Over the past couple of weeks I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress.org. Myself. As in, no web consultant. Yup. I’m kinda crazy like that. My blog is quite young, so the risk of making a monumental mistake was pretty low. (But if you are thinking of moving a more established blog from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress, you might want to consider assistance from an expert.)
During the process, I learned more about the ins and outs of HTML code, FTP sites, domains, server errors and plugins than I ever thought my brain could process!While on Blogger, I could stick my fingers in my ears and sing “la la la” whenever words like these came up. While on Blogger, the most technical thing I needed to know was how to post code in a gadget. Not so over here, my friends.
But here’s the really encouraging thing: YOU CAN DO IT! In Oprah-language, “Here is what I know for sure”: If I can sucessfully move my blog from Blogger to WordPress, you can too! I am not technical. Like, not at all. No people, I am ‘that girl’ at work who the systems manager and AV guy avoid. Yup, I’m the girl who who consistently has problems hooking up the projector properly for her client presentation.
But here’s the thing. I can follow instructions. And I can copy and paste. And I know how to Google (when things go wonky). Can you follow instructions? Can you copy and paste? Can YOU Google? If you answered yes (and of course you did!), then you too can move your blog to WordPress yourself.
If you are thinking of making the move, I’d highly recommend How to Move from Blogger to WordPress is, by Sharon Hujik. I followed Sharon’s instructions and, for me, it was the BEST investment ever. She knows her stuff. Her steps were very clearly articulated in language that a non-techie like me could understand. But hear me when I say, “Follow her instructions!” Pay attention. To Every Detail. I added one extra space to something, and it caused me to lose my followers in Google Reader for two weeks. Oh, and I skipped an entire section in my manual about transferring “Permalinks” because I thought they didn’t apply to me. Duh. Trust me, people, you need Permalinks. So, even if it sounds foreign, do it anyway.
If you find it all too scary, then hire somebody with mad skills to do it for you. But if you think there’s a chance you can do it yourself, then you have nothing to lose. Well, except all your posts and all your followers. Did your heart just stop? I’m just kidding! There were moments when I thought this was going to happen to me too. And I think that’s what holds most of us back from making the switch.
You’ll read a lot of stuff out there about how simple it is to move from Blogger to WordPress.org. I read it all before I dove in. I think I dove in thinking it’d take me a day or two, and I could call it a wrap. But, let’s be real people, nothing is ever “simple”. It’s definitely do-able, but it will take an investment of your time and energy (and some moola) to do it.
Here’s what I didn’t anticipate:
- How much I’d need to access ‘the bowels’ (aka ‘the server’) of my blog – you know, that stuff that you never knew existed over at Blogger? The first time I saw an instruction than told me to log into my FTP, I think I almost had a heart attack. I never knew THAT was involved! “OK, I’m out” I thought. But I had gone too far to turn back! So I took a deep breath and did what ‘they’ told me. And you know what I realized? It’s not so scary. There’s a lot of jargon out there that makes it all seem scarier than it is!
- The amount of time it would take to make it all look pretty. Yes, your WordPress theme will do most of the leg-work, but there’ll be wacky things that need fixing. And, there’ll be so many more opportunities to customize your blog than at Blogger (that’s one of the advantages, after all) that you’ll find yourself digging into more plug-ins and widgets than you can shake a stick at.
Have I scared you off yet? I hope not! Because I am REALLY happy that I made the move. I just think that if you are considering it, you should set aside enough time in your life to do it. It’s not something that you can do in an hour. Set out a plan of attack. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Also, you should know the costs. They’re not exhorbitant, but it’s certainly not free like at Blogger. You need to pay:
- for your own domain name (an annual or semi-annual fee)
- for your web hosting (a monthly fee)
- for your WordPress theme (although you can find some free ones)
And, here’s what you’ll gain:
- Total control over your blog
- More ways to make it look better…and work better…for your followers
- Better SEO
- More opportunities to grow your blog
- All the knowledge you’ll ever need to ‘talk the talk’ with those techie-types
Some other things you’ll need are a coffee maker and a bottle of champagne. The coffee is mandatory to keep you alert (so you don’t add that extra space like I did, or skip the section about permalinks); the champagne is a requirement once you’ve wrapped it all up! I’m still afraid to pop the cork though, just in case I jinx things ;-).
Until next time, happy “blogging food for thought”!