Welcome to the new Little Henry Lee! Now on Squarespace and with my own custom domain - littlehenrylee.net
Although I wish I could have made the switch to SS in my own time, I suppose I got the push I needed to make the change in the form of a major compatibility issue between Blogspot and Disqus. I woke up one day to find that none of my comments on any of my posts were visible anymore. Apparently it's to do with blogspot having localised URLs (.com.au, .co.uk, .co.nz, etc) and Disqus not recognising them, so the comments are no longer associated with the blog posts they were left on. So if anyone happened to stop by my blog and thought something might be wrong - you were right!
After a few days of frustrated googling I decided I'd rather pay to use SS because as a paying customer you're entitled to customer support at a level that you just don't receive with free services like Blogspot and Disqus. Most of the answers and assistance I found was offered by other users of those sites and none of it worked for me, so I decided to invest some cash in my lil old blog and treat it to a makeover.
While I would have preferred not to feel pressured to get things up and running ASAP to avoid too much down-time, I'm pretty happy with my layout and I managed to get everything working more or less the way I want it to thanks to SS's reasonably simple interface and building blocks design system. The fact that the overall design of SS's templates is very much my taste also helps a lot because it means there's minimal html/CSS involved which is usually a total time-suck for me. I'll probably make a few more changes once I find the time (like updating my photo in the sidebar) but for now I'm enjoying the switch and everything that's come with it.
If you've found yourself with the same Blogspot/Disqus issue or if you're just thinking of making the move over to Squarespace here are some positives that I've found already:
Far easier to create a layout you're happy with - they've obviously thought of the most common things people need their websites and blogs to do and have built all of that functionality in to their back end so without any need to resort to html you can create and edit things like the sidebar and navigation links, and they connect with your social media accounts so you can add icons and the instagram widget with just a couple of clicks - although it takes a bit of time to get your bearings it's about a million times easier than it was with Blogspot
Infinitely better interface for creating blog posts - Blogspot always enforced weird formatting, especially on and around things like images and bullet points and I'd have to spend time editing the html of every one of my blog posts. SS offers so many more formatting options without you even needing to think about the html. Although I do wish you could access it since I'm so used to being able to (you can't) but most of the time now I probably won't need to
Signing up to SS for a year also comes with a free domain for a year, so now I have my own website (littlehenrylee.net) which is a little more professional than .blogspot.com
An awesome 24/7 customer service team that most of the time got back to me within half an hour and worked with me on some issues I was having. Something I encountered that I wasn't expecting is that unless your blogspot is hosted on another Domain you're paying for you, can't redirect individual posts to the new links, i.e. my Top 5 Fragrances post can't be redirected to the corresponding post on my new blog, I can only redirect everything to my home page. I spent a lot of time trying to work around this but ended up giving up, so any links from my old blog just come straight to the landing page of this one. As someone whose entire coding knowledge has come from Google and trial and error, it's SO helpful to have someone to ask questions to directly and who provides explanations when you need a bit of help. Unless you're super confident with your coding, if there's one reason to start paying for your own website, it's that.
I was lucky enough to not encounter any issues with Disqus when transferring all of my existing comments from my Blogspot to my SS hosted blog. I've heard about people have problems with this, and problems with Bloglovin' but thankfully I haven't had any yet - and hopefully this post turns up in everyone's Bloglovin' feed without any issues
Although it's been hard work and kind of a massive headache, I'm really looking forward to this new chapter in my blogging life. I've been doing it for over 10 years now, since I was a teenager on LiveJournal back in the day, and although I'll never be a daily blogger it's something I'm glad I've stuck with all this time and the blogging community still brings me so much joy to this day. Although these changes aren't huge the refresh has got me feeling really excited about blogging and it's making me want to set aside more time to put into this hobby of mine.
If you happen to notice anything that's not working 100% I'd really appreciate you letting me know as I'm still ironing out a few things. It's been a big deal for me but I really feel like it's all going to be worth it and like I'll enjoy blogging even more now that I've finally taken this leap.