Before I start on this incredibly long ramble of my WordPress Guided Migration & The Voux theme installation experience, I’d like to say HURRAH THAT IT’S OVER!
It was definitely an EXPERIENCE and by that I mean oh dear.
The short summary is that it educated me (comfortable with tech but not a coder/programmer at all) by pushing me through the whole ordeal. The EPIC TOME version is below (and is the length of War & Peace/ Lord of the Rings.)
The price worked out to be the following :
The Voux Theme from Themeforest
- US$129 <refunded> :
Guided Migration process (then refunded due to 1.5wk delay!)
- US$273 <upgraded> :
Monthly hosting from Bluehost (the only host that Guided Migration can be used with. Plus hosting 36mths @ 5.95pm)
- US$50 :
Envato Theme Installation Expert
- US$324 :
Bluehost Upgrade to Pro account (paid in one bulk payment, not monthly)
TOTAL FINAL : US$433 (biggest cost Bluehost hosting).
However I would recommend to others depending on your tech comfort level :
– FEARFUL / WARY OF TECH:
Ideally get a web designer to do it. Otherwise YES guided transfer and Envato theme installer expert.
– FRIENDS / HAPPY WITH TECH :
YES guided transfer and Envato theme installer expert. It may be painful if you’re unlucky like I was, but if you’re like me you’ll learn a LOT from the whole experience. And then thank the heavens that it’s over.
– SUPER BESTIES WITH TECH :
NO guided transfer & Envato theme installer since you can do it all yourself… maybe you can offer your tech brilliance to the rest of us…
It would have been far easier to go with web designers RappleMedia.com but on the upside – wow, did I learn a lot.
The biggest being that Bluehost hosting providers expect you to be able to understand tech stuff and also requires Pro plan upgrades and all sorts just to run a simple self hosted blog with them. Apparently my little 100post blog required an upgrade to Pro package, which is on a separate server than the Basic and Plus packages which apparently share a server (according to a Bluehost chat representative).
I’m going to go ahead and post this video so you can watch it for a summary & ramble, with the full cringe-worthy details listed in extreme agony length below. Just in case it helps anyone out there who may be considering this process themselves.
Final word on the matter before the GIANT ramble of info below : I’m definitely glad that it’s over, but on the positive side I’m also glad that I did it because my new site looks truly beautiful to me and I hope that you like it too.
Wordpress 24hr Guided Transfer Took 1.5 Weeks – My Entire Experience (Every Excruciating Step!)
Terror is the best word to describe the feeling in the pit of the stomach that occurs when I would think of the migration from WordPress.com to WordPress.Org.
I can’t say exactly why there’s terror, because I’m not terribly terror-inclined as a person and it’s not as if I have all that many blog posts or subscribed visitors.
So I guess it’s because of the unknown elements – will I lose all my content? How does this work? What the heck is FTP? Why is this so CONFUSING?
But despite all the bother that comes with any kind of growth or progress, it was time for me to move my sweet little blog over to a wordpress.org site where I could load google Adsense, sell some little e-books and even have a mini online store for my corsetry if I liked.
Of course I immediately contacted an excellent web services company that I’d been recommended by a friend, Rapple Media – firstname.lastname@example.org – http://www.rapplemedia.com/, and we got all the way to signing point when a due payment fell through and Dearest Beloved suggested I consider slightly cheaper options until that payment completed and cleared (despite Rapple being great value for the speedy and comprehensive service they offer.)
Grumbling about the error of gleefully locking all my money straight into investments as soon as it lands in my bank, I moaned and sniffled a bit but realised if I wanted to go ahead and do this then I might as well take the plunge with the Guided Transfer.
Anyways, I like to tell myself that sometimes things happen so we can learn from them – and this was obviously a challenge to face my fears, increase my knowledge and learn more about this nerve-wracking WordPress site migration process first hand.
It’s an experience many of us face when we’re at the point of moving out of wordpress.com (like a rental apartment) and into self-hosted wordpress.org (like an apartment we own!)
As with a rental place, wordpress.com is all taken care of by the landlord (wordpress.com) and like owning our own house, wordpress.org needs to have all the little bits and pieces maintained by us. (updates, etc).
An intro from wordpress : https://guidedtransfer.wordpress.com/about/before/
And that brilliant example of moving house was from one of the many blogs I read on the topic :
So the most helpful sites were these :
However I would go ahead and make this further analogy-
WordPress.COM experience to me is like moving into a rental apartment that has fittings I cannot change, with some items of furniture I can move around.
All I have to do is use it, and move bits of furniture sometimes if I like. Easy.
But I can’t really drill holes in the walls (plugins) or knock walls down (programming).
WordPress.ORG experience to me is like buying a plot of land, then paying WordPress.ORG to put a readymade floorplan/walls on it (because I liked how their wordpress.COM rental house functioned, and I want the same) and then buying a theme I like to make the interior pretty. More work because as the owner I need to update and make sure all the bits are working, but I can make whatever changes I like!
My own personal experience went like so :
- Decide it’s time to make the migration over to WordPress.Org
- Think Oh Crap and contact a great web designer about it.
- Read up on the process to educate myself and find a beautiful theme in the process (The Voux).
- Realise I just need a simple migration from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and the theme put on top.
- Have my stupid payment fall through and need cheaper options.
- Discover the Guided Migration option from WordPress.com : https://en.support.wordpress.com/guided-transfer/
- Read massive amounts of writing, opinions, blog posts on Guided Migration, Self Migration, Theme loading.
So that was the first part.
Then I decided on the following :
- Action step : Buy The Voux theme and download.
- Action step : Buy the wordpress.org recommended host partner for migration (BlueHost.com) Without their recommended host you cannot buy Guided Migration! https://get.wp.com/gt-hosting/
- Purchase Guided Migration to give it a try. (Sat 30th April)
- Receive email immediately saying : “Once you enter your hosting information, our process to transfer your site begins immediately. During that time, please don’t make any changes to your site or hosting account — one of our Happiness Engineers will email you during business hours once your transfer is finished.“
- Wasn’t sure what to do other than twiddle my thumbs so I continued to educate myself further on loading WordPress.Org software onto my BlueHost account, just to know more about how it works.
- Downloaded wordpress.org : https://wordpress.org/download/
- Got MAMP https://www.mamp.info/en/downloads/
- Read more and realised I had NO CLUE what this coding language was about and it would probably take a while / millennia to decipher, so sat back and let the WordPress.com guided transfer team load the .ORG software onto my BlueHost account.
Saturday 30th April, 10:15pm
- 12hrs later receive email from Guided Transfer ‘Happiness Engineer’ Nancy with a brief insight into the transfer process. Below is a snippet :
“To confirm, we’ll transfer your site during the 24-hour period starting at 5am Eastern on Monday May 2, 2016. Please don’t make changes to the site during that time, and please do not install WordPress at your host, even if you are prompted to do so.
Please take a look at the “What Doesn’t Transfer” page, linked below, and let us know if you’d like for us to pause or cancel your transfer:
We’ll be sending an email to let you know exactly when we start, then another one once we’re done, giving you instructions on how you’ll access your new site.“
With bated breath I waist over the weekend for Monday to come, and for news to arrive that the transfer was completed.
Monday 2 May, 11:58pm
But alas it was not to be – instead at midnight that night of May 2nd my time (5hrs after the transfer was due to begin in HK time) I received a disconcerting email from my Happiness Engineer Nancy concerning delays :
“A couple weeks ago, WordPress.com rolled out univeral HTTPS to all domains:
However, BlueHost doesn’t offer HTTPS on their lower-tier plans. We’re working with them to sort this out for our users. But in the meantime, when you buy a Guided Transfer, you’re essentially transferring your site from an HTTPS URL to a plain old HTTP one.
Browsers (like Chrome and Firefox) don’t like that very much though, since they’re used to seeing the site using HTTPS. And search engines (like Google) don’t like that either, since they already have your site in their index using HTTPS URLs as well. The issue in all this is that your site becomes inaccessible at the HTTPS URL. At this point you have two options:
You can wait until we sort everything out with Bluehost. As I mentioned, we’re in touch with them to make sure that your site is up and available once it’s been transferred to their servers. We’re hoping to sort this out early this week and will keep you updated if that timeline changes.
If you’d rather not wait, you can also move your site yourself. The instructions can be found here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/moving-a-blog/#moving-to-wordpress-org
In that case, I am happy to refund your purchase. You will see it on your statement within a few days.“
So that was annoying and more than a little cheeky of them because they are clearly taking orders for 24hrs Guided Transfers while this issue is in progress.
So far this has taken from 29th April to 3rd May… and counting. Thankfully my blog transfer is not extremely urgent, but I am both eager to get it up and running smoothly and intrigued to see how this all plays out.
Having said that, I obviously chose Guided Transfer for a reason and want to go through with it and get my site up. So I let them know I would await the Guided Transfer sometime within this week.
Now lets see what occurs from here…
Wednesday 4th May, 1:05am
Email from Happiness Engineer Lamda in reply to my May 2nd email saying they would update me if the delays went past Friday.
Thursday 5 May, 2:12pm
Email from Happiness Engineer Dan letting me know that my transfer would be starting (WOO!) and that they needed me to do a few things in my Bluehost account in order to proceed (apply a dedicated IP and SSL certificate onto my site, whatever that means).
I replied that I’d need to do that once I returned to my computer later that day after completing filming.
Thursday 5 May, 2:30pm
Email from Dan that “the free options for IP and SSL have not yet been applied to your Bluehost account. I’ll get that sorted out asap and let you know when they are available.“
Friday 6th May 8:15am
I email my AWOL Happiness Engineer (who keeps changing – there have been three so far) to ask if there’s any progress since I haven’t heard from them since yesterday. A few hours later no reply so just waiting…
Friday 6th May 1:50pm
The return of Dan!
Received apologies for the delays and instructions on how to add the dedicated IP and SLL certificate to my Bluehost account. Unfortunately neither of these were able to be installed as per the instructions as there was some verification block and the free items didn’t even show in the cart as they were supposed to.
I’m learning a lot, but mostly that the guided transfer process is not as smooth as it’s made out to be.
Coming up to almost a week to actually achieve this ‘24hr’ Guided Transfer now…
However, I did receive emails around 7:30pm on this day from Mojo Marketplace and Jetpack congratulating me on my new installation, so it was nice to see that being installed. I took no action on these emails and am leaving Dan to it.
Still intrigued to find out how long this entire process will take, and I am learning much from the process.
Sunday 8th May, 4:41am
Received email from Bluehost saying that my account verification was approved. I proceeded to install the free dedicated IP and SSL cert on my Bluehost account, and emailed Happiness Dan to request that he please proceed with the final steps of the wordpress.org setup. I’m pretty excited about installing The Voux theme and activating the beautiful Demo ASAP.
Now just restlessly awaiting Dan’s reply…. spent the rest of the day in a state of anticipation with no reply (understandable due to time difference).
I decided to create my Google Adsense account, prep my relevant Youtube channel (The Curious Raven) and having already sketched out a clear idea of how I’d utilise The Voux demo theme ‘Home-1’ with my menus and categories, crafted a crossover corset post draft and a few videos of my bunnies being adorable.
This Guided Migration all taken much longer than the 24hrs I anticipated and if I had been in a rush it would have been an absolute disaster. Thankfully I was not in any kind of rush except for my own eagerness to get my beautiful new blog platform and theme up and running.
And so we wait and see…
Monday 9th May, 9:17am
Sent a morning email to Guided Transfer reminding that I’d completed the SSL & IP process early yesterday (a full 24hrs ago) and no progress has been made.
Received an email saying
“Thanks for completing the SSL verification. I noticed that you are using custom mail servers on your domain – do these ring a bell… <list of custom mail servers code> on enom.com” And then a request to set up forwarding in order to proceed with my guided transfer.
Um, No, they don’t look familiar – probably because a Happiness Engineer set it up as part of my guided transfer and I have never seen this site, nor do I have a login, and frankly shouldn’t they know/have record that this was done by a previous Happiness Engineer? I’m starting to wonder… and frankly am now quite tired of this process having one delay after another. Another day drags on with no reply and the end of this constantly dragging process painfully out of focus.
Tuesday 10th May, 2:37pm
I’m just going to go ahead and fast forward over the tennis volleying of emails that went back and forth over this last 24hrs, including The Voux theme causing the site to completely crash TWICE and reveal itself to be buggier than expected.
The end of the story is that after a slew of emailing with Happiness Engineer Lamda (the return of Lamda!) and some good progress made, I received an email from her saying “The transfer is complete, it may take up to 48 hours for everything to look ‘right’ as we need to allow time for the SSL to work it’s way through.”
Bla bla bla and then even more pleasant an occurrence from Happiness Engineer Dan confirming that Lamda had refunded my Guided Transfer fee with explanation that it never usually takes this long. I sent thanks with this kind reply from Dan : “It’s the least we could do after you waited so long for the transfer. We really appreciate your patience while we’re trying to work out a system for these new changes.”
So woweee – that seems to have taken us over the finish line on this front!
Right out of the pot and into the fire – where The Voux theme was so troublesome that I had to engage an experienced Envato Studio support engineer to install the theme for me.
His handle is Superhero and he’s got a high positive rating and extensive experience, 1920 jobs done / 99% (1240/1250) recommended / 316 repeat clients.
Superhero uncovered glitches in The Voux theme including thumbnail sizing issues and other things that he is having to work around in order to get the theme functional.
I really had been under the impression that this was a very popular plug-and-play theme so this was all quite a surprise to me. But hey, much of this entire experience has been new to me so at this point I’m just rolling with whatever comes and keeping my eyes fixed on solutions.
Saturday 14th May, 12:59am
With the Guided transfer completed and Envato engineer Superhero able to mostly install The Voux theme (which still has errors in the header image carousal) the agony now lies with the 3+ days of struggling with Bluehost whose recommend Plus package doesn’t apparently have capacity to host my theme or small 150 post, low activity blog. Pretty appalling. Trying to get the upgrade to the Pro package is not a simple process either – with constant delays, excuses, stalling, and general non-progress of a lamentable kind.
Why is this so difficult for Bluehost? Just take my money and upgrade me to Pro without trying to tell me I need to ALSO buy some security certificate thing as well.
This should be a problem solving situation, not a sales one.
EXTREMELY unimpressed and they’ve been somewhat helpful but when it comes to getting the actual work progressing, they’re the least helpful of the three I’ve worked with on this so far.
Lots of empty talk and suggestions or promise to send me the pro package link with nothing arriving. Really slow on results. Perhaps this is the ogre undermining the whole thing…
Sunday 15th May…
Still no reply from Bluehost and no progress with the Bluehost upgrade after they told me the upgrade couldn’t be processed with the Sitelock option enabled, and it would need to be disabled to proceed, or an upgrade to the pro level Sitelock. Yet my patient emails asking to proceed with this have yielded no results whatsoever. At this point I really feel that Bluehost is offering appalling service, and I have no idea why.
Tues 17th May, 12:21am
Glory glory it’s finally over! After sending daily emails to Bluehost to request they process my upgrade to Pro servers in order to stop my glitching issues occurring due to lack of server space/speed, I receive no reply but a confirmation email with the following :
“The migration of your hosting data to your new Pro Web Hosting service is now complete. When you log into the Bluehost control panel you will now be able to manage your Pro Web Hosting service.”
Thank the heavens! With a quick message to my Envato engineer Superhero to wrap up any other loose ends and a happy sign off from him, I rejoice in the much-awaited completion of my migration over to WordPress.ORG.
Now all I have to do is explore the control panel and get more comfortable with the new landscape. Overall I am SO glad that it’s over, but I do really love the look of The Voux theme and am happy to have chosen it. I find it much neater than my previous theme and I hope that it’s more of pleasure for you to read as well.
Thank you so much for reading my little blog! I hope that this whole experience has been helpful to someone out there, in case anyone is encountering any of the issues that I’ve experienced. Good luck with all of your blogging and websiting my loves!
N.B. UPDATE : The issues are still ongoing, with glitches regularly occurring. I continue to have to consult with my Envato engineer on the topic, and he generously helps out, but it’s very annoying. For all the perks of WordPress.ORG it so far hasn’t been worth it for me. I shall have to revisit my opinion on this in six months when I might qualify for Google Adsense, and see if there are monetary benefits that make this all more worthwhile.
Having said that, The Voux theme is beautiful despite its extremely annoying and regular glitching!
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