I started using Google Blogger from Nov 2006. Back then, WordPress was already a competitive platform for blogging. I could not recall the reason for picking Blogger, but I suspect it has got to do with the familiarity of Google brand.
Over the past years, I got comfortable with Blogger, and though I was aware of better features and extensive community content (themes, plugins) from WordPress, I did not want to switch over. I knew it is easy to migrate all the blogger posts into WordPress but that would mean losing all the permalinks that search engines have indexed.
Then last month, I decided to bite the bullet and make the switch. Three things convinced me to do it:
1. “Blogger Importer Extended” Tool
This WordPress plugin can import all your Blogger posts, pages and comments, including converting Blogger permalinks within every post to the new WordPress permalink. In addition, the tool also imports images. This tool practically erases the existence and reliance of my old Blogger site.
2. Auto-Redirect Scripts
I found this post by Amit Agarwal that redirects all your Blogger URL to WordPress. All it takes is to insert codes on your Blogger theme and on WordPress theme. When someone enters your old Blogger permalink, the script will redirect to the exact article in WordPress. The only thing you have to be mindful is that every time your WordPress theme gets updated, you have to insert the code again.
3. WordPress Features
I started trying out WordPress recently and uncovered so many features that never existed in Blogger. These are not bells and whistles, but practical features that can make my site a lot more better-looking, that lets me manage my content better, and helps me track my site easier. For instance, I can install third party stat tracker which can appear on the WordPress dashboard, but on Blogger I can only use its built-in tracker which is inflated and primitive, or I had to use third party tracker which requires you to log in to these sites separately to see your traffic stats. WordPress also has a plugin for readers to subscribe email notifications.
Nevertheless, Blogger is more appealing to fuss-free users, is a more user-friendly and safe platform. I find myself struggling initially when navigating WordPress, understanding how the installed tools, plugins and themes work. Indeed, WordPress allows more controls and ownership on how you want to manage your site. Since I have experience running CMS a decade ago, WordPress backend engine is not unfamiliar to me. For instance, during my recent theme update, I inserted the auto-redirect script wrongly and it created the infamous WordPress “white screen of death”. Fortunately, all I had to do is to access the WordPress backend files via FTP and edit the codes directly, then the site works again.
After 10 years being “babysit” by Blogger, it’s time to explore WordPress and regain control on my site. Thank you for witnessing the next technical phase of my blogging journey. From Mambo (2003) to Joomla (2005) and Blogger (2006). Now, WordPress.