The idea of switching from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress first became a serious thought for me back in September 2014 when I attended a mini blogging conference hosted by the North Carolina Blogger Network. One of the biggest conversations and topics discussed that night was switching from Blogger to WordPress and why to choose WordPress. WordPress is the largest self-hosted blogging tool used by millions today. In fact, 20% of all websites online today are built on WordPress. Isn’t that crazy? With its capabilities, many others and I had quite a few questions about it. At the end of the night, I realized that switching to WordPress was something I wanted to do. But I could probably only make it happen when I had free time during winter break.
So why did I make the switch? There are many reasons and I love hearing other bloggers’ reasons as well. Madison from Wetherills Say I Do and Hayley from A Beautiful Exchange both have awesome posts about their switch to WordPress. While we each have similar reasons for making the big switch, I wanted to share with you all why I personally think moving to WordPress was a good decision for me as a blogger and creative.
1. On Blogger, Google had rights to the content I was producing.
A big reason bloggers decide to switch from Blogger is due to content ownership and what Google can do with your content and your blog. According to Google’s Terms of Service, we give Google the right to reproduce, make derivative works, publish publicly or communicate the content on Blogger. Also, Google has the right to take down your blog at any time. I’ve heard of some cases where bloggers lost all their work simply because one day they logged in and didn’t have their blog anymore. Scary!
On WordPress, bloggers pay for web hosting, which in turn, makes your hosting company accountable for all the content you upload to their servers. While web hosting is an investment, it is good to know that you are paying for your own space on the Internet and you have more freedom in it.
2. WordPress has more functionality.
From plugins to basically unlimited design options, WordPress gives you complete control over the look and feel of your site. Design wise, many WordPress blogs look sleek and clean and have a better user experience. Before I switched to WordPress, I loved the look of some of my favorite blogs who use WordPress. On WordPress, there are also better SEO capabilities already built into many frameworks, and there are also SEO plugins to help us even more! If you want more info on why SEO is important for bloggers and how to boost it, check out: 10 Ways to Boost SEO for Bloggers.
I am still discovering everything that WordPress is able to do, and I am slowly making more changes to my site. For example, I added share icons to the bottom of my posts last week and installed some new plugins.
3. I made the switch to build my web design skills.
As a budding communication professional with an interest in how the web works, the transfer from Blogger to WordPress was an opportunity for me to learn some new skills and gain experience with web design. Because WordPress is the largest and one of the most respected platforms, it is important as a graphic designer to learn how to design for WordPress and know your way around its tools. While I definitely still have worlds to go with uncovering more about WordPress, making the switch was my first step in learning more about code, content management systems, design, and the rest of WordPress’ functions.
4. I plan to create other websites.
I have plans to create a professional online portfolio (to update the one I currently have) to use for job applications, and in order to do this, buying web hosting would be necessary. On Cyber Monday, I made the decision to choose Blue Host for my web hosting, and I bought the “Plus” plan, which included unlimited domains. This meant my hosting included as many websites I wanted: my blog, my portfolio and any other web creations I might make in the future. Because I bought my hosting–one of the main costs of switching from Blogger to WordPress–not much was holding me back from making the switch!
Overall, there are so many good things about working with WordPress, and I decided that this was the next step for my blog. Just like with any hobby, you have to invest in it to go further. Painting requires art supplies. Golf requires golf clubs. Blogging with WordPress requires web hosting, a theme for your site, and lots of time.
In the end, I am very excited about this decision and to see where blogging takes me this year! If you are on WordPress, what do you like about it? What are your favorite plugins?