Friday, November 30, 2007

Switching from Blogger to Wordpress?

So, I started my blog on Blogger a few months ago and I think it's growing steadily. I think that I eventually want to move to my own domain name and publish on Wordpress, rather than using the blogger website and having the ".blogspot.com" address. So, a few questions:

1. Am I right that in the long run, I'll do better with my own domain and wordpress rather than using blogger? i.e., am I just putting off the inevitable if I continue to use the blogger platform for a few months? I am decent at understanding/writing html, so I've been able to customize the blogger site to some extent, but I want to be able to have separate pages for a recipe index, blogroll, etc!

2. Am I better making the switch now, when my blog is still new, rather than when it's been around for a while and I'll be disrupting a larger number of readers (hopefully!)?

3. Am I going to lose readers if I make the switch, or is it pretty seamless?


This Post was written by Katy from sugarlaw.

16 comments:

Andrew said...

You might find this article of interest

http://www.labnol.org/internet/blogging/moving-blog-from-blogger-to-wordpress-with-rss-feeds/1870/

Delilah Hinman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Delilah Hinman said...

Aloha Katy :) Great question. I just tackled this one myself just a week ago. I had been on Blogger for nearly a year but I decided to make the switch to WordPress. Personally I would recommend WordPress, the designs are nice, they have pages you can make for your recipe index, and you can import all of your posts from Blogger easily. The only downside to WP is if you have ads (they don't allow it). Aside from that, WP has worked out great so far! And I've also noticed a jump in readership since I moved (and it's easy to monitor with the "Blog stats" section.

deb said...

Hi Katy -- I've always voted for switching sooner than later, but this doesn't mean that it is necessary to install Wordpress on a server. In fact, Wordpress.com (which I've gotten familiar with as I have set up two blogs for family members recently) will allow you, for a minimal fee, to use your own domain but let them deal with the hosting/installation hassles. It makes importing archives from other platforms surprisingly easy. I think it's a great gateway platform, should you choose down the road to self-host your own Wordpress installation.

When you change domains, it does take a little bit of time for everyone to redirect their links and their clicks, but soon enough everyone will make it over. If they liked your content before--and how couldn't they?--they'll follow it wherever it goes.

Hope that helps.

Cate said...

Perfect timing on the topic since I've been debating about switching Sweetnicks over to WordPress. I bought my domain name in the beginning, so that's not an issue for me -- but getting my design/posts over there is something else.

Judith in Umbria said...

I really recommend it. Blogger is doing some things that are bad for you and bad for blogging.

There's a bit of a learning curve with Wordpress, but it's worth it.

Write a forwarding post once you've got it set up and something posted. Wordpress will also help you move all your stuff to Wordpress. Pick useful plug-ins, of which there are huge numbers.

Then download a sitemap program, make a sitemap and submit it to Google. It took me three tries, but I hadn't a clue what I was doing.Once they get onto you, everyone else will follow.

Derrick said...

I'm also thinking moving from Blogger (but not Blogspot) to Wordpress. I'm not sure if hosting my own server will make it easier or harder: In the Blogspot universe, everything's in a database and so I'd think it would be easier. In the Blogger->hosting service scenario, I have a boatload of HTML files. Wordpress is database-based. On the other hand, I won't have to worry about old links to OWF breaking.

My concern will be for people who have linked to particular posts. I figure I'll just have to write some scripts that do the translation from old-style permalink to new-style database entry.

Katy said...

Thanks so much everyone! This is really helpful. This is something I've been thinking about since about 4 days after I set up my blog initially, so it's great to have all the input!

I was really interested in the idea of hosting my blog on wordpress.com with my own domain name. The problem that I've found already is that you can't customize your "theme" -- and, among other problems, the image header I made (which I'm rather fond of) is too big for any of their pre-formatted themes! And I actually really like being able to customize the whole layout myself (I'm such a geek at heart). I'm going to think about it this weekend and hopefully make a decision...

Anita said...

what they all said. :)

You may lose people, but they'll find you. But it's another reason to move sooner rather than later. There are import utilities and URL redirect plug-ins that make all the hassles minimal.

Janet M (at foodperson.com) said...

A clarification regarding Delilah's comment. What she says about ads may be true for wordpress.com (which hosts your blog as well as providing hosting), but if you're using the WordPress platform with the web host of your choice, you can run as many (or few) ads as you want. I started with and have stuck with WordPress. Although it does have a steeper learning curve, I like that I can change my blog however I like.

p.s. Has Blogger now changed to where you can't use your name and blog URL as your comment "identity"?

Delilah Hinman said...

@janet m Thanks for clarifying that. I forgot to add that in my comment. And, yeah, I noticed the Blogger's commenting change too, kind of annoying :P

Ann said...

I also just noticed the commenting change in blogger as I was visiting some favorites and went to leave a note. What's up with that?! Non-blogger folks like me are left to worry if including a link back to ourselves will be considered rude. Seems like a bad policy all-around.

Ann at Redacted Recipes

Deborah said...

Blogspot will actually direct to your own host if you want to use a domain name. It's very handy as you don't have to alter anything and your feed stays the same so you won't lose any readers. My main blog is blog.humblehousewife.com but it is still hosted on blogger. People who link to the old .blogspot.com address still get redirected there!

Just an FYI

Kalyn said...
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Owen said...

Hope you are still checking these...

1) You can host on your own domain using blogger - see www.tomatilla.com - my food blog - that is run by blogger.

2) You can with wordpress - the installed version - set up permalinks in all kinds of ways (I'm going to pass this on to Derrick since he should be made aware of that) - they don't have to be database links. See my lovely wife's blog www.docgurley.com for example. I set it up for her with wordpress and it uses a custom permalink structure which is very like blogger's.

3) I don't understand the comment about blogger doing things wrong in the blogosphere - that is NOT the case. THere are many wordpress snobs out there (in fact I am one sort of and prefer it for much) but blogger is plain easier - and much easier if you aren't comfortable messing with CSS and PHP. That's one reason I never moved tomatilla.com over - it is too much work for no real gain. Blogger if anything is likely to do a better job of Google SEO for you - it is after all owned by google!

4) If you want fancy add ons and customization then wordpress is the way to go. Note the fluid, full-width design for docgurley.com and the fact that there are two columns at the top left with a single column below that. You can't do that in blogger.Especially not when you realise that the contents of the two columns can be set to only be articles tagged with certain categories.

5) I'm not sure that, if traffic and SEO and so forth is a goal of yours that any kind of move is a good idea - you have established the xyz.blogspot.com domain and now have to establish the new one from the ground up....on the other hand if you could care less about the hit in traffic then it is a very good idea to at least go to your own domain

Giusi said...

I understand now there is a way to get a blogger ID that will work on Blogger blogs without actually having to be a Blogger blogger, but why should that be necessary? How many won't find it out? For example, the ID I will have to use here doesn't point at my food blog, but a fun thing I do once in a while.

One of the reasons people go hunting up and commenting on blogs is that it's a way to get known. We all know that. Networking is a good thing.

Blogger making it impossible without finding the secret key to refer to your site is bad for blogging and bad for Blogger blogs. It seems very shortsighted to me.

The community of all kinds of bloggers is growing and becoming an interesting resource for everyone on every subject. Making self-referrals impossible or difficult is counterproductive to that growth.

Hosting Wordpress on Wordpress isn't particularly a good thing. I recommend your own server. Wordpress, however, does host a professional services mail list you can use to get help for which you pay. I got offers for my job that ranged from a book someone wanted to $3000.

I think you need to know what you want from your blog before jumping.