Sunday, December 28, 2008

Migrating from Blogger to Wordpress with Redirects

If you know me, you know I also run a travel website. I had started that website using a boring template through GoDaddy's Website Tonight. Being a cheap-ass and not wanting to pay for more than 5 pages, I started a blog on blogger to keep all my travel articles. Then, I simply linked back and forth between the two sites. It worked fine, but looked very clumsy. Once I started to get some regular traffic... 3-4 visitors a day-- YES!... I thought it was time to combine them into one, clean, self-hosted Wordpress site.

So, here's how I did it: Keep in mind, this is a VERY short outline of what I did. I'm happy to reply to comments about specific points in more detail.

First, I couldn't figure out how to do the custom domain on Blogger, but if I had, that could have been my first step. I didn't, and it still worked out okay.

1. I bought a hosting account on GoDaddy... the economy version. I set that up with a domain name I already had. (different from the Website Tonight URL, so I could do step 5) If you don't already have a domain name, you can buy one here, (and save yourself a few steps later on).

2. Found a free Wordpress theme I liked (or you can buy one), and downloaded it to my computer.

3. Installed the latest version of Wordpress on my new hosted account using GoDaddy's one-step install.

4. Used FTP to upload the new theme, then activated it.

5. Copied all my content from the website tonight URL onto the new Wordpress site, keeping all the page names the same. I found this easiest using the control-c/v in the HTML view.

6. Once the new site looked the way I wanted and had all the Website Tonight content on it, I downloaded a backup to my computer, copied all my pages in HTML format into notepad files, and deleted the old Website Tonight account.

7. Then, I went in to the new hosted account and changed the URL to the one the Website Tonight account had been using. (this is the one that has been indexed by Google, and has some link love already, and is the name I really want to use)

Windows and Linux Hosting Configuration 2.0
-Log in to your Account Manager.
-In the My Products section, select Hosting.
-Next to the hosting account you want to modify, click Manage Account.
-In the Settings section of the Hosting Control Center, click the Domain Management icon.
-Select your primary hosted domain, and then click Change Primary.
-Enter the new primary domain for your account, and then click Ok.

8. Since WP is URL-specific, this part got a bit tricky... I then had to go in and uninstall WP from the URL I signed up with, and re-install with the desired URL (the one I just changed to). I did have to rebuild all my pages, but it was really easy using control c/v in HTML view. Some of the info was picked up automatically with the new install. So, this only took a couple of hours the second time around. I had installed WP 2.6.5 the first time, and WP 2.7 the second time. If I had done 2.7 both times, I think it would have kept all the info with no extra steps. Or, if I didn't already have an active domain name I wanted to keep using. Live and learn.

9. Next, it was time to import the blogger posts into the new hosted WP site. Do this from the WP dashboard.

10. The fancy, make-it-all-fabulous part is next! This link is the way to go...
It says it's for migrating to, but it worked perfectly for migrating to self-hosted.

11. It's done! The original website and blogger blog are now merged into one, clean, interactive site.

12. Make sure to get in and play with the WP site, check the privacy settings, the default was set to 'hide from search engines', so I changed that!! Then, add some plugins for more personality and functionality.

For you non-bloggers, this is all a foreign language, I know. But, if you're considering making the switch yourself instead of paying $1500 for someone to make the switch for you, hopefully this is helpful. If not, it's a good reminder to me what I did. Good luck!!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snacks for the Road

As I'm getting things ready for the road trip to Iowa tomorrow, Christmas Eve, I asked Cooper to remind me to get some snacks for the road.

"Do we put them on the ground (for the road)?" he asked.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

And The Evil Mommy...

My 4yo son wanted me to take him to the sticker book store. I told him, when we went yesterday, to get what you want because we won't be coming back here until at least next week. He's been asking me all. day. long. to take him to the sticker book store (Barnes & Noble) again today. I keep saying 'not until next week'. So he drew this picture of me. Apparently, this is what I look like when I say no. I'm such an evil mommy.

(those are tears, which I didn't start shedding until AFTER I saw this picture and almost peed myself laughing.)
Isn't he a great artist?! I think he captured me perfectly!

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Too Much Sap

4yo son Cooper: Mom, I have sap.
Me: Sap? You mean like sap from a tree?
Cooper: Yeah, but it's nose sap.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Daisy, Dandelion. Same Thing.

I got my first fresh-picked flower from my 3 year old yesterday at preschool. As he handed me the dandelion, he beamed, "I picked a daisy for you!" (Daisies are my favorite)
"It's beautiful," I gushed, "Thank you!"
On the way home, he pointed out all the houses that had beautiful daisies in their yard. "We don't have any daisies in our yard. We should plant some!"he said.
Yeah. Daddy would be thrilled!!

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Got my first official writing job today!

Yay!! While Coop was at preschool, I was chatting with the editor for and receiving my first official deadline as a contributor to their site. I also get to link back to my travel site to help increase my profile. (I also have a friend working on a mom-site that she's asked me to write on, but it's still in beta testing so I can't share the name yet.) So, if these keep up, I'll have my site and 2 mom-sites I'm writing for. Very exciting!!! The nice thing about the mom-sites is that they're run by moms, so they get the whole lack of schedule thing. I'll let you know when I get my article submitted and published.

Plus, last week I received my first payout from the ads on my travel site! So, my goal of being paid for my writing by my 40th birthday has been reached. And my goal of having an assigned article has now been reached. Now, let's just keep it rollin'!!

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My 3 year old can read

I had to bring my 3 and a half year old son with me to my doctor appointment, so I brought some things for him to do during my exam. I brought a dot-to-dot book and a few books for him to read.
I know he can read, he started sounding out words at 2-1/2. By 3-yrs old, he had mastered silent e and was working on vowel teams. He now understands punctuation and how it tells you how to say the sentence. Exlamation points are his favorite. This is no shock to me.
It was, however, quite a shock to our family doctor. She abandoned my exam to gush over his reading skills. She said he's reading at a first grade level... at 3-1/2! Her son is in kindergarten and is an advanced reader, she said. Then added that my son is reading the same level books that her son is... and her son is 5. She kept gushing... "He's gifted! Really! He is! You should look into programs for him."
Of course, I'm proud as a peacock, even though this is not my doing. My son has always been interested in letters... how they sound, and how they work together. My job is to keep it fun for him. We play I-SPY with sight words in a story. I buy books about bugs, Spongebob, and gross body functions... stuff boys like. I'm super-enthusiastic when he gets it right.
I'm a very proud mama today!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Panic attack follow-up

Ha ha, oh no!! You guys probably think I crashed and are saying little prayers for my family! No, no. All is well. I went driving that day and had no issues at all. Within another week I was back to driving anywhere without even thinking about it. I do highly recommend that panic attack CD from health journeys. If you're on anxiety medication, or have ever had panic attacks and worry that they might come back without warning, I highly recommend this CD. Of course, if you are on medication, don't stop taking it without consulting your doctor, but if it can help you sleep a little better, maybe even help your medication work a little better, why not?
What I like about it is that it's guided imagery and affirmations. Guided imagery helps you create a 'happy place' in your mind that you can 'go to' whenever you feel stressed. Affirmations help give you the power of mind to take back some control of these terrifying situations.
I'll say this. I was listening to the CD in bed when a panic attack struck. With the phone nearby -just in case-, I wanted to ride it out. This CD talked about every piece of what I was feeling, almost in order, and talked me through the whole thing. I have never had a full-on panic attack since. It was simply amazing. From the first initial zap, to the shallow breath, the racing heart, freezing/sweating, and the overwhelming feeling of dread... she talked me through all of it. She taught me how to control my breathing without hyperventilating. That was very key. She taught me that my feeling of danger was an illusion in my overprotective mind. Very true for me. She taught me that thousands of mentally healthy people have these kind of attacks and get through them, never to have them reoccur. Very reassuring. I thought I was going crazy.
I'm so glad I sought therapy without medication. Mine were mild enough so that was an option for me. I'm on my last therapy session, and I feel great. We were even able to touch on some of the issues that may have led me to that scary day.
Side note: My doctor recommended I stop drinking coffee. She said caffeine can trigger anxiety attacks. I have been caffeine-free since January. Turns out I don't need it for my energy level. I'm just naturally pretty hyper. None of my friends seemed surprised. ;)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

3 Panic Attacks!!

A couple of Mondays ago, I had two panic attacks while driving. One on the way to where I was going, and another on the way home. This happened to me once this summer while I was on this Prednezone power pack, but never had any issues since. This time was completely different. Not only did I have the two while driving, but then I had another one at midnight at home!!

I was lying in bed when I felt it come on and I felt like I was going to faint, my limbs were freezing, and I started shaking uncontrollably. Since my husband was out of town, I called my in-laws... at midnight. Bless their hearts, they came right away. In the meantime, I called a doctor who did not think I needed emergency care. My father-in-law (a Fire Chief) thought I had exhaustion.

The next day, my parents came from Iowa to stay with me until my husband could come home early. I felt fine as long as there was someone in the house and I wasn't driving. There was no need for my husband to jump on the plane instantly. He cut his trip short by 4 days, which was perfect. In the meantime, I saw a doctor who said I had exhaustion which triggered an anxiety attack. However, he said it was not simply a 'body rest' situation I had, but a 'mind rest' situation. He referred my to a mental health professional.

My first reaction was, "what? my brain is fine." But while waiting for my Dad to pick me up I realized I needed this mental health professional if I was going to be independent and driving again. When I called to schedule an appointment, the first thing they asked me was, "Do you want medication or no medication." No medication, please! So that puts in one-on-one therapy. They got me in right away, first thing the very next morning. I found myself really looking forward to meeting with her.

I got there, the place was packed! A lady who was with me in the elevator and also in line kept talking to me- trying to figure out if I had something worse than her, presumably. Or, maybe I was just self-conscious and she was just being nice. I'll go with the latter.

When I met with my counselor, I think the first thing I said to her was joking, "I should've been here years ago." She laughed. I was uncomfortable at first, but she was very easy to talk to. It wasn't like the movies at all! She interacted, she shared little stories of her own, it was like talking to a friend... but better! This friend could actually help me!
Since I opted for no medication, she prescribed a relaxation & wellness CD from I bought the one she recommended and another that was just for panic attacks.

On Saturday, before receiving the CDs /downloads, I tried driving on the highway. My heart seemed to be racing with the speed of the engine. I made it to one exit ramp... about 4 blocks. Then had to take side streets home. See, that's the thing. I'm fine if I'm driving less than 40 mph. It's the highway that was triggering it. Anyway, I couldn't do it. I came home in tears I was so frustrated and angry that my brain would limit me like this!

It's now been four nights of listening to the relaxation and affirmation CDs. I'm going to try driving today. I'll let you know how it goes...