Why I switched from Blogger to WordPress

“I know why you did it,” says the intrepid WordPress fan. “Because Blogger sucks. You have finally joined the Dark Side! Here, have a cookie.”

Actually, no. I like Blogger and there’s nothing wrong with how it works. In certain ways, I prefer it. Templates, for instance, that’s a doddle on Blogger. I can easily customise it to my taste (although I kept poking about with it because I couldn’t get it exactly the way I wanted – not that I have ever been 100% sure of what I wanted). In WordPress, template tweaking is a lot more fiddly and there are PHP files involved, and I don’t do PHP.

As FanstRAvaganza was set up on WordPress and I got to use it a bit more, I realised there were certain features I rather liked and that Blogger doesn’t have. The “Format” option, for instance, but the biggie is that you can have Categories AND Tags. For a while, I had been thinking it would be nice to be able to put all film reviews in one category, for instance, but then I’d have to add another bunch of characters to the Labels box, and I have seen the message about how Blogger Labels “can only be 200 characters” far too many times for that to work.

Needless to say, WordPress doesn’t have a 200 character maximum to limit how many tags you can use. Nor does it (as far as I know) have a maximum number of tags you can use. Blogger has a limit of 5000, and while I was “only” on about 2600, it was still to the point where I felt I really ought to start being more discering with my label usage.

Then there’s the drop-down menu, so you can have more up there without cluttering up the navigation menu. That’s a biggie. (It doesn’t necessarily work very well on a tablet, I’ve come to realise, but still.) Being able to post to Twitter and Facebook (and Tumblr, for those inclined) without a third party service involved is also very nice.

The fact that Blogger can suspend blogs for any number of reasons and completely lock you out from it if they so much as detect a hint of spam makes you slightly nervous when you’ve published nearly 1100 posts. I don’t want to lose what I’ve written, simply because Blogger makes a mistake.

“But why should WordPress be any different? They can suspend blogs too!” fans of Blogger cry, and sure, yes, it would be strange if they couldn’t. But my blog isn’t hosted on WordPress.com, it’s self-hosted, so the only one who can do anything to it is my web host, and they’d only do it if I was doing something illegal – which isn’t the case, and I don’t exactly plan to branch out.

End of last year, I got a Kindle Fire HD tablet. It uses the Amazon app store, which isn’t the same as the Google app store, which I have on my phone. I still can’t get the GetGlue app, for instance, but I also can’t get any of Google’s apps on it – not even Google Maps – but that also means I can’t the Blogger app. However limited that app is, it does make typing on a mobile phone (or tablet) a lot easier! Typing in the web interface on a tablet isn’t ideal either, because it’s just awkward and they haven’t set it up to work on mobile devices. The WordPress app, on the other hand, is advanced yet easily workable on a small screen.

Regardless of anything else, it’s also nice to have a bit of a change. Like painting the walls a different colour, or rearrange your furniture.

Oh I didn’t even think about it – WordPress shows you your word count as you’re typing. Now that’s something I can definitely get used to. Word counts rock! 😀

So yes, there were many different reasons for switching to WordPress, and none of them were “Blogger sucks”, because I wouldn’t have made the switch if it was only going to be a WordPress.com blog, especially not since I would’ve had to pay them to keep using my .co.uk domain instead of thesqueee.wordpress.com.

On the plus side, switching was a LOT easier than I thought it would be. I thought I’d need to manually enter all posts – nope, there’s a Blogger import tool on the dashboard. And when I thought I’d have to sit and make all categories into tags (imported Blogger labels = WordPress categories), there was a tool in the dashboard for that as well. “But redirecting the old posts to here, now THAT is going to be tricky!” was the next concern, and nope, someone’s made a plugin for that too. And seeing how easy it was to switch and the options it could give me going forward … it was almost rude not to make the switch.

I was going to take a couple of weeks and work on it and then make the switch 1 April (it being a Monday and all), but because I’m an impatient sort of person, it uh, happened a bit sooner than planned, which is why I now have a load of posts to categorise and a new template to tweak (the dates, for instance, are so light they’re hardly visible).

Hope you’ll like the re-worked blog, and that it’s now easier to both read and comment. 🙂

Thank you for reading and sticking with me. 🙂

P.S. For feed subscribers, you should be subscribed to the Feedburner feed anyway, in which case you’re okay. Nothing will change for you. If you were on the very old Blogger feed, please change your subscription to http://feeds.feedburner.com/TheSqueee

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