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—never try to alter CSS code via Facebook message.)
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)—ironic considering Blogger is a Google product!—which would ultimately hinder the growth A Touch of Teal could achieve. But perhaps most scary—I 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
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.
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.