Our Blogging Journey From Blogspot To WordPress

Three quarters of the way into our first years of professional schools (law school for Ian, medical school for Josh), we decided that we needed a way to express our views and ideas on topics that were most of the time unrelated to our careers. We needed a way to relax at the end of the day in order to maintain our sanity. In May 2009, we decided that starting a blog would be the most appropriate way to accomplish our goals. Today, we are on our own domain and host and use WordPress to power our site. However, it took a long time to get to where we are; we started off using Blogspot with little to no knowledge of or experience with blogging.

In the beginning, we used a very simple black and white style template, that was very basic and straightforward. It had no frills. There were very few, if any, widgets on our blog. Every thing that we did was through Blogger’s visual layout page. We never dared to to edit any html. We also only posted two or three times a week. Rarely did we ever exceed that amount of posts for months. It was no surprise to us that our hits were generally stagnant and we barely saw any increases for several months. In the middle of August, we decided to really focus on the blog.

After realizing that we were failing to see any increase in traffic over the preceding three months, we made a decision in August to really start focusing on the blog. The most important decision we made was to try to post at least an article per day for each of us. Often we would write more than two articles a day or we would also post a video we found interesting or funny, attempting to integrate newer methods of interactive social media. As the weeks progressed, and we became comfortable with exploring some more html coding, widgets, buttons, lists, polls, and eventually podcasts appeared on our blog. Blogger was a great first step for us. It allowed us, with little to no knowledge regarding programming on the internet, to publish articles that we thought young adults would be interested in reading.

As of December 24th, our blog is now powered by Word Press. We chose to switch to Word Press because of its great track record, flexibility, and its large community of helpful users. We host our data on Blue Host’s servers and we purchased our new domain name (www.whatsgoodblog.com) through Go Daddy. At first, we thought exporting our Blogger data over to our new servers and setting up the new blog design would be easy, but we were terribly mistaken.

None of the pictures or videos uploaded to Blogger transferred to the Word Press blog. We eventually found a solution online that would allow us to properly transfer our original posts in Blogger to the new blog but would also transfer the search engine traffic of the original articles to our new website.

We started using Adobe Dreamweaver to design the blog’s webpage from scratch and installing Word Press into a subdomain, but with no prior knowledge of PHP, CSS or HTML, this was impossible. Dreamweaver is an extremely intricate and complicated program to use, with a learning curve that is way beyond our limited time frame. We chose to redesign the site last week because it was the beginning of our winter breaks, which are only two weeks long. We therefore decided to simply use a predesigned, free theme for Word Press, after learning that Word Press could be used as a content management system (CMS) and also can be used to design websites. However, there were numerous problems, and after switching to a new theme, we have still yet to resolve several issues. After spending countless hours this week, we have managed to solve many of the issues but several are still outstanding and are beyond our ability to fix.

Another issue we ran into was the unexpectedly programming-oriented side of Word Press. As opposed to Blogger, Word Press is basically edited by code only; only widgets can be installed via a graphical interface. This was extremely limiting once again for us, thus causing us to spend several hours resolving an issue that someone with ordinary knowledge of web programming could resolve within minutes. We also have had great difficulties editing the layout of our site and its CSS style sheet.

We regularly read articles from John Chow dot com about how to increase web site traffic, creatively utilize SEO strategies and eventually earn higher revenues from our site. His advice has been priceless; we have increased our monthly traffic from one or two hundred in the first few months to three thousand hits per month. We record our web statistics using Google Analytics, and the number of visitors has been steadily increasing since we decided to focus on the blog in August. We hope that in making the switch from our Blogger blog to a paid server hosting Word Press, our blog will be able to increase its traffic and revenue in the long run and will allow us to have more freedom with the site itself to expand our creative horizons.

This was a guest post by Ian Sherwin and Josh Bucher of What’s Good Blog.


38 thoughts on “Our Blogging Journey From Blogspot To WordPress”

  1. CredFollow says:

    First, Happy new year to John and all readers of Johnchow.com. I have been having great moments with my family and the new born baby (just 3 weeks old)

    Hi Ian Sherwin and Josh Bucher, I think you guys made a good choice. Word Press has no match as of now. You have no limit to expanding your blog.
    Good luck…

    1. Certainly with unlimited helping hands and brain wordpress is awesome. You just have to search and learn it.

      Within few days of research you will be able to learn a lot.

      1. Yup, wordpress give unlimited possibilities for improvement as long as we learn it.

        1. If your not very technical, wordpress can be a little tough in the beginning, but it’s well worth the effort to learn it in the end.

  2. WordPress is a great program that has a lot of backing and support. It is no wonder why most new blogs are started with it and used by so many. There are very few limitations with wordpress to create an outstanding blog.

  3. David Hobson says:

    Good decision to move to wordpress.

  4. I don’t really think there is a better solution for blogging than WordPress. blogger may be better for someone who is a bit of a n00b but even WP is gentle enough for a newbie to handle.

  5. Congratulations on your blog improvements.

    How could anyone argue against having full control of your blogging environment (other than for total newbies)?

    The other factor in favor of WordPress against Blogspot is the amazing array of plugins available for WordPress.

  6. Fique says:

    Good post to refresh me. Paid server hosting Word Press is a good decision if you want to be consider as a blogger, I mean a serious one who blog for foods or just for fun and more fun if make money on it. For bloggers who using free Blogger, their site can be on Google top pages if they know how to utilize it. For wordpress, the SEO strategies is a big games..

  7. chester says:

    Good guest post. Didn’t think too many people were using Blogger since WP is free and much better.

    1. Chester one thing which really attracts people about blogger is you do not have to buy domain and you do not have to worry about hosting as well.

      Plus they gives you freedom to earn money and other freedom such as amazon product and all.

      Because of this people are joining blogger and after small experience they switch to buy domain and hosting.

      This is exactly what happened above to Sherwin and Josh as well.

      1. Many people also believe that because it’s owned by Google, that they will get a little bit better treatment in the search engines if they use their platform.

  8. Nick says:

    I think you made a good choice to move to wordpress. Word Press has no limit to expanding your blog.

  9. S Ahsan says:

    A Really good Blogging story! thanks for the share Ian and Josh and good luck

  10. andy says:

    I also start my first blog with blogger because it’s easy for beginner like me. But I’d like to migrate to WordPress someday

    1. Hey Andy

      I will recommend you to start with blogspot but keep reading about wordpress and how it works.

      Because blogspot is ok for a beginner but if you want to be professional and more serious blogger than you should switch to wordpress as soon as possible.

      Matt Cutts are from Google but however he recommends wordpress.

      1. There are some quite professional and serious bloggers using the blogspot platform. If you know what you are doing, Blogger can work out just fine.

        1. Very true. The number 1 website listed in google for the term “make money online” is a blogspot site. Thats about as competitive of a niche as your going to get into too.

  11. When you start learning and getting success than your way will be more easy and you will be able to learn all things quite fast compare to your older days.

    Best of luck and we are sure in coming two or three months we will be able to get more professional look blog.

    If you want to give a professional touch than you should go for thesis theme. You can get discount of $30 on thesis theme here – http://www.thesisdiscounts.com/

  12. pink mouse says:

    Thanks for sharing the interesting journey. Welcome to WP!

  13. I always like to read about other up and coming bloggers! It shows that the community is advancing 🙂

  14. wordpress is heaven for blogging for sure.

  15. Blog Tactic says:

    Switching from blogger to WP will not guarantee traffic. The tricks in getting more traffic is contents and active blog promotion

  16. The funny thing is Blogspot is so well-known that when a lot of people (newbies) talk about setting up a blog, they actually say “I’m going to setup up a blogspot”

  17. I think wordpress is the best platform out there but then again its the only one I have used since everyone recommended it to me. Hey guys keep up the good work with your blog I think is awesome that you can blog and go to school at the same time I am just a newbie too I would just suggest focusing the site on a couple of things instead of a broad subject.

  18. Shay says:

    I love wordpress. I tried Blogspot and it hasnt really changed much since it came out. I love wordpress becuase it offers more products that allow you to profit from its flexability.

  19. Peter says:

    I believe that WordPress is one of the most powerful and user friendly Blogging software on the planet.

  20. I had the same journey. It was actually a Filipino coder that got me on to WordPress… I did keep the blogspot one fr posterity though..

  21. I agree that Dreamweaver is very complicated, but there are other simpler products to build your website. WordPress is great for what it is.

  22. George says:

    Thanks for sharing! Yes, Dreamweaver is definitely not a first choice for software when you are starting out.

  23. I have had the same journey John and I think many others can share similar encounters.

  24. Idealsofts says:

    WordPress is the best place for free blogging, but its limited vs blogspot

  25. I think sooner or later, everybody will migrate to wordpress

  26. sohbet says:

    I love wordpress…

  27. Custom Essay says:

    One just checkout how many different type of plugins available for word press. Everyday, I install a new plugin for free, check it and place it at my word press blog. Blogspot seems stuck with google mentality.

  28. Bidet says:

    Its great to read about your journey from blogspot to wordpress. Good luck with your blog in 2010.

  29. Good bye blogspot… we love wordpress

  30. Sharon Rosen says:

    This argument will never have a winner, it’s quite like cats vs. dogs or coke vs. pepsi.

    Personally, I have used Blogger (blogspot), WordPress.com, and WordPress.org on my own server. Blogger is just as configureable as WordPress if you know what you are doing. WordPress uses php, and Blogger uses XML. You can do quite a bit with either as long as you are willing to get your hands dirty with some code.

    The only main drawback I see to Blogger is not having a site to host files, if that is needed. Then again, you can use Google Apps and have Google Sites host any files, so really, WHY is WordPress better for professional sites? This is a question I would love to hear a solid answer to – not just “you can do more with WordPress.” I would really like to know what you can do with WordPress that is not possible on Blogger. Does anyone know?

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