Mar 252012
 

Thanks to this step-by-step Blogger to WordPress guide from MyPregnancyBaby.com, I was able to make the switch from Blogger to WordPress on my own. I know a lot of you are pondering making the switch yourself, so I wanted to share my experience with moving from Blogger to WordPress.

Ever since I started blogging I have read about the Blogger or WordPress discussion, and I will admit that until recently I have always believed that Blogger would win the battle because of its ease of use. Yet, here I am three years into blogging, and I recently made the switch to WordPress. I only have one regret about the switch, which is that I did not switch sooner.

Blogger to WordPress

 

When I first started Frugality Is Free, I was absolutely clueless about blogging. In fact, it took six months of repeated suggestions from online friends, before I actually went ahead and started the blog on blogspot. It was free, it seemed relatively simple, and this is what my friends were using at the time. After a year of blogging absolutely free, I finally got my own domain for $10 a year, which I at that time thought was a big move.

After 1 million pageviews, I was beginning to feel as if I had outgrown blogger. For the past three years I have been doing everything related to blogging myself with the help and advice from my husband, other blogging friends, and by following tips and how-to-guides online. I still liked the ease and simplicity of blogger, but I also felt trapped. The blog was getting slow to load, there were some link errors that I could not fix, because I did not own the blog, and I slowly saw my numbers dwindle from the height this past January.

This is when I began researching adamantly about making a move to WordPress, and I became more convinced that in the Blogger or WordPress battle, WordPress was the right place for me to continue my blogging journey.

 

 

Why I Choose To Move From Blogger To WordPress

  • I wanted to be able to fix certain crawl errors myself.
  • My Blogger blog was getting slow, and I could not make it faster without removing essential gadgets.
  • I felt restricted in the design layout.
  • I wanted to have an easy to use drop-down navigation bar.
  • I wanted the blog to be entirely my own.
  • There was always that fear of….if Google shuts me down…

 

 

Why I Moved To WordPress On My Own

Now, let me tell you moving to WordPress was not as smooth as I would have liked it to be, and it was a lot more stressful than I needed it to be. I had saved up a lot of my blogging earnings to  be able to afford the move, but after doing more research I eventually came to the conclusion that I was better off moving to WordPress on my own.

  • I wanted to use hostgator as my host, because from my own research this was the host that fit my current and future needs the best. Most of the Blogger to WordPress designers have their own hosts that they work with, and I could not find any affordable designer who used hostgator.
  • It costs between $60 – $500 to move your blog to WordPress through a professional.
  • It was faster for me to move to WordPress on my own, as I did not have to wait until a designer could fit me in.
  • I wanted to know how to do this, in case I decide to switch my other blogs to WordPress as well.

 

 

Why I Decided To Set Up My Own Blog Design On WordPress

I was prepared to spend up to $200 on a new blog design, but I eventually decided to try and do it on my own due to several factors.

  • The custom blog designs cost $100+
  • To get the blog the way I wanted, I would have to pay more than $200, as I wanted a custom drop-down navigation bar etc. and other features not included in the base packets.
  • Many of the blog designers required me to use expensive themes, which had a one-time or annual fee (on top of the actual design price).
  • Every designer I researched had a copyright clause, which meant that if I wanted to make changes to the design, I would either have to get written permission, or the designer would have to make the changes. This would of course ensure that I would have to pay a fee every time I needed something changed.
  • If I bought a custom design, I would not learn anything in the process.
  • If I bought a custom design, I would loose flexibility to change things around.
  • After familiarizing myself with WordPress and the way to use plug-ins, I discovered how easy it was to make the blog just the way I want it to be.

By moving to WordPress on my own, I saved at least $100, and by doing my own blog design I saved at least $200  compared to what I would have spent to get the items done that I needed. However, as I said moving to WordPress on your own can be stressful, and it was not an error free process.

I have always felt that WordPress design was intimidating, and I had heard that you needed to be pretty savvy with html code to do WordPress design. I actual tried setting up a blog on WordPress.com (the free but restrictive version), and I quickly gave up. However, I have discovered that with a little research and an eagerness to do things on my own, setting up and customizing a design on WordPress is relatively easy. Once I decided on a free theme to use, I began customizing it with my WordPress plug-ins. I chose the Suffusion theme, because it gave me the greatest custom design flexibility, and so far I am loving it.

 

Problems I Encountered When Switching To WordPress

Moving from Blogger to WordPress on my own was not as smooth as I had hoped, but it still went better than I had expected.

  • The biggest drawback I experienced by moving to WordPress on my own is that I lost almost all of my comments. I am sure that I could have fixed the problem, but in the end I decided that there was only one post that I really felt saddened by the loss of comments. The rest I could deal with, and the one post is already filling up with great comments, so I am dealing with it.
  • Another issue that I am still dealing with is the broken urls, but by attempting to recreate the blogger url style, I have been able to move most of my urls over. I still have a few urls to fix, but I am slowly getting it done manually.
  • The third issue that I encountered was getting my blog to redirect after switching the blogger blog back to a blogspot blog. However, this was a mistake I made, and it was an easy fix.
  • Finally, I had a feed issue. At first I could not figure out how to transfer my feed, but it was due to my hesitancy rather than to an actual error. At Feedburner it states very clearly that you should not mess with the original feed, so I didn’t. However, once I finally did what I was told to do and switched the original feed….then it worked flawlessly. The feed issue has now been resolved.

 

Blogger or WordPress?

I have now been on WordPress for more than a week, and I am thrilled that I made it. No, it was not a problem-free process, and yes it was stressful. I did have a little downtime, and I lost a lot of sleep. I treated myself to a day at the park with the kids, and after that I was re-energized enough to continue. I am extremely proud of myself for having made this move to WordPress on my own, and I love the fact that I now have more flexibility. Whereas my pageviews had been slowly dwindling for the past two months, moving to WordPress has gotten my pageviews back on track.

I had read many bloggers mention how amazing WordPress was, when it came to SEO, but I will admit that I did not believe it. How could Google’s own blogger blog be worse than another blogging platform, when Google is basically the SEO master? Well, let me tell you this: It is true!

 

My views have nearly doubled since moving to WordPress, and it is mainly due to the SEO. I had a great SEO keyword rate before my numbers started dwindling, and it was still pretty good when I made the decision to move to WordPress. However, I am amazed at how well my posts are now doing in the search engines, and the incoming traffic through keyword searches is incredible. After a few days, I decided to install the All In One SEO plug in, and my keyword traffic became even better. One of the great things about WordPress is that you can give each post and photo specific keywords without having to mess with html code, and I always notice a big difference, as soon as I add keywords to an older post.

While the WordPress themes and original setup is very simple and straightforward, it is very limiting compared to the new blogger set up. However, once I started figuring out how to use the WordPress plug-ins, the WordPress world changed tremendously.

I am still playing around with the design, the set up and the plug-ins, but I am already feeling very comfortable with WordPress. Compared to Blogger, where I often had to go and tweak the HTML code here and there, I have not had to deal with the WordPress coding at all.

Don’t forget thBlogging Tipsat you can find lots of blogging tips right here at Frugality Is Free, just click the banner or the blogging tips tab in the top navigation bar.

 

 

If you are contemplating a Blogger to WordPress move, I can highly recommend that you stop by MyPregnancyBaby.com and follow the steps in DP’s awesome Blogger to WordPress Guide. After making the switch, my conclusion is that I should have made the move to WordPress years ago. In the Blogger or WordPress  battle, WordPress has won me over.

I am not going to take all the credit from my Blogger to WordPress move, because the truth is that I could not have done it without the Blogger to WordPress guide from MyPregnancyBaby.com. The author DP Nguyen has created a thorough step-by-step Blogger to WordPress guide, and if I ran into a problem, she even responded to comments.

Are you thinking about making the switch from Blogger to WordPress? If so, what is holding you back?

 

  12 Responses to “Blogger To WordPress – My Migration Experience”

  1. Congrats on the move! I did the same thing myself a little over a year ago. Like you, I too had the same reasons for doing the move myself. I definitely agree, very frustrating and I lost a lot of sleep myself and yeah, transferring my feed caused me problems too! lol

    You may have already done it but if you haven’t, in your wordpress dashboard, go to settings-permalinks and use a custom structure and put this in the box: /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html It’s supposedly the best match to blogger’s url structure. This should help take care of broken links. I also use the Redirection plugin by John Godley. It redirects all most links but there were still some that I had that I had to manually redirect which is actually pretty easy. I like it because it also shows me any 404’s and I can fix them.

    Whatever you do, just don’t delete that blogger blog! Good luck with everything and congrats again! I love that I made the move!

    • Nicole, I remember reading about your switch to WordPress…quite a few times actually:) I just did not have the courage to go through with it back when you did it, it seemed so overwhelming. What really held me back was figuring out the name server part….oh my gosh that first part of signing up for a new host, changing nameservers etc….it was nervewrecking.

      I did do the permalink like you’ve suggested, but I am definitely going to check out that John Godley plugin. I would love to see the 404’s, it seems like an easy way to keep track of where they are and fix them.

  2. Congrats on your move, JR, and great article! Your site looks great. How long did it take you to move everything over on your own?

    • Thank you Ramona, I am thrilled to have made the move. Moving everything over only took a few hours, but it was all the design elements and figuring out how to add widgets etc. that really took the time.

  3. you are convincing me but I am still nervous about it and sure I’ll screw something up majorly! HA!

    • I completely understand, believe me Amanda….I do:) Still, I am so excited to have made my move, and if you just take your time and study the guide that I linked to, so that you are prepared, then I am sure that you too will be fine.

      I’m not going to lie, it is A LOT of work, but it is so worth it. My keyword/search engine traffic has seriously doubled since my move.

  4. Great post, I am moving over as we speak. So far it hasn’t been too bad. I was able to import all my posts and comments. However, I lost my Alexa Rank. Were you able to do something to avoid that? I am now over 11 million. Ughh! I just migrated last night. So maybe we can get back to where I was soon. I am hopeful! I am trying out the Suffusion too, but haven’t gotten all the design elements in. You could be playing with plugins all day or at least I have been! I didn’t want to pay anyone either. I think my main fear was losing everything that I had on my blogspot. It will be okay. Thanks again. Lisa

    • Lisa, did you install the Alexa plugin. This is what I did, and my Alexa rank has actually been climbing downwards a little bit again. You are so right about the plugins though, it took me several days to finally get everything the way I wanted it to.

      Good for you for doing it yourself though, I know I am so thankful now that I did it myself. If I had paid someone to do it, I would not have learned anything from it. At least now I feel as if I know my site, just as well as I did on blogger.

  5. Kudos on the move! I am a lot of people out there can learn from your experience!

  6. […] from blogger to WordPress, and I finally made the move this past spring. You can read more about my Blogger to WordPress move here. Since then, I have come to realize that switching from Blogger to WordPress was one of […]

  7. I have been blogging daily for nearly three years now on Blogger and I still don’t understand a lot about it. I taught myself by just clicking around on things and figuring out what worked, and the first 6 months were truly painful because I was SO ignorant. I would like to have more flexibility and traffic, but the idea of learning a while new system when I am finally sort of comfortable with this one is overwhelming. I don’t love blogging – I love couponing – and blogging is just a way to share my coupon deals and generate a little extra income on the side.

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