Friday, March 27, 2009

Survey of Ideas on Leaving Blogger

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Above, another sketch in the flower book, a bloom from one of my Indian Hawthorne bushes.

Below, my first bearded iris! My good friend, the Herb n’ Cowgirl gave me several little ones to plant trimmed from hers last year. They appear to really like this climate because they are all doing well – even the ones that I forgot to tell our house sitter about, which he mowed over and I thought were gone forever. Lo and behold, they are popping up!

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This week I have been thinking about moving my blog from blogger. There are pros and cons to both moving it and keeping it at blogger. For me, the big draw is I’d like to have everything in one spot – it would be easier to maintain and easier to tell people about it. I haven’t reached any conclusions, but I thought I’d share some of my reading.

Of course, like anything on the computer or in DIY, it’s more complicated than it seems at first glance. There are complications and difficulties no matter what you do to “move”. Essentially, there are two routes: importing or starting again. Importing means you run the risk of duplicate entries on the search engines (spam). Starting fresh means you lose your archives, any page ranking (PR) you had before and potentially anyone who doesn’t follow you over.

Case Study by SmallBizTrends.com – an excellent recap of the issues (I identified with alot of it.)

Import or Start Fresh? – an argument for “abandoning” the old blog, but bringing everyone with you.

An Import Story – all the details and hiccups of importing your blogger blog to Wordpress and a custom domain.

Another Import Story – definitely techie, but gives you an idea of the issues involved with your decisions.

If you have any thoughts or experiences, please share in the comments!

12 comments:

Jo Castillo said...

Hi Rose, the first two articles are pretty old and Blogger has addressed some of the problems. You can search your site easily in the search box, upper left. Also some extra script is easy to add now.

Interesting stuff, hope you get your pages set the way you want and they work smoothly.

Jennifer Rose said...

I have thought about using something other then blogger but I do like how things are simple to use on the whole. I have a few other blogs made up but haven't used them or don't that often. If I was going to stop using blogger I would just find some way to have my blog show up on my site directly. So it acts like a giant news section. Might make updates easier. I don't want to loose the content on my blog now, so that would be my main concern with changing blogs

Rose Welty said...

Jo, you are right, some of the issues they address are old. The import/export tool has improved. On Google code there is a tool to help you convert the files (if you can run Python scripts). But no one is mentioning the search engine/duplicate content issue.

I'd just like to have one spot where all my images are - then I access them for blog posts, for sale pages, gallery pages, etc. It would be so nice to just say rosewelty.com to everyone...artists interested in the studio talk, customers interested in buying, potential clients wanting to see my work.

Jennifer, like you I don't have any real problems with blogger (especially as I now draft everything in Live Writer) - but I'd just like everything in one spot. You can redirect to a custom domain (that's how my sales blog works - it's still rosewelty.blogspot.com but www.rosewelty.com will get you there too.) That does make the stats programs go a little wonky though.

Thanks for your thoughts ladies! I really appreciate it. I'm just mulling it over and seem to keep going in circles, it helps to have others throw in their 2 cents. :D

Belinda Lindhardt said...

Hi Rose,
I meant to reply to you on this earlier in the week but it got away from me.
I recently setup a couple of temporary blogs on wordpress to get familiar with posting / the way it works.. then i figured if i found it better i would then maybe import / transfer my site over.
To be honest tho .. i still dont "get it" maybe i need to play around more with it, i dont understand what the big advantage of wordpress is, ... maybe i need to play some more.

Jeanette said...

I guess I'm not too sure just what you're looking for here Rose.

Everything in one spot with spokes leading to other elements. Isn't that what a website would do? It seems to me that you're trying to create a website out of a blogging platform and I don't think there's an easy marriage there.

Rose Welty said...

Belinda, I agree that the real advantages of WP escape me. Although, I use Live Writer, so most of it doesn't matter. But you can have WP on your site in a way that you can't have blogger, am I right in that?

Jeanette, I suppose I'm not being clear. You are right, you can't really make a website with a blog. I'm actually thinking of having a website with a blog attached both on one custom domain. The blog is just one of the spokes of the site. Does that make sense? So, people go to one domain...click on the galleries if they want to see that...click on blog if they want that...click on sales if they want that...etc. But, they always remain on one domain, with one template.

Maybe it's not feasible or not worth the effort. I'll keep thinking. Thanks again for the feedback.

Jennifer Rose said...

it is feasible, I have seen lots of sites done like that. Sometimes its just more work to keep things up to date. This is something like how I want my site and blog to look like (obviously not the same, but its the along the idea that I have)

Katherine Tyrrell said...

I'd recommend that you don't try to find a solution until you're
(1) clear what your aims are and
(2) what your criteria are for assessing alternative options

I've got over 100 websites now - and they all have their own URLs and each can rank in its own right on Google and each can link to others and provide a trail for those who are interested in related issues.

I don't feel the need to have everything on one site. Nor do I think I want one site doing everything is always the answer.

Check out my hub site http://makingamark.co.uk - that's one place - but it links to external sites.

Now re moving to another blog this is what you'd lose:
- all your subscribers (unless they resubscribe)
- all the links from other people to past blog posts
- your ranking in google
- familiarity with how a piece of software works.

If you have a problem try standing it on its head and looking at it another way on.

Belinda Lindhardt said...

I have done a bit of research and "playing with this" as i need to sort it all out myself.

the advantage of wp apparently is that you can install it on your server,(among other things)which means you have a certain element of control on the service of wp that you don't have over blogger (to be honest i dont have much issue with bloggers service its not down too much to date for me). as a web designer / maintenance goes with wp you have the ability to have a "website" (yes you can attach static pages) to the blog .. which has an engine behind it allowing you to maintain your site ... ie. you can easily update images/ text etc .. without coding and uploading via ftp etc.. which essentially like a little content management system if you set it up correctly. ... so that's the advantage....my issue is (having dealt with many clients websites over the years) that while its all residing on YOUR server you have a certain element of control... but all your content is still residing in a thirdparty system.... its not going to be easy to remove it from that if you want to do that in the future. if your happy to invest in that .. then great ... but you need to be aware of that before hand and i think like katherine has said before going either way work out your aims are.

as for the ranking etc... all of that.. while thats important i think i dont think that should be your determining factor of wheather to use one system over another ...the system has to work for you on other levels... the searching rank etc etc.. can be achieved again...if your still growing your position... again its determine what will work for you...

as for me .. i need a new site / gallery... i previously had my ex.. build me a very good content management database site which did exactly what i wanted.. great for then but now .. that is gone i am back to square 1 needing to start again with my site.. SO i am in with you guys .. i found a nifty gallery function in wp... i am going to build a pretend wp site and play around with the functions to see if it can do what i need it to and make a decision from there. i think the thing is also wp is essentially free..so you never get anything for free..and what you do get for "free" you have to remember that it will have limitations...

Rose Welty said...

Jennifer, Katherine, and Belinda, thanks so much for your comments.

Jennifer, that site is really fun and well laid-out - I had lots of fun poking around there.

Katherine, thanks for the comments. I agree that *you* cannot have everything on one site. :D You have made me specify my aims, goals, and criteria, which is a good thing.

Belinda, thanks for all your thoughts on this. You know alot more of the techie stuff than I do. I'm glad to hear that while you are building your brand rankings shouldn't be a major determining factor. I'm certainly in that category. I do think that with a feedburner feed I can change the original feed and my subscribers would not have to resubscribe.

I haven't had trouble with blogger either Belinda. My main motivation here is that I am trying to be an artist online, not just an art blogger. I am trying to sell my art as well as continue with my blogging. I wouldn't give up my blog or change its tone either.

I need a site to sell my art. To make that site the best it can be SEO-wise, it makes sense to have a blog on it. As well, why would I try and run two blogs, why not have one blog with the rest of my site around it? Blogger doesn't give me the ability to do that. That's the real issue.

Blade21292 said...

Wordpress as a content manager couldn't be easier! You absolutely can make an entire website out of a "Blog". The host I use (dreamhost) has wp as a one-click installation. Then it's just pick your back ground and your images and you're off. I think there's even a plug-in that will automatically update your blogger site with your wp posts so you don't have to give blogger up. That way, you don't have to depend on your readership to update their bookmarks. Just some thoughts for you.

Rose Welty said...

Blade, thanks so much for your comments - I appreciate you taking the time. I am going to make a move...more on that later.