After a two month hiatus, welcome to the second edition of Extreme Makeover: Blog Edition! About 1.5 years ago I started Run Jenny Run on Tumblr. Why Tumblr? At that time it was newly acquired by Yahoo and I wanted to keep up with the latest social media trend…plus it was billed as easy to use (it is).
I signed up for an account without researching other options such as Blogger or WordPress. After a few months of blogging I started to learn more about the other blog publishing services. Through the blogging community I learned the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org (here is an explanation by WordPress), what self-hosted meant, and what plugins were. While I had no issues with Tumblr, I wanted to own my content + incorporate features that were available on WordPress. Today I am going to share my planning process that went into selecting my domain name, web-hosting service, and theme.
When I first started my blog, I knew I wanted to purchase my own domain name, Run Jenny Run (I could have linked to Tumblr). I checked if runjennyrun.com was available and it was! I did not purchase the domain right away thinking I would get to it later (MISTAKE). Fast forward to Fall 2014 and I learned that the domain name was purchased in July 2014…NOOOOOO!! I started looking into my options:
- Purchase the website from the current owner
- Hope the domain expires and purchase it then
- Choose a new domain name
I started with option #1. I would email the other Jenny and ask if I could purchase the site from her (she was fundraising for another marathon at the time and I thought maybe she would be willing to sell it after she completed her 26.2). Unfortunately there was no contact information on her page. After some research, I learned you could look up domain owners through the Better Who Is website. I emailed the domain owner (it was her father) and he politely declined my offer…bummer. I did not want to go with option #2 since there was no guarantee that it would expire + I did not want to wait that long. Option #3 it was – coming up with another domain name. Surprisingly, runjenniferrun.com was available and knew I would need to move along in the process or risk losing this domain as well.
I selected the three year package (lower monthly cost) and chose my domain name – it was an easy peasy process.
I signed up for Bluehost in January, but did not build my new blog right away. Why? I wanted to choose the perfect Theme (I know I know… no such thing as perfect). Themes provide the front end look and feel to a blog. Why was it so difficult to choose? There were thousands of Themes available (free and premium), how would I start?
Image: WordPress Theme Directory
I knew I wanted to use a Theme that was mobile responsive…so many people (myself included) read blogs on their smartphones or tablets. I decided to narrow my options by researching the “Best Mobile Responsive Themes for WordPress”. Here were some sites that I referenced:
- Best Mobile Responsive Blog WordPress Themes
- 45+ Best Free WordPress Themes for Mobile Friendly Websites
- 50 “Hand-picked” Beautiful Premium Responsive WordPress Themes
After a few weeks of research I selected Yosemite (Genesis was a runner-up). I liked the look and feel of the Theme (the layout was similar to my Tumblr site). If I wasn’t happy with it, I could always change the Theme in the future.
Image: My Theme Shop