The Why and How of My WordPress Move

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now.  I had a few friends asking me about why I was moving and stuff, but I thought I would address it on a bigger level with all the dirty details.  Things I wish I had know before I moved, the move itself, the aftermath, and where things are today.  It’s a lot to sum up in one post, but I’m hoping this will help anyone thinking about moving or who recently moved and is in a fog like I was/am a little still.  I will be doing a couple deeper dive WordPress posts later this month as well.

 

The How and Why of My Move

 

The Why:

Why move from Blogger to WordPress (self-hosted)?  There are plenty of articles out there if you want an “expert” opinion; here’s what I thought and what I know now.  I had heard WordPress was supposed to help your SEO.  While I still don’t totally get SEO, I do know higher SEO means your blog is more likely to be found = more traffic .  Good for monotenization of your blog.    I haven’t seen any huge spikes in traffic since the move, which leads me to believe any signifcant SEO magic hasn’t happened, and that’s okay.  I was also aware of plug-ins – which are basically fancy widgets that let you do cool stuff you can’t with Blogger (as far as I knew).

 

The biggest reason I moved was ownership.  They way I understood it and what all my research showed me was that as long as Blogger was hosting WLOW, they had content rights and could shut me down any time they wanted.  Scary!  I wanted to own my blog, with my content, and know that I am in charge of everything as I think I am.

 

The How:

I am fortunate enough to work with a blogger who was already on the WordPress platform when I was on Blogger.  I got to see the dashboard and learn how to do all the blogging basics before moving over.  It didn’t look that hard (ha! wishful thinking).  I had a few blog friends moving over to WP at the beginning of the year as well.  I emailed them, picking their brains about the change over, what did they like, etc.  It all sounded pretty good, so I set a time frame for myself to move and got the ball rolling.

 

There was no way I was going to do the Blogger to WordPress move myself.  I didn’t want to lose content, SEO I had gained, pictures, comments, or mess up installing Google Analytics.  My friend Julie from This Gal Cooks referred me to Kayleen at Booyha Creative – who did Julie’s Blogger to WP move.  Kayleen’s price was what I was planning/hoping to stay around.  Her conversions start at $150, and include these services.  I was booked about a month out from the date I sent my contact email, which was just perfect for me.

 

BooyahCreative1

 

Step #1 – Buy your hosting.  This is you buying space on a server for your blog to live on.  I used BlueHost.  I didn’t have a million dollars to drop on the move just yet, so I bought 1 year’s worth of hosting to start – Cost $83.40.

Step #2 – Have your conversion guru install WP on your hosting space and set up a temporary URL – so you can get things just right on the WP side.  Your current blog will function normally until the official move date.

Step #3 – Choose a Parent Theme and a Child Theme.  Design your site (I decided to take this on almost all by myself) and start getting things set up the way you want for when the site goes live.

Step #4 – Let your guru convert your blog over.  Pay you invoice, and you’re on WordPress!  My move cost $175 – my Blogger export was over 10MB.

 

There are two schools of thought on WP – Genesis and Thesis (Parent Themes).  I asked around a little and everyone I knew on WP had Genesis, only a couple has Thesis.  Everyone said Genesis was really user friendly (I need that!) and there were lots of child themes to choose from.

Let’s stop.

If you’re like me, you’re scratching you head about frameworks and parents and children.  The analogy breakdown:

  • WordPress site platform (self-hosted) = The foundation of your house.  The base of how your site will work, dashboard, and so on.
  • Genesis framework (parent theme) = The wooden framework of your house.  The structure that builds your site.  This determines what plug-in options you have, how your site will actually work, and CSS code editing options.
  • Child theme = The walls, decorations, moulding, and paint of your house.  The child theme is like a “skin” for your site.  It comes with pre-determined color schemes, layouts, menu appearances, and generally determines how your site will look when someone comes to your blog.

Does all this make a little more sense now?  This was the only way I understood everything.  So Genesis for me.  Moving on.

 

I had some design inspiration from a color scheme I found on Design Seeds.  I planned on doing a blue/grey color scheme, but the sushi spoke to me.

1

 

I asked Jen what she thought, because let’s be honest – I don’t do pink and I knew she would be brutally honest with me.  But I got a thumbs up on my weird-for-Julie colors, and away I went.  I emailed the colors, some graphic inspiration, along with wants for a new header and buttons, to my blog designer Maddie.  Even though Maddie only does full blog designs for Blogger, I knew she would make me awesome new header and buttons.  Cost $55 for all four graphics.  {If you want a full WP blog design, my guru Kayleen does design as well.}

 

Next I went searching for a child theme I liked on StudioPress.  I lucked out a found one that had dark blue and apple green colors that were really similar to the color scheme I was already using.  My child theme is Innov8tive by EightCrazyDesigns.  StudioPress has a great return policy.  You have 30 days to switch out your theme if you don’t like it.  Drop them an email, tell them which theme you would rather have, and they’ll switch things out on your download page to your new choice.  Cost for Genesis Framework + Innov8tive child theme was $79.95.

 

Innov8tive.out of box

{This is what my child theme looks like out of the box.}

I did the design myself after getting my buttons header, and color codes from Maddie.  I’ll be doing another post about the basic design changes I made.  I’m no CSS expert by any means, but I did pretty good if I do say so myself.

 

Untitled

{This is what my site and theme look like now.}

 

Once your blog is converted over you’ll need to:

  • Set up your pages (unless your conversion guru is doing this for you)
  • Check post categories
  • Set SEO keywords for each post
  • If you’ve never used recipe software on Blogger, you’ll want to enter all your recipes into your recipe plug-in

I had some posts that needed to be rewritten because the spacing was all wonky and I didn’t like it.  The smaller your blog (less posts) the easier it will be.  This level of involvement and re-vamping is your call.  I’m OCD like this and wanted everything in order.  I’ll also be doing a post of WordPress set up basics and what plug-ins I use for when you first get started.  Setting things up with no idea about what everything is and what plug-ins to use can be really overwhelming.

 

So this is basically how things went to for me.  The transition was smooth.  Kayleen made things really easy and was really nice about answering my super n00b WordPress questions.  The design process was interesting, but not was hard as I thought it was once I put on my big girl panties and took the plunge.  I’m glad I moved, I feel more in control of everything.  Total cost to move {for those of you playing the home game} $393.35

 

That being said, there are I things I miss about Blogger –  like knowing I could do more design work to really customize my site since I’m not too bad with HTML editing.  One day I’ll pay someone to overhaul my WP site to make it just the way I want, but for now I’m happy WLOW has a permanent home.

Comments

  1. says

    Julie, thanks for sharing! I have been thinking a lot about moving to WordPress but know nothing about the logistics. Thanks for sharing all what went into it and all the details of the move. I’m looking forward to your other posts!
    Alyssa recently posted…Showcase Your Talent Thursday #58

    • Julie says

      You are very welcome Alyssa. I feel like so many of the other WP move posts I read before my move are really high level and left me without any actual how you do it details, and I wanted to go there. I seriously had to ask Kayleen what I do first on my end now that I had an appointment with her. I felt so stupid for having no idea. Thank goodness she’s so nice. Haha!

  2. says

    Your site looks good Julie… I also used Design Seeds when I did my redesign last month – the one that spoke to me was Citrus Hues… I’m still on blogger— my daughter is a graphic designer and did the major designs and I did the coding. There is still more I want to do but might need to hire someone… Now I’m heading over to sign up for the blog swap… have a good weekend!
    Deb@CookingOnTheFrontBurner recently posted…Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

    • Julie says

      Having a graphic designer in the family is a big plus. I’ve thought about hiring Chad from The Slow Roasted to rebrand me when I get the site made over. He does amazing work.

  3. says

    Thanks for going into detail about your move! I have seen posts about the WordPress move before but they are usually pretty vague about the actual cost of the move and whether or not it really increased traffic. Your’s was very informative!
    Megan recently posted…PBR Man Burgers

    • Julie says

      I’m glad you found it so Megan. I really wanted to put it all out there. It can cost a lot more to move depending on who you use and everything, but I was planning on spending around $300-ish.

    • Julie says

      Dumbing down nothing. I was a total n00b, and still am in a lot of ways. I’m just glad I could help.

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