The move to WordPress definitely comes with risks, but after debating about it for a while I decided it was definitely the right choice for me. Here’s the lowdown on the move.
Why I Moved
1. Google and I were starting to become frenemies
2. I want to do more things with my blog and Blogger doesn’t have the same capabilities
3. The Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin (This will get it’s own post at a later time because it is that awesome!)
I’ve done quite a bit of design work on my Blogger blog, enough that I thought I could tackle doing my own WordPress design. Because I was already spending money on a host I didn’t want to also buy a theme or framework so I worked with one of the standard WordPress ones. I made a ton of modifications to get things how I wanted them. This took a lot of time and hair pulling to get things to work right.
Everything was going along great until I was just about finished and I discovered that I was doing it ALL WRONG! Rather than start over I finished my design, but now I have to follow these crazy instructions on how to change the modified theme into my own theme so that WordPress doesn’t do an update and I lose all my changes. (For those that want to know I edited my theme’s HTML, not my child theme’s CSS).
I’m happy with my design but I will probably spend the money sometime in the future on a framework and theme and do it right. If you don’t know a lot of design stuff I recommend having someone do the design for you.
I did a lot of research on how to do the move myself and I still had a problem (I missed a step). After I got my design all squared away and imported my posts I went to make the change and immediately got a 504 error. There was definitely some panicking going on but I called Bluehost and 30 minutes later the blog was up on and running. The support at Bluehost is phenomenal. Seriously. He knew right away what the problem was and told me what I needed to do to fix it (I needed to contact the company where I purchased my url). After I took care of that problem I called Bluehost back and they walked me through the rest of the switch. The best part of Bluehosts customer service is that both people I spoke with used regular words to tell me what to do (instead of computer speak).
I think this part of the move was pretty easy, and no matter what your level of computer skills is you can do it (plus you can always call your hosting company and have them walk you through it).
Moving My Followers
This was what worried me the most. I didn’t want to lose all my followers. I found a lot of step by step instructions on how to do this and it kind of worked.
I started off with Parajunkee Design’s tutorial on how to transfer from Blogger to WordPress (I only used the parts related to transferring my feed, not the part about moving my blog). I followed all the instructions on a Friday afternoon and then settled in to wait to see what happened with my followers (Feedburner only updates the count once a day at like midnight).
I was absolutely elated on Saturday when I saw that my follower count was the same. My first scheduled post was scheduled for Sunday so the first thing I did when I got up Sunday morning was check my feed and I was relieved to see that my post was indeed in my reader :)
Then I checked Feedburner and was quite surprised to see that I only had 37 followers! I double checked all the things and everything seems set up right and some friends have confirmed that they are still getting the feed so I don’t know what the deal is.
I’ve decided not to panic about it.
Am I Glad I Made the Move?
In a word: Yes! I love all the things I can do with it, though I still have a lot to learn. I know there have been some horror stories of the move not going well but overall I would consider my move a success, even though Feedburner isn’t exactly working like I hoped.