So if you’ve been following me on social media then you probably already know that VIVA LA NICKY is finally a self-hosted WordPress site! (*p a u s e for applause*)
If you’re a blogger that has taken this task then I, my friend, salute you, because let me tell you it was not easy. This was my second and thankfully a successful attempt, so yay me!
VLN started over on BLOGGER a little over two years ago, like many new blogs do, and though I loved how easy it was to manage, it was creatively limited. I’ve always been a little “tech savvy” even when Myspace was around I use to go into the codes and mess around with them but no matter how much I tweaked the blogger codes I could never be 100% satisfied. That’s why I love WordPress, even though it’s a little confusing at first, you are free to make it exactly what you want it to be.
Moving everything over was a very tedious task, thankfully I found this great website that helped me move everything step-by-step without losing Google rankings (which is super important!).
If you’re planning on making the big move my advice is to really learn what self-hosted WordPress is about, this is probably why I failed on my first attempt – I didn’t take the time to educate myself. First, know that self-hosted WordPress is not free the way blogger is. You have to buy hosting through a different entity like Bluehost, Hostgator, GoDaddy etc. Second, it’s a downloadable program so make sure your computer has the capacity because the file is rather large. Third, it is very much different than Blogger but honestly if I was able to do it than anyone can!
So you’ve got your hosting, your domain (which should have been included with your hosting), now the second thing that I suggest you purchase is your theme. Like many ‘default’ themes, the ones on WordPress aren’t that cute so I would search through Etsy, Pipdig (my current) or any other sites where they offer themes.
For some reason, WordPress themes are way more expensive than Blogger templates, so unless you go money to blow find one that fits all your needs and wants. I know that these are just aesthetics, but I really believe that buying my theme before I made the switch really encouraged me to push through the struggling hours of transferring the blog… but that’s just me.
Hopefully by following the instructions that helped me, you were able to transfer everything without a hitch. Next, install your theme and go through your blog to make sure it looks good. Now here’s the tediousness of WordPress, pictures don’t transfer over so if you have a lot of images on your post you have to install a plugin call ‘Cache Images’. This plugin will scan your blogger, retrieve all the images and add them to your image library on WordPress. Here’s the bugger… you have to manually add your images back to your posts. This was probably what took me the longest but persevere and you’ll get it done!
Talking about plugins, these are what make your blog go round so I’ve compiled a list of the plugins I currently have that are making my life a little easier:
- Yoast SEO – Search Engine Optimization, super important for getting posts discovered.
- DIsqus Comment System – The most used comment system throughout blogs.
- E-mail Subscribers – I finally created a mailing list, this helps push out your content through e-mails for returning readers.
- Google Analytics – Good for rankings, and used for influencing networks.
I do hope that this came in handy, and if you’re making the switch I wish you good luck! After 17 hours, a ton of mistakes, and couple of tears I am so proud to say that I’m finally self-hosted!