Wednesday, January 30, 2013

To Switch or Not To Switch to Wordpress.org?

While I’m really proud of the work I did for the blog design, it’s not exactly the way I want it, and I’m seriously thinking of switching to wordpress though I’m not quite sure the benefices are worth the trouble.

  • Have you made the switch?
  • Did you have any issues?
  • Did you need professional help?
  • How much did it cost?
  • Was it hard to transfer your domain name?
  • Which host did you choose?
  • Was it all worth it?
  • What was your overall experience?

I really am on the fence and I would really appreciate you sharing your experience! It’ll help me reach a decision!

Thank you :)

tynsig

Tynga is a 28 years old mom from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and blogging about them. You might also catch her watching an hockey game. Make sure to say hi on twitter!

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

27 People left their mark' :

  1. Hi Tynga, I thought it would be better to comment on your blog, versus trying to explain this in 140 characters or less.

    I see you are at Blogger.com. WordPress has WordPress.com as well. Both offer free blogs, hosted on their shared servers.

    The only problem with that, is at both sites you are there as their guest. If they decide to remove your blog, there's nothing you'll be able to do about it.

    Building your blog with the WordPress software, supported by the WordPress.org community, means you'll need to purchase a hosting account at GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator or any number of hosting service providers. We call this a "self hosted" blog.

    Because you've purchased your own "real estate" and put your blog up on your hosting, you own everything you do with, or to your blog. The only way it will be removed is if you don't pay for hosting. Well, I suppose if you do something illegal, they can remove it. ;-)

    So, the answer to your question is....if you are truly serious about blogging and your blog, you'll self host it as soon as possible.

    A good CSS/Graphic designer could replicate your blog design, maybe even with the code you see when you "view source".

    That's my two cents!

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    1. How did your transfer go? My blog has nearly 2000 posts and I hear its a problem? Did you use a guide?

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  3. First of all Tynga your new layout is stunning. I love the purple... it's so serene. You did a wonderful job. I did switch from a Blogger blog to Wordpress at the end of September and I love it. I had a blogger hosted blog so I didn't have to transfer my domain name so I can't comment on that unfortunatly. I just started blogging in June, but I had a blog years ago so I had a small amount of HTML & Coding I had retained, however it was minimal. With that being said, I transferred everything over myself and did not need professional help. I did utilize Google quite a bit looking for answers but otherwise it was fairly simple. I also used a lot of tutorials from other book bloggers talking about the experience, how to transfer from blogger and what are the best plugins. (If you are interested just let me know and I will absolutely send you the links I have for that). It seems you actually might be more experienced with layouts, etc so I'm sure you would be able to do it without professional help. It cost me $15.00 to purchase my domain name and it costs me $8.00 for hosting monthly with Host Gator. That is my own fault though... after self hosting for several months I've realized the 1 year package deals for hosting are worth it, you absolutely save money and I'll be doing soon. I really have had no trouble with Hostgator. There interface is great, there billing system is great and they also have a one touch Wordpress install(which makes is completely seamless... no having to deal with those files yourself). All in all it was absolutely worth it... my only regret was not doing this intially so I didn't have to transfer everything over(not hard, just very time consuming). It will take up quite a bit of time but the results, I think, are worth it. You have so much freedom with Wordpress. Everything from SEO to comments to Social buttons can be found in a plugin, it's actually tons of fun to explore once everything is set up. Phew... I'm done now. I hope that was a little bit helpful!

    Lauren @ Lose Time Reading

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    1. Thank you Lauren! It was helpful indeed.
      I'm debating if I want to put the money and if the benefits are worth it.

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  4. I am also debating whether or not to switch to wordpress. I haven't bought my domain name yet & want to wait until I decide to stay on blogger or switch over. My blog right now is small so it shouldn't be too hard. But I don't have much experience with code & I'm not sure I want to spend money on self hosting. I want to make sure it's worth it as well. I'll be looking forward to the comments others put on here!

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  5. What is it that's making you think about switching to Wordpress.org?

    I thought about it for a little bit (my thinking was that I should move everything over while my blog is still small), but then got freaked out by the costs and also the responsibility of controlling spam, hackers, etc.

    In the end, I decided there was actually anything in blogger that I wanted/needed to do that I wasn't able to do, and I was mostly just considering moving to wordpress because I had it built in my mind as the more "professional" option. I suppose in some ways it is, but at the same time, a lot of a blog's professionalism comes from the bloggers and how they present their blog and not the platform the blog rests on. In the end, I figured if I could do it for free on blogger, I might as well stick with it.

    That of course wouldn't be the case if down the road there was something that I really needed in order to operate my blog better that only wordpress.org could offer and I couldn't get through blogger.

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    1. I've been looking at the pros & cons of both. Like you I believed wordpress was more professional but like an hour ago I found out I can use wordpress themes on blogger!! So I'm playing with some now on my personal blog. I may stick with blogger & just use a wordpress theme to give my book blog a more professional look.

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    2. There are 3 main reasons really.
      1- Even though my current deisgn is based off of a wordpress one, the 'read more' feature is messed up for my review and shows the stats only, without formatting, and it's impossible to fix. I looked.
      2- Lili is on a mac and can't format her post using WLW like we do, and so Steph (or I) have to go voer every post and format it after her.
      3- WP offers lots of very useful add-ons such SEO that would help the blog score high in search engines

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  6. I've been considering the same thing, Tynga, but the entire concept terrifies me... I'm so computer illiterate!

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    1. Im not really illiterate, but I'm scared anyway

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  7. Hi Tynga!

    I switched to WP over a year ago and there are so many more things you can do. I chose GoDaddy for my host because they made the switch so much easier for me and their support team answered every question I had very quickly. Good luck with whatever you choose!

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  8. This may be due to my lack of experience- But when I created a blog on wordpress, it didn't ask me who I wanted to be hosted by. Maybe because I didn't make my own domain? Whatever the case, I like it. There are a few things things I wish I could add (mainly widgets), but I am assuming since I don't pay anything I have to settle for the standards. :) And I'm just not ready to upgrade yet. Good luck either way!

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    1. You created your blog with wordpress.com which is very different than wordpress.org :)

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  9. Hi Tynga,

    Let me start by saying I was on Wordpress on a self hosted site, then switched to blogger, then switched back to Wordpress. Wordpress really is the way to go. There are just so many options available to you, not to mention the freedom to pretty much do whatever you want.

    I am with Bluehost, and I pay $107.00 a year for my hosting.

    It is also really easy to move your site over and I would be more than happy to lend a hand to help you do that if you need it. Not to mention, there is a plugin on Wordpress.org that will import your posts and comments from Blogger for you.

    The important thing, before you move your site over is to choose your layout and get that up and running, before you have the wordpress version of your site go live. It is much much easier, to do your customization and so on before your site goes live.

    Good luck!

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    1. How would I build a layout before if I can't access the actual blog without buying the hosting and using my domain name?

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    2. What are some of the options you get from WordPress that blogger doesn't have that make the switch worth it?
      I decided to go ahead & buy my domain name since it was only $1 for a year right now but I'm still deciding over WP. I know I can switch back to blogger if I don't like it but I don't wanna waste my money on hosting.

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    3. @Tynga - Well, if you really need it, I can give you access to my testing site to work on a layout. You can upload some content, which is what I do, and then modify your layout to your hearts content and test it out. Do all your formatting and so on. Then when you have it the way you want, you would download it and upload it to your own site. Email me at nicoleabouttown@gmail.com if you would like to go ahead with that option.

      @Avanti - For me it's all about ownership, access, customization, and ease. That was my biggest issue when I was on Blogger. Not to mention, at that time, they didn't offer nested comments. Even if I was on blogger, I would pay for my own hosting, as I would want to own my own site and all of it's content. There are just so many customization options available to you on a self hosted wordpress site that you can't get on blogger that it's unreal. If you can think about it, you can get it and so on.

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  10. One of the biggest things to note is that you won't have access to GFC anymore on self-hosted Wordpress.

    I have hosted my own blog from the start, because I prefer controlling everything. The only real downside is that I don't have access to GFC, which is probably one of the most common ways of tracking followers. Of course, you're already established, which would help a lot on that end.

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  11. I was going to switch one time but grew too confused in the process. I don't like that with blogger it's a bit more controlled (although in seven years I've never had an issue), but I do like with the google giant behind it with support, etc. I also have never found anything with Wordpress that I couldn't do with Blogger

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  12. WordPress is absolutely worth it! I am a web developer so I'm probably a little biased.. but the main draw for me is that there are NO limitations on WordPress. You can literally do whatever you want. If you can imagine it, you can do it. You can basically make any feature on your blog update automatically. You can't do that kind of stuff with Blogger. My review indexes (I have like 4 of them) all update automatically. My giveaway widget? That updates automatically too. When the giveaway ends, my giveaway banner/advertisement automatically gets removed so I don't have to do it myself.

    In general, there are just too many limitations with Blogger. Honestly, if you're not a web developer, you might not notice them. But if you are, once you see WordPress and the unlimited possibilities, you really cannot go back. WordPress is extremely flexible and powerful.

    And even if you're not a web developer, you can still appreciate the plugins that are already available. As you mentioned already, there are loads of SEO plugins that will rock your world. There are also plugins for protecting against spam and hackers. Someone mentioned being afraid of hackers on WordPress.org, but let's be honest.. hacking into someone's WordPress.org account is not much different from someone trying to hack into your Blogger account and delete your entire blog. But at least on WordPress.org you can control how you back up your site. You can easily schedule to back up all your files and your database (posts).

    And of course, as you already know, by switching to WordPress.org you have actual ownership over your site, your hosting space, and your content. There have been some well known bloggers (Word Spelunking) who have had their blogs removed/deleted by Google on suspicion of being spam (even though they obviously weren't). Unless you're doing something illegal on your website, any hosting company will just leave you alone. They won't touch your site at all, because they don't have a reason to. They're not under your thumb, like you are with Google on Blogger.

    I know the process of switching is scary and daunting. But, think of it like this: when you make the switch, you're not erasing your Blogger blog. You're copying the content over. So you don't have to be afraid of posts getting lost or deleted or never-to-be-seen-again. The scarier part will be transferring your domain name, but the domain name itself has nothing to do with your posts.

    I personally have *never* seen a blogger who switched to WordPress and was disappointed.

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    1. Oh Ashley! I was going to stick to blogger for money reasons, but auto updating widget and review archive? REALLY??? God I want that!

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    2. I have a special book blogger plugin coming out probably next week. :) It will have all these features and more: In Development: The Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin for WordPress! It's pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself. ^_^

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    3. Ashley I saw your plugin, it's amazing!! I'd switch to WP just for that.

      Question: how would I switch to WP & begin to set up my blog without having to transfer my domain name just yet. Is it at all possible to still have my blogger blog up & running while I set up my WP one?

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    4. If you really want to do that, honestly, the simplest method might be to just buy a new domain name, set up your new blog with that, get everything ready, and then disable that domain name and switch it with the new one. It will cost you an extra ~$10 though, to buy the new domain name for a year (minimum buy time).

      Some hosting companies might have ways for you to view your site without a domain name, but it varies for each company. And when you throw WordPress into this mix... that just complicates things. I'm not even 100% sure if it's possible.

      But really, assuming you have a theme all ready (the theme can be completed outside of your blog and then installed immediately when it's ready), the whole process shouldn't take more than a day. So you could just explain to your viewers that you're in the process of switching, and move over your domain immediately. :)

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