Nav Bar

Home Project Gallery Contact About Facebook Google+ Pinterest Twitter Bloglovin' Image Map

Monday, June 10, 2013

Why I moved from WordPress.com to Blogspot.com

It is funny, because I just felt I had finally gotten my WordPress.com site the way I wanted it... But it still wasn't exactly how I wanted it. WordPress.com has many beautiful templates for your blog, but lacks in any real customization. You can pay an annual fee to allow for a little more flexibility in colors, fonts and CSS. However, as a hobby blogger (which I had an epiphany that I am in my I think I might have lied post), I didn't want to fork out more money and still not be able to get my blog exactly how I want it.

Why I was unhappy with WordPress.com:

  • No JavaScript

    This is my #1 reason why I was unhappy. This means no link parties, no rafflecopters (although I did find a workaround), and ruling out a ton of widgets (discussed on more detail below).

  • Little Customization

    You can shell out $30 per year to gain a little more control over how your blog looks. This includes some additional color options, custom fonts and CSS. However, I felt like I still didn't have COMPLETE control even if I did shell out some dough. So why should I pay extra for services that are free elsewhere?

  • Can't load custom plugins or widgets

    WordPress.com has some pre-selected widgets, but forget about loading anything really cool. Want a related posts widget? Forget about it! Again, I did manage to make my own static related links widget, project gallery widget, and top 5 posts widget using inLinkz... but it isn't the same, is it? You can use html (mostly), but the no javascript rule rules out a ton of cool features. Forget about having a cool share widget or Pinterest widget!

  • Minor things I wanted but could have lived without if it weren't for the above

    For instance, I figured out a way to add custom headers to my sidebars. However, I can't adjust the spacing between widgets. Just little tweaks here and there that would be nice, but I could have lived without.

  • Many Themes, but nothing exactly like I wanted

    The theme I chose doesn't have a sidebar for posts... I didn't realize how much I would miss it when I chose the theme. I also don't like how small the posts width was. What's the point of having no sidebar when your post width is skinnier than other themes? I could have chosen a new theme... but the one I chose seemed like the right one at the time.

  • WordPress.com Forced Ads

    WordPress.com slips ads onto your page and you get no share of the profit. I actually didn't even realize there were ads on my page for a long time, because I have ad blocking extensions.

  • No Monetization

    I could live without this, but I needed to include it in this list to point it out to others who might be contemplating WordPress.com over Blogspot.com. I didn't think this was a big deal when I signed up for it. However, it would be nice to have made the decision on my own instead of having it forced on me. Even though I don't pay for my blog doesn't mean I don't spend money on it and a little income might be nice. 

Now, you would think that with all the above complaints, I should just move to a self-hosted WordPress site. Well, I really did contemplate this. I originally chose WordPress.com hosting because wanted to test the waters. Get a free site and see whether blogging was going to stick. I didn't want to invest in something if I was going to quit after a few months.

The idea was that after a few months, or a year, or whenever, I would move to a WordPress self-hosted site. I thought that would be best as it would be a smoother transition. I wanted to see whether I really wanted to invest in this or not. Part of me still wants to move to a self-hosted site, but the other part recognizes I am a hobby blogger and knows I don't want to shell out more money than I should.

Because I am a hobby blogger, I don't plan on making money from this. So my behind the scenes goal is to not loose money doing this. If I am doing crafts/DIY projects, it's for ME. If it happens to also make a great blog post, then cool!

Why I choose Blogspot.com:

  • It's free!

    Same reason I choose WordPress.com initially. It is free. I didn't want to invest heavily in a blog that is my hobby. Similar to WordPress.com, I can decide to buy a domain name and have it forwarded to my Blogger blog.

  • JavaScript allowed!

    Woohoo!!! I can finally host my own Link Parties and Rafflecopters (without a workaround that doesn't always work). Yahoooooo!

  • Full Customization

    Granted, you don't have as much freedom as a self-hosted WordPress site. BUT you do have the ability to tweak the template freely. You can change colors, fonts, spacing between widgets. Everything I wanted to tweak, I am able to tweak. I can even dive into the CSS and code. Guess what. This is free!

  • Load in plugins and custom widgets

    I can finally have a related posts widget! yay! I can also have self updating project gallery and Pinterest gadgets.

  • Monetization Allowed

    I'm not saying I plan on going this route, but I could if I wanted to. I can have Amazon affiliate links, sell some ad space to my fellow bloggers or have a promotion post. I didn't have the option before, but now I can do this. Doesn't mean I'm going to immediately throw as much ads as possible on my site. BUT with Blogger I will be able to make these choices for myself.

  • Ads are your own

    Blogspot has no forced ads and any ads you choose to put on your site is partly your own revenue. You  are free to do any ads you desire. And since Blogger is a Google product, Google ads are readily available.

  • As low as $10/year for a domain name

    That is dirt cheap! If you aren't a developer, setting up a WordPress.org blog could be upwards of $100-200 to set it up and up to $100/year for hosting. As a hobby blogger, this is a big deal.

  • Security

    WordPress.com and Blogspot.com both have security from malware, virus' and hackers. When self-hosting, you are responsible for these items yourself. Scary!

  • Your content is your own

    Contrary to the popular myth, you still own your content. You can take your blog with you when you leave. Google won't sell your content the way Facebook does.

Yes, Google may shut your site down for no warning... If your site is a child porn site! There are some content that violates the terms of service. Most blogs do not fall under these items and have nothing to worry about.

In Conclusion

I really didn't even consider moving to Blogger until I read Gabby's Post Why I Didn't Move to WordPress - Even though I really wanted to. It was right after my dear friend Lauren of The Thinking Closet had moved to self-hosting. I was cheering her on and thinking about how unhappy I have been with WordPress.com. I really wanted to follow suit, but then I read Gabby's post.

Gabby's site is beautiful!!! I mean, check her site out. Really take a look at it. I always thought Blogger blogs looked a bit tacky compared to WordPress blogs. Gabby really nailed the whole customization bit. Bravo to her!

I then started paying attention to other blogs. Are they on Blogger or WordPress? Do I like how they look and feel. The more I thought about it, the more I came to the conclusion I should move to Blogger. Some might think this a step back, to move from WordPress to Blogger. You just have to remember, I wasn't on a self-hosted WordPress site... I was hosted by WordPress.com.

WordPress.com is less than Blogspot.com is less than WordPress.org

In my opinion, I am taking a step forward. Yes, it might not be as great of a step as self-hosting. But it is a step in the right direction.

I will be able to customize my template. I will be able to take advantage of javascript widgets. I will be able to load custom plugins/widgets. And, if I want to, I will be able to monetize my blog.

Additional Reading

Still not convinced? Check out these posts:


I wish I had read more con posts on WordPress and more pro Blogger posts before I had made my platform decision. I think I would have chosen differently if I had. I am so much happier with my blog now that I have moved.

Are you hosted on WordPress.com? Have you been contemplating moving to a different site? Did you ever consider moving to Blogger? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Check out what's next in this series:


Linking to: What to do Weekends | Pin Me | A Pinteresting Party | Live Laugh {Linky} | Mums Make Lists

21 comments:

  1. Thanks for writing this:)) I keep seeing so many people move to wordpress and wanted to see if I was missing something. So I am happy to say I am planning on staying right here on blogger:))

    Hugs, My Friend

    PS Your new site looks totally awesome! Loving it:))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I think there is a lot of hype right now regarding WordPress.org. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful platform and I definitely miss some of the features. I was feeling crippled on WordPress.com though and going self hosted just didn't seem reasonable for a hobby blogger of my scale. I think I will be really happy here on blogger. I think it is the right choice for many people.

      Thanks so much for supporting me! Hugs!

      Delete
  2. It looks so great! I'm glad you found a "home" that could meet more of your needs. And kudos to you for moving everything yourself! WOW! I look forward to continuing to follow my favorite ngnrdgrl!! <3

    ~Abby =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am definitely happy to be away from Wordpress.com. Thank you for being such a loyal bloggy friend! <3 you too! Hugs!!!

      Delete
  3. I had a blogspot blog for 3 years and last year I wanted to change the name of my blog from Two Succulent sisters to Crafts a la mode. Diana from Diana Rambles said I could still stay with blogger and own my own URL so that's what I did. The good thing is that I knew how to get around blogger and didn't have to learn a whole new system. What I don't like about blogger is that I can't have a "latest posts" horizontally along the top of the blog. If you look at my blog I was able to put latest posts but they are vertical. I went somewhere and got the code for it, but it's not right. So that's one thing I don't like about blogger that they don't have. I'm not changing, though. Thanks for saying we are doing right thing. i always thought wordpress was better. Take care, Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Linda! I would say that wordpress.org has a ton more advantages than blogger, BUT it does have its downside too. Blogger has a ton more advantages over wordpress.com though. I miss the wordpress engine for lots and lots of things, which I plan on going over in another post. If I was a professional blogger that was making money through my blog, I would definitely consider self-hosted wordpress. BUT, that's not to say that a professional blogger, making money, shouldn't choose Blogger either. Blogger has the advantage of being cheaper and easier to customize yourself.

      As for your vertical recent posts, I've actually noticed this on your site. It puts your content below the initial screen. One of the first things on my list for redesigning my blog is to shrink up the header. I was stuck with that size on wordpress.com, but now I can thin it up.

      With that in mind, you might want to consider this tutorial: Recent Posts Image Gallery for Blogger by bloggersentral.com. I used this to make my own recent posts widget AND my auto updating project gallery. If I drag my recent posts widget to the horizontal spot above posts, it would be horizontal. It doesn't give a summary of the post, but I think it looks really clean. Let me know if you give this a try and need any help. :)

      Delete
  4. So, I've had this tab open in my browser for over a week...finally getting to this!

    Congrats on migrating to Blogspot.com. As I've told you already, things look fantastic, and hearing your process of making the decision to go to Blogspot.com just affirms that it was the right one for you in this season. You know, if I could have done things differently from the get-go, I would have started on Blogger instead of Wordpress.com. You're right that there really is a ton that you can do in terms of customization on Blogger...and the fact that you don't have to worry about the whole monetization issue or ads or security is awesome-sauce. And I'm hopeful that you sharing your story here will help others learn the facts and make the decision that is right for them.

    Also, thanks for your continued support of me as I migrated to self-hosted Wordpress. It hasn't been an easy road, as you know, but I've been ever so thankful for the support of my best bloggy buddies like you...who have cheered me through it. Sending you a huge hug, my friend.

    Warmly,
    Lauren
    The Thinking Closet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lauren! I am the same way. I've had your wedding scrapbook post open on my phone and reading it bit by bit. I find that I have a hard time responding to posts on my phone, so then I always plan on commenting when I get to a computer then forget. (>_<)

      I don't know how you do it girl. Seems like I never have enough time for writing posts, taking photos, promoting, link parties and supporting my best blogging buddies! Your blog has grown so much, too! It is really amazing watching you grow as a blogger, having all the promotions and seeing all the comments and supporters of your blog.

      I definitely wish there had been more posts out there giving the benefits of blogger over wordpress. So hopefully this post will help others starting out.

      Thank you for continuing to support me too! It is supporters like you that keep me going even though my blog is still little. I never anticipated how starting a blog would result in making such wonderful connections.

      Hugs back to you, friend! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! It has been beautiful here in Seattle. We are finally having Summer weather in the 80's, which is odd before the fourth of July. We always say Summer starts on July 5th. :)

      Delete
  5. This is so helpful!! I often wonder if we made a mistake by starting out on Blogger since so many people end up moving to Wordpress. So nice to see an alternative viewpoint! We too are hobby bloggers for now and I totally understand your "I think I might have lied" post. It's easy to get swept up in linking/commenting/responding/monetizing etc. Thanks so much!
    - Lora @ Craftivity Designs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lora, I'm so happy this post was helpful! When I started blogging I saw all the posts about migrating from blogger to WordPress and thought I was doing the right thing by starting on WordPress.com. I regretted that decision. Reading the posts I link to at the bottom of this post really helped me make the decision to move to blogger. I wish more people had told this story, so I thought I would share mine in hopes that future bloggers can make a better decision than mine. I still have a hard time balancing the blog activities. My family and work have to come first, so it is hard to find the time to get everything I want to done. Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing your perspective! I have thought about moving to WordPress in the future, but so far, I have been happy with blogger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! WordPress is a fantastic platform, especially when you are self-hosting. However, it does have drawbacks. I hope this post helps shed light on some of them. Thanks for dropping by. :)

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Ha,ha! Yeah, I finally got smart with it. :)

      Delete
  8. Wow, you are the first person I know that has made the switch this way! It seems like everyone else moves to WP, leaving me as the only person on blogger. Ok, not quite. :) So glad you shared this, thanks!

    PS: I found you at Diana Rambles!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I saw lots of posts about moving from Blogger to WordPress, which made me think that starting on WordPress.com would be best. After a year over at WordPress.com, I realized I had made a mistake in choosing it over Blogger. Don't get me wrong, WP is an amazing platform (especially self-hosted), but it also has its downsides. As a hobby blogger, Blogger is much more suited to me.

      Thank you for dropping by! I hope it helped.

      Delete
  9. Stopped over from Crafts Ala Mode link party. Very interesting post! I've had blogs on both platforms, and currently use blogger/blogspot, because I find its more user friendly. I also agree that its cheaper and allows you a different kinnd of freedom than Wordpress sometimes does. I like both platforms, but feel that my blogspot is the better fit for my blogger at this time.

    ~Tenns
    New Mama Diaries

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I am definitely happier on blogger. WordPress is a fantabulous platform, but it isn't for everyone. AND WordPress.com is super restrictive. I LOVE having the freedoms that Blogger gives me. Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. I too made the switch and came back to blogger for the same reasons!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I think WordPress is a bit hyped up these days. Blogger is an excellent platform option.

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete