Switching to Self-Hosted Blog -- I NEED HELP AND ADVICE!

Currently, I have a blog hosted by Blogger. When I began blogging and did my research, I heard many complaints from people who used WordPress and were switching to Blogger. Then certain big blogs, such as Kevin and Amanda, recommended using Blogger. Hence, I am now using Blogger.

 

Lately, I have been contemplating switching to a self-hosted blog. And here's where my inexperience (I've only been blogging less than a year) and confusion come it to play. Btw, I am pregnant and therefore slow, and I am not a super genius at technical stuff, so small words help!

 

My blog is getting pretty good. I have a Google PR of 2 (not awesome, but it'll do), over 1,000 GFC followers, more than 1,000 email/RSS subscribers, and more than 20,000 pageviews. I don't want to lose ANY of this if at all possible!

 

Here are my questions I hope you can help me with:

1) Are there other ways to self-host besides via WordPress.org, or do you recommend WordPress.org?

2) What is the least painful (and least expensive) way to switch from Blogger to a self-hosted blog?

3) Can I maintain my current numbers after migration (GFC followers, pageviews, Google PR, etc.).

4) I currently have a domain name (www.MeasuringFlower.com). Can I keep it in the transfer? Do I need HostGator or something similar (which would you recommend)?

5) I have an email (via gmail) for my domain name. Can I keep it as well?

6) Can I maintain my current blog design or pretty close to it?

7) Do you know of a blog designer who can transfer my blog from Blogger to a self-hosted blog? Maybe even including my followers, pageviews, etc., and without costing too terribly much (we do struggle to eat)?

8) Do you have any other tips/advice? I welcome all--and please speak clearly as I am pregnant and not the most technical-minded, lol.

 

Thank you! :-)

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TJ - When I started my blog over 4 years ago I went with self hosted WordPress. I belonged to a mastermind at the time and it was what was suggested. I haven't regretted it.

 

My hosting is through Mom Webs . That is not an affiliate link by the way. I have never had any issues at all with them and customer support is outstanding. I think I pay about $10 a month for both my sites.

 

If you sign up with them they will set your WordPress site up for you. Scott aka support is also great about answering any questions you have, He was so patient with me when I started out!

 

You can use your current domain. They will redirect it for you. Your numbers go with your domain name so you shouldn't lose anything in the process. Oh and your email will stay the same although you do get email accounts with hosting.

 

As far as the design goes, that would depend. WordPress has lots of themes and you might find something comparable. You might also be able to transfer your files (like images) over so you could make it look the same.

 

By now I'm pretty good with WordPress. I'd be happy to help if I can. You can reach me at brenda@addmoms.com.

 

Hope this helps!  Congrats on the baby on the way!

 

Brenda

Hi TJ! Here are my thoughts on your questions:

1) Are there other ways to self-host besides via WordPress.org, or do you recommend WordPress.org?
Yes, there are other CMS (content management systems) such as Drupal and Joomla. However in terms of ease-of-use, I've found WordPress.org the easiest.

2) What is the least painful (and least expensive) way to switch from Blogger to a self-hosted blog?
Since you said you aren't 100% comfy with technical stuff, I would STRONGLY recommend you hire someone to do your transfer.

3) Can I maintain my current numbers after migration (GFC followers, pageviews, Google PR, etc.).

If your transfer is done correctly, you should be able to keep all your numbers.

4) I currently have a domain name (www.MeasuringFlower.com). Can I keep it in the transfer? Do I need HostGator or something similar (which would you recommend)?
Yes, you can keep your domain name in the transfer, but you will need to purchase hosting through HostGator, HawkHost, or another hosting provider. While there are a lot of providers out there, make sure that whoever you select has excellent technical support (preferably 24x7.)

5) I have an email (via gmail) for my domain name. Can I keep it as well? Yes.

6) Can I maintain my current blog design or pretty close to it?
Yes. See if the person who does your transfer can re-code your design into WordPress. Another option is to find a free WordPress theme and have a designer tweak that into something similar.

7) Do you know of a blog designer who can transfer my blog from Blogger to a self-hosted blog? Maybe even including my followers, pageviews, etc., and without costing too terribly much (we do struggle to eat)?
There are quite a few folks who can do this, but it's important to find the right person. Here's one post of things to consider when selecting someone and another post listing companies that do transfers.

http://www.creativepatience.com/blog/coding/how-to-choose-a-develop...

http://www.simplystacie.net/2010/12/designers-who-do-blogger-to-wor...

8) Do you have any other tips/advice? I welcome all--and please speak clearly as I am pregnant and not the most technical-minded, lol.

When it comes to blog transfers, finding the right person is KEY since so many of the things your concerned about are things that person should address. Make sure you ask questions if you have them and don't let them talk you into something you don't understand. While a lot of this stuff is technical, a good developer can help you understand everything - pregnant or not. I do think you'll find WordPress very easy to use once you get comfortable with it and that you'll be happy you made the switch. :)

 

Thanks, ladies! You have been a HUGE help! I do have someone I think I am going to work with about getting transferred, but I am definitely looking into Mom Webs. And thanks for the links to the articles! Sooo much help! Any more help you or anyone else can offer I am certain will be a help. Thanks so much!

I consider myself moderately techy and was able to move my blog from Blogger to WP by myself.  I hired someone else who is doing a new design for me.  She's the cheapest I've found when she runs specials (Wacky Jacqui's Designs) but is kind of hands-off.  Basically you tell her exactly what you want, find the theme you like, find the images, and she puts it all together.  Her price is very fair considering she does the transfer AND creates new headers, buttons, etc if you want a new look.  Other designers seemed so much more expensive.

 

If you're not technically savvy, I'd save yourself the headache and just hire Jacqui or someone else to do it for you.  It took a lot of time, I had to start completely over once, and it took a while.  They can do it in a day or two.   

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