Why Self-Hosting a Blog Became Important to Me

Welcome to my new blogging home! I kept everything I could about the old blog, including my 7 years of posts and my theme, and migrated it over to my website.

I’m sure lots of you are wondering why after 7 years with WordPress.com, I decided to self-host my blog on my own website.

It wasn’t a decision I undertook lightly because it was costly and time consuming.

I’d thought about it in the past as a way to increase traffic to my own website, but the cost had dissuaded me. Besides, everything was going great with WordPress.com. I didn’t have a need to switch.

But in November 2016 during the tail end of my blog tour for Highway Thirteen to Manhattan something awful happened: my blog was suspended by WordPress.com for violating the terms of service.

There was no warning. I just typed in the URL and got a this site is suspended for violating the terms of service page.

I emailed WordPress and they told me someone had notified them that my blog was spam andย  therefore in violation of the terms of service because I was doing book promotion on my personal blog that they hosted.

Now, mind you, my blog is about MY AUTHOR JOURNEY. And I absolutely was posting about my book tour. But only about my book tour. I emailed with WordPress explaining this and they quickly reinstated my blog a few days later and apologized for the mistake.

This experience, however, shocked me. That my blog platform could be taken down so quickly without any notice during a blog tour told me that I could no longer remain with WordPress.com as my blog host. It was simply too risky.

I immediately contacted my amazing web designer and she began the steps to build my blog into my own website so that I could self-host it.

We began the process in December. It’s been months of migrating and checking and testing. I’m hopeful things will transition smoothly, but I’m sure there will be hiccups.

We were able to migrate all my blog subscribers, so you should still get updates about postings in your inbox. If anyone isn’t receiving them, please let me know and we will look into it.

Have any of my blog friends made the switch to self-hosting? How has your experience been?

 

 

 

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30 Responses to Why Self-Hosting a Blog Became Important to Me

  1. It’s amazing how company’s can just flip the switch like that, isn’t it. Glad you got it all worked out!

    • Kourtney says:

      It really is. I feel like they should have to review the blog and verify it is violating the terms of service before they suspend it. Especially in this day and age of trolls. Anyone can claim anything online–it doesn’t make it true.

  2. Lori says:

    I can completely understand why you did this after that bad experience. It seems things have transitioned pretty well, because I received the notification in my email box for this post. I haven’t switched to my own hosted page for two reasons. 1) I know how hard it is to do and I’m not ready for that mess. 2) The expense. I think that if I had something happen to me like what happened to you, though, it would push me into it. Looks great. Whoever you have working on it did a wonderful job.

    • Kourtney says:

      Thanks. Oh good! I totally understand. It was a few hundred dollars, but I had such peace of mind relying on my web designer to navigate all the bumps and hurdles. She’s awesome. I considered the migration 3 years ago and just decided it was too much work and money. I didn’t have a compelling reason to undertake the work. But having my blog disappear for a few days sure motivated me–sorta like hot coals under my feet. ๐Ÿ˜‰ She’s great and thorough. I found her through upwork.com. Fantastic site to find freelancers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. That must have been a scary moment, when you realised what had happened. But it’s obviously been a very smooth transition, the site looks great and I got my notification no problem.

    • Kourtney says:

      I forgot to mention it was all over Thanksgiving during my vertigo. So really bad timing. We worked hard to test the site too. I double posted for a month to both sites to make sure it worked okay. We had a few kinks there, but smoothed them out. ๐Ÿ™‚ Awesome–thanks for letting me know!

  4. So glad you got is sorted out Kourtney and I know of a friend who had Google account taken down with no contact too.. They after several exchanges got it re instated.. People can be vindictive and they too had been wrongly reported..
    Which begs the question, do these administrators every LOOK at the blogs they are taking down, and judge for themselves..
    A worry indeed..
    <3 love and Hugs and well wishes with your new domain.. <3

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    Good for you for taking the leap. I need to do this too. Just too daunted by the thought of the switchover. Maybe I’ll have to email you for your web designer’s name if she’s taking new clients. Good luck with it!

    • Kourtney says:

      Thanks. I would recommend it after my experience. It’s overwhelming. But the cool thing is you can have a wordpress.org based website that is much easier to update yourself. You need someone to do coding and set it up, but there’s stuff you can do yourself. I couldn’t do this without my web designer. I’ll ask her and email you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs.

  6. Mayumi-H says:

    Good to see your new blog, Kourtney! Everything is working as it used to at the old @wordpress.com site, at least on the end of this subscriber. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m actually grateful that WP offers that easy export option. I had to migrate one of my WP sites, too, and it was a very nice feature to keep all of the comments and stuff from the old one. Hopefully, all continues to work well on the back-end.

    It stinks that the reason you had to switch was due to some jealous jerk, but it should feel good to have everything totally under your control. Looking forward to future updates here at KourtneyHeintz.com!

    • Kourtney says:

      Awesome! Thanks for letting me know. It was a great option. Unfortunately for me, I had seven years of posts, so my poor web designer had to divvy it up into smaller parcels of exports that we could upload to my site. We had a few missing posts and I had to manually compare blogs to find what days we were missing. Still the export feature is really helpful, but nothing went as smoothly as WordPress made it sound. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      It was a tough situation. I had no idea if this was a one time thing or something that might continue to happen. The only thing I could do was move the blog somewhere safe. Aw thank you!

  7. carlamcgill says:

    Golly gee, book promotion is something I see on numerous sites. Congratulations on your decision and implementing it already with the new site. Looks fabulous!

    • Kourtney says:

      Me too. The rule applies when a site is hosted on WordPress and of course you’d have to be promoting lots of author books and someone has to report you for doing it. But I am happy in my new home so it all worked out. Thanks!

      • carlamcgill says:

        I’m surprised to find out about this aspect of WordPress, especially since authors rely on their reading audience to pass the word along when they have publications!

        • Kourtney says:

          I don’t really understand the logic of it. If someone subscribe to a book blogger site, that person wants to hear about lots of books. Is that spamming someone? How? And anyone can unsubscribe from a blog and avoid it if they feel it’s too much info. Sigh. Very weird application of the spam concept imho.

          • carlamcgill says:

            Yes indeed. I’m glad things turned out well for you and wish you well with the new site!

          • Kourtney says:

            Thanks. I’m loving it over here on my own site. I hesitated because I feared losing so much functionality but 90% of it is similar. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Totally shocked. Can’t believe someone decided you were spam and WP believed it. There are so many authors talking about books
    Sounds like there’s a trouble maker in the blog neighborhood – rude.
    Anyway, glad you are up and running – I’ve been wondering how you were doing (I’ve not been around much as it has been really nice weather – not hot and no mosquitoes – so it’s crunch time until summer really heats up)
    I’m sure having this all done relieves a bit of stress (I’ll check email to see if I got notices)
    Take care!

    • Kourtney says:

      I think WP default is to suspend and ask questions later. Yeah, it’s weird that my little known blog would get reported. Me too. I’ve been reading and trying to get better and knocking out the daily tasks. Oh you have to seize those days and be offline. I’m just starting to catch up on reading blogs again. I’m still behind but I can do it one a week now, so I’ll be caught up this month.

      It’s a huge weight off. The transition is stressful. Testing it helped to work out some kinks ahead of time, but the follower migration was a nail biter. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hugs!

  9. I don’t understand what WP thought you did/were doing wrong? It’s all rather incomprehensible to me. You new site here is lovely.

    • Kourtney says:

      It’s very confusing. I used to write policies and procedures for a living and frankly their use of the term spam is nebulous. But at least they reviewed things and reversed their decision in my case. Of course, the harm was done by taking my blog down for 3 days, but at least I had time to migrate everything properly.

What do you think?