I did it!
I finally got my bum in gear and migrated my little site over from Blogger to WordPress. And I’m so glad I’m here!
Why did I move, I hear you ask?
Well, Blogger was great for me for quite a while. I wanted a no-commitment, easy to use, type and publish type of platform. There’s no denying it works, and it works very well for a lot of people. You can build beautiful, responsive designs on Blogger if you know how (or can pay someone who does).
So my reasons to move were threefold.
1. I want to own my content
I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but have you read Google’s terms of service lately?
When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works, communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.
Not only do you not own what you write on Blogger, but they can take it and use it on any of their other services however they like. Now, I don’t know why Google would want to use any of my ramlings anywhere, but it makes you think.
Also, Google can delete your account without notice if it deems you have violated their terms of service. Their definition of what constitutes a violation is vague at best, but ultimately your blog and all your content can be deleted and you have no recourse against that, or way of getting your data back. Which leads me onto…
2. I want to choose my own adventure
I also don’t like statements like this:
We are constantly changing and improving our Services. We may add or remove functionalities or features, and we may suspend or stop a Service altogether. Google may also stop providing Services to you, or add or create new limits to our Services at any time.
Google is driven by revenue, just like all companies. If Blogger ever stops paying its way, you can bet it’ll be on the chopping block. When was the last time Blogger had a significant update? I want to be in control of my platform, come what may.
Lastly, and not to rant, but I don’t like the automatic things Blogger did to my account, like that stupid cookie acceptance bar I had to click out of (or put up with invading my visual space) every time I, or anyone else, visited my site (within the EU). It’s a small example, and I’ll put my tin hat away now. Makes you think, though.
3. I want some of those handy plugins and widgets
It got to the point when I kept thinking, oh I want to have a thing that looks like this, that or the other on my site and I just couldn’t do it. I spent ages googling (oh the irony) tutorials and trying my best to hash something together despite the fact I can’t code. Lo and behold, all the people who had managed it were using WordPress. Pre-designed themes aren’t actually that expensive and they can do so much more than the Blogger ones can.
On the flipside, my Blogger template had started to get really buggy with how much I’d modified it. Most annoying were that images wouldn’t centre no matter what I did to them, and that I had no valid feed. I also had no idea how to rectify the problem. Sounds simple, but for a tech novice like me it was either spend hours trying to fix the problem, buy another theme, or put that time and money towards moving to WordPress.
But what about migration? Yikes.
Yeah, that’s why I’ve been putting it off for ages. But I got it mostly done over the bank holiday weekend, and honestly I worked about one full day on it, spread over the three days. It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and I’m a total tech novice. As I may have previously mentioned.
I basically signed up with SiteGround (who so far have been nothing but amazing) who installed WordPress for me. I then followed the instructions from this post (seriously, spot on) step by step until I was done. And that was it.
The worst parts have been reformatting my posts so they display properly – for whatever reason my Blogger template inserted heaps of spurious tags in everything so it’s been a bit annoying having to go through and delete everything. If you notice any bugs or things that don’t work, please tell me!
Disqus migrated over fine, too, except for one post which I’d had to import twice (long story) so it got confused. Even that was fairly easy to clean up. Sidenote: do you think Disqus or native WordPress comments are better? I only used Disqus because I didn’t like the native Blogger comments, but maybe native WordPress is better?
So what do I make of it?
Now I’m here, I’m really impressed. I’m finding the whole thing so much more user friendly – if I want to make a change it’s as easy as just clicking on a few options. No faffing about with code. Things just… work. There’s nothing I can’t do here that I could on Blogger, but there’s plenty on the vice versa side.
In summary: I migrated to WordPress for half tin foil hat, half shallow Reasons. It was easier than I thought, and now I’m here I absolutely love it.
So all that remains is to formally welcome you to my new space – no, it’s ok you can keep your shoes on if you like.
Please tell me which plugins I simply must have, and whether I should stick with Disqus or go to WordPress comments. Oh and bugs. Any bugs, please tell me!