Don’t adjust your screens…you’re at the new home of Lamberts Lately! I (somewhat on a whim) decided to move my blog from Blogger to WordPress this weekend, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. (Yes, I moved my site the week before a product launch. I am nuts, I know.)
After being one of the few bigger hold-outs left on Blogger, I finally decided that it was time for a move to WordPress. Y’all probably know that I was a huge fan of Blogger – and I still am. I think it’s a great platform if you have a smallish blog that doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles…I mean, you can’t beat free, solid, secure hosting and lots of flexibility in design! But, as it turns out, I finally outgrew the platform. There were a few reasons that has become more and more obvious over the past few months…
- I needed a lot of the customization options that WordPress easily offers, including custom email templates on individual pages, SEO optimization, and social media networking. I could have made these customizations in a Blogger blog with a huge amount of research, coding, and work, but it really wasn’t worth it to have clunky coding that would bog my site down. Which leads me to another point…
- I needed a really optimized blog that wasn’t possible with my current site on Blogger. A lot of the customizations I made to my Blogger blog had it running super slowly. An issue I’ve had lately with photo hosting through Blogger was the final nail in the coffin last week. I know how to code from a design standpoint, but coding for optimization has never been a strong suit of mine. I went with a WordPress theme that allowed me to make customizations as needed and had super solid coding behind it to optimize my site (more details on that below).
- There is strength in numbers. I don’t want to say I let peer pressure influence my decision to move…but it kind of did. The real reason it influenced it is the ability to troubleshoot with other bloggers in several of the Facebook groups I belong to. Most people now are on WordPress, so finding answers to problems is easy on that platform…it’s much more difficult now on Blogger since most have moved on. I now have the ability to really understand my platform and optimize it for my readers. (Which is another reason I picked the theme and hosting I did…again, more below on that.)
- I wanted to truly have 100% ownership and control all of my content. This is last on the list for a reason…it’s never really bothered me that Blogger ultimately had control of the existence of my blog because, in my experience, they so rarely shut down a blog that isn’t doing anything wrong (and I made sure to back up the blog regularly, so if they did shut me down, I could easily move to another platform). But, this blog has become a huge part of our life now, and it doesn’t hurt that my move to self-hosted WordPress means I have 100% control on whether it stays or goes.
So, here I am! I started the migration Friday night and have been learning the ins and outs of WordPress all weekend. It’s not quite done…all of my servers take up to 3 days to update, so there’s a good chance some can’t access the site just yet (sorry for those who are reading in a reader that can’t get to the actual site, I made sure not to shorten my post in readers today so you could still check it out…you should be able to access the site by tomorrow!). I’m also still working on importing comments and a few other little projects, and I’m sure I’ll be tinkering with it for many weeks to come. But, I’m here, it’s (sort of) working, and I am absolutely loving how it turned out!
I’ve heard the analogy that moving from Blogger to WordPress is kind of like moving from one house to another, except you get to keep the same address. While all of my “stuff” (i.e. content) goes from one house to another, the surroundings are completely different. That’s kind of how I think of this move! So let’s take a tour of the new digs, shall we?
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Let’s start at the top of the page. I finally divided all of most popular categories (recipes, printables, and gift guides) into categories for easy reference! I’ve also got both of my products (Journey to Clean and Freezer Meal Boot Camp) easily accessible in the top menu bar. This looks a little different if you’re on mobile, but it still follows the same general format with the same links.
As you click on those (overall) categories, you’ll see a pretty page with all of your posts. That’s another little project I’m still working on – making sure each post shows a picture thumbnail. Hopefully that will be finished this week and you’ll have an easy visual view of all category options!
Moving right along, you’ll find my new logo (which I’m kind of obsessed with…this won’t be changing for a long time) and my email sign-up. I’ve already noticed a massive difference in the number of email sign-ups I’m getting, so I’d say it works!
On the sidebar (or at the bottom of the page if you’re a mobile user) you’ll find a few tools that make finding my content a little easier. You can also connect with my Facebook or Instagram pages! This section might change a little bit over the next few weeks, just as I think of little edits.
And at the bottom of the page, you’ll find all of the info about my disclaimers and my hosting/theme! After tons and tons (and tons) of research about the best hosts and themes over the past few months, I ultimately decided to go with Siteground hosting and to use the Genesis framework with a child theme from Pretty Darn Cute Designs.
I know some of you long-time readers are gasping…a blog designer is using a pre-made theme? Heck yes I am! 😉 I know next to nothing about how to code a WordPress child theme (the design elements you use with your overall site’s framework). It’s a completely different world than Blogger. To be honest, I just didn’t see the point in taking a ton of time to learn the coding aspect when there are so many cute and customizable inexpensive pre-made child themes out there. I looked through so many different options, but ultimately I decided on the Pretty Happy theme from Pretty Darn Cute designs. I read great reviews about the quality of their coding and just fell in love with the flexibility and overall style of this theme. It’s been a seamless transition and I am loving the customizable options it offers. I would highly recommend Pretty Darn Cute if you’re looking for a new child theme!
As for hosting…I ultimately went with Siteground because I read amazing reviews of their hosting in some of the (unbiased) Facebook blogging groups I belong to. They have flexible options for many different sizes of sites, incredible and fast customer service, and really little downtime. The transition couldn’t have been easier and (being only 3 days into our relationship) I have been really pleased!
I’ve got a couple more posts this week that really go into detail about how I set up my hosting and theme. I had questions before this post was even published on how in the world I managed the move myself…moving from Blogger to WordPress can be kind of intimidating! In short, I figured it out by watching way too many youtube videos and blog tutorials. It’s really not all that difficult, there are just a lot of steps you have to complete to make the transition seamless. I’m going to try to compress everything I researched into one post later this week!
But, in the meantime, have fun checking out my new internet home! I’m settling in and hoping to be here for a really long time. Thanks to my fantastic readers for sticking with me through all of the new chapters of my blog!
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