Since long time I have been thinking about blogging regularly, but many times it happens that I write a post, but never click that publish button and sometimes just delete the post, for some weird reasons.
A few months ago, I wrote my first post and the blog was hosted on WordPress.com – Maverick Gets Going.
The advantage of having blog at wordpress.com is that you get the domain address as well as the hosting for free . But it’s limited in some ways like we can’t run a server side program, and the inability to install some nice plugins which are only supported when you use wordpress.org and host it yourself. [More]
The first thing that I had to do was to get a domain name. This time I was pretty clear that I won’t be having a domain name with something like maverick or master chief as a part of it To keep it simple, I decided to go with AtulGoyal as the domain name. Now the question was which TLD to choose and after a bit of Googling around, I narrowed down to four- .com , .info, .me and .in. Each one of these has their pros and cons, so deciding was a bit difficult. [Related]
.info and .me are generally more suited for a personal website. Though .me actually is not a generic TLD but is a country code TLD (even though many people commonly use it for a personal website). From Wikipedia article:
.me is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Montenegro.
so as also advised by some others on the web, I’d avoid it even though it might appear to be more cool than other options.
Meanwhile, I was also trying to decide which Domain registrar to buy the domain from. The first name that came to mind was the popular registrar GoDaddy. I started to look around for domain registrar reviews, and realized that there are so many negative reviews about it and lots of people recommend others like Gandi.net , namecheap.com, etc. A .com domain from Gandi.net was costing me about 15$ (yearly) whereas one from namecheap.com was costing a little over 10$ (yearly).
When I was looking around, I came across this on webmasters.stackexchange.com, and based on people’s responses to that question, I decided to go with namecheap for my domain registration.
So, now I’ve a domain registered, my very own – AtulGoyal.com!! I don’t have enough words to describe how happy I was, after spending 10$ for the same.
Ok, ok, now I’ve my domain and here I’ll host my personal website/blog.
So, now I was onto transition from wordpress.com to atulgoyal.com, but it’s simpler said than done. WordPress.com just takes care of everything by itself whereas when hosting it on myself, there are 100 things to be done and taken care of.
Once I was done with domain name, I had to get a web hosting provider. The problem is hosting is costly, usually much costlier than domain, and I was in no mood to pay for it just for a blog. After some search of good free hosts, I narrowed down to Amazon EC2 (which basically provides cloud server for 1 year free of cost – unless the website traffic goes viral!), and 000webhost.com. Even out of these two, Amazon EC2 is a clear winner (though these are different types of server so it’s not Apple to Apple comparison, but still from my perspective I had to choose one, and hence the comparison). For EC2 we’re needed to give credit card details, which I submitted but for some still unknown reasons, my cards- I tried two different ones – couldn’t be verified. I contacted their support but I was told that they are unable to verify the card. I’m still in touch with their support, but doesn’t look like they have any answer to the problem other than check your details again. So, I moved on to try 000webhost which has a free basic hosting plan.
Now I downloaded wordpress packages and via ftp transferred the files to the server and in few simple steps, AtulGoyal.com was ready. WordPress even makes transferring data from old blog to new blog so easy, that the data from my old blog to new blog was transferred in no time.
When things looked a bit better, I clicked the Firebug button in my Firefox to test the Google page speed measure of my website, and shockingly it was showing score in 50s, seeing which I was like ! WordPress.com used to take care of so many things by itself that PageSpeed for a wordpress.com site showed score in 80-90s (on scale of 100) and here I’m stuck at 50s! No way, I could leave my website at such a low score, and started looking for ways to improve the performance. Thanks to the huge library of WordPress plugins, that I got some really awesome plugins to add to my wordpress installation, and after doing some configuration the score kept on increasing and finally now it’s more than 90.