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In the last month, I’ve been working on updating my blog into a modern design. I also wanted to convert to my own domain name rather than have blogspot attached at the end. Before I looked at other options, I went to market.envato.com >> themeforest, and found a responsive theme compatible with blogger (see bizzarofiction.blogspot.com). There are quirks with it I assumed would be easily corrected; the first slider background will not update to the picture I inserted, it continues to be the default which came with the theme. Even after contacting support there’s been no resolution.
For my book selection I wanted a carousel, but found none at market.envato.com which were compatible with blogger (scroll down to the book section to see the carousel I was able get to work). This is when I decided to look into other options.
I asked friends and peers their thoughts, and the majority said to go to WordPress because of the ease and flexibility. Back to themeforest I went to find a theme similar to what I had with the blogger. After finding one, I went to wordpress.com, since I already had an account with them for posts on Flash Fiction competitions, I didn’t need to do much. But, this is where I got a little lost.
WordPress offers “Premium” services, and thinking this is what I needed I purchased it, along with my domain, bizzarofiction.org. I went into the control panel looking for the place to add the theme I’d just purchased at themeforest. Guess what, it is not an option. WordPress.com offers tons of generic themes of their own, but do not allow adding a theme of your own. I cancelled the Premium package, and received a refund.
Upon speaking to a friend who had recommended WordPress, I discovered she hadn’t mentioned she uses a webhost and not WordPress.com. Sometimes I think, if I roll my eyes any harder they will stick looking at the inside of my skull for the rest of my life. Oh well, what can I do? Not her fault I didn’t ask all the right questions. I easily found an inexpensive webhost on WordPress.org (bluehost.com) for $35 a year, which I believe is the basic package. They installed WordPress at no charge into my directory, a very nice thing.
Then the next plight of this somewhat tech-savvy author rears its head; I can’t access my WordPress control panel. I discover since I had registered my domain on WordPress.com, I cannot move it to Blue Host for 60 days (government intervention of some sort, I still don’t understand the reason behind this rule). Ultimately, this was an easy fix, I just had to go into the control panel at WordPress.com to point the nameserver to bluehost.com.
Bizzarofiction.org has been active for a week, and aside from a few hiccups along the way, I have to say everything was easy to do. I was able to import all my past blog posts from blogger into my site with a widget, so nothing was lost. There’s even a widget to automatically feed into Triberr. I cannot say that it is without flaws; I’ve discovered people running Firefox on Windows 7 with a stringent Firewall program only see a white screen with the theme I’ve chosen, but no other browsers are affected.
Take a look around, and let me know what you think.