Archives for August 2006

The Joys of Switching from Blogger to WordPress

As I’m sure you can see, I’ve been messing around with The New Business Blog as well as Daily Fuel Economy Tip and have switched both sites from Blogger based to WordPress based. For the most part, it’s been a pretty good transition, but there have been a few hang ups.

First off, why in the world would I want to switch? For the most part, the Blogger based sites looked reasonably fine, were getting good traffic and were making me a few bucks on AdSense. But, I thought it would be best to go ahead and try and take my sites to the next level (how very cliché of me). Anyway, here’s a list I came up with while trying to figure everything out. I wanted a program that allowed me to….

  1. Host directly on my GoDaddy account.
  2. Have a bunch of different site templates to choose from.
  3. Have the ability to have “add on” features such as polls, a calendar, etc.
  4. Put AdSense directly in my posts as opposed to just in either the header, footer or sidebars.

Here’s the logic behind these four points:

  1. I have heard a rumor that has been known to completely wipe out sites if they have the slightest hint that people are just throwing together a bunch of unrelated sites in order to try and get links for some other sites. That being said, it sort of made me having a bunch of unrelated sites with them look like I was just setting up sites to get links to my two main sites. So, I figured why run the risk? With WordPress, I was going to host each site on my own account, so I never had to worry about getting shut down.
  2. I liked the template I was using on Blogger, but I didn’t like that it was difficult to switch, you lost all of the code you wrote and that you really only had a couple of templates to choose from. With WordPress, there are literally hundreds of free templates to choose from; all you have to do is find one you like.
  3. This is my main reason for switching from Blogger – there were next to zero add-ons. Even simple stuff like archiving by category was near impossible to do. With WordPress, you are able to easily add a bunch of different features to your site, which will make the site more appealing for visitors.
  4. This was probably the second most important reason for switching. From a lot of the AdSense research I have done, you can really increase your click percentage by having links in your posts, not just around them. Unfortunately with Blogger, it was impossible to embed AdSense code in your posts. With WordPress, it’s pretty darn easy.

So, all of those things together lead me to WordPress. 

Unfortunately, the whole process of switching wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. After I downloaded the latest version of WordPress, unzipped the file and uploaded it to my GoDaddy servers, I ran into a bit of a problem: the program wouldn’t install.

It turns out that I was running on Windows servers and they were having a difficult time getting the WordPress program to run. So, after spending about two hours researching the issue and not really coming up with any satisfactory answers, I just decided to switch one of my hosting accounts to Linux based servers. After waiting for a couple of hours for my request to be processed and executed, I reinstalled the program and was able to get it installed.

So, for those of you who are either thinking of using GoDaddy as your hosting service or who are currently on GoDaddy and want to switch to WordPress, make sure you are using Linux servers before trying to install WordPress.

In the process of trying to figure out my installation problem, I came across a couple of horror stories about people using WordPress with their GoDaddy hosting accounts. While my installation process wasn’t really a breeze, overall I would say I am satisfied with my GoDaddy hosting and would recommend it to anyone trying to start a small site.

Anyway, after I figured out that particular problem, the rest of the process has been pretty pain free. I’ve really only had one other problem with one of my databases, but for some reason, it seems that problem has fixed itself. I wish I were more technical, but I don’t know what happened, nor will I even begin to hypothesize.

So far, I’ve focused most of my attention on Daily Fuel Economy, namely because it gets the most traffic and I didn’t want it to be “under construction” for too long. Now that it’s pretty well taken care of, I’ll go ahead and start to change The New Business Blog a bit.

If you have any questions or comments about switching to WordPress, let me know and I’ll try to answer you as best I can. The moral of the story is, once you get serious about blogging, it’s probably in your best interest to go ahead and make the transition over to WordPress.