I almost cried the first time I switched from Blogger to WordPress. This was almost four years ago when I started Motherhood Through My Eyes.
At one point, I convinced myself that it would be too hard, too expensive and too much work. After much research and paying attention to the WordPress plugins and hosting websites, I did it last week. I migrated my Google Domain website to WordPress, it’s original home.
But I Was Already On WordPress Before Motherhood Through My Eyes began on a WordPress hosted website and I eventually switched over to Blogger because I wanted to advertise and promote products on my blog. A WordPress hosted blog doesn’t allow you to do either, as per their user agreement. So, I spent almost $30 for no reason.
My WordPress hosted blog was a great place to share my everyday life but as it transformed into a source of income, I knew I needed to switch over. I just wasn’t ready. Somehow, I did it anyway and with HostGator.
A friend had recommended I try HostGator since the website had a special. I took the plunge and paid about $200 for 36 months of hosting. I was still working at the digital publishing company and I had been talking to co-workers about getting a domain and hosting my blog. They were also pushing me to do it.
I believe I canceled my subscription that same day.
Signing up to HostGator and trying to use their CPanel was so confusing. It just looked like an out-dated computer. I just wasn’t 100% on board with everything, so I canceled it and returned to my WordPress.com hosted blog.
Trying Out Google Domains I gave Google Domains a try around the time it first launched. And it was worth it. As I mentioned above, for $12 I was able to host and own a domain for my blog on their Blogger platform.
This year, I was asked to renew my subscription, which I did in March 2016. Two more years for a total of $24.
That went down the drain when I read about a man who had been on Blogger for more than 10 years and had his website shut down by Google. It had happened to me on a project I was starting through Blogger, but I didn’t think twice about it since I had been starting out. Reading about this man’s
Reading about this man’s frustration when Google didn’t answer his messages reminded me of the same headache I faced when my project was randomly shutdown through Blogger.
As a blogger who turned her website into a business, I couldn’t put myself in the position to lose everything I had worked so hard to create. That was when I switched to WordPress.org.
It’s funny how there are so many bloggers out there who fear switching from a free platform to a self-hosted website. I read hundreds of posts stating how easy it is to switch over to a self-hosted WordPress blog, but all of them seemed to be written in a foreign language. To me, the thought of having to hire someone to do it for me never crossed my mind, so I just kept the thought of one day doing it snuggled in the back of my mind. I just continued to do research and kept mental notes here and there.
5 Ways To Make Your Migration A Success During the migration process, I read article after article that suggested that migrating from Blogger to WordPress is going to be a headache. It wasn’t. I used SiteGround for hosting and transferred my domain from Google Domains over to the SiteGround website. SiteGround didn’t charge me for that, which according to their website saved me $30. I’m currently using their one-month trial for less than $20. The SiteGround plans are pretty cheap.
Note: Originally, I was going to sign up to NameCheap, but this website opened my eyes to something. I recommend you read it if you’re not sure which one to decide on.
For a successful migration to WordPress from Blogger, please keep these five things in mind:
1. Research every question you may have before doing anything. I could’ve saved myself some cash if I had stopped listening to everyone’s opinions and just done my research.
2. Go for the Trial. Many of the hosting websites offer trials for first-time users. Don’t be afraid to give those a try.
3. Use the Blogger Importer Extended Plugin It might seem obvious to go with the Blogger Importer plugin that pops up when you look under Plugins via your WordPress dashboard. Save yourself the pain and search for Blogger Importer Extended. This plugin will transfer all of your posts, the images that go along with them (even adds featured images if your theme has the option), and all of your comments and tags.
4. Try different themes before you settle for one. I like a clean look, but I also wanted something that I wouldn’t have been able to get from Blogger’s static layout. I knew I wanted a slider, something that would stand out and work with the header and blog logo I had created. Also, I didn’t want to pay another penny to have it installed or customized. I went with Barletta, and I love it.
5. Focus On SEO. I loved the benefits of being on a Google platform because it helped with SEO, but then I discovered the Yoast plugin. Many of my blogging friends had mentioned it during conversations about SEO. I was out of the loop and relied on Google to help boost my blog.
There’s so much that goes into perfecting your blog posts and driving traffic, and Yoast offers tips right under your blog post editor. It’s like having a marketer next to your shoulder.
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UPDATE: I used SiteGround. Click over to see what they have to offer and try their one-month trial today!
Former B2B editor and marketer turned Family & Lifestyle blogger. Fatima is passionate about life and being social.
When she isn't running around with her husband, three kids, and two pups, Fatima helps other bloggers and local businesses with their online marketing strategy.
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