Goodbye Blogger, Hello Self Hosted WordPress!

    What a week this has been!  I cannot even begin to explain to you guys how great it feels to be writing this post.  This post is a testament to the fact that I am finally finished moving my blog from Blogger to self hosted WordPress.  Although I am still alive to tell you how it all went, I do have some virtual bumps, bruises, and scratches to prove that this was no easy task by any means.

Let me begin by explaining to you guys that this was a move that I have been contemplating for awhile now.  However, from reading a wealth of articles and blog posts about this topic, I was well aware that it was not going to happen overnight nor would it easy to do.  So, as a result of this, I pushed it to the back of my mind and worked hard to learn everything that I could about Blogger so that I would be able to fully customize my blog on their platform.  Over time, I felt pretty confident changing HTML code on Blogger and designing various aspects of my blog so I was pretty content.  This does not mean that I forgot about migrating my blog it just means that I pushed it aside momentarily.

Last week a blogging sister of mine,  sent me a link to view her new blog which is currently under construction.  She also will be redirecting her old blog with blogger to self hosted WP when her design is complete.  She is doing a great job and she really got me thinking again about hosting my own domain.  Every blogger has different reasons for making this move.  Some want to earn money from blogging, some want to have more creative control over their content, and others are trying to create a brand.  I fall into the second category because I did not not like the fact that I did not have autonomy over my words and the writing on my blog.  Of course, if that generates any kind of income I am definitely not going to turn it down.  After all, what is better than doing something you love and earning money while doing it?

After all of this going back and forth, I finally decided that I was going to take the leap and just do it!  Initially, I set out to hire a professional to switch the blog for me.  That is how intimidated I was at the prospect of initiating such a large endeavor.  As a matter of fact, I sent out multiple emails to various blog designers and experts that were recommended to me by my friends in the blogging community.  I also began to reach out to my contacts within the blogging communities that I belong to in order to get feedback from them regarding changing blogging platforms and self hosting.  Everyone was great but most of my best advice came from my friends as Blog Catalog who told me it was better to do my homework and try to do this myself than to pay someone to do it.  They really empowered me to do it because I realized that if I want to be a serious blogger, I have to learn all aspects of blogging including the technical aspect.

A lot of people have been asking me how I did it and, I have to be completely honest, it was really hard.  Now, what I mean by really hard is that I had to put in a serious amount of research time, time spent talking to technical support, time emailing others to ask questions, and time trying to fix things that I did not get right the first time.  There were so many things to consider that it was overwhelming but, luckily, there is a lot of literature online to explain how to do the entire process.  I learned very quickly that I was not the first one to attempt this feat and I was also not the first person to screw something up while doing it.

The first thing that I did was to purchase web hosting.  A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web.  The purpose of doing this is to give you complete control over your brand, logo, and all of the content and posts on your blog.  After shopping and asking around, the concensus seemed to be that HostGator is a really good web hosting provider so I purchased a hosting package through them.  I have to tell you, I can vouch for the fact that they have excellent and knowledgeable Customer Service Representatives who literally spent hours chatting with me online to help me resolve some of my migrating problems.  One of their techs even stayed on the phone with me and talked me through adding my new domain email to my cell phone.  This kind of support meant a lot since I was learning the ropes as I went along.

I’m not going to bore you with the specifics of what I did to transfer the blog.  Anyone who wants specific advice as to how to do that can email me privately.  Suffice it to say that I did it and it worked.  It definitely was not impossible.  That is the wisdom that I really want to impart to all of you with this post, you should not be intimidated by maintaining the technical side of your blog.  Although we are writers, it is a necessary evil to be able to manage this facet of our blogs.  Although there are many professionals out there who would be more than happy to do it for you, for a fee, that is not as rewarding as accomplishing it on your own.

Having said that, even I know my own limitations so I did contract a professional to redirect my feed directs and to help me retain my search engine traffic from posts under the old Blogger format.  Shirley was amazing!  She maintained contact with me at every turn, was generous with her advice and, most importantly she did not drain my bank account.  Her fee was reasonable and I did not have to sign over my firstborn child to her.  You can find her at http://bloggingwithsuccess.net/  Within hours, all of my traffic, subscribers, and feed had been redirected to my new blog.

I’m not advocating any one blogging platform over another one in this post.  What I am promoting is the idea that you should truly be the captain of your blogging ship.  It is important to educate yourself on all aspects of your blogging and to not be afraid to seek answers and support from others.  You would be pleasantly surprised at how many knowledgeable bloggers are more than eager to share their skill set with other bloggers.  Part of your networking should include sharing ideas with others and building your blogging repertoire.  I simply cannot stress how invaluable these interactions are to the long term success of your blog and how much they empower you as a blogger!

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Comments

  1. Welcome to WordPress. Imho, WP is the future of personal publishing. Your site looks great!

    • Thank you, Alan! I am so glad you like it! You are such a great blogging friend and I really appreciate your support and all of your feedback. Boy, it was rough learning how to do it but everything ended up working out.

  2. Congrats on your big move!

    I just recently bought my domain…and one day I will make that move to WP. But not until I can do it all myself like you did. That is my goal (now I just have to find the time to realize that goal!)

    • Thanks, Tracie. You can definitely do it with a little blood, sweat, and tears. There is a certain sense of accomplishment that comes from standing up to the challenge. Let me know if you need some advice when you decide to make the move. I don’t know it all but, what I can’t answer, I will be able to point you in the right direction of someone who will…

  3. JDaniel4's Mom says

    Stopping from Mom Loop! I am so impressed you did this yourself.

  4. I’ve thought about this before. I like the creative applications of blogger. I have fiddled with a WP.com and it is aggravating. I don’t know if I will ever switch unless I can keep my background and Header.

    • I like Blogger too. The thing is that I wanted more control over my writing and over my brand. I still think Blogger is great too. However, I definitely like WordPress better and I have way more options with WP.

  5. Hi, just stopping by from Mom Loop

    Corbie

  6. Congratulations, Maria. It looks really great! I only moved a month or so ago myself, so I know what it takes. I had been on Google’s Blogger for years, and then moved to WordPress.com (also free hosting). My blogs transferred more or less intact. And then I moved again to my own domain (I use godaddy.com), still using WordPress software to manage my site. I guess I got lucky because it all went smoothly and I didn’t have to call for help. Have fun, and congratulations again!!!

    • Thanks, I am so glad that I made the move. The only thing I’m wondering is what is going on with my Feedburner counter? The feed is working and the number on my feed counter keeps changing. I hope it finally adjusts to reflect the true number of people who are following via feed. Did this happen to you?

  7. p.s. Don’t worry about the “follow” thing. I’m always certain I’m following someone and then find I’m not. In your case I’m following you on GFC, Twitter and Facebook… any more following and you’ll have to issue a restraining order. Have a great weekend!

  8. Was definitely an uphill learning curve trying to learn the technology behind blogging. But I agree – once you figure things out, it sparks your creativity too (in what you can do with your blog).

    Following from Blog Frog.

  9. I’m 50% thru with my migration to self hosted and have contacted per your recommendation. Your blog looks great~!

    • How exciting! You are going to love Shirley, she is great. I actually sent her a message on Blog Catalog to let her know that I referred you and that you are my friend. You will love how professional and knowledgeable she is.

  10. Congrats on the switch-over! I love WP. Let me know if you have any problems with it – me and the other moms from MomLoop can probably help find the answer for you. Thanks for participating in our follow Friday!

    • Thanks, Rachel. I love participating in Follow Friday because I have met some of my favorite bloggers there. I appreciate the technical support. If I have any questions I will definitely look to you guys for some help…

  11. Congrats- the hard work looks to have really paid off! I actually work in marketing media, host sites and design sites for clients and still am sitting on blogger myself. (shoemaker’s kid) : )

    have thought of making the leap but haven’t weighed out pros & cons. reading this, i’m getting there!

    • That is exactly what happened to me, I kept going back and forth with the decision for a long time. I participated in a blogging challenge with some great ladies and, when I saw one of them take the leap, I finally got the courage to do it myself. I’m glad I was able to give you some insight into this. Let me know if you need any help when you finally decide to make the move.

  12. WOOHOO! Maria, I’m so proud of you and it looks great! Very impressed with all of your research and hard work with this. I don’t think I could do it. Wonderful job & congrats!

  13. Wow, good for you! I was just having the conversation about switching to WordPress (in the near future) with a girlfriend yesterday. I am a DIY girl, so I plan to take on this task when I am ready. Thanks so much for sharing your experience and tips on doing this…

    Also, thanks for visiting my blog!

    • I’m sure you will love WordPress as much as I do now once you make the move. It is totally different than Blogger but it has definitely given me a lot more options in terms of organizing and decorating my blog. You are welcome, your blog was great!

  14. I’m so happy that referring you to Shirley worked out so well for you. Shirely rawks! and so does your new wordpress site. Best wishes in all you do Maria. 🙂

  15. Congrats on the move!

Trackbacks

  1. Maria says:

    Goodbye Blogger, Hello Self Hosted WordPress!:     

          What a week this has been!  I cannot even begin to expl… http://bit.ly/9A4dmM

  2. Maria says:

    New Post @toughcookiemom: Goodbye Blogger, Hello Self Hosted WordPress!:     

      http://bit.ly/9A4dmM #b2sb2b

  3. "Goodbye Blogger, Hello Self Hosted WordPress!" http://ow.ly/37r4r via @ToughCookieMom <–Be the captain of your blogging ship starting now!

  4. Maria says:

    RT @LEleanaJohnson: "Goodbye Blogger, Hello Self Hosted WordPress!" http://ow.ly/37r4r via @ToughCookieMom <–Be the captain of your …

  5. […] took a lot of blood, sweat, tears and a whole lot of research before I finally took steps towards self-hosting my own blog.  After careful consideration, I realized that I would have to do so in order to take […]

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