TRANSFER TO WORDPRESS.COM ALMOST COMPLETE – JULY 2009

THIS IS REPOSTED FROM (haroldshawjr.com)

Simply Something Sophisicated - a WordPress poster
Image by teddy-rised via Flickr

What have I learned in switching back to WordPress.com?
First and foremost that it actually would have been much, much easier and less time-consuming to simply stay with Blogger as my blogging host.

The change-over is not as easy as it seems, sure importing all your blog posts from Blogger to WordPress.com is pretty quick and painless.  That is the easy part.  There is a lot more too it than just transferring a few files.

Figuring out the theme was very easy to do in WordPress and the one I am using is very readable and meets my needs nicely.

It took a lot more time to actually figure out all the little tweaks that I can do with the theme than picking out the theme.  I really liked that the cover pages has quick snippets of my last 10 or so blogs for people to look if they come to my home page, plus the clean and crisp look on the reading page is what I have been looking for. I really liked that I could put an image underneath the header, although it did take a while to figure out the right one, the collage that I used means a lot to me and hopefully gives the reader a quick visual about me.

The widgets in WordPress.com are quite a bit more limited.  That is the biggest reason that I left last time, I couldn’t get a few of my favorite widgets from Feedjit, Shelfari or Top Post to work here, which at that time really bothered me. This time I have reconciled myself to use what is here.  I picked from the stock ones that come with WordPress.com, but it did take a bit of time to figure out which ones I needed and which ones just weren’t for me and the order that looked best for the blog.  Will I miss the ones I can’t have here?  A little bit, but I can create links if I really want the information and it is a part of my pulling back a little bit  on the amount of information that I “have” to have in my blog.

The labels/categories/tags system is completely different.   WordPress is more of hierarchical system using a categories and tags system, while Labels in Blogger is more or a tag system, but when you transfer to WordPress, the Blogger labels become WordPress categories instead of tags?  I am still in the process of cleaning that up…yes I could simply leave it alone, but I would not be satisfied with 1600+ categories – I only want about 10 categories, tags will be the large number.

The biggest thing that I didn’t realize before was how good the WordPress.com blogwriter has become.  It has improved significantly from when I first was using it.  I have been using it this week to write my posts and have been very impressed with it.  The photo management is a little less than I want, but almost everything else is what I was looking for.  The biggest thing that I wish it had is a WYSIWYG view of your blog as you are typing, like M/S Live Writer that has the template in the blogwriter.  Other than the image management & not being able to type directly onto a template of my blog, it is working great for me.  I even like the checker function, it slows me down and forces me to look at my blog a couple of times before publishing or updating.  This is very important to me, because I am really attempting to improve my editing/proofreading skills.

The last thing that I will have to do is go through each of my posts to ensure that I don’t have duplicates, that the font color is readable, images are still there and that the links are still live.  This will be an ongoing effort and will probably take a few months to complete.

I am really happy with the progress that I have made so far in the change-over, it has been a lot more work than just than just simply moving my posts, which is what about all that I did in the past. I relied on the fact that I would always have my Blogger Blog(s) to fall back on.  This is a permanent move and I am deleting the old blog(s), I am really taking more time and ensure that I have things right.  It isn’t hard work, but it does take time, persistence and more than a little patience.  I guess all those other times I have switched around and tried new things have prepared me for what I am doing this time.

Now if I could figure out a way to have my old Blogger address/posts re-direct to Resource220.com, I think there is a way, but will research that later.