Defecting to WordPress – Advice needed!

by Insomniac Mummy on January 30, 2010

I’m having issues with Blogger. It’s slow to load for half my readers, doesn’t load properly in Internet Explorer, crashes Firefox and I’m beginning to find it a little limiting.

In recent days I’ve even been unable access or comment on my own blog. Is this the straw that broke the camel’s back? Yes sirree.

So, it’s with huge trepidation that I’ve decided to move to from self hosted Blogger (I’m already a .com don’tcha know?) to self hosted WordPress.

This is where you come in.

I need advice people! I’m pretty certain I’m going to go with BlueHost as recommended to me by fellow northerner Dan at ‘All that comes with it‘ but I have no idea how to go about the whole migration process.

Obviously, I want it to be painless and easy (for a slightly dippy girl like me). I want to be able to maintain my permalinks and feed and take Blogger followers with me (is this even possible?) so I don’t just disappear from then interweb in the click of a button. Oh and I’d like to maintain my PageRank/Google rank etc.

Does any one know of a great post with everything I need to know to make the transition?

Have you done it successfully yourself?

Have you paid someone to do it for you and if so how much?

Am I borderline insane even contemplating it?

Help me! Please?

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Ellie is a working mum. In her spare time she spends far too much time waffling on the internet. She's a Twitter addicted Facebook fanatic, and an all round social media butterfly. You can also find her on Google + as Insomniac Mummy. She once walked across England and is planning on walking 100K in one day in May 2014 for Cancer Research. All she really wants is a good night's sleep...

Drop Ellie a line, if you like!

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal Jigsaw January 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I don't know. Wouldn't know where to start. The whole idea gives me goose bumps!

Good luck.

CJ xx

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Smitten by Britain January 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I contemplated this move myself. I bought a hosting package with GoDaddy and even bought the Thesis template which is supposed to be the most user friendly out there. I hated it. Asked for a refund. I decided to stick with Blogger because so far I have not found anything that you can do in Wordpress that you can't do in Blogger. You just have to be willing to do the research and learn a little CSS. When you move to Wordpress you have to be concerned about losing you SEO rankings, not to mention your followers. I also read where sometimes you can lose posts in the transition. With all that said it seemed like too much aggravation for me. Wordpress users go on and on about how great the WP widgets are but I found them not so special and a bit cumbersome to install and place exactly where I wanted them on my blog.

If you are having trouble with your blog loading consider a few things: Are your Firefox and IE browsers updated to the latest version? How many posts do you have loading on your homepage. I've been told that 3 or 4 max is all you should have because it slows down load time. Also if you have any flash time widgets, they do the same, along with YouTube videos. I have visited your blog many times and have never experienced trouble with it loading.

As far as not being able to access your comments, I'm not sure what is going on there. If you are using Blogger's comment system, maybe consider using IntenseDebate which is the system I use on my blog. I've never had trouble with it.

Sorry for being a Debbie Downer about WP, but with all the aggro involved, I did not feel it was worth it to me to risk readership and the stats I've built up over the last 18 months. Also, I find that many WP blogs look very similar. I can almost instantly tell a WP blog because a lot of Bloggers are using the same kind of templates. In the end, it all depends on what you value as a blogger, whether or not you think the move will be worth it.

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Lindy January 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I love wordpress but it is a bit limiting. If you like to change backgrounds and add all these cute widgets I see on your sidebar you might not like it. If it's not loading well or crashing I would get rid of widgets and add them one at a time to see which one is actually crashing. My vote would go to the followers widget. I'm not an expert…

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Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy January 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm

I have no idea. But, I am interested to see what you choose as I want to do something similar soon…

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Karin @ Cafe Bebe January 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm

I wholeheartedly recommend Wordpress and I use Just Host but they aren't perfect. Lindy's right about the backgrounds but depending on the theme you choose, you can customise to your liking. You'll need a bit of code-savvy with it. Liz (@violetposy) is a genius with moves like this. I suggest speaking to her…even hiring her to help you out. Good luck! Self-hosting is a happy place on WP! ;)
Karin

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Chic Mama January 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I've thought about it…bought a domain then tried to use it with WP….couldn't do a thing…so lost my money, gave up and re-bought the domain to use with blogger. I love WP themes and get frustrated that I can't use them with blogger. Would love to hear how you get on but …..your blog loaded super quick for me today, maybe it is a case of removing as much as you can and trying again. Good luck.

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Jessi January 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Oh my, your site definitely is slow. I don't think it's Blogger, though, because I haven't had any problems with any other Blogger blogs. Have you checked into your widgets/addons? They're usually the main culprit for crashing sites (or slowing them down). Or maybe there's some corrupt coding in your theme somewhere. Neither of which would be fixed just by moving to Wordpress.

You 'can' keep your back links and such with the move. You're laready on your own domain, so everything that points to it will continue to point to it. You'd simply be changing platforms.

(I followed a link from FuelMyBlog and I'm now following you, by the way.)

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Dan January 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I suspect your slowness may have somethign to do with the stuff in your sidebar – particularly the tag cloud.

The comment about not being able to do anythign in wordpress that you can't do in blogger is uttewr bollocks by the way. Sorry, but it is. Wordpress is infinitely more flexible and able to be modified without stress.

Far better you do this now than later. You are a relatively new blog – I made the leap at around the same time and lost a couple of people, but three years down the line I would now be perminatently stuck with blogger had I not moved – as I have more folowers and more links to loose. Basically if you decide you don't want to move because of those issues you are effectively deciding never to move at all. Because those issues are only going to get bigger.

And anyway, as Jessie said – you already are at your own domain so I'm guessing the links will still work – maybe not ones to actual posts but centainly ones to the main page. Not sure about the feed though. Do you use feedburner?

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Liz@Violet Posy January 30, 2010 at 9:47 pm

You're fine you own your own domain so just point it at the new site (Bluehost is very good from what I've heard) and you're in business. It's only when you don't own your domain and you want to move you get screwed in google etc. Make sure you install Akismet on Wordpress to get rid of spam and the world is your oyster :) It's a little different from Blogger, but I think you'll be fine. Give me a shout if you need any help! x

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nappy valley girl January 30, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I've had problems viewing your site before, and commenting – I don't seem to have this problem with other Blogger sites, so agree with those above that maybe something else is the culprit? Good luck….

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Kelloggsville January 30, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Your blog is the worst I follow for loading, very very slow and the comments are hard too. But your blog is good, I am prepared to persist with slow load. I have wondered if you need to reimport to a new template.

I have no expereince of moving hosts but I did move templates, widgets was the only minor pain. I think anything is possible and I know people that have moved that have just left forwarding addresses on their old blog and I followed them.

I think blogger is restrictive and made for people that don't want to push their html too far. If you want to make something good I think you have to move away from blogger. TBH I can't be bothered with the effort but I think the effort would be worthwhile.

My only advise would be do it before you go back to work because you will need a bit of time and brain effort. When you first go back to work you will feel stretched and you don't want blogging to be a task, you'll want it to be recreation!

good luck x

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Lindy January 31, 2010 at 12:35 am

I shouldn't have said it can't be done but it's not as easy. Free backgrounds for blogger are a dime a dozen and widgets are easy to add. I self host on WP and love it. Not being techie at.all. I've found it a bit frustrating at times. I'm also cheap and didn't want to pay anyone to do it for me although I did in the end.

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Laura (LittleStuff) January 31, 2010 at 9:13 am

I've moved two Blogger blogs to wordpress – and both times it's been painless, simple and regret-free.
Simply set up your wordpress blog, then use the import tool. Once you have the hang of WP (which is quite different to blogger on the admin side) you'll love it. Honest.
Changing themes is very easy – and I've never found a lack of free themes to use?
We use Zen for hosting, and have never had a problem.

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Notes to self plus two and the need for red shoes January 31, 2010 at 12:38 pm

i am also thinking of defecting to wordpress. After reading "The Bloggers Handbook" I reckon its really not much more complex than blogger – yet more flexible.

http://www.imagineshop.co.uk/item_show.php?itemID=1336 – Take alook at this magazine, The Bloggers Handbook, I bought in a normal newsagent. Step by step pictures and guides to setting up a wordpress blog.

good luck xx

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Lax Parenting January 31, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I am completely, utterly lost, but whereever you end up dammit I shall hunt you down :)

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Smitten by Britain January 31, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Lindy is right about customizing your backgrounds and widgets. It is limiting. Sorry that Dan disagrees, but every feature that I've seen on WP that I've wanted for my own blog I have duplicated. That would include the navigation bar, pages and the post preview feature on the homepage. One of the commenters also said they love the WP templates and wish they could use them with Blogger. Well, there are people out there who are providing WP templates coded for Blogger. All you have to do is Google "WordPress templates for Blogger" to find them. You may have to learn a little CSS to get them just the way you like them, but you can do it. Personally, I think this whole argument got started by people who paid a lot of money for their WP templates and are now irritated because Blogger is a free service which, as I stated before, has the ability to do everything that WP does. I know some professional blog designers who work in both platforms and will tell you the same thing. So take heart. You don't need to move. Just look at what you have on your side bar and see if there is anything that you don't absolutely need. Honestly, your blog loads fine for me. I use Firefox 3.5.7. You do have a lot of posts loading on the home page. Maybe limit that to four. Also the word cloud widget and the Widget box widget I've had trouble with in the past. They can cause slow loading time. If you would like some advise on customizing anything just let me know. I'm happy to help.

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Aly February 1, 2010 at 6:05 am

I moved my Blogger blog to WP last May.I stayed with it until Christmas and now I moved back.I am much happier back at Blogger.I too have a WP theme with pages.All my widgets work, which I couldn't do with WP.I find blogs that are slow always have lots of widgets and it's not restricted to Blogger.

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notSupermum February 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Your blog is very very slow to load, and I sometimes cannot leave a comment (not sure why). Would be interested to hear what you decide to do with regards to WP.

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Jodie at Mummy Mayhem February 3, 2010 at 11:21 am

With regards to comments…I downloaded ECHO, which is a very user friendly comments system. You've used it on my blog before and it only costs me a whopping US$12 per annum! Check it out and see what you think.

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Heather February 3, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I have used the free wordpress before and didn't like it as it was restrictive with what you could and could not add to it. I think the differences in opinion here about WP could be with some talking about the one you host yourself and some about the free one.

I have never tried t one you pay to host but believe it is much freer (as in you have more freedom) than the free one (which is free in the monetary way), if that makes sense… one is .com and one .org i think

I do find your website slow to load, the header seems to take forever, but have never had a problem with the comments here.

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ella February 3, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I can only add that Wordpress is great, although updating can be a pain. I've been with Bluehost for a few years and they are very good.

It's almost always things in the sidebar that slow down the load time and Google followers is supposed to be a particularly bad one. Make sure you've optimised any images for the web and put in height and width attributes (I don't know if Blogger does this automatically for you) as the text can load, leaving white space for the images while it does so.

As far as keeping permalinks, once in Wordpress choose the permalink structure that matches your current one, ie url/year/month/post-title as that isn't the automatic choice. However I can't guarantee it will definitely keep your existing permalinks as I haven't done it myself.

Hope it all goes smoothly for you.

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