My other saviours… the techie guys

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

My weekend was pretty eventful, kicking off with ‘the big move’!  I don’t mean moving house (though I’m sure I could have handled that easier), but the moving of my blog to a new host!

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I really would like to move my blog away from and self host.  Not only will this give me lots of extra storage space for the images I’m accumulating, but it will also give me the freedom to promote all the wonderful businesses and virtual communities (like Foodbuzz) that I’m passionate about.

After a bit of research, I chose Hostgator as my new host.  It’s recommended by WordPress, has great reviews, is low cost and is powered by green energy (wind power). Plus, their name and strapline (“we eat up the competition!”) amuses me no end.

I was too terrified to start the process alone, so my wonderful techie friend ‘E’ kindly offered to sit with me while I clicked the ‘install’ button.  The best advice she gave me was to use a temporary domain while I made the move, so that my blog could stay ‘live’ while making any necessary adjustments to the new site.

Over the past two weeks I’ve learnt an incredible amount about websites, hosting and so forth.  I know what a ‘widget’ and ‘plug in’ are now.  I even managed to successfully install a couple (Subscribe2 and Disqus) … Well, I say successfully install.  I guess the proof will be whether I have actually managed to transfer my subscribers and whether they do actually get emailed when they’re meant to.

Anyhow, after these couple of successes, I started to feel a bit more confident about the whole website move thing… and decided to ‘go for it’ on Saturday.  I changed the domain name at Hostgator and changed the ‘nameservers’ for the domain (yep, learnt that too).  I then received a message saying that the change could take up to 48 hours to take effect on the web.

After an hour, I decided to sneaky peak to see if anything had happened … Horror!!! The website had had moved to the new host… but it was a mess!  No images, no frames, just a list of text and hyperlinks.

Before panic set in, I decided to seek help from Hostgator and clicked on the ‘livechat’ button.  I only had to wait a couple of seconds before ‘Jared P’ asked me how he could help.  Within a minute, he’d explained the steps I’d missed out in the transfer and then the golden words I wanted to hear him say…. ‘Sharon, would you like me to do it for you?’  YES PLEASE!

Within a few minutes, Jared had got my website looking exactly as it should.  With my non-tech brain, I doubt if I’ll ever understand how he did it but I just want to say one thing…  JARED , YOU ARE A TOTAL STAR!!!

If anyone else is considering self hosting their blog, I would definitely recommend Hostgator.  I doubt if anyone can be as rubbish as me when it comes to technology but, if you do need a bit of help, at least their techies are really helpful and speak in a language that non-techies (like me) can understand. Through my account, I managed to secure a money-off coupon.  Just enter the code ‘Goodstuffsharon‘ at the checkout to receive a discount of 25% off the package price.

To celebrate the successful move, I had a cuppa and big slice of date and zucchini brownie.  Yep, I made another batch on Friday and, this time, actually wrote down the ingredient quantities!  I find that the texture of this brownie actually improves 1-2 days after baking – it becomes even moister and more lush.  I’ve posted the recipe here.

After dinner, we headed into Bath to watch the firework display at the Rec.  It felt like the whole of Bath had turned to watch the event.  The atmosphere was great!  I didn’t take my camera as I wanted to immerse myself fully in the experience rather than looking at it through a lens.  I absolutely love firework displays!  I guess it’s all that glitter and sparkle.

When we got back home, we managed to see lots more fireworks from the lounge window.  Here’s a couple of shots I managed to snap…

A perfect end to an eventful day!

How was your weekend? 
UK friends… did any of you go to firework displays?  If so, were they any good?
Non-UK friends… do you have any particular celebrations that are marked with fireworks?  I know that in France, it’s Bastille Day.  One year, I was in Auxerre on July 14, and there was the most incredible firework display, all coordinated in red, white and blue!