mv WordPress (self-hosted)

This blog was hosted on in 2013-2023, and displayed at since 2018. This setup expires –and will close– in July 2024.

These are my notes for future me and whoever may be curious.

Blogging software

I’ve been blogging offline since 2005 (I used a local instance of Blosxom as a diary which I kept for myself via a terminal on my laptop) and online since 2006 (on my friend Amy’s blog Dullicious where I blogged as Barbie-dull for several years, and on My Opera). My previous migration in 2013 moved my blog from My Opera (which Opera shut down four months after) to

All this time my website was hosted for free on a shared server in one of the machine rooms at MIT and I could not easily get any blogging software installed, so my blog had to be separate from my website.

But last year’s infamous Gandi dick move was both a curse and a blessing. Ditto an internal decision at work that free hosting for personal websites was ending by year end as a result of W3C moving out of MIT in January 2023.

Domain name, email, Web hosting

In June 2023, Gandi announced that the free e-mail service included with domain name rental was becoming a paying subscription by year end, as well as a general increase of their prices the following month. For email, I was using 2 boxes (for me and my son), so that meant paying an extra € 115/year. So I resolved to get email elsewhere and set up a redirect on Gandi mail. For domain name rental, I had renewed it for 5 years in January 2022, so I’m all set until February 2027.

I chose to register in July a free email account at Infomaniak (more than one in fact –for me, my son, my dad), and then the day after Christmas subscribed separately for € 82,80/year the Infomaniak Web Bundle hosting plan that offers 250 GB storage, for up to 20 sites, and the ability to install and manage over 100 web applications and CMS. I’m sharing that space with a colleague of mine. In February 2027, I’ll rent the domain name with them too.

I activated ssh and was able in minutes via rsync to move my website content from the external hard drive it lives on, onto the web hosting.

I figured I now could at last unite my blog and my website! My subscription for the Starter Plan costs € 42/year and the domain name rental costs € 22/year, so a total of € 64/year (since I signed up for it in 2018, it has cost me € 320+)

So I painlessly installed the WordPress web app on my Infomaniak space.

Exporting from

I was able to export a lot of my data (a 6.3 MB XML file once unzipped) and import it in the self-hosted WordPress app I installed on Infomaniak as a sub-domain of 495 blog posts and 150+ comments.

That’s not everything, though. I was dismayed that the media items aren’t part of the export. They remain hosted on and the blog posts that reference them continue to link to the files on Similarly, themes settings and blog settings aren’t exported. Finally, all links in blog posts and pages are absolute. In my case, I had a mix of links to (2005-2018) and (2018-2023).

Importing and fixing my blog

I exported my media items (3.06 GB for about 1300 files sorted by year and month). Then I spent many mind-numbing hours (over 80h) uploading them post by post.

In addition to adding back the media files, I wanted to write the alternative texts ( is very bad at nudging bloggers to write any alt text and even if you think of it, the blogging workflow makes it difficult, I found), to check and fix the links (so now most if not all of my blog links start with / and don’t include the domain name), and remove all of the posts that included media from the Instagram account I deleted many years ago.

At the moment I’m using the same theme I was using in Twenty Fifteen. For the theme settings and the blog settings, I put two windows side by side and compared the pages to click through the options and fiddle to replicate what I had. There are a few differences but nothing that bothers me.

It’s costly to leave

I used my Christmas vacation to make a dent in the massive undertaking of re-uploading my media files and then checking each post for quality assurance. That’s the first intangible cost: time.

The second cost is intangible as well: the loss of the network effect (ability to find new blogs from fellow users, and for them to find and “follow” min), and of’s SEO (which only can explain that my blog had consistent hits every day.)

On that blog had 156 subscribers, and received 46,112 views (4.6K/month on average) from 28,123 visitors. Its most popular day was April 29, 2020 with 772 views. The visits picked up near the end of 2019, so in the past 5 years, the average views were 5.3K/month.

I don’t care that much but I’m pretty sure that after 10 years of being used to these figures (however artificial they are), I will feel the difference!

Screenshot of the stats interface showing a grid of the total views by months and years between February 2013 and January 2024. all time total views by months and years

The third cost, which I chose not to incur, is the tangible cost of redirection of a blog elsewhere on the Web. It costs € 13/year.

What I did instead was to trash all of my posts on the end and replace that blog with just one static page as homepage, and a blog post, announcing that the setup was going to expire and close in July 2024.

Screenshot of a static page showing an illustration of people carrying cardboard boxes next to a message with my picture announcing the blog has moved static page as homepage

Looks of my blog over the years

Screenshot of a wordpress blog with Twenty Fifteen theme in white and light grey
My self-hosted wordpress blog using the Twenty Fifteen theme in white and light grey