In October, I made the switch from Blogger to WordPress.org (self-hosted, not WordPress.com). Since then, I’ve adjusted pretty well but it hasn’t been without its struggles or frustrations.
In so many ways I’ll always feel like a beginner blogger. I still believe that moving to WordPress was the right decision for my blog and has forced me to learn a ton about SEO, HTML, plugins, widgets, themes, and so much more. It’s been fun! It’s been challenging! And boy, do I like a challenge.
So while I whole-heartedly believe that WordPress was the right choice for me, in an effort to not sugarcoat WordPress too much (though it is truly awesome), I present:
1. The designs are more expensive. I knew this but didn’t fully think it through prior to my switch. WordPress designs are generally hundreds of dollars more than Blogger designs. And rightfully so! They are much more complicated. This means that new WordPress designs are a major investment and you have to either be making boat loads of money off your blog (I’m not) or you have to stick with the same design for a damn long time. Sure, you can buy a template (as I did recently) but then you get to wing it by installing it yourself. Which brings me to my next point…
2. If you do decide to make design edits yourself, there is no way to preview them. Blogger allows you to make changes and then preview before saving. With WordPress, you’ve got to either know what you’re doing or cross your fingers and click Save. In theory you can make a “sandbox” copy of your blog on a desktop server so that you can try edits out first but that is exactly as complicated as it sounds.
3. The post creation area just doesn’t tickle my fancy. No idea why I chose that quirky expression but it just worked. The area is small and I often stare at the screen and struggle to get into the right blogging mood. Maybe there isn’t enough white space? And then “full screen” is too much. I don’t know but it’s just not the same.
4. The updates are scary. I’ve read horror stories about updates to new versions of WordPress (and subsequent plugin updates) royally screwing things up. You have to back up your blog before doing any and all updates (something I did um never when I used Blogger…oops) and then click “update” and pray.
5. Some of my posts that were imported from Blogger look a little funky. My new design has a different post width than my old one did. This somehow led to picture sizing being off or spacing of posts changing. When you go to make adjustments to specific posts, the HTML from Blogger is way more complicated than posts are in WordPress and it’s a nightmare. Sure, I could pay someone to fix it, but now we’re back to #1. This issue could be fixed if I had started on WordPress.org from the get-go but how many people jump right in and pay for hosting and their url when they start a blog? Most of us “lifestyle bloggers” just didn’t do that and most of us started out on Blogger.
Even though these things have made the switch challenging, I 100% do not regret my decision to switch from Blogger to WordPress. I own my content. It’s mine! All mine! Google can’t up and delete me one day. My pageviews from search engine traffic have increased drastically, due to built in SEO. And don’t even get me started on how cool some of the plugins are. But for those of you out there considering a switch, these are the speed bumps I’ve hit so far.
If you are considering switching from Blogger to WordPress, what’s holding you back? If you did make the switch, what challenges did you encounter?