No, I’m serious; this is the real deal. We’re moving this week. On February 4, as a matter of fact. Our new domain is ready to launch, and we’re pretty excited.
We’ve spent two months redesigning and overhauling our blog image, and it’s ready to launch. We’ve got a new theme and layout, we have a new look and brand (one that fits us better, I think), and we have all the quirks worked out so everything runs smoothly.
It’s been quite the ride. If you’re thinking of moving your blog, I suggest the following:
Do not stress over deadlines. Harry and I set a personal deadline of January 1st for the launch. As you can see, we’ve blown that badly. The big day was looming up, we weren’t ready, and we had a freak-out moment before realizing that, hey, it’s okay. So we’re not ready. We’ll get there when we get there.
Do not make promises you can’t keep. We could avoid stressing over deadlines for one reason: We hadn’t told anyone our launch date. We knew that we had a lot of work on our plate and weren’t sure we could keep our word on what day the site would go live. Our readers knew we were moving – they just didn’t know when.
Get help. There were many moments of me deciding I wanted something and Harry desperately trying to make me happy. I’d get frustrated when he couldn’t achieve what I wanted, stress would make us snappy, and we’d shut down the IM in a virtual version of the silent treatment. Enter Brian Gardner, who reminded us that asking someone else to help with our struggles is better than having a fight.
Think every step over. Twice. On this blog, we tend to try different things to see the effect. A poll? Why not. Entrecard? Okay, sure. Hm. How about a widget here? No, wait, move that widget… ahhh. On the new blog, every little thing we tried was carefully considered and tested. We refused to leap onto new fads, and we made sure that the hype or the benefit of a feature was worth it.
Don’t fix what ain’t broke. We stressed over losing the wealth of content we have here at JCME. We wanted to import all the posts over to the new site, but that would create a whole bunch of new trackbacks popping up under a new domain name in blogs that we’ve linked out to. Messy. So this blog will stay. It won’t have new posts going up anymore, but people can still visit, read, comment, and we’ll answer.
Don’t renovate, rebuild. We didn’t want to lose our PR 4 rating (even though rank isn’t our priority, it’s still a nice milestone we’re proud of) but it seemed we didn’t have a choice. Moving to a new domain means starting over from ground zero. But when you start over, you begin on a more solid foundation built for better success. Our old blog couldn’t support more growth and the test of time – renovating it was wasted money and effort. This new home of ours is built strong and it’s here for the long haul.
Our biggest question is – when should we release the new URL? Do we need to give readers a chance to update their feeds? Should we do a launch blitz and email everyone? Do we wait until Moving Day and launch it then? Should we give everyone a sneak peak…?