Moving, or Not?

There won’t be too many pictures in this blog post, mostly because it’s not my regular kind of post. Recently, I had been considering the possibility of moving my blog. As always, cost was the major concern. WordPress.com is free, until you need more space, or you want to add a feature that costs extra.

In my case, I needed more space, so I purchased another 10gigs for $20. The free WordPress.com site comes with 3gigs of space, and that did last me for a long time, especially since I was not posting larger files to my blog in the early days. Now I’m using a different, higher quality camera, and the file sizes are larger for each picture. This adds up fast and, before you know it, you are reaching your limits, and need to purchase more space.

Keep in mind that, when you do purchase extra space from WordPress.com, it is an annual price you are paying, not a one time price. So, every year I will have to renew that $20. fee and, when I need to buy the next level of space, which is 25gigs, costing $50., I will then be paying $70./year for my blog.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, because I feel that this is a great deal. WordPress.com does all the work of maintaining the site, and all I have to worry about is my own content, and how I arrange it. However, I did start to wonder if there was an even cheaper way to keep my blog online.

As I’m sure many people, who have WordPress.com sites, do, I started to look into moving to what is referred to as a ‘self-hosted’ site. At first glance this seemed to be a much cheaper way to keep my blog online. However, after doing a lot of research on this, I was, once again, reminded that there are no free rides in this insane society.

The web is filled with, what I will refer to as, hosting whores. People who put websites up that recommend this host, or that host, or the best host, etc. They will make a list of hosts, with the, so called, ‘best one’ at the top, and work their way down. Of course, every one of the hosting businesses they list has a link which will take you to that hosts website. These links are affiliate links, which means that, when you click on them to go to the hosting business site, the owner of the site which lists these hosts gets a kickback from the hosting company.

The problem with this is that all these websites that are deciding for you, which are the best hosting businesses, want you to click on one of their links, and they will say anything to make that happen. Sure, some of them will claim to be sincere, or not biased, but the human mind is a very cunning entity. In other words, your own mind can convince you to do something, and who you really are won’t even realize it. The bottom line is, don’t believe any of them.

I’ve been to a lot of websites now, that claimed to be rating the best hosting sites out there but, when you take a closer look at them, it becomes clear that the only reason they are presenting this information, is in the hopes that they can get some money out of you, in the form of affiliate earnings. The fact is, when it comes to money, you can’t trust anyone. You need to do your own research, and use your own, natural given, gut instincts to find what is best for you. This may not always save you, especially if you haven’t learned how to access these ‘instincts’ but, once you’ve stepped in shit, you tend to remember the smell, and the next time around you won’t be taken so easily.

When I first put my blog online, I did a lot of research before I chose WordPress.com. I’ve never had one bit of trouble in all the years I’ve been with them. My blog is always online and in perfect running condition. I knew that I would, eventually, have to pay for more space, so it was no big surprise. The one issue that many, if not most, people run into with WordPress.com is the fact that it’s not meant for making money online. They do now have some business plans, which they didn’t have when I first started, but those plans are quite a bit more expensive.

I said, right from the very start, that I was not going to use this blog for making money, so this one fact has convinced me that staying at WordPress.com, even though I will have to purchase extra space, is the most cost-efficient move for me right now. After looking at all the hosting plans available, it sickens me how they make them all seem so great up front, and then, after they have you in their clutches, you find out that there are other costs, or you find out that your website is down, more than it’s up, or you find out that maintaining your site is a real pain, or, or, or, etc.

I’m not even going to mention any of the hosting sites that I researched, because getting into that world of deception is not my thing. However, I would caution anyone who might be considering starting, or moving a blog/website, to do their homework. For a blog such as mine, that is mostly a hobby kind of thing but, in my case, is very important to me, WordPress.com is simply all I need. Even if I don’t pay the annual charges for my extra space, WordPress.com will not take down my blog. They won’t allow me to upload any more data, but they will leave the existing blog in place, and online.

Another way I’ve found to save money on WordPress.com is to use YouTube videos, instead of trying to upload your own videos. You need to buy the ability to upload your own videos, which costs an annual fee of $60. WordPress.com just treats the YouTube links as text, which there is no charge for, and the links for a YouTube video don’t take up any space either. The biggest space hogs on my blog are the pictures, but I do enjoy taking them, and posting them, so that’s not going to stop anytime soon.

I know that my son is thinking about starting a blog of his own, and this is partly for him. Start out with WordPress.com, you can learn a lot this way, and all the headaches are taken care of for you. Even so, putting a blog up does have some challenges, and a bit of a learning curve, but the major stuff is handled. This does mean that you won’t be able to make bigger changes, which could be done on a ‘self-hosted’ site, but I haven’t found a need for those kinds of things. I’m perfectly content to stay within the bounds of what I’m able to do on my blog, as it is. The truth is, the ability to make bigger changes also comes with the stress of making bigger mistakes.

Anyway, this has been my experience. Your experience may differ, and I’m fine with that. I always encourage those who have different views than my own to start their own blog, and post their own views on it.

Right now, the weather outside is mild, with a bit of rain. It looks like we have a major storm on the doorstep, with some snow, and colder temperatures with it. However, we probably won’t get a huge amount of snow, which seems to be a bit of a trend so far. When the snow started falling, in early November, it appeared that we were in for another stellar snowmobiling season, but that thought is now in doubt. With the up and down temperatures we’ve been having, the lake ice is also not as thick as it could be, and I haven’t seen all that many people willing to test its limits.

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When I get up in the morning, one of the first things I do is to take a peek out of the bedroom window, to see what it’s like out there. The other day, this black squirrel was sitting there waiting for me. I guess it is enjoying the milder temperatures too. I’m wondering if the bears are sleeping, or if they are up and down with the milder weather. Contrary to popular belief, black bears are not true hibernaters. They can, and do, come out of their winter sleep, when conditions allow.

So, that is the state of affairs up here, in Elliot Lake. Now that we are past the point of darkness, the hours of light will be getting longer with each passing day. That’s not to say that we will see more sunshine though. Just last week they were predicting four, or five, days of sunshine in a row. We got one and a half, and were lucky to get that much. I’ll be out and about whenever the conditions will allow, which is not right now. 😦

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Avril on December 25, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Merry Christmas and a Happy, Adventurous New Year Alan.

    Reply

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