About four months ago, my blog underwent a huge transformation. When I started my blog in 2012 (four years ago now… wow!) I opted to use Blogger as my platform. It was simple to navigate and allowed me to post my musings to the world with a picture or two… and it was job done. As my blog (and blogging as a whole) has evolved and grown, blogger just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I wanted more features and a bit more control over the design and feel of my blog. It was then that I decided I’d be moving from Blogger to WordPress. When I was researching the move I couldn’t really find that many posts from other bloggers who had done the same thing so after giving WordPress a good road test, I’ve decided to share my experience for anybody who’s thinking of moving from Blogger to WordPress.
Moving from Blogger to WordPress – Why Switch?
Switching is something I’d been thinking about for over a year. I’d grown tired of how restrictive blogger is (although themes are getting better). I wanted my blog to look less bloggy. I don’t want it to look like a magazine website but I just wanted a slicker feel and… less bloggy (does that even make sense?) I liked the idea that I would be able to add in custom sliders and different footers. I’d be able to add in widgets to help with things like SEO and auto tweeting older posts. There are so many widgets that you can add. I haven;t even looked through a quarter of them I’d say. Not a reason for switching but another bonus is that I no longer see inflated stats. With WordPress you can have Google Analytics built straight into your dashboard which unlike Blogger’s stats are very accurate. Seems crazy that even though Blogger and GA are owned by Google, they just can’t make it happen.
I’ll be completely honest and say that I didn’t do the migration myself. I’m not the greatest coder and the prospect of messing this up and losing everything was just not something I wanted to take on. My migration was actually taken care of by Phil over at Pipdig. Most bloggers will have heard of Pipdig by now as their pre made blog templates are pretty popular at the moment but they also offer migration packages. If you buy your hosting through Phil’s affiliate link for Bluehost you get your migration for free! RESULT! Working with Phil was a fantastic experience. We set a ‘go-live’ date and emailed back and fourth regarding what I wanted the end result to be and he has been there to hand hold through the immediate period after migration.
When you move to WordPress.org you actually need to buy hosting space from a third party. After a bit of research, I opted to get my hosting from Kualo and pay Phil the migration fee. The reason for this is because I’ve heard excellent things about Kualo’s customer service. They also have a UK based support function which is super handy. There is a cost involved to self hosting. I paid somewhere around £70 for three years of hosting although you can pay monthly or yearly if that’s what you need. If you buy in bulk the cost per month works out a little cheaper. Kualo’s customer service was put to the test last week when there was a backend issue with my site and it was fixed by within 30 minutes – with no down time.
I also bought my WordPress template from Pipdig for £39. There’s a great choice of pre-made template themes that you can choose from and all of them are fully customizable. I know of a few bloggers who have the same theme as me but because we’ve all played with the customisation settings (of which there are so many) and none of our blogs look like carbon copies of each others. I’ve had some great feedback about my new design – it’s fresh, it’s clean, it’s simple – so I’m really happy with the way it looks. Phil was also able to migrate all my comments over from Blogger to Disqus and my photos came over without a hitch too. The only issue I’ve encountered is on some of my old posts, I’ve needed to go in and do a little reformatting but that hasn’t taken long at all.
I’m so happy with my decision to migrate over to WordPress. Yes, there are more costs involved than using the free sites but I feel that I have much more control over the visual aesthetics of my blog. Doing it through Pipdig was the best decision I made regarding this process as they offer an excellent after sales service too. If I can’t figure something out, I can just pop Phil an email and he’ll either send back detailed instructions on how do fix it myself or he’ll go in and fix it for me.
My biggest piece of advice to anybody considering moving from Blogger to WordPress is to do your research and think about the costs involved. The initial outlay for me was Hosting – £79+ Theme – £39+ Migration -£65. I also already pay for my domain name from GoDaddy each year. For me this cost was worth it because I know that my blog will be part of my life for a long time yet, If you don’t think you’ll still be blogging in three years will you need three years worth of hosting? I think the best thing to do is to think about your personal circumstances and go from there.