I started my blog with Blogger about a month ago. Blogger was easy and free and I was totally happy with it. Then I noticed that all the cool blogs on the block were using WordPress. And that’s when blog insecurity began. What can I say I always fall for peer pressure.
I googled “moving from Blogger to WordPress” and found posts saying it would either be a simple change or posts saying it’s impossible and you should just hire a web design company to do it for you. Unfortunately, I decided to listen to the optimistic posters. And I made the plunge and bought a domain name (for $18 through WordPress.com) and transferred all my content to WordPress.com. This was actually very easy, it brought over all my posts but nothing else. While trying to reinstall all the ‘pretty’ bits of my blog I realized that there were no plugins (basically the Blogger gadgets and widgets). After investigating further I learned that what I really wanted was a WordPress.org site (a self hosted site). I didn’t even know there were two WordPress sites. Ah, now it got really complicated. The main difference with WordPress.com and WordPress.org is that you cannot use plugins or ads on WordPress.com. And with WordPress.org you have to pay for an outside hosting service. Wait that means way more money. Good thing I love this blogging thing.
I searched out hosting services and landed on the WordPress recommended Bluehost. It had great reviews on their customer service. Which I so need since I have no idea what I am doing. Seriously no clue. So I made the plunge and registered for a 12 month service package for $3.95 a month. Maybe in 10 years I will make enough with Google AdSense to cover this monthly cost.
Next step was to choose a theme (Bloggers template). I chose “twenty eleven” and then had no idea how to transfer my blog posts over. So I put that awesome customer service to use (I’m paying each month so I may as well use it). And I am so happy I did. Bluehost has amazing customer service. The staff walked me step by step through the process. I even got stuck a few times and she was able to enter my site and help me out. I ran into a bunch of issues (because I’m cool like that) and ended up calling them about 10 more times that weekend. I know kind of embarrassing. But each customer service rep was super helpful. I ran into so many issues because I was having some redirections issues since I had transferred my posts from Blogger to WordPress.com to WordPress.org. And then the day I transferred someone hacked all the GoDaddy sites and the internet went all crazy that day. Yup that’s my technical description for what happened that day. So you probably won’t have all these extra problems.
After making about a million mistakes I finally came across the most amazing series from The Flourishing Abode called “DIY Blog Design”. It is a 10 part series that she did outlining everything from how to brand and set up your blog to specifics on how to use wordpress. If you are setting up a WordPress blog you must check out her series. She saved my blog.
If you are serious about making the change my advice is to set up a blog with wordpress.org, use Bluehost, set up a child theme for your blog (don’t worry The Flourishing Abode provides details on this). And my most important advice is to put the Bluehost customer service on speed dial. Use them, they will save you hours of frustration.
It’s been a week since I began the switch over and I still have lots of changes I need to make, but it’s finally good enough to go live now (Bluehost will set up a temporary site for you to work on and then you can make it go live). Not sure if I like WordPress more than Blogger, but I’ll update you and let you know if I’m getting more visitors to my site. Hopefully this was all worth it.