I started my blog, Holliday’s Inner Workings, on WordPress.com last March (almost a year ago already!), mostly to improve my writing and communication skills. I had recently moved from my small town upstate to New York City for graduate school at Columbia University, so I figured my blog was a great way to keep friends and family updated with my life.
It took awhile to get into my groove, to find where my personal writing style fit in the blogosphere. Over the next few months, I found that I was getting the best response with my humorous posts about everyday experiences, reviews, or special events. And I was actually getting subscribers from across the WordPress community, not just those friends and family members.
I got engaged in August to my super WordPress-savvy boyfriend, so it was only natural that we should have an awesome wedding website. We obtained a domain and I started learning about the world of plug-ins and CSS. Where have these been all my (blogging) life? Our website was looking amazing (sorry, it’s now expired…just trust me when I say it was cool), and the fact that I was learning more about WordPress was fantastic.
This made me realize just how boring my personal blog was. Now that I knew how to actually do stuff and make things look the way I wanted, I felt constricted, and that was frustrating. Then, about 4 months ago, my desire to self-host my blog was made even greater when I went to WordCamp Raleigh in North Carolina. I actually wrote a whole blog post about my experience and thoughts, so go check that out at your leisure!
After returning from that trip, I decided I was going to take the plunge and self-host my blog. I chose my domain name easily, kept the title Holliday’s Inner Workings, and started going to town on my new website. I went to WooThemes to browse through their theme offerings. I wanted something that emphasized a blogging environment and could act as a good foundation for my desire to customize and make it look the way I want.
I ended up deciding on Peddlar because of its overall appearance and its ability to integrate certain features that I could use. Because this theme’s “usage is intended to be hugely diverse,” I figured I could focus it more on posts rather than e-commerce, photography, etc. And if, down the line, I wanted to integrate more of those aspects into my blog, Peddlar seemed to have the capacity to do so.
I imported the old posts from my WordPress blog and started playing around with CSS, learning how to change (pretty much) anything I wanted! I was able to make my homepage look the way I wanted. I could finally toy around with plug-ins as well; so far, I’ve stuck with what JetPack offers for statistics and sharing. It wasn’t always easy and a few things took me hours to figure out on my own, but it has been rewarding learning this through my own explorations, making mistakes and triumphs along the way.
When I decided my website was good enough to introduce to the world, I wrote a post about it, letting my subscribers, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers know that I had relocated. Since then, I’ve continued tweaking my website, have redirected my WordPress blog to my new domain, and am happy that I now have the freedom and know-how to customize and personalize it.