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Twenty years of blogging… now on ReclaimPress

I recently shared that as part of my work with Reclaim Hosting, I had the privilege to talk with Bryan Mathers and Meredith Huffman about the story behind ReclaimPress and as a result there’s a case study all about ReclaimPress on Reclaim the blog, that is definitely worth having a look at (I wrote it, so I might be a little biased, but hearing from Bryan and getting a healthy dose of his creative genius paired with Jim’s vision is always worth it!).

ReclaimPress is running a beta program, and I was invited to take part in it, enabling me to test drive this newest offering. Now, full disclosure here, I have been a (very happy) customer of Reclaim Hosting’s Shared Hosting package since May 2016, when my WordPress site and domain moved over to what seemed to me the best independent hosting company around. Having met Jim for the first time at OER16 in April 2016, you can see that my first impression of Reclaim’s work up close and personal had a lasting effect… .

In 2016 I had already been blogging for quite a few years, from my earliest days on Blogspot or Blogger (or what that service was called to begin with?), then on a Google site or three, and then on Trawling through my archive, it looks like I started blogging prior to starting my PhD in 2004/5, from which point on my blogging took on a more serious form and from 2009-11 I wrote a blog dedicated to my postgraduate research, the archived copy of which still exists at . Twenty years or so of blogging means that I have blogged for nearly half of my life (it’s my birthday this month, so the passage of time has been on my mind).

Over the past decade however, from 2013 onwards, blogging has become a lot more important to me. On my archive page you can still see posts back that long and the drop down menu of posts on the sidebar goes back to 2010, and my blog currently has around 530 posts and 43 pages.

All of this wasn’t really on my mind when I got the invite to join the beta program for ReclaimPress. I was simply excited to try something new, experience for myself a service that the team I work with on a free-lance basis had put in many months of effort developing and fine-tuning. I was excited to give it a spin and experience the faster service for myself alongside a small group who are also part of the beta program (you can sign up, too).

And then, just as Taylor, who heads up ReclaimPress, checked in with me about moving the blog, the fear of the whole testing process suddenly hit home. My blog, which I mostly take for granted, and which, thanks to the super solid shared hosting experience I have had ever since 2016 I never really had to worry about, ever, suddenly became my most precious of domains.

It never occurred to me that anything could go wrong, until things moved. Eeek. And that is despite the fact that Taylor did absolutely everything to walk me through the process step by step, checking in at every stage, and handholding me so that I basically just had to sit back and relax. Nothing was lost, everything looked great (and fast) at every step. And yet… it suddenly dawned on me that if this site is really quite so important to me, why haven’t I invested more to make sure it stays safe and sound and well maintained and backed up and so on…!?

When Bryan, Meredith and I talked on Reclaim TV about Bryan’s experience, he mentioned that he had some sites that couldn’t go down, sites he wanted well looked after without having to navigate a fully blown enterprise level admin process like Reclaim Cloud. And I thought to myself, well, Bryan runs his business on the web, he does have sites that can never go down… totally understandable. I only have a blog, with a ‘select’ readership. It wouldn’t matter to me if it went down… OR WOULD IT?

Turns out, when it comes to this precious blog, I am completely petrified of anything happening to it and now that it has moved to a new home I am very much relieved. It is testament to the excellent support and outstanding performance of the shared hosting that Reclaim provides that I didn’t run into any disasters over the past eight years. It ‘just’ worked, seamlessly, year on year. And whenever I did have a question about how to configure something, help was kindly and always on hand.

I probably should have thought a little more about moving my blog before it happened, but I needn’t have worried. As you can see, normal service was never interrupted, and my site, and all of its history, lives on more happily than before on a service that can grow if my blogging ambitions get bigger. With a new book around the corner, and a couple of other projects in the pipeline, you never know quite how big those dreams will get. It’s reassuring to me that ReclaimPress can offer my blog a forever home. Full stop.

What I have learnt along the way is that I need to take better care of this precious domain, my home on the web, and that I need to make sure not to rely on the infrastructure and help from the good, the excellent, folk at Reclaim Hosting alone. I will need to invest some time and some resources into making sure that I have everything in place to start my next decade of blogging in the best possible shape, and that this space continues to thrive in an ever more fragmented, contested and hopefully federated online space in future. Here’s to the next twenty years of blogging. Now (and hopefully forever more) on ReclaimPress.

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Featured image: Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash


  1. Alan Levine Alan Levine

    Ok you have pondering my 21 year old pile of blog….

    • Maren Deepwell Maren Deepwell

      It’s quite a thing to ponder… made me take stock, that’s for sure.

  2. […] been in the air as we work to bring old gold bloggers over to ReclaimPress. Maren’s “20 years of blogging… now on ReclaimPress” discusses just this very thing, highlighting just how crucial her blog has become to her sense of […]

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