One of the biggest things to consider when starting a blog is what platform you are going to use. Blogger, WordPress (.com and .org), Squarespace….options that to a brand new blogger can be overwhelming. How do you know which is right for you? The good news is that nothing is ever permanent. You are never locked into a platform forever. I started on Blogger and moved to self-hosted WordPress. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages and I believe both should be weighed. Ultimately it’s a personal choice and there shouldn’t be platform-shaming. I’m going to share why moving to WordPress was right for me.
Way back in January I decided that 2015 would be the year that I challenged myself and I created goals for myself. One of my goals was to decide whether to stick with Blogger where I had a great comfort level or step outside of my comfort zone and switch to WordPress. Change is something that I do not resist, but it is something that makes me a tad bit nervous. Staying with Blogger would have been easy. I needed to show myself that I could in fact take on something brand new and foreign and not only do it, but do it with a degree of comfort. Once I made that decision I was quick to act. I hired Lisette from High Note Designs and jumped in with both feet. I never looked back and Lisette had my blog up and running within no time.
Once my transfer was complete, I came in contact with Kristie from Blog Ambitions (who also does transfers but is on hiatus til after the birth of her second baby). Kristie has been wonderful to work with (if you read my blog, you have heard me sing her praises) and makes my visions (at least the ones that I am still to timid to tackle on my own) for my blog become realities.
Switching to WordPress has shown me that despite the nervousness and butterflies that come with change, I can handle it and need to give myself a tad bit more credit than I do.
I have heard nightmare stories of bloggers finding that their blogs are suddenly gone. On Blogger you do not own your own content. Google does. The thought that one day I could wake up and find my blog gone did scare me a bit. Our blogs are personal and our stories and I wanted to own every single bit of mine.
I love a blog with clean, simple lines. The less clutter, the better. I guess I lean more towards the minimalist side of things in that area. So many WordPress blogs that I had seen fit this bill. That’s not to say that there aren’t Blogger blogs out there that are clean and simple. There are. I just loved that WordPress blogs seemed so streamlined.
WordPress themes give you a great starting point. From a theme, you can tweak and customize your blog so that it looks and functions the way you want it to. The possibilities seem endless.
Need proof? Here’s the theme I purchased from Restored 316 Designs. Does it look anything like what you see right now? Nope. I have completely made it my own and have it doing exactly what I want and made it mine. As a side note, if you need a theme, I can not stress how wonderful Lauren from Restored 316 Designs is. Her themes are beautiful and reasonably priced and the customer service is top notch.
All I ever seemed to hear about when I was on Blogger was the plug ins that WordPress users had at their fingertips. With plug ins you could schedule your blog posts, have good SEO, have an editorial calendar, speed up your website, and tweet old posts. You name it and I guarantee there’s a plug in that can do it or someone willing to create a plug in that would do it efficiently.
I can honestly say, plug ins are amazing and make the behind the scenes work of blogging so much easier. Plug ins deserve their own post and I will be sharing my favorite plug ins soon.
I’m not going to lie. Using WordPress can be expensive. You can save money by doing your own transfer (if you’re braver and more confident than I was). However, there are still things that you need to pay for.
The investment was something that I knew would make me take my blog seriously. In the past I have started and stopped so many things for a variety of reasons. I did not want my blog to become a casualty. Knowing that I am investing in it makes me feel much more of an attachment and a willingness to see it through. I guess you can say it validated my blog for me; as odd as that may sound.
I have heard quite often that in order to be taken seriously in the blogging world you need to be on WordPress. There are so many bloggers out there with huge followings, great content, and they are making money off their Blogger blogs. I beg to differ that their blogs are viewed as less than one on WordPress.
As with anything, having a great support system is key. When I first transferred to WordPress my head was spinning. Everything was new and foreign and I had no clue what I was doing. Having someone to bounce questions off of and offer advice is key. Bloggers are a supportive group. If you have a question, reach out to someone and ask. Keep in mind we all have started out as newbies and have gained experience through the years.
I mentioned platform shaming. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel less of a blogger because you are using something different. You have to do what’s right for you and your blog. Whatever you do, own it. Be proud of yourself and your blog.
No matter what platform you choose, do what’s right for you. You have the ability to have an amazing blog on whichever platform you choose.
Which platform are you on? Any thoughts on switching platforms? If you did, what prompted you to do so?