How to ensure that your blog lives forever

I made a mistake a few weeks ago.

I need to back up a bit and explain something. I hate advertising. I think it’s the devil’s own backyard. Don’t get me wrong: There’s nothing wrong with hawking one’s wares; if somebody wants a widget and nobody knows you can make that widget, that’s not much help to anyone. But what I hate about advertising in this day and age is that it’s not so much about connecting buyer with seller as it is about brainwashing folks into buying things, even when more often than not they don’t want those things (but don’t yet realise it).

How many times have you bought something to make you feel happy (or, just better) and found that six weeks later the thing you bought still makes you feel better? I’m guessing ‘never’… am I right?

The advertising industry is worth megabucks. Make that ‘terabucks’. Why is that? It’s because the advertisers can get us to part with our hard-earned cash to buy things that we can easily do without. And they do it largely through underhanded techniques; persuading us that ownership of this widget or that can make us more appealing to the opposite sex, or will enhance some other aspect of our otherwise humdrum lives. And they do it with repetition, repetition, repetition. Television adverts, for instance, don’t just inform us of what’s available: they brainwash us through constant repeats of the same thing over and over, until all that’s required is the jingle to get us to remember what is being sold (can you hear the sound of Intel in your head?).

Of course they deny that’s what they’re doing. And we buy into this, too… most people believe that they’re immune to the kind of advertising I’m talking about, it only works on the other fellah, right? If that’s true, why is it that the advertising industry is worth terabucks?

… Sorry about that: my tangent went further adrift than I thought it would. The point is that I hate advertising, with a passion. So back when I had a ‘free’ WordPress website, I was very conscious of the fact that I was subjecting my visitors to adverts (and I had no idea what those adverts were pushing). So one day, I decided to bite the bullet and cough up for a WordPress ‘personal plan’, one that would guarantee no more adverts for my poor visitors (you).

Here’s where the mistake I made comes into it…

Hmm… I see that I need to back up a little bit again.

I’ve had this blog since 2007. That’s a long time, in Internet terms. I don’t know of many blogs that have lasted that long. In fact a lot of the blogs I used to connect with have tumbleweeds running through them now; very few are still active. But the blogs are still there. Take Dwight Towers, for instance. The last post there was almost four years ago, in November 2014. And yet the site is still accessible, as dwighttowers.wordpress.com.

Here’s another example: David Robertson has a website at https://davidpj.wordpress.com, another site that’s still accessible. However, David’s old blog points to a ‘new home’ at http://www.david-robertson.net/ — but that domain appears to be as dead as the proverbial dodo 😦 — I’ve been in touch with him, and he tells me that his latest blog is at https://davidrsci.wixsite.com/hellodavid — though that one’s in the doldrums, too….

From 2007 until very recently, my own blog here, Wibble, was addressable as pendantry.wordpress.com. It still is: but, until recently, that address translated to wibble.blog — because I got suckered into the ‘free’ offer of my own web domain, included in the price of my WordPress ‘personal plan’. And ‘wibble.blog’ was just too good to pass up.

The problem is that if ‘pendantry.wordpress.com’ translates to ‘wibble.blog’ then many (not all) of the automatic links that WordPress creates would be to ‘wibble.blog’, not to ‘pendantry.wordpress.com’ (comment links, for instance, would be to ‘wibble.blog’).

So (finally) this is where my mistake factors into the equation. I would have to keep paying for the personal plan every year, or the wibble.blog domain name will stop working (or, worse, be bought up by some pr0n dealer). Were I to revert to a ‘free’ plan (the one that inflicts adverts on you good folks) this would mean that a lot of the links to my website (those I’ve crafted using ‘wibble.blog’ rather than ‘pendantry.wordpress.com’) would just stop working.

And of course, there’s one point at which ‘wibble.blog’ will cease to be paid for by me: and that’s after I’m dead (!).

Now that I realise this, I’m going to make sure that I use ‘pendantry.wordpress.com’ when linking to my site in future.

The big problem (since I, naturally, want my words to live forever — or at least, as long as possible) is that social media doesn’t recognise death.* When I’m dead, nobody’s going to pay for the upkeep of the domain name ‘wibble.blog’. And that’s why I’ve reconfigured my site so that ‘pendantry.wordpress.com’ (the ‘free’ domain) is the main address of my site, and ‘wibble.blog’ is just an alternative.

“What’s the solution?” I hear Paul Handover asking me, as is his wont. I’m not sure there is one. The Internet is still too young; the designers didn’t think far enough ahead to cater for linkrot-caused-by-death-of-the-one-paying-for-a-domain-name.

The moral of this story? If you’ve got a ‘free’ WordPress plan, your words can live forever (well, as long as WordPress continues, anyway). If you’ve bought into having your own domain name, if you actually use that name, your words may disappear along with you when you go….

* I had to manually change the ‘wibble.blog’ in that link to ‘pendantry.wordpress.com’ 😦

About pendantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, Communication, Computers and Internet, Education, Ludditis, Phlyarology, Strategy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to How to ensure that your blog lives forever

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing this post.
    My IT pro friend who is my guide dog on the internet told me to stick to the free plan. I thought about monetizing many times but everytime she said its not worth it yet.

    Thanks for giving me one more reason. We all want our words to live forever..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am not going to ask: “What’s the solution?” because you have so clearly set it out. With your permission I would like to republish parts of your post and get an idea of what the good folks who follow LfD would like me to do. Thank you, Colin!

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      You don’t need my permission. All the content I produce is covered under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA licence, as it says down there at the bottom of the page (on the left). But, thank you for considering republishing my words.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am with you I so dislike the adverts and often log into my site without signing into WordPress just to see what is being advertised as we authors do not see them.. And like you I have a Free Site and have since 2007 transferring here from Windows Live Space Days in 2010 with it shut its doors and gave us the option to transfer…
    My only problem is the media Library limited upload space which is more than half full.. Despite me manually going through photo sizes to reduce them.. It seems to have not made any difference to usage..??
    Any way P.. It has made my mind up not to purchase a domain.. I had my own name site offered too, but saw no point in changing.. Sorry you had to go through all of those hoops to alter things..
    Wishing you well my friend..

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      The hoops were no trouble. But having jumped through them, I wanted to make others aware of them.

      As for your media usage, I’m not entirely sure what the problem might be there. If you optimise your images from this point onward, you should notice that you’re not approaching your limit as fast as you once perhaps were….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. daryan12 says:

    Of course this only works so long as wordpress.com stays up and in business. Remember what happened to blog.co.uk. Social media is ever changing, who knows traditional blogs could die out and we have to all get a vlog channel…..or worse a facebook page (shudder!).

    Liked by 3 people

  5. john zande says:

    How many times have you bought something to make you feel happy (or, just better) and found that six weeks later the thing you bought still makes you feel better? I’m guessing β€˜never’… am I right?

    A good umbrella always brings a smile to my face. And good boots.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. mistermuse says:

    Thanks for the info. I’ve never given serious consideration to monetizing, and after reading your post, I probably never will. I don’t think it’s a big deal to deal with the ads by simply ignoring them.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Laurie says:

    I always get such good blogging advice from reading your posts. I have been posting since January 2018. Sometimes it seems like I am one of the old-timers (blog life, not my age!) I have a free WP site, and it works well for me, but there are things I would like to do which I don’t believe I can do with a free site (like host a link up).
    I am not great on the computer and got advice from my computer science PhD son when I first set up my site. I wish it was easier to get some help from WP.
    Anyway, sorry for the ramble. I have been thinking about getting a personal plan too, but you have made me have second thoughts. It sounds like more trouble than it is worth. My storage space will be used up before too long. I don’t really care about a blogging legacy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      Thanks for the vote of confidence!

      No worries about the ramble, my post was a bit of one, itself πŸ™‚ If you’re running out of space, you might want to investigate optimising your images, that will help a lot.

      I actually think that the personal plan is good value for money. It gets rid of the adverts (a BIG plus, for me) and the two times I’ve asked WP for support since I bought into it, they gave me faultless service. I can’t blame them for not supporting their free service as well as their paid plans.

      What do you mean by ‘host a link up’? Maybe I can help with that… ?

      Like

      • Laurie says:

        I had read your article on optimizing your images when it first came out. I think now I understand better what it means and how to use it. I will play around with it for my next post.
        Some bloggers host a weekly (or monthly) link up where other bloggers can link a post with the understanding that you will link back to the host in your post and comment on several other posts which are linked, including the host’s post. Here is a link to an example of one I typically link to (you must scroll down to the bottom to see the links)
        http://cleaneatsfastfeets.com/2018/07/16/week-in-review-141/

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Eilene Lyon says:

    Interesting. I’ve been making plans for my (not imminent) demise and this is definitely something to be thinking about. Of course, WWIII could happen and all this internet stuff will be moot. At least we won’t be subjected to any advertising anymore then!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. colettebytes says:

    Ah, that is very interesting.

    I am a sporadic blogger, and only since the start of 2017 on this particular blog. I have left two others to their internet fate! I do use the free version, and my words of wisdom (or otherwise) are there for anyone who wants to read them. They will be there for as long as WordPress maintains its servers. And the links therein, for as long as Google and YouTube, maintain theirs.
    I actually ignore advertising on any site, so figure most readers do the same. If the advertising is in conflict with the message in my blog, I think most readers are savvy enough to know that the advert has benn placed by a ‘bot that has used algorithmic coding governed by the highest bidder and out of context words appearing in any missive.

    We live in a world of materialism. Everything must be paid for without exception, but we can be selective about what we look at, and what we choose to do with what we see.

    As for a blogging legacy… Well everyone in history, without exception, is usually remembered for the last thing they did. No one remembers the runners up in a race!

    I share my thoughts, because I want to. If no one reads them, I don’t mind. They are there and by making them public, I define who I am, which helps me enormously. For if we don’t take a stance on what we think, why do we enter the blogging world at all!πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      I have to admit that I would rather that my words be read than not. I’m not really fussed about ‘after I’m gone’, except for the fact that I care about anyone who might want to read my garbage once I’m not here to maintain it. You’re right about YouTube, if they were to fold, or change their system to block out video embedding, a lot of my posts would make little sense.

      Anyway, thank you for reading my words, and for telling me what you think πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • colettebytes says:

        You have much to share on your Wibble’s. I learn so much on blog sites, that I prefer them to mainstream news. At least here, people are sharing their truths. I am not attached to outcomes of my posts…otherwise I might be a tad disappointed at my words lost in a sea of information. If someone is meant to read (and perhaps learn something from) my blog, they will find it. Otherwise, it is useful only to me.πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Eric Alagan says:

    I believe with the “free” WordPress one cannot upload videos. Or am I wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As someone who has only been running a blog since November last year it’s good to know these things. I’m always interested to know about potential problems that should be avoided.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Oof. This sounds like a headache. But hey, bright side is that you’re still around posting! You’re like a legend.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your post is of great help. I think I’ll continue with my free plan.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. floatinggold says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us.
    I’ve been toying with the idea of upgrading for a while, but because I do not know the unknown (obviously), I’m not sure if it would be a good idea. So far, I do not think the pros outweigh the cons. Being able to change my domain name is something that tickles my fancy, but I was wondering about it. What happens when I stop paying? Does my blog fall apart? Do I lose my content, etc. So in a way, you answered my unasked question.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. floatinggold says:

    And on the topic of advertising – I love it and I hate it. I have a huge interest in the works behind ads and psychology. I think it’s fascinating.
    Do I think I give in less than an average Joe? Yes. Do I still give in? Of course. But I like to think it’s because I want to, not because of their pushed message.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi this is interesting reading. I don’t understand much about the URL bit but I pay for a personal plan and this includes my URL sunraintea.com. Does anyone know if I should change things when my years plan is up for renewal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pendantry says:

      The main thrust of my post is about what happens when you lose control of the domain name — in the extreme case, this would be when you’re no longer around to pay the bill, but maybe that’s not a concern. Assuming the service you’re getting is satisfactory, why would you want to change your current plan?

      Like

I'd love to hear what your views are!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.