I originally hosted this on my own virtual server at social.coldstreams.com. I chose to stop self hosting because:
- The self hosted WordPress software, themes and plug ins required an endless stream of software updates, taking up much time since I hosted 4 blogs.
- Google decided to force web sites to use https security by pushing sites using http way down in search results. This requires purchasing, on an annual basis, a security certificate. Because I put my blogs on subdomains (social.coldstreams.com instead of coldstreams.com/social) this required that I purchase 4 separate security certificates to implement https, which becomes expensive. I did purchase one certificate and went through the process of converting an http site to https – while straightforward, this turned out to be quite time consuming.
- After moving the blog to WordPress.com, we see noticeably faster response time. Speed of response is also a factor used by search engines in ranking the search results. (Speed is faster on a huge server infrastructure like wordpress.com versus a virtual server hosted on a single server in Washington State.)
Unfortunately, Google also degrades search ranking for sites hosted on services like wordpress.com and using a generic xyz.wordpress.com web address. When hosted on social.coldstreams.com, this blog received most of its traffic as a result of search queries using Google, Bing and so on. As in hundreds of visits per day coming from search queries. By comparison, since I moved this to wordpress.com, the search query traffic collapsed to fewer than ten visits per day.
The solution is to set up a custom domain name for the blog causing search rankings to move up higher at Google and other search services.
This discovery illustrates the immense power that search engines have over access to information – and how they can control your thoughts by restricting access to information. This becomes a form of propaganda messaging – literally cherry picking what you see.
I do not yet know what URL I will use for this blog. However, it is likely that once it is implemented the existing Facebook page links back to this blog will no longer work. It is unlikely that I will fix the old links. New posts will be correctly linked, of course.