Blogger’s shock announcement in January this year that they were going to stop FTP publishing support from April 2010 came as a bolt from the blue to thousands of Blogger users like me who use FTP to publish their blog posts to their own URL.
As a result, I was left with three choices:
- Move to a BlogSpot URL (yeah, right!)
- Use the Blogger custom domain feature. This would have meant that I would have had to publish my blog either on my home page (http://www.vijaypadiyar.in) or on a subdomain like blog.vijaypadiyar.in. But that would mean a loss of painfully gained traffic from other websites, as well as my hard earned PageRank!
- Move to a WordPress-based blog
Moving to WordPress was something I had in mind for at least a year now, but I never got around to doing it because there wasn’t a real strong incentive. Also, I was scared of breaking or losing stuff while moving and then having to spend more time fixing it!
But now that there was no other option left, I had to get down to doing it. Luckily for me, there are a lot of excellent tutorials on moving to WordPress from Blogger on the Internet and. By following the steps listed in this tutorial, I was able to shift my blog in about 10 minutes!
The most important thing to take care of when moving from Blogger to WordPress is maintaining your post URLs (or Permalinks, in SEO language). This is because any change in URLs of posts or pages on your blog leads to loss of traffic, as your old URL may already be appearing in relevant search results and having a good PageRank. Other websites too might be linking to some URLs on your blog.
The problem arises because the default format of Blogger and WordPress post URLs is quite different. So all your old posts will have different URLs after you shift to WordPress, if you don’t follow the instructions in the tutorial mentioned above. Fortunately, retaining the same URLs is extremely easy, thanks to the amazing flexibility that WordPress offers. (And this is just one of the many, many reasons why you’ll love your decision to move to WordPress!)
The benefits of hosting your blog on WordPress are:
- Extremely customizable. There are far more customizations available than in Blogger. You can choose what elements appear in the sidebar, how your post URLs look, location of uploaded files/images, feed settings, etc. Although it is easier to customize the blog layout in the new Blogger.
- Huge choice of awesome WordPress themes. I got a neat little theme for my blog too! And unlike Blogger, changing themes does not affect the layout, plugins or elements in your blog. This is a huge advantage over Blogger.
- Very easy to add functionality through plugins. I was able to add a “Digg this” button, a “Retweet” button, an “AddThis” button, Google AdSense ads, a tag cloud, anti-spam comment filter, a “smart” 404 page, etc. with minimal effort. Doing the same thing on Blogger would have taken several days at least, and lots of trials and errors. Also, WordPress immediately notifies you whenever any updates to plugins are available. Updating plugins is a one-click process.
- Easy to backup, import and export posts and/or blogs. Restoring blogs is not possible in Blogger, as the database is under Blogger’s control, not yours.
In short, comparing WordPress to Blogger is like comparing Firefox with drabby old Internet Explorer! Trust me, move your blog to WordPress and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it much earlier!