9.30.14 10

Why I Migrated from Blogger to WordPress

The Blogger Beginning 

When I began the process for setting up version one of my blog, I didn’t really give much thought to what platform I would begin on. I had used blogger before, and only had limited¬†WordPress (.com)¬†experience from school. Blogger somehow seemed less scary since I was more familiar with it, and so I made my choice with very little research.

Then I set out to design my blog, determined to not make it look like a typical (terrible) Blogger blog. To do so, I followed instructions to completely customize my design from the A Beautiful Mess e-course, Blog (Design) Love.

Essentially, the class taught me how to design all the buttons, headers, and sidebar images I wanted to display on my blog in Photoshop or Indesign, and then I manipulated the HTML code to insert them where I wanted. I then was able to customize¬†Blogger’s “Simple” template with the limited HTML/CSS knowledge I have, various Internet tutorials, and by bugging my friend Shawn late at night via Facebook message. (A word to the wise‚ÄĒnever try to alter CSS code via Facebook message.)

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 7.44.01 PM
While I truly am proud of the product I was able to create, I quickly realized there were many limitations to what I could change in Blogger, and no matter how hard I tried, somethings would just never look “clean.” I also realized there were limited options for search engine optimization (SEO)‚ÄĒironic considering Blogger is a Google product!‚ÄĒwhich would ultimately hinder the growth A Touch of Teal could achieve. But perhaps most scary‚ÄĒI realized Google was actually the owner of my content¬†and could disable my site at anytime if they thought I was in violation of their policies. As someone who has spent hours upon hours working on this blog, I was not about to leave my content in the hands of¬†someone who is not invested like I am.

So, I began researching alternatives.

The Decision to Migrate to WordPress 

That’s when I stumbled across Amy Lynn Andrews’ three part series on Blogger to WordPress Migration (part 1,¬†part 2,¬†part 3).

Before I reached the end of part one, I was Googling how to move my blog to WordPress that evening. Luckily, I ultimately decided not to be rash (again), and ended up considering all my options. More on that in a bit.

I’m not even going to try to mess with perfection and try to compete Amy’s posts by providing a broad overview of Blogger versus WordPress. But essentially, she made me realize WordPress has the¬†customization, the SEO, the flexibility, and the community of resources¬†I was¬†looking for when trying to grow A Touch of Teal.

Even though Blogger is free, I learned a long time ago in Econ 101 there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Somewhere down the line, I realized I would end up paying by staying on Blogger. And it would probably be with a giant headache. So I looked into domain hosting, and realized¬†the aforementioned advantages of WordPress (.org) were worth paying $6.95 a month for.

Once I had my mind made up I was going to move to WordPress, I had to determine how.

I knew that when I migrated my blog to WordPress, my design would not transfer with it. Considering it took me three+ months to set up my Blogger blog, I was less than enthused with that idea. And after researching complicated, code-heavy tutorials on how to make the jump, I decided my transfer needed to be done by a professional as I also learned in Econ 101 that time is money. And I would have spent more of my time than it was worth trying to successfully pull off a transfer and a redesign on an unfamiliar platform.

That’s when I decided to look for a designer/developer who could not only move my blog from Blogger to WordPress, but also freshen up the look¬†simultaneously¬†the big move. This decision was only reaffirmed after talking to Hallie over at Corals + Cognacs about her own experience moving from Blogger to WordPress simultaneously with a redesign.

Turning it Over to the Professionals 

The final step in my process of migrating A Touch of Teal from Blogger to WordPress was finding the right person. It’s easy to find tales of botched migrations on the internet, and I was¬†concerned about losing my content, broken links, and losing my followers/comments/traffic.¬†

I began reaching out to a lot of developers who were not interested in redesigning the blog, just in transferring my site to WordPress. It was through these Google searches I found Lisette of High Note Designs. Since her own blog was botched during a transfer, I knew she understood exactly what she was doing and how important my blog was to me. And as I mentioned yesterday, I loved her design work, so it really was a no-brainer.

After reaching out to a few other developers and talking to Lisette’s past clients, I knew I found the right person.

Lessons Learned 

I have no regrets about beginning A Touch of Teal on blogger. I did the best I could with what I knew at the time, and it was a great learning experience. However, knowing what I know now, I would never recommend Blogger to anyone.

Instead, I would recommend doing it the right way form the start. Lisette has a great tutorial on how to get started, and there are many other great resources out there.

If you have any questions for me about my move, free free to reach out! I am more than happy to answer any questions about my experience.

Leave a Comment

10 Comments

  1. Emily wrote:

    Ok, now you have convinced me to transfer. I agree with your complaints about blogger & I feel I have done a lot but it’s just not enough. I have also felt like it will never truly be “mine.” I have been trying to figure it out & make it more my style. Thanks for sharing your experience! Really good to read & understand more about the process.
    http://20somethingfashion.blogspot.com

    Published 9.30.14
    Reply
    • Katie wrote:

      Of course, I am glad it helps – posts like these are never really that interesting to other people, but I think it’s great to use our own blogs to share our experiences with the blogging community.

      Published 10.1.14
      Reply
  2. Emily wrote:

    So true! Ultimately I moved my website to Squarespace from Blogger because I wanted the easy customization and 24/7 customer service. I miss some features about Blogger, but I’m so glad I made the transition! And your website looks amazing too, so we all win ūüôā

    Emily

    Published 9.30.14
    Reply
    • Katie wrote:

      Emily, I couldn’t agree more. I think Squarespace makes some amazing sites, and you can’t beat that customer service. Plus, it’s great you don’t have to know code!

      Published 10.1.14
      Reply
  3. ah I need to do this! great post!
    kelseybang.com

    Published 10.1.14
    Reply
    • Katie wrote:

      Thanks Kelsey! Let me know if you have any questions.

      Published 10.1.14
      Reply
  4. I’ve been wanting to make the switch from Blogger to WordPress, so I’m really glad I stumbled across your post! I feel there are too many pros to not make the switch; however, I’m not looking forward to the price that comes with it. I know it will be worth it in the long run, but it seems the more I do my research, the more I realize I’m going to have to spend! If I’m understanding it all correctly, are the costs just domain, hosting, framework and theme? Am I missing something!?

    Published 1.2.15
    Reply
    • Katie wrote:

      Hey there,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! I understand that there definitely is a price that comes along with it – you can do the transfer for free yourself if you’re up to it. If you already have a domain name, you can definitely use your existing one. If not, the cost of the name at about $20/year is relatively inexpensive.

      For hosting, I opted for 3 years and paid upfront, and took the Bluehost deal of about $6/month. If you don’t have the lump sum, you can definitely pay month by month or do a one year deal, etc. for a less large sum. Mine was about $260 with all taxes and fees.

      For frame work + theme, I paid Lisette of High Note Designs to make me a theme! However, you can definitely find premade templates online for as little as $20, which you can install yourself to save some of the costs.

      Let me know if you have any questions! Best of luck!

      Published 1.5.15
      Reply
  5. Natali wrote:

    I absolutely love WordPress and wouldn’t use anything else. The plugins and themes are amazing, and the ease of use allows for just about anyone to learn how to use it. I started out with Blogger, then switched over to WP a few months ago and have no regrets. WP has allowed me to more freedom in terms of layout and design, and actually increased my pageviews significantly! I am not sure why but Blogger was marking my blog as spam ūüôĀ I did the switch myself and it took quite awhile to figure out some of the roadblocks. If anybody needs it – here’s the tool http://goo.gl/oVwctw.

    Published 4.23.15
    Reply
  6. wplearners wrote:

    Thanks for sharing. Please share this type of more post…..!!!!!

    Published 12.4.18
    Reply