There are so many things I knew nothing about when I started blogging.?Granted, I started “blogging” in the LiveJournal days, but still. That was a different kind of blogging. Trust me when I say there are so many things I would tell myself if I could go back but at the same time I am so thankful for the lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Starting a few months ago, it seemed everywhere I turned there was one big hot topic.?Why you should switch to WordPress. In fact I had many conversations with blog friends about why I didn’t want to switch. Slowly though, I began to hear more and more reasons why I should switch and ultimately I decided it was the best next step for my blog and the future I want for my blog!
I wanted to share a few of the big reasons that I switched from Blogger to WordPress (self-hosted, for the record) in case you’ve been considering switching or you just don’t know what all the hype is about.
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There weren’t a ton of things that I wanted to do on Blogger that I couldn’t, or so I thought. I didn’t realize until I was actually on WordPress how EASY so many of the features I wanted to do are. I was mostly lazy and never tried to do them on Blogger, but because of my experience with coding on Blogger, I know it was a lot easier doing things like adding a contact form, a category drop down and most recent 5 posts. Those things seem simple to do but for me, it was so much easier doing them on WordPress versus Blogger. So far I haven’t run into anything I’ve wanted to add to my design that I couldn’t find a tutorial for and do myself.
Speaking of design, I was in hate with my Blogger design by the end of my time on Blogger. I was itching for something new, fresh, modern. After designing my graphic design and photography website, Grace + Vine Studios, I wanted an platform that was simply more sophisticated than Blogger. I use Squarespace for my other website?but?WordPress is a much more advanced platform than it?for now and has a ton more SEO capabilities, using frameworks like Genesis. If you’re interested in working with me on a blog design, I have a few openings each month. Find more info here!
This is probably one of the biggest advantages to switching. With a self-hosted WordPress blog, you don’t have to worry about anyone being able to tell you what you can or cannot do with your blog in terms of making money. With regular WordPress.com and Blogger blogs, there are various restrictions about how you can make money through your blog. Again, I didn’t run into any of these issues but I wanted to make sure I could control that part of my blog.
Similarly to the argument about monetization, with a WordPress.com or Blogger blog, you do not own your content. Read over that one more time. To me, that’s a terrifying thought. At any given moment, your blog could be shut down for no reason at all. I’ve put way too many blog sweat and tears into this baby to have that happen. Knowing my content is 100% mine is hugely important to me.
Let me preface this section by saying I don’t think all Blogger blogs are unprofessional. In fact,?most?of the blogs I read and adore are on Blogger. There are huge blogs on Blogger. To each his own! For me though, switching to WordPress was in a way taking control of my blog’s future. I needed to take the next step in not only me taking my blog seriously but others too. It was exactly what I needed to do for my blog and my brand.
If you’re like me, you might be sitting there thinking, yeah I’ll probably end up switching?eventually. I was right there with you. And then I went to the Pro Blogging Mini Con hosted by the North Carolina Blogger Network. And they were screaming (okay, no they weren’t, it just felt like it since I?knew I needed to switch) at me that WordPress was the way to go. There are brands, blogs and companies out there who will not take your blog seriously if it’s on Blogger. To me, that was enough of a reason to switch.
I know what you’re thinking… It’s too expensive, I’m not making any money on my blog, I don’t know how to migrate all of my info. It’s cheaper than you think (less than a drink and a pastry from Starbucks per month), but you want to eventually, right?, and if you don’t know how you can hire someone.
Even though I was pretty determined to stay on Blogger, it was all because I wasn’t aware of the full benefits of being on WordPress. I thought people were just snobby about Blogger not being as good when in reality it is just as good in a lot of ways! Better in some, even. I’m so glad that I did the research to decide what was best for my blog and brand. Now I’m wishing I had switched sooner (or even better… started on WordPress!)
What do you need to move to WP?
A hosting company, domain name (custom URL), blog template or framework, time! My host is Blue Host?and I have been 100% happy with them so far! I use GoDaddy for my domain name. I use the Genesis framework and the child theme Jane. I did my entire design by myself with the help of some amazing tutorials!
How much does it cost?
Blue Host’s plans start as low as $4 a month, but the one I recommend getting is the “plus” plan which is $7 a month (paid annually). I purchased my hosting for three years which cost me around $300. It is an?investment into your blog and business.
Is it easy to use?
I was pleasantly surprised at the user friendliness that WP has. If you’re used to coding and HTML in Blogger, things might be tricky to find at first, but within a week or two you’ll be used to it. It’s super easy to post, too!
What are your favorite plugins?
Here is a post about my favorite plugins for WordPress users!
So tell me…