Why I Moved to WordPress

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!

Hafsah

Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

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21 Comments

  1. Reply

    Briana

    August 16, 2013

    It’s odd Akismet isn’t included as a plug-in, or at least highly visible suggested somewhere. It just comes with the WordPress.com site, and I rarely have problems with it. There is an option that says something to the effect of “comments with 3 or more links will be marked as spam” (and you can change that number), and these are basically the only cases where I’ve had legitimate comments marked as spam.

    And I can see the views per post on the stats page, although I guess I can’t access that information directly from the dashboard.

    I didn’t even realize I could change the author of a post until recently, I suppose because I’ve never had to do it yet. It does sound very handy, though!

    Glad to see you’re liking WordPress so far!

    • Reply

      Hafsah

      August 16, 2013

      I know that some hosts don’t allow Akismet, so that could be why I didn’t have it installed.

      And yes, I could see it via the stats page, but I like how Blogger had my views on both the stats page and the posts page. It’s easy to look at old posts and see how many views it had.

      It is handy! And thanks :)

  2. Reply

    Jessie @ Jessie's Book Place

    August 16, 2013

    Haha, it had taken me a moment to realize that you had moved over to wordpress. I remember thinking something seems different and I don’t think it’s the theme…

    I sometimes think of moving over, but like you I’ve never really had a reason to worry about Blogger.

  3. Reply

    Jessica

    August 16, 2013

    “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!”

    I’d be interested! I’m just starting out, and I use Blogger, but I know a lot of people use WordPress, so I’ll probably look into it further down the road. :)

  4. Reply

    Steph Sinclair

    August 16, 2013

    If you download Jetpack, you’ll be able to see how many views your post get on the stats section. Welcome to WordPress!

  5. Reply

    Ann @ Blogging-Profits-Unleashed

    August 16, 2013

    WordPress for me is the best blog platform around the web. Good luck to your new blog. :)

  6. Reply

    Kristie

    August 16, 2013

    When I came on your site, somehow I just knew you switched over from blogger. I’m excited to see your journey!

  7. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    August 16, 2013

    I knew you’d switched — good to know that it’s working for you! I’m still with Blogger, mostly because I’ve been scared to take the plunge and because I do like the ease of Blogger. But all those fun plugins with WordPress have me drooling! I know there are several step-by-steps out there but you give good instruction so I’d love to hear about how to do it from you. MAYBE…someday…soon-ish…I’ll make the switch. Until then, I’ll squirrel away all the great info I can get!

    Love your blog design, btw! It’s very cool and purdy!

  8. Reply

    Melissa (Books and Things)

    August 16, 2013

    I have a wordpress acct so I can save my blogger stuff just in case it gets deleted, but I’m not too worried.

    I do like the new look!

  9. Reply

    Cait

    August 16, 2013

    I lost your blog for a little while in the switch, but I do love the new look (and all the new options). I’m totally interested in you detailing the process! I’ve considered the switch myself…buut, too scary. The horror stories give me chills.

  10. Reply

    Shannon @ Twilight Sleep

    August 16, 2013

    Welcome to WordPress! It is by far the best blogging platform around, IMO. You got a really great deal on your hosting too, wow! I am surprised though about the Akismet thing….I thought that came standard but I guess not. :-/

    You should add this plugin to your arsenal: Better WP Security. Activate that and BAM, no more spam to sort through. I love it.

    • Reply

      Hafsah

      August 16, 2013

      Ooo, that sounds good! I love the plugins. That’s the best part. And the themes.

  11. Reply

    Sara (of The Page Sage)

    August 16, 2013

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve been contemplating moving to WordPress, so this has given me a lot to think about. I’m looking forward to your next post about the process!

  12. Reply

    Ashley

    August 17, 2013

    You can actually fix most of the problems you’re having. :) For example:

    “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.”

    Blogger uses “Labels” but WordPress has “Categories” and “Tags”. Categories are meant to be broad sections of your blog. For example: book reviews, guest posts, interviews, cover reveals, etc. Since they’re broad, you’re not meant to have a lot of them. Then, there are “Tags”. Tags are for all the more detailed aspects. For example, a book review would be in the category “Book Reviews” but would have tags for the book title, the book author, the genres, the publishers, and whatever other things you can think of.

    If you follow that method, you won’t have to scroll through tons and tons of categories to select the ones you want. You can type most of them in the tags box and it will prompt you for the correct tag.

    You can convert some of your categories to tags with this plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wpcat2tag-importer/

    “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.”

    There are also plugins you can install to do this! For example, I use this plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-postviews/ it adds a column to the post page with the number of page views each post has gotten.

    With WordPress, there’s usually a plugin for every single feature you can think of! And if there isn’t one, then you can code it yourself (obviously you need the coding knowledge to do that though), which is the beauty of WordPress. Blogger is a good platform, but since you don’t have server access, you can’t just add any feature you want. But with WordPress, you can literally add ANYTHING you could ever think of! It’s pretty neat. :)

  13. Reply

    C.L. Gordon

    August 18, 2013

    I’m very interested in hearing about this whole process, especially the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and what WordPress.org has to offer. Just recently realized they’re, like, two different things and that one requires hosting, and yeah … I have a lot to learn. :)

  14. Reply

    Mel@thedailyprophecy

    August 18, 2013

    This is the first time I see your new layout, IT’S GORGEOUS :)! I’m really thinking about switching too. I love Blogspot and there is no real reason to switch, but I think WordPress will offer me more. So, this was interesting to read, thanks for sharing!

  15. Reply

    półpasiec

    September 10, 2013

    Witaj, bardzo fajne informacje są podawane w tym serwisie :) mam nadzieję, że będzie ich coraz lepszych. We need it coming on and on!

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