After about 18 months hosting a health blog in Blogger, I've decided to get my own domain name and paid hosting. The contents of this site has been mirrored in my new blog:
Please visit the url above for future posts as I will not be posting on this blog (this will probably be my last posts). Next in line is my other blog.
Why I made the Move
Blogger has lots of user friendly functions and makes it very easy for a lot of us to publish our blogs. I have also been in this comfort zone and have been quite reluctant to migrate because:
- it will not be easy to learn up a new system- Blogger's system is really user friendly
- if I pay for my own domain name and forgot to renew it, I may find everything goes up in smoke. Furthermore, people like me don't know about hosting companies- at least I trust that Google's platform is stable
- pages upload relatively quickly- I don't encounter bandwidth issues unlike those with paid hosting
- I've created so many posts and with hardlinks- it will be a nightmare to go into every post and reformat again
- for some search topics, this humble Blogspot site had already managed to go high in the search rankings. It takes time to get there and in a new site, I have to start all over again
- I will have to have duplicate content since I will still be keeping this site. I will risk having my new site 'blacklisted' by Google for duplicate content
However, after giving it a lot of serious thoughts, I've finally made the decision to migrate because I:
- have not been happy with the layout and comments page structure as well as some other features in Blogger. No matter how hard I tried, I could not make the page the way I would like it to be. I had some problem with my blog when I tried to create the option to truncate posts so that only excerpts are featured in the front page
- never fancied having 'Blogspot' as part of my url name
- know I am really serious enough about blogging and into this long term (I've been doing my own website since 2002). If I delay it further, I will have even more headache because the posts would have built up by then
- and I want to be able to do more with layouts without having to spend hours on the net each time trying to get a tutorial to attempt to tweak the Blogger template
I purchased my domain name and hosting just yesterday. At first, when I login into the web hosting company's site, I have no idea how to start. My first thoughts was- what have I done- since I've paid upfront one year's webhosting fee. I have no idea what is DNS, PHP, SQL, CSS, ruby on rails, containers, etc. I only know I wanted to use Wordpress because many bloggers recommend it and thought it will be as simple as Blogger. When I wanted to give up, I think about the countless folks in the Blogosphere who also started with absolutely no knowledge- but they never give up and come up with beautiful blogs. So why do I want to give up?
After staring at countless tutorials and clicking here and there, reading tutorials heavily laden with html jargons, some stuff finally start to make sense. One thing good about Wordpress is that it is able to transfer all the posts (with dates intact) directly from Blogger. Just that I've done lots of hard permanent links here - and I have to open every single post and relink correctly according to my new url. It is only a one time headache and after I am done with all the posts, future updates and maintenance will be a breeze.
Still, I am really pleased with Wordpress because it could automatically generate Random Posts (I've actually tried to make it as Related Posts but not sure why it extracts Random Posts instead. But that's ok) and the new comments page. The new site also do not look so amateurish.
And yes, trying to figure out how everything works is REALLY hard work. I've spent so many hours in front of the PC- not that I am complaining because time do past very fast when you are engrossed with something. Once I kinda grasp the idea of how the web hosting works and how to download templates from Wordpress to my PC, then upload from my PC to the web hosting company, things sort of pick up from there.
It's now 3.20am and I am still awake. I'll sign off in a while and continue my migration job again after catching some quick shut eye.
What I've learned from all this: if you know blogging is your passion and you plan to stick around into the blogging or internet sphere long enough- you might as well invest in your own domain name and paid hosting from the start. You can compare this Blogger site and my new site to see the difference. Past contents are the same but ease of navigation and layout- very different. Reason I am sharing this is because I hope you will not suffer the same regret as I did.