Posted by: Kelli
Last week was a whirlwind of a week in our blogging life! We are excited, though. So excited!! I (Kelli) have been excited about our blog from day one, but I am even more excited now than I have been since the start.
Kristi and I have learned a LOT in the last seven months about blogging. If you have read our blogiversary posts, you probably understand that we had a HUGE learning curve when it came to blogging.
As we continued on our road of learning, we landed at some hard conversations. We evaluated and re-evaluated our blog. Last week, and all the changes you see, happened as a result of that evaluation time. Out of it came a new name. You may be wondering where this all came from..
Why did we change the name of our blog?
When Kristi and I started blogging, we decided on what we considered a fun, whimsical, and somewhat quirky name. The Striped Pearl. We went with it and had no intentions of changing it (who goes into business planning to change the name?).
However, a couple weeks ago, we were talking about some of the weaknesses of our blog. I reluctantly made mention about my concern for our blog’s name. With what seemed like a sigh of relief, Kristi told me she had been thinking the same thing for the last month.
We knew it would be work and more technical learning, but we decided it was better to change the name now (seven months and one hundred posts in) than even later down the road.
Why did you change the name to The Willow Market?
We wanted a name with meaning and purpose. Kristi and I have talked over and over again about the word grace lately.
We have found that no matter what our specific tasks of the day include, we are always trying to live in grace. We need Jesus’s grace to truly live, we need to offer grace to those around us whether it be our children, friends, family, or husbands, and we need to show ourselves grace. There is definitely joy to be found in a life of grace.
Willow means graceful and slender. Market is a place where people often meet to exchange goods or services. The Willow Market is a place where you can come to find grace.
What do we want you to see when you visit our blog?
We want you to find grace when you come to our blog. Along with other things, we post sewing projects, photography tips, book reviews, and stories about life, but ultimately, we want you to see two girls trying our best to find grace and beauty in life. Yes, you see much of our good side when you see the pictures, but know that everything on this blog is coming from two very imperfect people seeking to live our lives intentionally, beautifully, and gracefully.
Please be encouraged when you come here!! If you come here finding something else, please let us know, as we seek to be as authentic as a blog allows.
With this change, we learned a lot of new technical skills. Maybe our brief explanations can help a fellow blogger or website owner about what it takes to change a name.
What are the steps we had to take to change the name, domain, url, or website address of our blog?
1. Decide on a new name. Check to see if the domain (website address) you want for your new name is available. I checked at Domains Bot.
2. Buy a new domain. You will most likely want to buy it through your current hosting company. We work with Bluehost. When Kristi and I decided on a new name, I was overly anxious and concerned someone else would come up with that exact domain name that night and go buy it (silly, I know). As a result, I went online and bought it through Google.
The following day, we realized the process would be much simpler if we bought the domain through Bluehost. So, I then returned the domain to Google, and I bought it a second time through our current hosting company.
3. Since we used to operate under thestripedpearl.com, we decided to keep that domain as a parked domain. This allows us to automatically transfer any traffic that is heading to thestripedpearl.com to thewillowmarket.com. For example, if anyone clicks through pins linking back to thestripedpearl.com, they will automatically be transferred to thewillowmarket.com. Right now, we plan to keep The Striped Pearl domain for as long as our current contract is with owning that domain. When that time is up, we’ll reevaluate.
4. Even though our hosting company backs up our site automatically as a courtesy, the backups are not guaranteed. Therefore, we decided to back up our site on multiple devices. We felt we were a bit more vulnerable to losing files since we were changing so many technical aspects of the blog. We wanted to be prepared for things to go wrong. And really, this change forced us to know more about backing up our content and having an ongoing plan in place.
Did we have to transfer all our pictures, posts, and content to a new site? Did we have to start over?
While we were expecting to have to spend a lot of time transferring our blog from one place to another, we learned it didn’t end up working that way for us. Wordpress allows you to easily change the URL associated with your account without needing to transfer or move anything. Just a note, we are not overly tech savvy and only understand the surface of this technical stuff. If you want to change your domain, you will definitely want to verify that you are able to simply change the URL in your WordPress account as well.
What happened to thestripedpearl.com?
Like I mentioned above, thestripedpearl.com will remain a parked domain.
If you stumbled upon this page in the midst of a blog change yourself, feel free to email us some questions (hello (at) thewillowmarket.com). We’d love to help you! We don’t know a lot about the technicalities, but we can attempt to steer you in the right direction!