Gone are the days of free blogging for me! Those of you who have been following my blogging activities since August 2007 might have observed that, of late, my posts have been very erratic. This has happened because I was migrating from Google blogger to this self hosted blog. As my blogging life continues to evolve, I had come to a realization that Google blogger was limiting me quite a lot. I could not use different widgets and plug-ins that have become a common feature with the ever growing WordPress community. At first, I migrated my blog to the equally free but livelier WordPress platform.

But after reading Alex Sysoef‘s blog I discovered that a self hosted WordPress blog has huge extension capabilities. Therefore, I registered my own domain and purchased a hosting service from unique-links using some $$$ which I have made online so far. At that time, I did not know that WordPress directly recommends a certain group of web hosting services for prospective self-hosted WordPress bloggers. I must thank God because unique-links is giving me a good service even though I just got to know them through a Google search on the same day that I paid them the $$$. Because I needed my self-hosted WordPress blog urgently, I did not do some thorough research on web hosting services. Considering that there is so much trickery around, I encourage you to carry out a thorough research before settling on a particular web hosting service. Web Hosting Choice would be a great place to start from.

After registering my domain and acquiring web hosting services, I went on to install WordPress 2.3.1 on my site from scratch. I could have used free wordpress installers to install it for me but the desire to learn new things prevented me from doing so. With the wealth of tutorials on the net, the installation process was pretty easy. I then imported my posts and comments from Google blogger. After that, I downloaded the current theme from the WordPress site. I can change this theme anytime I want. I have also installed a number of interesting plug-ins including the ones for:

  1. The Related posts
  2. Popular posts contest
  3. Feedburner
  4. Samsarin PHP widget
  5. Share This

Now, I have the flexibility to rope in some of the most exciting WordPress plugins at my own will. That’s the joy of a self-hosted WordPress blog.

After installing the plug-ins, the major challenge was to make sure that all the links that I acquired on my blogger blog point to corresponding articles on my new blog. I have spent quite sometime working on this and I am pleased to let you know that Tom Sherman’s tutorial was very instrumental to the successful completion of this task. After implementing all the steps from Tom’s tutorial, all my former links now redirect my visitors to a corresponding article on my this blog! Although, I have lost all my PageRank (PR) in the process, I do not mind because my position in Search Engine Ranking Positions (SERPs) is still the same and that my PR was low (3). Regaining my PR, or even bettering it, will not be a problem. For now, we can rejoice because, I am an independent blogger. As some folks have pointed out, serious blogging starts with a self hosted blog.