A few weeks ago, I made The Switch. I transferred my 1000+ posts blog from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site and lost my 2800+ GFC followers. I’m on BlogLovin, I have Feedburner, but nowhere near as much followers as I had on Google Friend Connect.
I’m not going to say WordPress is the best.
I’m not going to say Blogger is horrible.
Because the truth is, I like WordPress, but I loved Blogger. They’ll always have my eternal gratitude, because without them, I never would have started a blog. Because despite being free, they give you the whole shebang – easy post editors, labels, RSS, contributors, and most of all, the ability to edit the full HTML of your blog. You might say WordPress is free too. It is, yes, but WordPress.com is so limited, you can’t customize anything, and WordPress.org, despite being free and powerful, requires a third-party host – something Blogger provides for free.
So why did I move?
I knew I would, one day down the line. It was inevitable, because WordPress offers me one thing Blogger could not – the ability to use different themes, have my blog function like a website, and the choice of setting a different page as my home page, as opposed to having my blog posts up front. I plan on having this blog expand to more than a blog, and to have it function like a website with a few clicks and a snazzy design was what had me salivating.
Those are all reasons from a purely design perspective. There was no other reason. I didn’t sleep with the constant fear of Blogger deleting my blog. Sure, it happens, but I had no worries of it happening to me. I never had issues with Blogger ‘eating up’ my posts. And what WordPress had over Blogger in the past – threaded commenting and search engine optimization – for the past year, Blogger was implementing the same.
The transfer itself was fairly simple. All those horror stories were jam-packed in my head and I was seriously debating hiring someone to transfer for me – and I never hire anyone to do anything for me. In the end, I followed some steps from different guides and realized even they were making it sound harder than it is.
The only issue I had was with redirecting links, and some of those I left untouched. Moving forward is what matters most to me.
Is WordPress easier than Blogger? No.
Spam. Until three days ago, I was reaping more than 200 spam comments a night, all of which WordPress published to the blog. That’s when I discovered a plugin called Akismet. I installed that and spam was nowhere to be seen. In fact, all my comments were nowhere to be seen and I honestly though no one was commenting on my blog. Turns out, Akismet was marking everything as spam. I had to go through hundreds of spam and approve about fifty comments.
Categorizing blog posts isn’t as easy as it is in Blogger where we start typing in a label and it pops up. I have to scroll through all my labels and select them one by one. It’s time-consuming.
Views. In Blogger’s posts section, I can easily see how many views each post has received. In WordPress, I can see the number of comments, but sadly, no views.
At the same time, there are some functions in WordPress that I’m coming to love.
Plugins. There are so many out there for so many things. It’s amazing and terrifying. They’re like apps for your phone, with so much to offer for your blog/website.
Authors. The ability to change the author. With Asma writing on the blog with me and sometimes prepping posts for me beforehand, in Blogger I would have to copy her post, delete it, and start a new one to get it under my name. In WordPress, I can simply click on a drop down and switch the author. Easy.
Themes. While I use my own simple theme, WordPress has so many powerful themes to choose from, offering solutions, including ecommerce, sliders and PHP files for user input, for so much more than just a blog. It’s probably not useful for the simplest blogger, but it’s something I have to point out because it is incredible and, like I said, powerful.
In the end, the real reason I switched was because my preferred host, Yahoo Small Business (who my parents have used for the past five years), was giving their normally $8.99 a month unlimited hosting for around $2.50. I ended up purchasing 5 years worth of hosting for nearly $170. It was awesome and I took the leap.
So is WordPress better than Blogger? In many ways. But at the same time, Blogger is just as good. For someone starting off and not wanting to invest, I’d say Blogger is the best. You can always transfer to WordPress later on.
Speaking of transferring, I’m planning on detailing the process – along with the difference between the free WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Interested? Let me know in the comments!