so that happened

The Blog Went Boom


Last night, as I lazily clicked my way through a WordPress wormhole, I decided at the convenient hour of 1am that it was as good time as any to switch over to self-hosting. I popped gummy bears into my mouth until there was more sugar than blood in my veins, and then without giving it too much thought (this will become evident in a moment), I signed up for 12 months with Siteground.

Here are the things I did not consider before pulling the trigger:

  • There are many things that might be recommended activities for 1am – having a gin & tonic, dancing to terrible music, getting into a deep and meaningful conversation with a close friend, having sex, eating horribly unhealthy food – but switching to self-hosting is not one of them.
  • I had no idea what I was doing.
  • I don’t have a laptop, I have a chromebook, and so can’t actually run any programs or plugins at the moment.
  • I’m not in a position to be buying a new laptop anytime soon.
  • I had no idea what I was doing.
  • Would have really been a great idea to have done some reading before jumping in both feet first, true to form.
  • I had no idea what I was doing.


I nuked my blog into a billion wordpressy pieces in a matter of minutes. Before I knew it, it had completely disappeared only to be replaced by a privacy error.


Three conversations with tech support later, they assured me that in the morning I would be switched over and privacy-error free. Everything would have returned to normal! It would be fine!

It was not fine.

I woke up in the morning and the privacy error was gone, yes, but now my blog had disappeared entirely and what was once my paradise of blog posts was now an empty default blog theme with a smug succulent in the header image, laughing at me.

I went back to tech support, starting to feel that familiar gnawing panic of having bitten off more than I could chew. A nice man talked me down from my freak-out and led me through the process step by step until I was back at what you see now; almost all of it, put back together in a haphazard way. Then he said what I can only assume is the virtual tech support version of a pat on the hand and a ‘there, there now.’ He said:

“I know it seems a little hard to do – I myself when I did it the first time, it was extremely hard for me as well – but do not hurry, and I believe you will do it and will work like a charm!”

Feeling boosted by this random stranger’s belief in my extremely limited abilities, I thanked him.

“I wish you all the great things, Quinn!” He said then. “Have a happy, wonderful and great time ahead of you!”

I mean…

The whole ordeal was almost worth it just for the tech support alone.





  • Eunice Ratcliffe

    I wondered where you’d gone! I tried several times to leave a comment on your last post but all I got was an ‘oops, this page no longer exists’ message, the same when I tried to access any of your previous posts. It’s good to see you back anyway 🙂

    • Quinn

      Thanks Eunice! Does it look normal-ish from your end now? Yeah, it was a process. There was a spoonful of blind panic, a dollop of self-loathing and a sprinkling of serious stress involved but I think I’m almost there! Now if I could just get my likes back…..

  • Bexoxo

    I was wondering what was going on… I noticed the change in your name on my reader, but didn’t think much of it. Congrats… (I think)? Hope you are able to figure everything out soon.

    So why the switch?

    • Quinnscribble

      Okay I can no longer like comments and I don’t like (he he) that. Goddammit. Why the switch… well let’s see… I was sleep-deprived and on a sugar high and I just got carried away with myself!

      Really, there was no actual reasoning behind it. It was a mix of being online at 1am and thinking it’s something I should do. Oh! And there was a sale on. Deadly combination.

  • Josy A

    Oh no! You poor thing that must have been really stressful!

    I’m glad you didn’t lose all your follows. We’ll be here as you build your blog back up! 😀

    • Quinn

      Thank you Josy! Typical me. As Scrubs said when I told him, “The enemy of good is ‘better'” … Just couldn’t leave well enough alone! If I could roll my eyes any more at myself they would fall right out of my head…

  • Robert Doyle

    Oh how terrible Quinn! I have changed my theme exactly once and that was daunting without it being self-hosted. I was so afraid of exactly what you mention happening. In a few months I will be on year 4 here of blogging and the thought of losing some, or all of it is not a happy thought. However I hope it does all you hope in self-hosting. I still go both ways on it, and I still don’t quite understand the reasons for it. Mine is so niche as well that I am not sure it would really matter!

    • Quinnscribble

      I don’t even know why I did it, to be honest. I actually tried to cancel it as soon as I had spent the money but, you know, those people with their retention metrics are impossible to get past and now it just seems like it would be too much effort to turn back after rebuilding the blog!

    • Raili TANSKA

      Oh dear. Impulsive silliness!
      Did you know that WP will send you an email of EVERYTHING on your blog as a back up. SImply got to Dashboard, Tools, Export – click on ALL – Download Export file will arrive in your email box usually within 24 hours. I use it as a weekly back up and save it to memory stick.

      • Quinn

        That is such a good idea! Yes, I had exported (only once – but now I’m thinking I’ll do it weekly like you!) so at least my posts were safe!

  • Aine

    Holy Shit! That sounds like something I’d do! You utter loon! Although hooray, you made it to the other side in one piece. All of the high fives! I’m self hosted too and sure it’s grand once you’re there, it was worth it for me from a branding level.

    Honestly Aine

    • Quinn

      Mmm. I don’t really have branding and I did sfa in terms of research before diving in, so not sure it will benefit me that much. I just decided it was something I should do, and then it was done, and it was a disaster, but at this point I feel like trying to retrace my steps back to would be more difficult than sticking it out!

      *embarrassed high five*

      At least I’m not alone on the other (self-hosted) side!

  • Lane Beck

    I thought I was reading your blog to help me get my life back in order. But, reading your blog has made me realize, by comparison, I’ve basically got my shit together! 😉 Thanks Quinn!

    • Quinn

      Hahahaha! You’re doing pretty great Lane I don’t think you can learn anything from me unless it involves learning from my mistakes!

  • Lost Astronomer

    I can still leave comments, so I’m happy – blog still looks good. Just try to avoid slapping any big, red, tempting buttons in the future!

    • Quinn

      I have impulse control issues when it comes to certain things. Also I shouldn’t be left unsupervised with gummy bears after midnight; I’m like a mogwai becoming a gremlin.

      PS is that PO Box still to the good? I have finally gathered together all the little items for the giveaway quest!

  • iwannabealady

    Quinn, I’ve done crazy, rash things like this a number of times. And I’ve had the self-loathing and stunned look afterward that I’m sure you probably still have now. I’d be great for them to figure out an easy way to transfer to self-hosting, you know, let it be as easy as it was to press the Become Self-Hosted button that did you in. Now that you’re on the other side, I’m sure you’ll find the waters cozy. You’ve survived and we now have a good story to tell, so wild irrational decisions ain’t all that bad. 🙂

    • Quinn

      Hahaha thank you! I think it’ll take me about a week longer before I am okay with the decision but there you go. At least it will provoke me to learn things I never knew I needed to know!

  • Angela

    I feared you might do this soon with the blog booming 😉 but I’m glad I can still Comment and Like albeit a little different next time it’s 1am and you are at a loss for what to do though I suggest going for a nap IT issues are more tolerable at 10am! Happy New Blog Home xo

    • Quinn

      I don’t know about “booming”… this reminds me of that time I read about promoting your blog and went all in for two days before I realised I HATED it and would rather pluck my own eyelashes out one by one than spend more than the five minutes required to tweet a link doing any “promotion”….



      • Angela

        HAHA! Yeah I tried that for a bit too, now I just keep my blog secret, less hassle!
        I can like your comments again, but don’t get notifications when you reply to comments, we have to put our name/email/site in to leave comments but I think I know them…don’t ask me my phone number though cause I don’t know how to get that without you giving me your number for me to ring you once to get my number off your phone…

        • Quinn

          NOW? HOW ABOUT NOW??

          Whyyyy did I decide to do this? Now I’m at the point where unravelling and turning back would be more difficult than forging through… I wish there was a nice big red UNDO button! But here we are. I think I’ve taken away the need to log in now…

          • Angela

            NOW its back to normal 🙂 …IF ever decide to take the plunge to self host you can be my IT girl 🙂

          • Quinn

            Hahaha good lord NO THANK YOU VERY MUCH although I will tell you all the things I did wrong so you can avoid the same mistakes. As with, you know, life in general. 🙈😄

  • Elaine

    I blame the gummy bears 🐻 stay away from them ! 😉. Now don’t freak out but if anyone wants to comment they have to go into your site and register their email rather than comment through the reader. Maybe something to talk to that lovely man about 😉

    • Quinn

      Are you kidding me?! *bites back frustrated scream*

      It’s fine. It’s FINE! It’s totally fine….

      *scampers away to find tech support AGAIN)

    • Quinn

      What does it look like now? I feel like I’m an electrician behind a curtain yelling “NOW? HOW ABOUT NOW? NOW?”

  • Thomas

    Hi Quinn, personally I wouldn’t want to do stuff like this at 1AM but hey seems like it worked out in the end.

    By the way, you can re-enable the “Likes” functionality through the Jetpack plugin (which it looks like you have installed already, judging from the “Notify me of follow-up comments by email.” checkboxes below). There are two separate settings on the “Sharing” and “Discussion” tabs, one for posts and one for comments. The latter was incidentally just added yesterday in the latest update (version 5.1).

  • Jennifer

    Yikes. Sounds stressful. Might I ask what time you finally went to bed after all this. You must not have been able to sleep well. Good luck with you blog.

  • Raili TANSKA

    Uh-huh. Now I know why I am not tempted at 1am to press red buttons, gummy bears or not 🙂

  • Jeff Cann

    Other than a nice technological challenge, what’s the benefit of self-hosting? I feel that I pick up much of my readership through my relationship with wordpress.

    • Quinn

      God knows. I’m really regretting it now. I think the advantages are new themes and plugins that you can use to customise your blog better, but I’ll have to get back to you when I’ve managed to get a handle on things!

  • Anne

    OMG, I’m getting heart palpitations just from reading this. Absolute nightmare scenario. Thankfully you’ve managed to get everything back on track. I went self-hosted straight away because I didn’t even know what it was and that there’s a difference between and .org How do we even function as bloggers?!

      • Anne

        I’m super happy with it and it’s straight forward enough for all the basics. I gave myself about 2/3 months though when I first set up the blog a couple of years ago. Some things definitely require a bit of research, watching how to videos etc. So stay off the gummy bears after midnight! 😉

  • Professor Taboo

    Hahaha! You apparently came too close to our state when you visited Mexico, Quinn! You contracted a rule-of-thumb we have in Texas popularly known as “Shoot first. Ask questions later.” And fyi… many here have no clue what a blog is either! 😉 😛 Tech support? HAH! Our motto?

    “Bite the bullet! Support your local gunslinger!”

    For you Quinn, I’d say… “I wish you all great things that go BANG and SCREAM, Quinn!” He said then. “Have a happy, wonderful and great shootout ahead of you on Dr. Moreau’s island!” 😈 😛

  • Joanna Maguire

    Ah you silly sausage! I did wonder where you were gone and was worried that I wouldn’t get my Quinn fix/you had been eaten by a hamster. Glad to see things are sorted (ish?) now. Going to be changing to self-hosting myself soon…I know where to come from advice now 😉

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