As most of you know, I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress a while back and I thought I would share with you why I made the move. I want to be very clear that I did not move to WordPress.com. I moved to self-hosted WordPress (WordPress.org). The .com version is somewhat like blogger and is free like blogger. Therefore it doesn’t really make sense to move from blogger to WordPress.com. I have never used the .com version but I have been told that you are even more limited to what you can do with your blog than you are with blogger or blogspot. Of course using self-hosted WordPress means that you will have some costs. You will need to purchase your domain and pay for hosting but it can be affordable if you are ready for the switch. I will get to that shortly.
Anyway, the reason that I moved is because that on blogger, you really don’t own your blog or domain. Your blog address is actually a sub-domain of blogger of some sorts (at least that was my understanding of it). It has been known that blogger has taken down blogs because they have suspected them as spam blogs which weren’t at all. They were blogs that like myself write a lot of product reviews and host a lot of giveaways. This kind of bothered me because after all the work that I have put into my blog, I sure didn’t want to have to go through that kind of thing if for some reason blogger thought my blog was a spam blog. I have also been told and read that they don’t even give you a warning if they decide to do that. That was kind of unsettling to me and the thought that I didn’t actually own my blog didn’t sit well with me either so I had a talk with my husband and did some research and decided to make the move.
You can purchase your own domain and still use blogger with your own domain (you would have to change DNS settings to allow blogger to host it). If you go this route, I’m not sure if blogger can take your blog down since you are the owner of that domain. I imagine they could stop hosting your domain because their hosting is a free service. I don’t know much about using blogger with your own domain so if you have any idea, feel free to comment to let others know. Regardless, you still won’t have access to any of your website files or anything of the sort and you still won’t have the control over your site the way you would if you were self-hosting.
There are other reasons why I moved and one of them was because I didn’t want my domain to be a sub-domain and have .blogspot.com attached to the end of it. I think it’s better for search engines and I have noticed that since my move, I have better traffic numbers, rankings/page rankings, and it’s also easier to find my blog via search engines. I tested it out myself and even searching for post titles or keywords, etc., I have noticed that my new domain was found more often than my blogspot or blogger one was. I was pretty impressed!
When you are ready for the move, you will need to purchase your new domain first. There are lots of places you can purchase one such as GoDaddy, HostGator, Dreamhost (which is where I got mine and that’s who my hosting is through) and there are more of them out there. You don’t have to purchase your hosting package where you bought your domain name from either. All it will require is to change your DNS settings to allow whichever host you choose to go with to host your domain. When you do choose who you want to go with, the hosting company will have instructions on how to do it and some may even do it for you.
I went with Dreamhost because they were one of the ones recommended by WordPress.org. I purchased my domain name and hosting from them together so I never had to go through the changing of my DNS settings. Since I purchased my hosting through them, my domain and registration was free and will remain free as long as I am hosting with them. If I ever choose to switch hosts, my domain and registration is only $9.95 per year. Purchaing a domain and registration is about $10 per year on average no matter where you purchase it. At least from what I have found. Here is a tip when purchasing your domain name: if it is affordable to you, it’s always benificial to you to purchase the .com, .net, and .org versions of your domain name. Chances are, you will only use the .com and the others won’t be used but at least no one else can claim the other two with your domain name. You will still have to pay the registration of the other two every year. Some companies will offer a package deal for all three.
Hosting services are fairly cheap and most of what I have seen have been as little as $5.00 a month to $12.00 a month. I have the two year plan with Dreamhost that includes my free domain, email, unlimited storage and disk space and wonderful help when I have needed it. I have never had a problem with my site going down or server problems either. They are also really good about keeping servers updated and everything so I am always running on the latest and newest. For the two year plan I paid $166 for the whole two years or $6 and some change every month.
Another great thing about hosting myself is that all images and pictures that I use are hosted from my site. I don’t have to upload them to photo bucket or some other place to use them. This comes in handy when making a new button for one reason or the other. Plus I always have access to all of them too. That is another thing that you don’t have with blogger. All images that have ever been uploaded in your blogger posts are stored by blogger and you don’t have access to them. Which also means that I can’t take down my blogger blog or delete it because if I did, I would loose all images that were ever uploaded in any post that I had on blogger even though all my posts have been imported into my WordPress blog. Those images stay on blogger and I can’t get to the files to take them off my blogger blog to import them here. They only show in my older posts because my blogger blog is still there. It’s not really a big deal that your blogger blog is still there though as long as everything was redirected and transferred over as correctly as possible.
There are designers that you can hire to transfer your blog from blogger to Wordpress. This does cost a pretty penny but if you are not comfortable making the move yourself, it can save you a LOT of stress and sleepless nights. I did not hire anyone to do this for me. Yep, I was pretty darn brave and did it myself. It took quite a bit of research, lots of headaches and worry but it can be done by yourself. I had no idea about any of this stuff or even where to start. I did do it though and I am so proud of myself. I was able to preserve my ranking, traffic, followers, subscribers and everything! Of course all that “google juice” didn’t transfer overnight. It did take a while and after about 4-5 nail biting months, everything caught up!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see anything wrong with using blogger. It is easy to use and they make it easy to customize your blog a bit and it’s free, but I love that I made the move. I love the control, the fact that I know it’s mine, I’m not limited to what I can do, and stats seem to grow a little faster. I will write about my experience of moving from blogger to WordPress in the near future. There will probably be a few posts so that I can break it up a little since there are quite a few different components to it.
Blogger to WordPress – Why I made the move (You are here)