I wanted to switch from Blogger to WordPress for months now, but I was terrified I would a.) lose everything and/or b.) Not have a darn clue about how to make the merge. Every blogger I spoke to raved about WordPress and its benefits over Blogger and I agreed. In a digital marketing class I took in college, we had to make a WordPress site with Bluehost so I had a general idea of how it worked and the benefits it had over my blog hosted through Blogger. WordPress is 100x more customizable and extremely SEO-friendly. With Yoast SEO, it gives you step-by-step instructions on how to optimize each and every post to reach its full SEO potential. Who doesn’t love that!?! I have been having so much fun customizing my blog and learning so much along the way. To be honest, the switch was not a walk in the park, but after six chat sessions and a phone call with Bluehost, a phone call and email to my internet service provider, and a couple freak out sessions, Miss Olivia Says has now made the switch from Blogger to WordPress. Below are the five things I learned from my switch including both trials and tribulations:
#1: Do your research:
I cannot stress this enough. You have to have somewhat of an idea if you want to make the switch and are like me who has only a small background in website development. Google will be your BFF during the switch. I watched tutorials, read forums, read step-by-step articles, turned to the handy-dandy Blogger Facebook Groups, and even then I ran into a unique problem that I had to deal with. Below are a couple of helpful sites I used:
#2: Switch to a WordPress.org site and use a hosting company:
I used Bluehost because I had experience with them in the past. When I finally talked myself into sitting down and making the switch, I purchased the 12 month package through Bluehost and began to merge my blog. I immediately had a mini panic attack and called up Bluehost asking to cancel my membership because I wasn’t ready. The nice man on the line assured me to continue to test it out and he was going to refund me 11 months so I could use this month to keep trying. Bluehost is awesome because if you really aren’t sure, you can always call them up and try it out for a month without any strict obligations. Plus they have 24/7 support, which brings me to my next point.
#3: Utilize the technical support team through your hosting company:
Thank god for the live chat feature Bluehost offers. I bet each time they saw my name pop up they probably thought ‘not again.” I chatted with the technical support team six times over the span of two days. The wait times do get a little long, but you’re at the convenience of your house and can watch Netflix until someone can assist you. Remember, you’re paying for the service, so utilize the support team! I would not have been able to figure out some of the problems I was having without them.
#4: Unless you are a computer whiz, you probably will run into problems:
I ran into a very unique problem that I am still dealing with (so if any of you have any tips, let me know). Nearly 48 hours had past since I changed the nameservers from Google (where I had my domain name) to Bluehost. Usually it takes between 12-48 hours for the nameservers to propagate around the world. It had been almost two days and I still was not able to access my website in my house. I could view it on my phone (not connected to wifi), at my grandparents’ house, Starbucks, you name it – just not at my house. After a chat sesh with a kind lady from Bluehost, she informed me that my ISP (internet Service Provider) was blocking Bluehost websites. LIKE REALLY?! I called up good ol’ Wave Broadband, a local ISP, and the technical support guy assured me that Wave does not block any sites or servers. We were getting no where in the conversation even after I rededately told him I can access my site ANYWHERE else besides through the wifi at my parent’s house. I can disconnect my phone from my wifi and see it just fine, I can drive down the road to Starbucks and access it on my laptop, so what’s the deal? I wrote an email to the tech team at Wave two days ago and still haven’t heard anything. I am moving to my own place in Denver in a couple of weeks so I might just have to make do until then, but if any of you have run into this situation before, let me know!
#5: You will learn A LOT:
Although doing your own web design and yourself with not a lot of experience can be frustrating, I can guarantee you will learn so much. One of my favorite parts about blogging is teaching myself and learning new things. I had no idea what nameservers were, temporary URLs, why certain things were/weren’t happening, etc. After hundreds of Google searches and asking for help, I can say I figured it out!
My switch from Blogger to WordPress was full of surprises but nonetheless, I learned so much and finally can say I did it! Email me if you have any questions or are considering to make the switch!