I changed my hosting from Blogger to a hosted instance of WordPress. I hope this does not result in a deluge of posts to your blog reader (Google Reader does that sometimes). Thanks for continuing to read my blog. If you are not yet subscribed, you can subscribe using a blog reader at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/thoughtclusters or through email at http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=thoughtclusters.
There were a couple of reasons for the move to WordPress:
- I recently bought some space on MediaTemple, which allows you 1000 GPU (Grid Performance Units) per month. That is a lot of horsepower even if you are getting thousands of pageviews per day. All for $20 per month, which also includes PHP, mySQL, a great control panel and other goodies.
- Once you start playing with WordPress themes and plugins, Blogger seems like a toy project compared to WordPress. There simply isn’t any comparison. I had written a post comparing Blogger and WordPress.com which may have given the impression that there is nothing much to choose between them. Perhaps it is still true about WordPress.com, but a hosted WordPress instance is incomparable in power.
The move from Blogger to WordPress was painless for the most part. Here are the things I did:
- Changing the domain name settings. Google uses eNom for domain names hosted on Blogger. It ties that into Google Apps. So you cannot just point the eNom settings to the DNS servers of MediaTemple unless you want to also ditch the other Google Services. I guess I could move the domain registrar to MediaTemple, but I was not ready to do that yet. So the configuration is to add an A record for “www”. This may be a problem if the IP changes. So it is a short-term fix.
- The other problem is that when you install WordPress and then navigate to the login page, it shows you the admin password and then asks you to login. This is a problem for an existing blog which is being visited by people. One way to get around this is that before you change the domain registrar settings, change the Network Settings in Windows to use the DNS servers of the WordPress host. This will enable you to set up the blog and change the administrative login.
- Getting WordPress to import Blogger posts and comments is a breeze. All you have to do is provide your Google login, click a few buttons and just sit back. One important thing is to make sure that you have set up the users corresponding to the Blogger authors so that you can map them correctly.
- I learnt that the pictures do not get imported automatically into the WordPress media library. I suppose there may be some tool that does that. If not, I would have to manually upload them and edit the posts to use the images. That is going to be some work.
- Blogger Gadgets do not get imported. So you have to set up Google Analytics, Google Webmasters, Creative Commons license, etc. manually. It is not difficult, just another thing to take care of.
Should you move to WordPress? Definitely yes. If you cannot move to a hosted installation, get a domain name and move to WordPress.com. One day, you can make the transition to a hosted site. I did this after 3 years. So can you!