Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A New Way to Blog

As you may have noticed, I've once again changed the format of this blog. But this time around, the change was prompted by an error message I got when trying to upload some pictures: "Your Picasa account is full."

You see, Blogger stores my uploaded photos in my Picasa web albums with up to 1 GB of storage space. Well, after four years of blogging, I finally hit that 1 GB mark. At first, it seemed like my only option was to pay $2.49 a month for an additional 25 GB of storage space, which was kind of a drag. Not a crazy amount of money, but I sort of hate recurring payments.

My next thought was to just start a new blog with a new account and link the old one to it. But that seemed less than thrilling to me. After all, this is my blog. That also seemed like it might get confusing for readers.

That's when my wonderful geeky husband stepped in. He had taken a class on hosting a web server before and still knew how to set it up. The thing about that is that you have to have a computer running 24/7, since that's where my pictures would be stored. Lucky for us, we already have a computer that we leave on all the time. When we installed our security cameras, Chris set them up to record to that computer so we would be able to catch any robbers if our house was ever robbed again. So our "DVR computer" now doubles as our server, and we're good to go.

The main difference for me is that when I upload pictures, I upload them from a URL instead of from my computer. So I have to transfer photos onto that computer over the network first, and make sure to resize them myself so they don't slow down the blog load speeds. Sound complicated? It's really not too bad (I'm just glad I have a couple years of computer consulting under my belt so I feel comfortable keeping up with my hubby after he does all the heavy lifting). haha

And the reason for my blog's aesthetic change was that Dynamic Views, the template I was using before, has limited usability with any server other than Picasa. So the pictures wouldn't load in the previews. After we figured that out, I decided it was probably easier just to switch my format back to a classic view. Plus, it's nice to give the ole blog a little face lift every so often. :-)

So there you have it. That's how we worked around paying $2.49 a month for the rest of my life. :-) If you are a blogger out there and come across this, leave me a comment about how you manage your blog! I'd love to hear about other solutions people have come up with. And if you want more specific information about how we are hosting our own photos (I know I didn't give a very technical explanation) I'd be happy to get the details from my husband and pass them along.

Happy blogging everyone!