Today I am writing a post about my experience of moving from Blogger to WordPress which I did in January this year. I’m writing it because lately a lot of book bloggers have been contemplating the move and I want to outline why I would highly recommend it but also allowing everyone to see the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
So, around June 2012, I was seriously considering switching over from Blogger to WordPress. Already I had stopped using Blogger Compose simply because it had started to make my life a living hell and had been using Windows Live Writer (A program I would HIGHLY recommend if you plan on staying with Blogger and have a PC – not mac), but I still wasn’t sure I liked the idea that Blogger were still fully in control of my blog and had the power to remove it when they felt like it.
Add to that the issues I had formatting posts, uploading images, scheduling posts without it posting it early, blogger just deleting random posts altogether… and I realised it was hightime that I took myself off Blogger entirely and made the switch that many others before me had and go to WordPress.
But, being that I need to think things through a lot, I also had to do a lot of weighing things up. I searched around the subject. Worked out the best way to do it, and just simply tried to work out if the move would actually be right for me. After all, I had only been blogging for nine months, would moving be too much hassle? Was I willing to pay for a hosting platform simply for a hobby?
Essentially, I did a lot of thinking, and life got in the way a bit as well. I graduated uni, I didn’t have a job and as irritating as blogger was still being, I didn’t feel ready to move to WordPress. In my mind, it was going to be an incredibly large job and I just wasn’t sure that I was ready for the added stress of it all. While all of this was going on, however, I also signed up for wordpress.com and started a new blog to get an idea for how it all worked and how different it actually was to Blogger. I did like wordpress.com, it was easy to use, did what I wanted it to do and the notification of comments, people liking posts, and following my blog were all really handy and things that I really liked about it. But I still wasn’t sure I’d want to pay for wordpress.org.
Six months later, my mum asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I had no answer for her and so she suggested that she paid for my first year of self-hosting for the blog. It was a really nice gesture and I accepted gratefully – I have since upgraded my space but that’s a different story altogether. Thus, the decision of moving was half taken out of my hands, and half, the perfect way to start the new year on a new blogging platform that I had full and complete control of. But I also knew I had absolutely no idea what I needed to do to move my blog, and thus I started doing a lot of research.
If you’re thinking of moving, I can only recommend that you definitely have a look at these two posts to get an idea of what is involved. I know there are a LOT more blog posts out there on the subject but these two saved my neck entirely.
Then it came to deciding who I wanted to go with to host my blog. There are so many different web hosts out there so trying to decide which one would work best for me was going to take a while. There are the ones known internationally, like GoDaddy, but then there are smaller ones that have prizes that seem unbelievable. Eventually, after speaking to my step-brother who runs his own company with two websites, he recommened VidaHost. Turns out that both my dad and my step mum also use this host, which I didn’t know at the time, and all three of them have never had any issues. Thus, I decided to use this host. I only had one issue with the host when I ran out of bandwith (but I easily upgraded and haven’t had any problems since!) and the team were incredibly helpful when that happened so I would definitely recommend them to you. They’re also a UK-Based company and so are more likely to be around when you need to talk to them (if you’re a UK blogger!).
The best thing about VidaHost is the fact that when you buy your hosting space, they have the wordpress application already set up for you, so all that is needed is to simply login with the details you send you and you can get straight to re-designing and sorting out your blog.
This is where the tricky bit comes in. While the move was essentially painless, the problem I had with the move was the formatting of my posts. This is more likely to be just connected to me because I used Windows Live Writer which used some odd HTML codes in the posts which left a few of them looking very odd – and they still do because I didn’t have time to re-format 300+ posts! – So it took me a while to deal with the formatting of some posts to fit my new theme okay. So I would seriously consider your posts when you think about moving over, if you’re a perfectionist who needs every post to be perfect and you have a lot of posts, it may take you a long time to move over but then you have to weigh up whether that work will be worth it.
For me, the answer to that question will always be yes. While the move was stressful, took me a long time to actually decide to do, and I probably made things harder for myself with some formatting, moving to WordPress was by far the best decision I have ever made.
Posting is now ten times easier with a compose that doesn’t make me want to pull my hair out.
Uploading images – including all of my theme images – is incredibly easy and all my own images will always be linked back to this blog.
Scheduling posts is effective, easy, and I can publicize it on twitter straight away, changing the text to say whatever I want it to say!
It is possible to sticky posts to the top of the blog, use the “Read More” tag effectively, and people can comment just by giving a name and e-mail address.
Formatting posts has helped me learn a LOT of HTML and now I feel more techy and feel I know how to fix a problem with any formatting when I’m making posts
The available plugins are incredible and amazing and I don’t know how I lived without them.
All in all, in my opinion, WordPress trumps Blogger every single day. But it still comes down to you. Are you willing to pay for a hobby? Are you willing to put in the work it may take to move the blog over? Are you sure that the benefits of WordPress are right for you?
At the end of the day, it is YOUR blog, so no matter how much I tell you how amazing WordPress is, it HAS to be your decision. I just hope that I have at least helped in some way. If you have any questions about moving, or need any help at all, I am definitely happy to help out! Feel free to contact me.
And don’t forget, I am also happy to help with graphics for your blogs! Just click here for more info!