I made a website purely for personal entertainment a few years ago. I poured hundreds of hours into it, and it has about 12gb of data between photos, videos, and journal entries. Personal photo diary travel adventures, essays about my work, etc. I’m a complete novice and I taught myself everything via google searches. I built it from the ground-up and, since I had no idea what I was doing, the code is probably pretty wonky as I leaned toward aesthetics above all else. Clunky is likely a great word to describe the formatting of it all, if I had to pick one. I gave up on the website a couple years ago but I still pay for it through Siteground.
At this point I don’t want to continue paying $500 every two years to keep it online. However, I don’t want to lose the website, as it carries immense sentimental value for me. Amongst other personal creations, it comprises a vast collection of my travels abroad during a very special time in my life with a very special person who is sadly no longer with me.
It brings me pain to visit my little website creation, though I would like to keep myself open to revisiting it and contributing to it again at some point in the future. It’s an online scrapbook of sorts. Right now, though, I need a long break from it.
How do I stop paying for it to be hosted without losing the website? I looked into the wayback machine but the website comprises dozens of individual pages with many links on each page. I don’t want to lose the functionality of the website. Even if I can only use/see the website while logged into the WordPress admin, I’d be totally happy with that. I don’t need it to be publicly accessible or active, I just don’t want it to be deleted altogether forever if I stop paying Siteground to host it.
I looked into migrating WordPress websites manually and it’s way over my head. I’m not necessarily opposed to paying a reasonable fee for a service that will reliably move my website from Siteground to a free/cheaper-than-Siteground hosting service, either. After googling around about this and crying my eyebulbs out at the prospect of losing my memories, I’m open to ideas and suggestions.
Can someone please guide me here? Am I overlooking something simple like changing the website from www.example.com to www.example.wordpress.com? Am I complicating things or not seeing a bigger picture here?
Any guidance, insight, or direction would be super duper bluper helpful. Thank you very much for your help with this.