You might have not noticed the change, but for my regular blog readers (Hey are you there? Say hi at the comments section LOL) for sure they have seen some changes on the layout of this blog since the last time they visited it. Well they are right, a lot of things have been brewing in the blog. At last, I can say that the change has completed.
I have moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress! 😄
For the past 7 years, I have been working on my site via Blogger. That site has bore witness on my beginning years as a “content writer” online. I have lots of happy memories blogging via that site. But the question you might have in mind is –
Why did I make this big move?
I have been playing with this idea for the longest time, and I guess the main trigger of this change was the Google+ deprecation. Google has been sending out notifications for the last several months that they will be shutting down this service, and are advising its users to download their user data or else it will be lost forever. Google has been known to kill its products even if it is still widely used (remember good ‘ol Feedburner?) Since receiving this notice, I couldn’t help but think of the future of Blogger. Technically I was not paying anything for Google to host my blog on their site. I have been uploading photos online for my blog for free. I wonder how Google is benefiting from users like me? Also for the past half decade that I have been using Blogger, there were minimal additions on the features that users can do on the website, so I had this assumption that Blogger is minority of Google’s priority products.
And so I thought of the inevitable. I think this will happen sooner or later.I think I won’t be able to bear to shut down my website. I have been working on this for so long and this has been part of who I am. I think writing will always be part of my life from now on. I think I have already proven to myself that this is something that I have been doing consistently for years and will continue to do so in the years to come. And so, I decided it’s finally time to make the move and to level up!
Doing the Big Move
Moving from Blogger to WordPress has suprisingly been easy. Although there is still a learning curve because of all the features that WordPress has, the process as a whole is technically painless! Here are the steps that I followed that led to how my website is currently set up.
- Export your site content from Blogger. From the Blogger dashboard, you can download an XML file that contains all the data that you have on your website.
- Import the XML file to your WordPress site. Assuming that you already have one, just import the file that you got from the Blogger backup, and viola, your WordPress site is now up! WordPress automatically creates a copy of the photos that you have on the Blogger site so depending on the size of your website, it may take some time for this import to complete (mine consisted of 600+ posts, and I think it took 30 minutes for the import to be finished).
- Set up a custom domain. Having the free WordPress account is totally fine, especially for a new website. However for my case, I already have a domain that I own. The issue is that this domain still points to the Blogger website. I have to configure it so that it would now point to the newly set up WordPress site. One great advantage of this is that your blog traffic won’t be affected by your move to a new site. Since search engines have indexed your site using the custom domain, they would still just reference to the same site address. There were several steps done for this one to be accomplished, so I’m detailing them more below:
- On your WordPress dashboard, go to Configure > Domains. Choose ‘Add a Domain’ and ‘Choose a domain that I own’. Select ‘Transfer your domain away from your current registrar’ and just follow all the instructions on the page. You would need to upgrade to a WordPress Premium account to have a custom domain for yourself. Honestly this was a huge decision for me (uhmm because I have been blogging for free for years!). I had to think for days to check if this is really something that I wanted. Well I thought why not give it a try? A year’s premium subscription costed me around 4,000PHP + 900PHP for the custom domain transfer.
- Go to the registrar that manages your custom domain. For me, my custom domain is registered onNamecheap. I had to do a domain transfer request which took a week to take effect.
- Choose a theme. There are hundreds of themes available for WordPress sites (more especially if you are on Premium!). The themes are all sleak and neat, and honestly most of them suited my taste. I actually had difficulty choosing among them because I liked them all!
- Transfer your affiliate links from your Blogger to your WordPress site. I have a few ones on the site ( i.e. Trazy). Also if you want to preserve your page views and visitors counter, transfer the HTML/Script that does this so the count just continues for your new site!
- Link your site on your social media accounts. Previously I have linked my blog to my Facebook and Google+, but now I decided to trim the audience and just publish it on Twitter. 😅
- Follow your blog roll via the WordPress Reader. I like the layout of the WordPress reader. It’s very easy to use. Through the WP Reader, you can very easily discover other sites based on the tags and the categories that you are interested in.
It’s been a week since everything has been completed, and I’m loving my experience as a WordPress blogger now. I love how comprehensive the Stats are, and how I am able to interact more with fellow bloggers now via the WP reader!
You know, with all these new experiences I have with the WordPress site, I wondered why I didn’t do it sooner! Well it’s better late than never! Thank you very much Blogger, you’ve been a kind and dependable friend. But now, I have to move on.
Here’s to more blogging fun and adventures! 🍻