Now With 100% More Dot Com

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Welcome to upperfortstewart.com the new home of Upper Fort Stewart! I’ve gone off the deep end, not only getting my own domain but switching to WordPress too. I hope you like it – I do.

Ah, Blogger, I Hardly Knew You

I’ve wanted to get my own domain since I started blogging oh, so long ago. Okay, it was three months ago but when you’re trying to tell someone you have a blog and you have a ridiculously long name like something dot something dot com it can be really annoying. Hopefully, when I tell people now that they can check out my blog at upperfortstewart.com I’ll be met with, “What dot com?” instead of “What dot What dot com?”

WordPress Rocks

There are more advantages than just the name, namely WordPress. Knowing I’m a graphic artist you might think the abundance of themes and ease of customization is the main draw for me with a WordPress blog. It’s not, it’s the comments. I couldn’t take Blogger commenting. There’s too many steps involved. WordPress is super simple. Enter your name and email address, type your comment, click publish and you’re done. No worries about identities or secret messages (that I’ve had to sometimes type twice, followed by alarming red error text) just quick fast communication.

Finding a Hosting Provider

Using WordPress means you need a host. Luckily, I found a decent one recommended by WordPress themselves, Dreamhost. You can get 500GB of disk storage and 5TB of bandwidth—for only $5.95 a month. That’s pretty decent. And because I use Dreamhost for my hosting I can pass some extra savings on to you. If you use the promo code UPPERFORTSTEWART when you sign up you can get a free domain name registration. Plus, they do one-click installs of WordPress. Now there’s nothing stopping you, you can make the switch too.

Designing my Blog

Now, of course, I am a graphic artist. Unfortunately, I’ve never had any training in web design and zero professional experience with it. Part of the draw of this whole blogging project is the remedy it will provide for that. That said, I couldn’t pass up the chance to play with Sandbox.

Sandbox is the WordPress theme that’s not a theme. It has precious little styling except for a choice of positioning and number of columns. Otherwise, it looks like a web page from 1995: Bright blue underlined links, Times New Roman, and unsubtle headings. This is intentional. What it does have is pristine coding and a particular class, or identifier, for every single element on the page in every possible context. What does this mean? Essentially, whatever I want to do with my page, I can. A good platform for learning with and a good platform for building up on. Plus, it’s on track to being included in the standard WordPress installation. How’s that for a recommendation? If you’re interested in learning more about Sandbox you might start where I did, alistercameron.com.

A Favour To Ask

I’m wiped out from getting this blog ready for the world so posting will be slight for the next little bit. I still have more work to do even! Luckily, I’ve had some help. Check out When To Switch To Your New Domain at pandasmic.com if you’re on Blogger and are looking for information on making the switch. It’s the best resource I’ve found (Thanks, Nathan).

Now, the favour. If you’re a blogger and are currently linking to me, either on your blogroll or on an individual post, could you edit your links so they point back to the right spot here? Please? Adding 301 redirects to my ht.access file constitutes the bulk of my remaining work. That sounds frightening doesn’t it? Won’t you help me out?

If you’d like to add my blog to your Technorati favorites, join my MyBlogLog community, or bookmark this page on del.icio.us, that wouldn’t hurt either. If you do any of those things please let me know and I’ll send you back a gushing thank you email.

Well, I hope you like the new place. Let me know what you think. And if there’s anything broken or weird looking, besides the upside down castle, I’d appreciate the feedback. Thanks!

13 thoughts on “Now With 100% More Dot Com

  1. I don’t know how I feel about updating a link to a blog that looks so much better than mine.

    (But it is still Easter Monday, so I did it.)

  2. Nice work switching.

    I’ve added you to my Technorati favs, and I’m already a member of your MyBlogLog community.

    You’re right, the commenting is sooo much easier. It’s a big plus for WP.

    I’m going to look into creating my own theme so thanks for mentioning Sandbox. I’ll check it out.

  3. So I’ve come out from under my rock and read this post. The site looks tremendous. I’ve just tagged you and changed your URL in my blogroll.

    Keep it up!

  4. Glad to see you’re back, Ted. I noticed you were del.icio.us-ing again this morning.

    Thanks for the compliments and links. I’ll send you off a thank you email today or tomorrow morning.

  5. hi Ian.. so nice of you to stop and tell me about your move to wordpress! exactly what i needed and have been thinking about! in a matter of just 5 weeks my technorati authority got up to 81 and I am afraid to lose that so much .. almost makes me sad ;( im breathing blogging now lol

    did you lose authority on technorati? did you gain it back? I only see a few comments here saying they have updated the links! Im interested in finding that out.. other than that, I just need a good chunk of time to understand the whole process ..

    what host do you have?

    im also going to add everyone in my blogroll to be be able to link them on my new blog 🙂

    pearl

  6. Hi Pearl, welcome to Upper Fort Stewart and thanks for commenting.

    Technorati actually ignored my blog when it was hosted by blogger. The only thing I really lost was Google pagerank. I’m kind of indifferent to it, though. I mean I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking things but really you’re at the mercy of search engines unless you’re aggressively targeting keywords (I’m not). If it goes up, great. If not, oh well.

    And, yeah only a few people updated their links. Again, not a big deal. I could have tried contacting the others but following Nathan’s advice in the post should fix everything. Now, if only I followed his advice. I’ve got to take that off my to-do list!

    One thing I did do though was thank everyone who re-linked to my new domain by social bookmarking their blog like a madman – finding some of their best posts and stumbling them or reddit-ing them, that sort of thing. It’s always nice to give a little something back when you can.

    I use dreamhost. Check the post for a Promo Code. Some downtime, sure (I think an hour in total over two months) but they have excellent support. Great for bloggers. When you get really big you can move up to a more expensive dedicated host. 😉

    Good luck switching!

  7. I think I am going to try and stay as light hearted as possible with blogging and rankings 🙂 its easy to get bogged down by every little detail though!! I love your funny and fresh entries and have subscribed!! thanks for the pointers too in returning favors!

    believe me I would definitely return favors if people changed their links to my new domain 😉

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