A Shoutout for WordPress

close up shot of a typewriter
Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

Back in June, I decided to migrate this blog from a self-managed installation of WordPress to WordPress.com. I’d done the self-manage thing for more than ten years, and I decided that I would rather spend my time writing instead of managing my site. I thought this would be a complicated move, something that would take a month or more to complete. As it turned out, it took less than an afternoon to do the whole thing. Since then, I have been incredibly happy with WordPress’s tools and services.

For level-setting:

  • I opted for WordPress’s Business Plan because it had everything I thought I would need. At the time I migrated my site, the Business Plan cost $300/year, which is well-worth it based on the time it has saved me.
  • I’d already subscribed to a WordPress backup service through JetPack, so the transfer was made much easier because of that–essentially, the process automatically did a full backup of my old site and then a restore to my new site.
  • I rerouted my domains to point to WordPress.com’s servers. My domains are still held separately through GoDaddy, but in 2022, I will likely transfer them permanently to my WordPress site.

Here are my thoughts on my first 6 months on WordPress.com after more than a decade on a self-managed WordPress site:

  1. The level of support and service from WordPress has far exceeded my expectations. Their Happiness Engineers made my migration far easier than I expected. They provided quick support in answering follow-up questions I had in the weeks after the migration. They even proactively reached out to me to help correct a problem I wasn’t even aware of with one of my domains. As someone who has worked in tech support, I know how difficult that job can be, but the folks at WordPress make it look easy. They provide concierge-level service, positive moments of truth, and they help keep things low-stress. I can’t say enough good things about them all.
  2. I noticed an immediate significant performance improvement over my self-managed installation. I’d gotten used to things being a certain speed, but once I started on WordPress.com, I was amazed by how fast everything works. Whether it is creating a new page, loading the site, running a search, they are all lightning fast.
  3. The set of tools provided to Business Plan includes everything I need for my site. I can manage my domains, and my domain email. I have access to custom plug-ins and themes. I have SFTP and database access to my site. (I used these quite a bit on my old self-managed installation, but have had no need for them, yet, on WordPress.com.)
  4. I can spend my time writing posts instead of tweaking my site to get better performance, or dealing with issues caused by my hosting service or being on a shared server. Seriously: I wrote about 105,000 words on the blog between January and June when I began to plan the transfer. From the time I transferred my site to WordPress.com to now, I’ve written 196,000 words–almost double–and yet both periods were about 6 months each. Clearly I am spending less time “managing” the site and more time writing. Much of that is due to WordPress.com’s fast, reliable infrastructure, auto-updates and general easy of use.
  5. My site stats are up significantly since the transfers. While I’d like to think this was due to more and more people enjoying what I write, I suspect much of it is due to items #2 and #4 above. The site is faster, and I’m able to write more so there is new stuff for people to read every day. It’s been a steady increase, but daily stats have basically double since I switched at the end of June.

Consider this my hearty recommendation for WordPress.com’s service. I’ve had no problems, excellent custom services, and a fast, reliable system that allows me to focus on writing. I couldn’t ask for more than that.

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