Okay before we get started, let’s just put it out there. People get oddly crazy about this subject of blogger vs switching to WordPress. This is not a who is better post, one is superior than the other etc etc. I’m going to tell you why I switched. I’m not attacking your platform or your blog, just simply giving my opinion of why the switch worked for me. Good? Housekeeping out of the way. Let’s get into it then.
Also, I’ve had a lot of recent emails from people asking about starting blogs. Here is my one piece of advice, make sure you start on WordPress. Switching is such a pain. I have a great designer and coder if you need a recommendation, shoot me an email.
I get a lot of positive feedback about the quality of my pictures. It definitely has to do with the equipment, lens etc (have you check my photography tutorials yet?) but the other part is WordPress optimizes your images and allows the sharpness of your image quality to be seen. I felt like on blogger no matter how sharp my picture was, it always didn’t look crisp when my post would go live. There are also a ton of plugins for image optimization where it compresses the file but keeps the quality. I personally like the Kracken plugin.
My other may reason for switching to WordPress was the image sizing. It drives me nuts when photos are all different sizes and widths. I am way too OCD/Type A for that. On WordPress, when you upload an image it automatically resizes or you can set your sizes so everything looks nice and uniform. I think that helps with the overall aesthetics and professional appearance of my site.
I was never trained in html coding but I had to learn a lot along the way with blogging. When I was on blogger, you have to know so much more about coding to be able to make any changes to your blog, or pay someone who does. With WordPress, anything you want to do….there is a plugin for it. I also noticed a HUGE jump in my traffic when I started using the plugins for SEO. Type in google “What to Wear to a Pure Barre class” and on the first page you will see one of my posts. That is because I made sure to optimize my posts for google to find them. The Squirrly plugin is so helpful with helping you have all the correct headers and bolding to make your posts be found. I highly recommend using that one. They also have amazing support if you ever need it. My other favorite ones are….
SumoMe – That is the floating “shareable” icons you see on the side as well as the newsletter sign in on the top of my page. Free and great support as well.
Askimet – To help control the spam comments. It does a fabulous job. I make sure to clean it out once ever few days.
Better Click to Tweet – The easiest and most user friendly way to share your posts to Twitter.
[bctt tweet=”The top plugins you need for WordPress and why to Make the Switch”]
Google Adsense – It generates hot spots for you to place your ads. I noticed a nice kick up in my adsense sales after installing this plugin.
Instagram Feed – For running my instagram feed on the bottom and side of my page.
Public Post Preview – If you need to send a preliminary post to a sponsor. You need to install this app otherwise they won’t be able to see it in draft form.
Those are my top plugins. Try to only keep the ones you need on there otherwise it will slow your site speed down. I used Plugins Speed Test to check and see which plugins are slowing my site down. Also, make sure to read if the plugin works with your theme. Sometimes they aren’t compatible and it will mess up your theme display. Learned that one the hard way.
Basically think about this renting vs owning. When I was on blogger I was basically renting the platform to write but the content was owned by google. If google decides one day it doesn’t like your pictures or something you said, it can shut down your own account. I know it’s rare but I have worked way too hard on this blog not to own my content. Yes, I have been self hosting on Godaddy for almost 2 years now and I have had three times where they were doing something with the maintenance and my site was down. However, I tweeted them and it was back up in a few hours. That is annoying but at the end of the day it’s still my content. I will probably at some point change my hosting platforms, I’m open for suggestions for anyone that has them.
If I want to make my post body wider, I just move my slider on my widgets theme. If I want to make my header bigger, its easy. I want to add a new carousel picture slider, just install the plugin. I can format anything with this blog without having to pay a designer. That is extremely liberating. I try not to mess that much with the overall format because with how OCD I am, I could spend an entire weekend on it and I’d rather be at the Farmers Market. With WordPress, it is extremely user friendly to update your blog layout and there is always a plugin to help you accomplish it.
It’s no secret around here that my blog is my business. When I switched and starting working on the aesthetics of my blog, that is when brands and companies wanted to start working with me. Also around that time I made sure to stop using iPhone snaps and only use my DSLR camera so I can’t say it was the only reason but it definitely helped. I love my current WordPress theme. I think it looks professional, I really like the hover tab pop outs on the top of my blogging categories. When you hover over lifestyle, wedding and travel pops down. That was a one minute change in my widgets. Anything I want to change, I can pretty much do it on my own. I like how clean and user friendly WordPress themes are. Plus, the back end writing aspect is so much easier for me to use as well.
Takeaways points. I wish I would have started on WordPress from day one but I was new to blogging and the free blogger platform was easy to start with. If I could recommend to anyone starting would be to start with WordPress. Yes, it is an initial small investment but in the long run it will be worth it for you. Switching to WordPress from blogger can sometimes be expensive and frustrating. If you are on blogger and thinking of switching, shoot me an email. I’d be happy to go over any questions you have and I will also shoot you the name to my current WordPress guru who is the smartest person ever. She has helped me quite a few times over the years.
So these are the reasons why I switched. I don’t want this to become a “well I’m on this platform for XY and Z and why it’s better“. I simply wanted to share the reasons as to why it worked for me. My number one concern was image quality and easiness of upload and I feel that WordPress is the best for me from that aspect. Any questions please feel free! Also, if you liked this post, please share it and check out my other blogging freebies including photography tutorials here.