as a WordPress one then more power to you 🙂

  3. Haha.. You did the ‘ol troll-style “dissect your post and rebuttal” approach – well-played, old chap! ;o)

    In all seriousness, I did offer you SEO help but you basically said it wasn’t a priority for you. I don’t know if you were focused on something else but I did this a few times and then I figured that you wanted your blog to be another labor of love and nothing more. Your attitude towards it basically said it was useless to you. Even your recent comments would indicate you don’t see the value because you just want to get your stuff out there, regardless of whom sees it. I guess there was a disconnect somewhere!

    With regards to making money from what you love, it’s a concept many have trouble wrapping their heads around. I have to reprogram some of my clients because they’re stuck on doing what “they say”. It’s tough.. We’re conditioned to be proverbial slaves and not think for ourselves all our lives, then you go out on your own and it’s a HUGE culture shock, to say the least…

    Yes, I am a control freak. I admit it. I sometimes over-plan things.. But I’ve also been able to get to the point in which I realize perfection is not necessary to execute something successfully, professionally, or seriously.

    Blogger is not as pretty or flexible as WordPress but it’s still clean, usable, and portable. My focus with blogging is more about getting messages out there. The creative stuff is important too, but I have other outlets on that end. I’m not say aesthetic value does not count, but it’s more of a requirement if you’re more along the lines of artsy-fartsy.

    If I ever get back into cartooning, I will definitely make a seksy-looking comic-style site. Presentation should match the subject matter, but that’s me being a utilitarian (and sometimes bohemian) web designer.

    Anywho, like I said, no hurt feelings here. I was busting your chops since I haven’t chatted with you much since we’ve both been caught up with work and haven’t had a chance to podcast together. Let’s not go tit-for-tat here. It’s hardly appropriate for a comment area! *poke*

    Again, that’s me joking with you.. No need to retort and go point-by-point as if this is some sort of court room drama. ;o)

    I heart you. Let’s podcast soon. =o]

    • Yeah definitely. Though scheduling will probably be more of an issue now. I’ll most likely be working weekdays soon, which would leave only weekends for recording. I guess we’ll play it by ear as my status keeps changing and you have you’re own plates to keep spinning. Do let me know about your own podcast venture some more when you get a chance. I have no problem plugging your stuff once I have the info to do it justice 🙂

  4. Indeed.

    Well, I’m flexible.. That one day was just too much for me. I can only shuffle around my schedule so much when I have clients waiting for me. Three or more hours of being on stand-by made me feel like I was waiting for the cable guy to fix my Internet. You know how they roll…

    “We’ll be there sometime between 8:00am and 5:00pm, more or less.”

    That’s a wide window! LOL.. That always irked me about the cable companies.. Meh.

    Anywho, the best way to do it is like we did before: text each other and see what’s going on. Distractions and diversions are bound to happen.. That’s life and the podcast is not a money-maker for either of us so it’ll get in where it fits in. I’m good so long as you let me know, “Hey, I am waiting on X, Y, and Z.. It may be a while.”

    As for the other podcast (and vlogging) stuff, I’m getting everything set up slowly but surely. Got to play with a few software solutions and stuff. Even have a slew of guests lined up but they’re just as busy and frantic as me. I may just do 20-minute segments and stitch them all together. LOL

    I’m still playing around with the theme of it, though it’ll likely be as random as MCP! I’ve grown fond of Kitchen Table Talks but that’s obviously a higher-quality production. It’s neat how they involve the community during their live shows, though… 8)

    BTW, congrats on the new job! I know how rough it can be when you’re in between jobs or projects. It’s crazy out there!

  5. Thank you for this post. I was trying figuring out if I should switch back to WordPress.com or not because I really just don’t like WordPress.org. So your words helped me make my decision!

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