I started the Simple Made Pretty blog in January 2015 but it didn’t start as Simple Made Pretty. A few months ago, I changed the name from Darling Taylor, (which was a made up name) to the blog that you are now reading :). I changed my blog name and this happened…
After a year of blogging at DarlingTaylor.com, I decided to take blogging more seriously and the desire to change the name was constantly on my mind. I had a sizable list of blog subscribers and followers on social media, not too mention a few viral pins that I wanted to make sure continued to link back to my site. Of course all of my pictures on social media were watermarked with Darling Taylor (I’ll explain more about the importance of creating a removable watermark later). Needless to say, it was giving me anxiety just thinking about the long list of items that would need to be addressed if I changed the name.
The Decision to Change
Since enrolling in the EBA (Elite Blog Academy – a course designed to take your blog to the next level) in early 2016, I knew my blog would undergo some changes. By the way, I cannot say enough good things about EBA. I’m only half way through the program and I’m already seeing major changes and have learned much more than I ever expected. So, back to my domain name change – during one of our webinars, another student asked about changing a blog name and her thoughts on the process. Ruth (EBA’s founder) stated that it’s not as bad as we might think and if you are thinking about it then you should just do it. That gave me the confidence to move forward with a different name.
The Perfect Name
If I was going to put the effort to moving everything to a new domain, the name needed to be PERFECT. It needed to reflect what my blog was all about (organizing, crafting and decorating). On my morning walks with the hubby and our dog, Rocky, we were brainstorming a few new domain ideas. We came up with a couple that I really liked and were available to purchase. Without hesitation, I purchased Simple Made Pretty (dot) com.
Moving One Domain to Another
I’m not a technical person AT ALL but I pride myself on being able to learn and do things on my own. I watched a few YouTube videos for moving my domain and I got pretty far on my own until I got stuck on a step during the transfer and my progress went nowhere FAST! I spent an entire 8 hours trying to figure out this one step and I was stuck! So, I reached out to all my technical friends/family members begging for help.
A family member referred a company that helped design their website. After hiring someone to do the transfer (it really wasn’t too expensive given that I was fully committed) and a week of back and forth communication with minor issues, my new domain was live and everything was transferred over with old links forwarding to the new domain! They also cleaned up my WordPress plugins and optimized my site with needed plugins…
I’m so glad that I hired a professional to take care of the domain transfer so I could get back to taking care of everything else.
Speaking of everything else….
The Hidden Issues
One of the biggest issues with my blog, before we initiated the transfer, was my host was slowing down my site. I used to use BlueHost at the time but my IT support team recommended that I switch to WebFaction. My blog has A LOT of pictures and I was having issues with some pictures not loading. This was due to Bluehost only providing basic speed and storage with my plan. I would’ve had to upgrade (and spend more money) to get it to function correctly through BlueHost. WebFaction provides unlimited domains registered for a flat monthly rate of $10/month (includes .100GB SSD storage, 1GB RAM, 1TB bandwidth). Many bloggers push that if you want to start a blog, to start with BlueHost – which I agree with but you should check out other options to see what is the best plan for you. I’m much happier since changing my host provider to WeFaction.
One word – Jetpack. I had a love/hate for Jetpack – I loved the straightforward analytics it provided but apparently, it was not good for my site. It was probably another reason my site was slowing down and pictures were not loading correctly. My IT guy removed Jetpack and although I miss it, I don’t want any other issues or my site to crash!
Another plugin that was giving my site issues was Simple Subscribe. I’m not sure what happened but my IT support said it broke the site when he was doing the transfer. Thankfully he backed everything up!
I use a pretty standard plugin to watermark my images. The plugin has an option to save all original photos without the watermark, the only downside to selecting that option is taking up more space – which thankfully I didn’t because my site was already running slow! But, because I did not save all original images, all photos from the Darling Taylor days are still watermarked with Darling Taylor 🙁 It’s no biggie because I still own Darling Taylor and plan to keep the domain name indefinitely and I do have original copies for most things saved in a cloud account if I really wanted to switch them out.
The Bottom Line
If you are thinking about changing your name, just do it before it’s months or years later and you have more content to transfer over. If you haven’t started a blog yet but have thought about it, now is the perfect time to start! Just don’t make the same mistake that I did – make sure you have a domain name that you love 🙂
Interested in starting a blog?
It doesn’t take much money to start blogging. BlueHost starts at $2.95/month and WordPress is SUPER easy to set up to start blogging. It takes some getting used to navigating on WordPress, but you don’t need any technical skills to get started. I highly encourage all business owners to have some sort of blog for their business. One reason why I started blogging was to link my products from my Etsy and Amazon shops to create more SEO possibilities.
If you want to get started blogging in no time, read this post on How to Start a Blog in 4 Easy Steps.
I have to admit that since I became serious about blogging, I realized I need A LOT of help getting this blog where I want it to be. Not only did I enroll in the Elite Blog Academy (which is closed now but will open again soon) but I also invested in Abby Lawson’s Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook. Abby details how to grow your hobby blog into a business and the info she provides is fantastic! I read through the book in a matter of hours adding bookmarks with my to-dos. She provides everything that you need to know if you are just starting a blog or need some pointers to push your blog further. It’s a must-read for bloggers!
Be sure to check out my Resources page for all of the blogging resources that I used to turn my blog into a money-making business!
Make sure you have a host with enough space/speed…
Like I mentioned above, BlueHost is great if you are just starting out. I switched to WebFaction with the recommendation of my IT support team but I’ve also heard great things about WP Engine. If you plan to have tons of pictures (like me) then you should check out hosting providers with more storage and speed, in which case, WP Engine or WebFaction are the way to go. Go through this link to get 2 months free at WP Engine when you pay annually. You can check out their plans here.
Add a theme to make your blog stand out
When starting to blog, there are many free themes (designs) that you can choose from, which is how I started. Although it didn’t take long for me to want to have more control over my design and stand out. That’s why I highly recommend purchasing a theme through StudioPress. Here’s the SMP blog theme (Modern Pro Blogger by Pretty Darn Cute) if you like my theme. My them has 5 different color options, patterns, etc to personalize and make it your own. I highly recommend a theme with the Genesis Framework!
Create a blogging time management schedule
Time management is a struggle for most bloggers (especially newbies!) and finding the perfect work-life balance will make or break your success. Since I like helping my readers (that’s you!), I’m going to share my time management process for your blogging journey and give you my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for FREE!
Get my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for Free!
All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my guide for how to manage your time and create a work-life balance while creating your blog business!
You can always send me an email if you have blogging questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. I’m not a technical person and do not consider myself a WordPress pro, but I’ve taught myself A LOT through this blogging journey of mine!
Want more valuable blogging resources? Check out my Blogger’s Toolkit HERE!
Psssssttt…Right now I’m offering my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for FREE! All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my guide for how to manage your time and create a work-life balance while creating your blog business!
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