31 Comments

  1. Fran

    I am going to respond by saying that the outline you note in your last paragraph is what I use. I am in the process of renovating my kitchen. We, my husband and I, did the deconstruction to save some money. However, since I wanted a kitchen that was a place where I could really feel comfortable in, we hired professionals. However, we have been there for the journey as they worked. We watched them install every step of the way. We were there for discussions and decision making so we know how the kitchen is put together. What we do not have is the skill set to do the details that set the kitchen off. These people have done hundreds of kitchens. They know what they are doing. I suspect that is true of every renovation including blogs. Looking forward to seeing the renovated blog!

    • I think what you describe really is the best way. Sometimes in the past, I’ve tried to turn things over entirely to the pro, and it usually doesn’t work out the way I wanted it to. It’s best to stay involved–for the learning factor and to ensure the job is done the way you anticipated. Thanks for your input. Have a wonderful day!

  2. I prefer professionals for most things outside my comfort zone – for almost everything. (I’m with WordPress as my blog host – they pretty much do it all in the background.)

    That said, hubby and I did decide to put in our own patio pavers last fall. Being retired, we had the time. It was a completely flat space. Hubby is actually very handy (he does all of the home repair stuff that I don’t call in professionals for). So we went for it. And it turned out pretty good and I got a true sense of accomplishment. Makes me wonder what else I can tackle… like more about my blog support. Hmmm.

    • I think I’ve relied too much on the pros in the past, at least in terms of not paying attention. I still want the pros to do the work, but I need to be more aware of what that work involves. I’m impressed that you put in your own patio pavers. Impressive!

  3. I think it’s smart to hire a professional when the expertise required is way outside our comfort zone. On the other hand, I have muddled my way through a problem (often a problem I’m having with technology) and have felt quite pleased with myself when I successfully figure things out. And you are so right about remaining in the dark if you blindly rely on someone else to fix things… it’s always good to understand at least a little bit about a subject.

    I created my blog on my own using the very easy WordPress system. When I decided to change themes some very generous fellow bloggers helped me with a few sticky points by holding my hand. I have never had the desire to switch to https and am curious as to why you wanted too. I’ve heard enough stories about the downsides and not enough about the upsides (for those of us who don’t want to monetize our blogs) to make it attractive.

    • Thanks for weighing in on DIY vs. pro, Janis. Primarily, I decided to make the switch to https because I was afraid of scaring off new readers with the red “Not secure” warning I started to see in the browser bar. And even though all I collect is names and email addresses, I want to make sure those are secure. I’d hate to be the reason someone got hacked. After hearing about other bloggers’ challenges making the transition, I knew it was not a project that I would take on myself. Have you heard of downsides to https besides difficulty of the actual transition itself?

    • HI, Janis – WordPress.com (free site) users automatically had ‘https’ long before self-hosted (paid users had it)….and we had to pay extra for it. That’s another thing that made me wish that I would have started with the free version of WordPress. Live and learn!

    • Janis, my understanding is that Google is going to start penalizing sites that are not https. I assume the penalty is that you will be harder for non-subscribers to find, but I don’t know for sure. The reason for https is that it’s as secure as our ‘insecure’ Internet can be.

  4. I don’t enjoy the technology side and my blog is first and foremost about the writing. I’ve used WordPress because it was an easy way to start and didn’t cost anything as I tested the waters. Good on you for learning but I’m not sure I’m prepared to pay a professional at this point. Children are usually handy for tricky bits!

  5. Hi, Christie – This is a very timely post. I have been self-hosted with WordPress and Blue Host since I began blogging in January 2016. Knowing nothing about blogging at that time, I assumed that the paid version of WordPress would be better. In hindsight, I definitely wish that I had gone with the free version. Now that I am three years in, with tons of images on my site, I am afraid of losing content and photos if I switch now. I recently joined a wonderful local WordPress Meet Up Group and they have been incredibly helpful (and free)! Today the leader of that group asked me what features of the WordPress.com site I wish that I had (that I don’t automatically or easily have with WordPress.org). Here are a few off of the top of my head:
    1) As I mentioned to Janis above, the free WP version had free https way before the paid version.
    2) Free WP has Like buttons for comments that appear to work smoothly and easily (the ones with .org are very slow to load)
    3)Free WP automatically sends commenters an email that someone has replied to their individual comment. This has been a very difficult feature to get working on my paid site.
    4) As Janis stated, the free version is well-maintained and smooth running. When she encounters difficulty, free WP support is always there. For me, when I encounter difficulty, WP often refers me to Blue Host or to Jetpack (or vice versa) or often suggest yet another upgrade. Ugggh.
    All this being said, I have learned HEAPS, am proud of my accomplishments and am very grateful both to other bloggers and our local WP meetup for their generous help along the way.
    Good luck with your site migration. I can’t wait to read more!

    • Thanks for the detailed response. I also assumed the self-hosted paid version would be the best. I’m not sure now, but I am invested in the choice I made. I am inspired by your story to look around and see if there is a local WordPress group in my area. Thanks for the info.

  6. HI Christie, I like the middle ground I think. Although I learned about building websites myself and have put mine together which I’m pretty happy about. I like to learn new things and whilst I do not know nearly as much as I would like to about technology I try to learn from problems or mistakes that arise. In saying that, sometimes it just saves so much time getting a pro to sort it out for you. I haven’t heard about Blog Aid and now have heard the name twice in the one week so will check them out. Thanks so much for linking up with us at Midlife Share the Love Party. I know you have had a few challenges in life lately so appreciate you being with us. Have a great week! #MLSTL

    • You have a beautiful site, Sue, so kudos to you! I’m curious, did you start your blog after retirement or while you were still employed outside the home? I would like to be able to spend more time learning the technology and working on my blog, but can’t seem to find the time with my job, my blog, my fitness goals, and my family commitments. I guess it’s a matter of prioritizing–just like everything else. 🙂 Thanks so much for hosting the #MLSTL party. I truly do look forward to it each week. There is such a great variety of bloggers there.

  7. I did mine by trial and error Christie and then when it came time to switch over to https, MaAnna Stephenson from BlogAid also did mine. She’s such a professional and knows her stuff. There were things she told me I needed to secure my site and make it run better that I didn’t even know existed, as well as telling me things that were no good such as certain plugins. Of course you already know all of this now that you’ve been working with her. I say it’s good to do what you can but when the task to be done is out of your expertise then it’s better to hire the professionals. Shared your post x 4 ♥

  8. Hi Christie – I’m on Blogger and although I’ve heard tons of stuff about WordPress being better, I’ve found that I’ve managed to learn lots as I’ve bumbled my way through. I googled so much in the early days and I’ve gone from a VERY basic blog to something I’m really proud of and it’s cost me nothing. I paid for my url and recently found a super duper special on Etsy for a new theme for my blog (I didn’t know you could get them for Blogger – but you can!) I was super stoked with it and with the bargain price. Since then I’ve managed to migrate across to https by myself and to fix all the broken links that I discovered along the way. Every time I figure something out I’m soooo proud of myself and my husband has to stop and high five me so that I can celebrate doing something tech all by myself 🙂 All that being said, my DIL started a blog recently and she achieved in a few weeks what it took me 12 months to achieve because I could point her in the directions I’d been through. I wish I’d had someone to be the pointer back when I started the journey! Good luck with all your new changes and I’ll be checking out the changes along the way. Thanks for linking up with us at #MLSTL and I’ve shared this on my SM xx
    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au

    • I’m so impressed with those of you who can figure it out on your own. Right now, I tell myself that I just can’t focus on it, because I am too busy with work and family and life, but it just may be I don’t have the knack for tech. You have a site to be proud of, Leanne. Keep up the good work and the high fives! 🙂

  9. Love this post Christie. I do find the technical side of blogging can be a trial at times. I set up my blog on WordPress originally without help. But had help when moving to http There’s still much that I have to learn but the writing takes up so most of my time that I don’t seem to be able to get to it . Shared on SM #MLSTL

    • I know the feeling Jennifer. I’ve kept my site pretty basic, because it serves my purpose, and because I don’t have the time or the inclination to get fancy with the technology. Thanks for taking the time to comment and for sharing.

  10. Christie, you sound so much like me with this blog business. Daughter sat up our blog when we first started but now that she isn’t as involved and is busy with work I have no idea what I need to do or where to start if I did. I don’t know what you even mean when you say you are going from http to https. Is that something I need to do also? When you talk about doing things yourself or getting professional help I think about the two and a half men when Alan climbed on the roof to fix the t.v. and fell and broke everything. Everyone kept asking him why he didn’t call the man. lol I guess I might need to call someone.

    • I used to watch Two and a Half Men too, and that would definitely be me breaking everything if I tried to make the https transition myself. Https indicates a secure website (as secure as we can be in this insecure internet world). A good place to get information is https://blogaid.net. There are some free educational resources there. If you decide to make the switch, you may want to hire them for help. Good luck to both of us non-techies! 🙂

  11. I’m someone who is mostly DIY, but I completely agree when it came to the https change-over there was too much involved. I did try to figure it out, but I ended up paying someone to complete it. I just didn’t want to screw it up at all!

  12. I saw the tool belt on those hips and thought of all the trial and error when I renovated a big old house 10 years ago. I hired pros for the massive or critical but jumped into the rest of it myself (although my brother probably got more phone calls than he wanted!).
    When I first came on line, I had a tech build out my site, but I have one of those personalities that wants to know how everything works so I started learning. Today I build out all my sites by myself (although I use a site builder, only code the odd thing). I also have a great hosting company and their support is AH-mazing!!
    I think we never appreciate how much we’ve learned until we’re asked for advice… and give it confidently!

    • I admire your willingness to jump in and learn by trial and error, and you are so smart to pay attention and learn from those professionals you do hire. Just curious–who is your hosting company?

  13. Hi Christie, you raise an interesting question here. I’ve taught myself how to blog and am proud of the results due to not being very technical or logical. I enjoy WordPress and have a premium plan which doesn’t have any ads and is fairly easy to use with help always available. I enjoy the researching and learning and although sometimes frustrating, it is worth plodding through the steps. In regards to other renovations my husband loves doing that sort of thing but if it was too big a job, I’m sure we’d get professionals in. All the best to you as you go through your blog renovations. #blogginggrandmothers

    • There is something to be said for that feeling when you learn/accomplish something new! With the help of a pro, I made it successfully through migrating to a new host and transitioning to https.

  14. I’ve done everything myself for my blog. I’ve spent a lot of time learning what to do, and of course making mistakes along the way. It’s worth it to me though…I want total control over my blog and enjoy the process.

    Beautiful website, by the way.

    • Hello Loretta and welcome! I’m so impressed with someone who figures out the technology herself (or himself). There is something to be said for having the knowledge and the control. Thanks for the compliment on my website. I’m on my way now to visit yours.

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