Hey everyone! As you may have noticed, Books, Biscuits, and Tea went through some changes this weekend. I’ve been thinking about moving from Blogger to WordPress for a while but I finally plucked up the courage and went through with it – yay! Since many of you have been asking me about my first impressions with WordPress and the reason why I left Blogger, I decided to write a post about it and explain some of my concerns in connection with Blogger and whether it’s worth leaving your old blogging platform or not.
The main reason why I left Blogger was that in the past couple of weeks I’ve had constant issues with comments not showing up, blog titles not showing up, and several other things that made blogging less enjoyable than it was before. Mind you, apart from the time when Google decided to delete my blog for no apparent reason, I’ve been quite happy with Blogger. Up until now.
I’ve only been on WordPress for about 48 hours but I’m in love with it already. For me the most striking difference between the two platforms is how professional WP looks compared to Blogger. And in WP’s case, professional doesn’t equal complicated. I thought I’d be confused with its system and I’d need weeks to figure out how it works but here I am, typing away with a huge smile on my face. Anyway, here’s why I think you should go ahead with moving to WordPress. Mind you, I’m talking about self-hosted WordPress blogs, not the free WordPress ones. For more information about the differences between these two, check out this article.
Why switch to WordPress?
▸ Control over your blog
One of the most important differences between Blogger and WordPress is the amount of control you have over your blog. Blogger is owned by Google and Google has the right to delete your account without a warning. I’m not making this up and yes, it does happen – it even happened to me once. Apparently, Google may remove your blog even if you use a custom domain name (e.g. myblog.com instead of myblog.blogspot.com) so a self-hosted WordPress site is definitely better in this respect. With WordPress, you’re in control.
Another reason why I switched to WP is SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It basically includes processes behind improving a site’s visibility in search engine results pages, such as Google. What exactly is “Search Engine Optimisation” and why should you care? More info here. What made me think in the first place was April’s article – apparently, if your blog’s HTML coding is bad, your site will be down ranked. Well, I happened to check my blog with W3C validator while I was still on Blogger and there were almost 600 errors in my blog’s html. I mean, 600?!?! Holy shrimp. The great thing about WP and its blog templates is that they are more SEO friendly. Now that my blog is all set up and my template looks almost identical to the one I had on Blogger, I went back to W3C and checked my blog’s html again – guess how many errors it had? 7. Instead of 600. Sounds a tiny bit better, right? In addition to this, WordPress has a great number of SEO plugins you can install and work with and they’re super easy to use.
WOW. One of the things I love most about WP is the awesome plugins. WP makes your life super easy – there are thousands of them and you can access each of them right from your Dashboard.
I just love WP’s post editor. It’s quite similar to Blogger so it doesn’t take too much time to get used to it but it’s much better and easier to use. I’ve constantly had issues with Blogger’s editor and photo uploader so it’s such a huge relief to finally be able to use this one. Plus, I know many people who originally write their blog posts in Microsoft Word before they post it on their blogs, but I noticed that it tends to mess up their blog’s template. I’m not kidding, I’ve seen it happen many times. But do you know what? WP has a button which lets you paste a text from MS Word – AND it doesn’t mess up your theme. Cool, huh? You don’t have to worry about it being complicated even if you’re not a HTML expert – the post editor looks almost identical to the one we have in MS word so you don’t even have to go near the HTML editor button.
I know some people are obsessed with privacy and captcha (which I still hate, by the way) but they don’t realize that it’s actually the number one reason why people can’t or simply won’t comment on their blog posts. It’s interesting about WP’s comment system is that in addition to being able to moderate your comments before publishing, you can edit your comments too, which you can’t do on Blogger unless the commenter deletes his/her comment and re-submits it. Plus, WP also lets you password-protect your posts – either all of them, or just the ones you’d prefer not to make visible to the public.
I’m sure there’s much more but these are the things I can tell you right away, 2 days after switching blogging platforms. All I can say is, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be worth it. I love the fact that WP makes everything so easy and that’s a huge plus when you don’t have much time beside work and reading. I was REALLY nervous about moving because I had no clue how it all worked but thank goodness Bex @ Kindle Fever helped me through the whole process and pretty much did the editing part for me. (Bex, I love you. 😀 ) If you’ve been considering this move for a while just like myself, I would definitely say go for it. Moving itself doesn’t take too much time, not more than an hour anyway. Making your blog look like the way you’d like it to be takes much longer. Other than that, I’m happy with how things turned out.
Also, Bex and I had a little chat today and we decided that if anyone needs help with moving to WP and blog design, courtesy of my own design studio Sweet Dreams Design, then we’d be more than happy to add a WP design package to my website and help you guys out with moving. We haven’t decided on the pricing yet but do let us know if you’d be interested. Also, feel free to let me know if you have any questions about WordPress or the move itself. x