I did it. I took the plunge and bought a domain name. I decided to use iPage to host my domain and used WordPress for my template.
I had a blog on WordPress for a year before I decided to get my own domain name. I made the switch so that I had more choices such as some great plugins and the ability to advertise or sell products and services on my site.
The process has been thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I decided to do the work myself and without a tremendous amount of knowledge, I have had plenty of ups and downs. If you are thinking of switching over to a dot-com, I have listed below a few things that you might want to consider before making the leap.
1. Decide if you will be putting your website together or if you will be hiring someone. The more things you want your website to do, the more technical it can get. The best thing you can do is write out your plan for the new site and then decide if you feel confident in attempting the switch yourself.
2. Realize that there will be glitches. Whatever you do, save all of your material on your old site before trying to transfer anything. If you lose all of that work, it could be pretty devastating.
3. Be aware that you can get your site set up so that if people go to the old address, they can be redirected to the new one. You will be able to save all of your hard work building up your ranking if you do this. Unfortunately for me, I am still struggling to figure out how to do this.
4. Another glitch I have hit is that although my posts and comments transferred over, my followers did not. I have 1,147 followers on my old site. Currently I have 23 followers on the new site. It’s a pretty painful thing to see. There is supposedly a way that WordPress can do the transfer, I’m not positive of this and it’s something I am still looking into.
5. All of the sites that have my old address have to be adjusted to reflect my new address.
6. Surprisingly in the small amount of time I have had the new site up, it has seen twice as many views as the old site. I have heard that a dot-com gets a better ranking in searches and many people feel more confident viewing a dot-com site instead of a WordPress dot-com site.
7. Because I am ranking so low again, getting advertisers to sign on is rough. My old site had a good amount of traffic and a decent Alexa rating. The new site has a while to go before my ranking moves up to a decent spot.
8. The amount of plugins available is the best part of having a dot-com site. I feel like a kid in a candy store. There are endless possibilities and the choices are a lot of fun.
9. In the long run, switching over is definitely a worthwhile venture. In the short-term, there are some definite growing pains that just naturally come with the territory.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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