Figure 1: Just a Man Stuck in a Gear Passing Time (Attribution: Free for commercial use, No attribution required, via Pixabay)
Well. It’s been more than six months since I’ve put up a post on this blog. Let’s take a look at that, shall we?
First off, I want to apologize for breaking my self-imposed rule of not talking about myself on this blog. I want this blog to be about ideas that interest me. I don’t want it to be or become a platform for me to whine about how things aren’t working out the way I want in my life. My life is good; there’s always ways to improve but I have a good life with people who need me and care about me.
That being said, I think it is useful for me to explore how I am where I am with this blog right now. Also, it might be interesting to document how things progressed with my move to a self-hosting WordPress site, and then, after about a year, moving back to my old WordPress.com site and applying my domain name to it.
I’ve always had very lofty concept in mind as the central idea of this blog. As I said earlier, I want to have a place to write out my thoughts on topics in longer format. Everything these days is presented as a sound-bite or a tweet. It’s all very shallow and designed to engender outrage rather than any thought. That being said, finding time to sit down and write is hard. After I’m done with all the other things that need to be done (and done well…in the case of my children), I have no “brain power” to take an idea and pull it into a larger essay. In addition, I have an aging parent who now needs more of my attention and who lives 4 hours away by car. Thus, I’ve struggled to take any of my ideas and put them into words. It’s frustrating because I want to write here so badly but, when I find time to do it, I find myself staring at my laptop screen and not able to put any words down. I’m not sure what the solution is or how I get past this. I have limited mental resources that are needed elsewhere most of the time.
That all now being said, I was nudged a bit by @ColinTheMathmo after posting a brief message (whine) on Mastodon about renewing my domain name and realizing it’s been more than six months since my last post. I’m going to take their suggestion and try to talk a bit about the hows and whys of my migration from a self-hosted WordPress site back to my old site on wordpress.com.
I started this blog on WordPress.com years ago, back in early 2013. I posted on here on-and-off since then, with some significant periods of time when I just didn’t post anything. In 2018, in an attempt to revitalize my writing habits, I purchased my current domain name and moved over to a self-hosted WordPress site. This was initially a fun and geeky thing to do. What I didn’t realize was that maintaining the site un-hacked and virus-free was a lot of work. It ended up being another chore for me to do and it interfered with me writing. After a year of struggle and trying to work with the hosting company to fix innumerable hacking issues, I moved everything back to my original blog on WordPress.com and directed my domain name to that site instead. The official WordPress site makes things a lot easier to maintain and appears to be much more secure. The cost for a personal site that allows me redirect my domain name to it and removes all the ads is quite reasonable. It comes with 6 GB of disk space which is more than I think I’ll ever use.
The actual migration of my posts I made on my self-hosted site was relatively easy. Because I use Emacs and Org2Blog as my blogging framework (because I am an unapologetic nerd), I had local copies of all my posts including their associated pictures, as well as the date and time of each post. Once I had configured my connection to my old WordPress site on Org2Blog, I just re-uploaded my missing posts and they appeared on my old (new) blog site in the correct order and with the correct dates and times. Overall, I’ve been pretty happy with reverting to WordPress.com. I get all the overhead of hosting a blog as part of my reasonable fee from WordPress. In theory, all I need to worry about is writing.
Every experience is valuable if you learn something from it. I think I’ve learned a lot from my migration experience. I’ve certainly learned what I can manage from a website maintenance perspective. The struggle I still have is finding time and the mental resources to write. I love doing it but it falls in importance behind the needs of my family and being present with them. My children will get older and will need me less sooner than I expect. I have to cherish this time now but I will try to squeeze in a bit of writing too.