It has been a month and a half since I made the switch from Blogger to WordPress, and I continue to get questions about how I have enjoyed the switch. I wanted to give myself some time to get used to the ins and outs of WordPress before giving my opinions on the differences between the two. The first few weeks I had a little bit of culture shock as I acclimated to the new territory here at WordPress, but I’m happy to say that I am starting to feel quite at home here.
Things I love about WordPress:
• Plugins: When I was contemplating making the switch from Blogger to WordPress, I did some research. I read about other people’s experiences making the change, and over and over again, I heard about the plugins. I wasn’t quite sure what the big deal was. And then I switched to WP and experienced plugins myself. If any of you have ever used Photoshop, a plugin is to a blog what an action is to Photoshop. It’s hard to describe it’s usefulness to someone who hasn’t experienced it themselves. Plugins not only have the ability to add cool gadgets and things to your blog, but they can add useful features, like statistics, faster page loads, and SEO. All of this is accessible through the WordPress Dashboard.
I was happy to find out that the “follow feature” (Google Friends Connect) is available for WordPress as well. I easily added it as a widget to my sidebar. (hint, hint)
• The Dashboard: The WordPress dashboard is a beautiful thing. There are more options available within the dashboard here than there were in Blogger, and I simply like having more options. It’s also organized logically. It just makes sense to me.
Here’s what my dashboard looks like when I am writing a new post:
• Posting: As you can see in the previous picture of me writing this very post, the WordPress Add New Post has a boatload of options right at your fingertips. I love the fact that I can customize my workspace. I can make the area where I’m typing my post as big as I want (I just drag the corner down until I like the size), and I can move the other option boxes around (see publish, post tags, and categories to the right) so that the features I use most are accessible to me. Another one of my favorite features in WordPress is the ability to publish immediately. In Blogger, when I would start a new post, Blogger would remember the date and time that the post was started. If I took two days to finish a post and forgot to change the post time, the post would publish as of two days previous. When blog readers are looking for the most recently updated posts to read, having an older date on a post is not a good thing. The system here seems more logical and writer-friendly.
• The Look: I admit it. I like the way WordPress blogs look. There are hundreds of Blogger blogs that I love the look of, but it seems that WordPress blogs, on an average, just look better to me. Personal preference. I love WordPress themes (especially The Thesis Theme), and although I love themes that cost lots of money MORE, I do enjoy my free theme as well.
• The Peace-of-Mind: In the past, I watched friends with blogs set up on another free platform wake up to find their content gone. Just GONE. While I don’t think Blogger is going anywhere, and it is certainly a safe platform to use, it did worry me that my content was not really my own. I like the comfort of having my own little spot on the web that is mine.
Things not to love about WordPress:
• I miss my Blogger blogroll. I ended up making a new Blogger blog just to have a blogroll. It’s a good compromise, but I miss having the updates right in front of me. I’m blaming my recent deplorable blog-reading habits on the blogroll situation.
• WordPress is not as easy to pick up. I knew Blogger inside out, and I could figure out the html coding to tweak things I didn’t like or needed to change. Apparently, WordPress is going to take a little more brain power. It’s coming….slowly. Thank goodness for my wonderful (and patient) WordPress mentor, Paulo (WebHostMatters on twitter) who set me up and continues to be available to help me when I can’t figure something out on my own. He’s been a God-send.
• The switch to WordPress caused me to lose over 1000 feedburner subscribers. It’s heartbreaking, but I’ve gotten over it. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it happens often enough to make a person nervous. It’s going to take some effort to get my subscribers (and page rank) back up. The fact is, I made the decision to go ahead and make the change to WordPress after running into some snags after buying my own domain at foodfunfamily.com. I went from a page rank of 4 to zero, and then back up to a 2 after a month. I figured it would be better to get the growing pains over with at once rather than wait until I’d fixed all of the problems from the first switch.
• It’s not free. Luckily, I was able to pay for 2 years of hosting up front and Paulo helped me transition my blog over for free, so I am not feeling a constant tug at my wallet. However, there’s something about knowing that if I want to keep this blog up, I am going to have to maintain a fee every once in a while. Thank goodness it is not that expensive.
Was it necessary to make the switch? No. Am I happy that I made the switch? Yes.
Where is your blog, and what do you love about your platform?
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