Five Quick Thoughts on Migrating a Website ...
Technology has been on my mind for the last month because I’ve moved to a new digital home.
Below are five thoughts about my recent website migration in no particular order.
1. Ask for help.
Moving my website from WordPress to Squarespace wouldn't have been possible without my brother-in-law's amazing tech skills or my patron's financial support. Asking for help can feel vulnerable and difficult, but being vulnerable is essential to living a good life.
2. It’s okay to delete or un-publish content online.
I've meant to prune the content on my website for the past two years, and this migration was the perfect opportunity to do so. Last weekend, I spent Friday through Sunday reviewing my blog archive, formatting older posts, and deleting or un-publishing posts from the blog. I reviewed over 900 posts in my archive, and that was only the tip of the content iceberg. I'm astounded by the amount of content I've shared online over the past ten years.
3. Reviewing your body of work is a good idea.
I uncovered interesting themes and details while reviewing my blog archive, like:
- Blogging is a tool that I've been passionate about for over ten years.
- Photography is a huge part of my work.
- I'm good at finding, curating, and sharing articles and books.
4. RowdyKittens.com is my home online.
Big social media platforms come and go, and there's a lot to be said for cultivating a digital home on the open web. Also, maintaining my website has given me useful skills and a deeper understanding of how the Internet works. This approach reminds me of a quote from Alan Jacobs's recent essay—Tending the Digital Commons: A Small Ethics toward the Future.
“ ... I think every young person who regularly uses a computer should learn the following:
how to choose a domain name
how to buy a domain
how to choose a good domain name provider
how to choose a good website-hosting service
how to find a good free text editor
how to transfer files to and from a server
how to write basic HTML, including links to CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) files
how to find free CSS templates
how to fiddle around in those templates to adjust them to your satisfaction
how to do basic photograph editing
how to cite your sources and link to the originals
how to use social media to share what you’ve created on your own turf rather than create within a walled factory
One could add considerably to this list, but these, I believe, are the rudimentary skills that should be possessed by anyone who wants to be a responsible citizen of the open Web—and not to be confined to living on the bounty of the digital headmasters.
There is, of course, no way to be completely independent online, either as an individual or a community: This is life on the grid, not off. Which means that anyone who learns the skills listed above—and even those who go well beyond such skills and host their websites on their own servers, while producing electricity on their own wind farms—will nevertheless need an Internet service provider. I am not speaking here of complete digital independence, but, rather, independence from the power of the walled factories and their owners.”
Also, the skills Jacobs listed above can be learned by anyone—regardless of age. I have about three-quarters of the skills Jacobs listed in my toolbox, and still, have plenty to learn.
5. You’re allowed to change your mind. For example, it’s okay to switch content management systems, publish short blog posts on a variety of different topics, and more. Don’t limit your creative output to a single medium or niche.