I did something that I am not proud of this weekend, and I didn’t even need to recall teenage memories. It all started when I tried to see if my website showed up in Google search results. It didn’t, and I spent time on Saturday researching search engine optimization (SEO) tips. As I was doing this, I realized that the blog theme I’m using is not SEO friendly. Further, I learned that my current wordpress.com website does not support plugins, which could improve SEO. However, there was a solution for this, migrating to wordpress.org. The alternative is a self-hosted option and has many more benefits such as free plugins, complete ownership of content, etc.
I added other SEO elements to my current blog and exported all my content to the new wordpress.org page. The tutorials on their website are clear, and I could easily follow the instructions. WordPress.org has SEO-friendly themes that are highly customizable and performance efficient. I spent four hours on the new website content wondering why I was not aware that there were two different WordPress versions. When I finally completed my work, I sat back and admired my work. Now, only one step remained, and I would have a beautiful website that would show up in search engine results.
I set my wordpress.com blog to private, canceled my payment for the domain, and I was all set to run my wordpress.org website—or so I thought. I logged into wordpress.org and typed ‘winnzwordz.com’ in the ‘site URL.’ I tried to preview my new website, but it had disappeared. In one second, all my hard work vanished into thin air. To make things worse, I could no longer log in to wordpress.org. I panicked, but it was of no use because my old blog was downgraded, and my new website was gone.
Despite the situation, I started laughing when I realized the foolish mistake I had made. Even though I owned my domain winnzwordz.com, I should have transferred it from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. I researched for another two hours to at least login to my new website. After a risky attempt to edit my website’s root files, I was finally able to get into wordpress.org again, but my work was lost forever.
I felt better when I saw numerous posts online where people had made the same mistake and had to take the same steps as me to resolve it. I repaid for my old blog and set it back to normal. I shudder to think of what would have happened if I had deleted this version before getting wordpress.org up and running.
I tried to transfer my domain to my new host, but there is a rule that a new hostname cannot be migrated for sixty days. If I had known that earlier, I wouldn’t have spent the entire day on this. Besides, when I learned WordPress would have moved my website from .com to .org for free, you could have imagined my frustration. Why does WordPress think it’s a great idea to have two options to build websites, and why do they not mention it upfront so that people are aware?
Hence, at the end of Saturday night, I was back to square one but armed with the knowledge of creating any self-hosted website for next time. Also, now I know exactly what not to do. What a wacky weekend.