OK – the post title is NOT meant to fire Guy Halsall up or anything (run away, run away!) ;) I’ve decided to throw in some short notes as I go through the process of moving my blog from Blogger to WordPress. The main reason is that as I prepared to move I didn’t come across a lot of advice on how to do this, pitfalls, etc. Not that I expect to end up as a font of wisdom, an old man sitting with a bird on his head, a Sybilline Oracle(such would require a sex-change operation), or even the blog equivalent of the Mirror of Galadriel. However someone looking at doing something similar down the road may find some pieces of this useful. I intend (once I figure out how) to include this under the category “Blogology” with a tag/label of “WordPress Migration.”
Let me open with a review of why I decided to move – I’ll not be linking to the posts where these issues have come up. Trust me, they all have at one time or another.
1) Comments. There have been various times where commenting on my blog has been a problem and people have either given up or had to resort to creativity, commenting anonymously, etc. even to comment. I LOVE comments, even when people tell me I’ve messed something up, so long as they’re polite about it. This has been a huge issue for me when it’s come up.
2) Html formatting. I manually write in my own html code. For whatever reason, blogger has some issues with various codes. Use of lists has tended to mess everything up below the list, and I haven’t even been able to do a numbered list. Blockquotes are a nice way of setting off sections of text, particularly large quotes. This has been a mess as well. I’m hoping these work better in WP. And maybe I’ll be able to use tables?
3) Miscellaneous bugs/glitches. For as long as Blogger’s been around, I keep running into little bugs. The latest was a bunch of my “follow list” not showing up. WP has a follow feature (I’m not positive how it works just yet – I think it’s via e-mail which is fine if it’s in digest form) which I hope works better.
4) Preview Function. In Blogger, there is an option to preview your blog so you can view it as it will appear. Again, this screws up html – not the very simple things such as bold, italics or a link but anything above this level such as lists gets completely messed up. I like seeing how my blog (or anything I write) will appear before I publish it. With Blogger what I end up having to do is publish it, then look at the post, as published and keep returning to the composing page to make edits. Not very efficient.
This is not to say that Blogger is garbage or anything. It’s relatively simple to use, I’ve never had a post lost in the ether which is a BIG plus, and I can’t recall it ever having spontaneously edited anything I’ve put up(beyond the html issues).
When I finally decided to move, it was the culmination of something I’d been considering for a while. In addition to the above negatives against Blogger, WP blog authors have been pretty unanimous about how good their platform is. According to them there are many more options and these sort of bugs don’t show up.
However I did – and continue to – have some concerns, as follows:
1) Audience. Number one is I have some loyal regular readers receiving the blog through various formats – straight reading, RSS, e-mail subscriptions, etc. Moving the blog means all of those folks, in order to keep reading, will have to change their settings. Folks, I apologize. I know it’s a pain but I very much hope you’ll keep reading.
2) Blog recognition. For some reason, my blog has received some recognition as being pretty good via various sources on the web. Here is one example. From this point on, people clicking these links will come to a dead blog – or at least a page saying, this blog has moved to “this URL.” I get some traffic from these sources and hate to give it up.
3) Searchability. Blogger happens to be run by this outfit called Google. Which happens to run a search engine. Does having a blog on Blogger increase your chances of it coming up on a web search? I do not know for sure but it may.
4) Links. I’m hoping to find a tool which will save me from having to do this but any link within a post which points to another of my posts will be wrong once I delete the old blog. I have to go in and manually change those links. I won’t be doing that with every one of the 150 or so posts I have up but I intend to review my stats and do this for any post which has received a certain amount of pageviews at some point after I posted it (maybe after it’s been up a week?). I don’t yet know how many this will be but it will be tedious.
As time has gone on the reasons for staying with Blogger have increased with every post. If I’m going to move this thing, I need to move it ASAP. Waiting will just make each of these issues larger.
So far the migration has been fairly simple. Importing all my posts from Blogger was simply a matter of importing them. I was not able to import my blogroll and don’t expect to be able to import my links. In fact, at this point I need to figure out how to add items I like such as these links, my current reading list, and so on. I’ll also have to manually add in individual pages, such as my Kalamazoo or Book Review pages. Copy/Paste will do some of this but I’ll have to manually edit the ones which are a pile of links.
So the migration continues. Over the next few days expect the appearance to change several times while I figure WP out. I’ll be working through posts to fix the internal links and start building pages. I also need to figure Categories out. I have until Jan 3 where I’ll have a lot of time to do this. It’s still not terribly comfortable sitting at my desk for extended periods but it is improving.
Again, if any WP bloggers, in particular fellow migratees, have any words of advice. PLEASE let me know.