I’m not sure why, but in the past couple of weeks a lot of bloggers have been asking me why they should switch to WordPress. It really got me thinking because I wanted to make sure that I was giving good information to them and honest opinions.
If you didn’t know, I made the switch to WordPress back in February of this year right before Blissdom. I knew that blog conferences in general made a point of telling people that a switch to WordPress was very important when it came to having a “big” blog. I figured it’d be best to go ahead and do it so I would know what they were talking about at the conference, and jumped in head first.
Things no one told me:
1. My website would be down for several days. During the switch from Blogger to WordPress, my website was down for almost a WHOLE week. What was awful was that my blog had finally started to gain some momentum last year in September and my stats were really high. The switch definitely made my stats go down initially because if readers weren’t following me on Twitter or Facebook, they just thought my website had been deleted. It’s taken some time to build readers back up, but I’m ok with that.
2. You need to have a basic understanding of CSS. Luckily for me, this wasn’t a problem. I used to have a blog in the past (Livejournal anyone) and used to do coding for the several communities I ran.
3. It can get expensive. Between hiring someone to switch me over and paying for hosting, I spent a decent amount. My switch wasn’t too much for some ($40) but it was a lot for me at the time
4. You’ll lose readers. Blogger uses GFC to keep track of readership. Since WordPress doesn’t use this platform, your GFC readers don’t come with you when you make the switch. My suggestion? Mention it in as many posts as you can pre-switch, announce it all over your social media, and even visit their blogs to let them know you’re switching. For the most part, many people have switched from GFC and Google Reader to Bloglovin, so hopefully that won’t be a big problem for you.
What I love about WordPress:
1. I own my own content. If you’ve seen Blogger have downtime or seen Blogger randomly delete blogs, it can be pretty scary. The worse part? Blogger has the right to delete your blog whenever they want. With self-hosted WordPress, I don’t have to worry about my content ever going away unless I decide to delete my blog on my own. Being self-hosted is important when it comes to monetizing your blog. On a WordPress.com blog, you are not allowed to monetize, whereas on a self-hosted WordPress blog, you can. Sure, you could monetize on your Blogger blog, but your site will still be very limited and again, it could be deleted at any time.
2. My blog is extremely customizable. I love my blog because I can change widgets, plug ins, and themes. Upon making the switch to WordPress, I decided I wanted to keep my blog relatively similar to my Blogger design, but added in the fun widgets that you see at the bottom of my site. Even better? WordPress has awesome plug ins (over 10,000!) like the cool CommentLuv plugin you see at the bottom of every post, automatically tracks analytics, and even helps me on my recipe posts so you can easily print off one of my recipes. I love that WordPress already helps me do little “extra” things that make my blog special.
3. Support is easy to get. Because I pay for my hosting, support is just a click or phone call away. Not the case with Blogger. Blogger is powered through Google. Try to find a phone number for them. Trust me, I’ve spent hours in the past and all I’ve found are support forums. But, through BlueHost, all I have to do is call, and they’re there to help me in a second. I’ve had several issues (which I accidentally did by fiddling around) and BlueHost helped me to quickly resolve my problems.
4. Google loves SEO on WordPress. My blogger blog would get the most random hits for Google searches. Sure, they made for good laughs, but people weren’t finding my true blog post “meat.” Now that I’m on WordPress, people are finding my blog through very specific searches that make up the bulk of my blog. Not only that, but WordPress helps you figure out which words or phrases from each blog post would be best for your SEO! I love that it takes the guess work out!
5. Automatic spam filter. I hate spam comments and WordPress is awesome at filtering them out. It’s been really helpful because I don’t even have to worry about them since WordPress automatically takes care of it. No need for that crappy Blogger comment spam thing that no one can figure out what it says!
Overall, if you’re even starting to hint at the idea of switching, I’d say go and make the leap. You’ll be glad you made the switch to WordPress once you’ve done it.
If you have questions about a possible switch, I’d be happy to help you via comment and give you my honest opinion.