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Blogging Help Please

Blogging-Help_The-Blog-MavenSo I have this blog. And I'm aware it's a bit ugly.

I also have The King's English.

And now 321.

I now have a self-hosted Christ the Truth blog here and I've just tried to import everything from here to there.  But here are some problems:

All the internal links are no longer 'internal' in that they point to this blog and not that one.

None of the categories and tags from 2012 seem to have transferred.

None of the youtube videos are embedding properly (the embed code here is [youtube= ] and there it's [youtube= ]

Even if I fix all these things, is it worth self-hosting? It's an expense every year.  Is it possible/desirable to better integrate my blogs - maybe into one site??  What are the benefits/costs to switching?

And how have I gotten through 5 years of blogging without knowing the first thing about it??




9 thoughts on “Blogging Help Please

  1. Matthew Weston

    From a non-technical perspective, I think that your three sites stand on their own quite well - 321 especially - and so I'm not sure there's a need to completely integrate them. That said, I think it's possible with a self-hosted WordPress to have them all share the same back-end (i.e. log into the same control panel), which you might find useful, and having a prominent "my other sites" link as you currently do is a good idea. Others may have different views.

    As to the issues on transfer, the internal links and Youtube embeds would probably require manual changing. If you've transferred the blog across using an XML file (I think that's the way it works?) you can do a find/replace to change them all using a text editor. I've got some time on Saturday and would be happy to help, but to do it this way would mean starting the import from scratch. (It's possible to do the same kind of find/replace with the new WordPress database without starting from scratch, but I'm probably not qualified to do it, as web databases and me don't get on.)

    The categories/tags issue is an odd one. I'd be happy to look into it more.

    Finally, as to whether it's worth self-hosting: I'd say yes, just for the greater flexibility and lack of adverts (I think still serves up adverts? I have an ad-blocker so haven't noticed recently). I've self-hosted since 2003, and typically the hosting was only slightly more expensive than the domain name - though now a kind relative hosts my site for free. I don't have as much traffic as you though!

  2. Glen

    Thanks Matthew, that's very helpful. And yes, there's no real need to integrate the sites is there I can just put some prominent links around the place.

    I've just figured out how to find and replace old links and old embed codes - so that's all fixed.

    Still having problems with tags and categories - it's as though it gave up transferring them after December 2011. Every post since then now shows up as untagged and uncategorized and when I click on any tag or category the most recent posts to show are from 2011.


  3. revivalmedia

    Hi Glen, you get quite a bit of traffic, so you have to be aware that if you do get a spike in visitors one day, you have to have the capacity for it. servers get millions of visitors a day with few hiccups.

    I think it's much better to have your own domain name, rather than one. Though you can still run on if you have your own domain, you're still limited to *their*plugins etc.

    If you have your own domain AND self host you can get revenue from ads such as google Adsense.

    You could also get a professionally designed theme.

    You could run whatever plugins you wanted.

    Downsides may include: a loss of traffic. blogs get lots of cross-blog traffic, because the tags link to others posting similar stuff on

    Security. You would be more responsible for hackers etc. Because are limited on the plugins etc, it means they can have a tighter grip on security.

    I think I would recommend archiving your original site at, using as the domain at for about 6-12 months, this will enable the likes of google to update, and may be other linking sites, then move to self hosted with this same domain. Hopefully this would keep most of your traffic, the pull out christthetruth archive, and incorporate it into your new site....

    Regarding the import. Usually the reason some import fails at a particular date is that there is a dodgy character in the export file (often such as ` or ' or ’ or « or << etc). Custom fields are notorious for this.

    Also, I'd say keep sites separate. Mass (traditional) media is one-size-fits-all, Internet (new) media is the-more-niche-the-better.

  4. Josh

    If there's a way to access your site from China without using a vpn (i.e. not wordpress or other big blogging sites) that would be a bonus!

  5. John B

    JMO, the site looks fine. I like a 'less is more' style, and usually view the posts through a reader. But yes, the new blog is a really good looking update that very nicely preserves continuity with the old. For me, the enhancement that I hope for most is a podcast feed for sermons and talks.

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