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What Jumping Ship is Like, Part II

July 22, 2011

In Part I of this post, I described my experience migrating this blog from Blogger to WordPress. In this last half, I’ll tell you about my satisfaction over here so you can judge for yourself: Is it worth it?


After Barbie jumped, she discovered that the water was not as buoyant as she hoped. But she was saved by landing on the tips of her permanently pointed toes.


Things I much prefer about WordPress over Blogger

  • Composing posts on WP is aesthetically pleasing. I write in part because I love writing. WordPress is my studio with a view. Among other things, what I see as I compose is very nearly what you see on the blog. An aside: I really hated the last stage of my book draft because my publisher required me to transmit it in Courier. I did not recognize my own writing in Courier and had a hard time composing in it. If that does not resonate, ignore my opinion on the WP aesthetic.
  • The basic editing tools are almost identical to those on Blogger so there is no learning curve. The “Kitchen Sink” (advanced) editing tools include great options like copying from Word without formatting loss.
  • The photo editing tools are more sophisticated, and are intuitive to use.
  • Photo storage: WordPress offers three times the space for free.
  • Search Engine hits are twice as high. Because one of the reasons I blog is to help educate, this is important.
  • Comment, ping-back and subscription information emailed to me with a level of detail and response options (directly from email) that leave Blogger in the dust. There is also some built-in intelligence to comment approval if you select those settings. Like WP recognizes people for whom I have previously authorized/published a comment and blocks anyone I have previously blocked.

Things about WordPress I was unprepared for

  • No feed-linked blogrollPlease comment and give me the how-to if this is possible! As I said, helping educate and support others is one of my main motivations for blogging. So my blogroll is not simply a list of my friends’ blogs. It is a list of blogs I find are of above-ordinary value on subjects like adoption and disability advocacy, and transracial parenting. Further, most of the blogrolls on the blogs I link to are that blogger’s opinion of above-average and so on. Together they represent a vast pool of experience. There is value for my readers in being able to see, with a glance at my blogroll, what others in my network are writing about today. Maybe I did not write on a subject of high concern, but someone in my blog network did. WP offers what you see in my right sidebar: a static list of links to home pages with no feed indicating the most recent post. Plus I can have a single RSS feed in a separate Widget. So the best I can do is rotate the RSS feed in that Widget to feature a different blog. I took it for granted that every blog platform would have a live-feed blogroll feature and this is the loss I feel most keenly.
  • The not-quite variety of Spam. The ‘one click will feed my starving siblings in Sudan and pay my school tuition so I can support them’ –but written in East-Asian dialect variety. I assume I was targeted because my blog is new here and most other WP bloggers have blocked these commenters. Once I flagged them as Spam, WP did not allow them to comment again. This may be a downside of WP’s higher level of search engine traffic. I did not receive a single unwanted comment in ten months on Blogger.

Third, be mentally ready to lose readership. I look at it this way: When I began, I had two people who read my blog every day: my dad’s wife and my best friend. On Blogger I was at about 2o0 page views per day when I migrated. Migrating has shown me that there are about 65 people who have followed me over and check in daily. To go from two to 65 in ten months, for an introvert who is not on Facebook or Twitter is not bad.

WordPress has made me stand on my own two feet as a blogger –even if I am standing on my tiptoes. I am now linked on two new blogs.  But I have had zero traffic from any of the Blogger sidebars who previously linked to me (they still link to the Blogger address). Plus the page views generated by friends who pasted a link to a specific post in their blog or on a forum continue to be directed to Blogger because that is the address in the link.

My heart is not grumbling. Instead, I’m grateful to find I have a core readership that was hidden by the multiple referral sources that brought Blogger traffic my way. However, I am also glad that I didn’t jump ship at a period in my life when I was struggling with a load so heavy that comments and page views encouraged me. In theory my opinion of myself should be based on what God thinks and not what other people think. But encouragement is encouragement. When we’re deep in the trenches, it is encouraging to have contact with another human being in the larger world outside our circumstances –even if it is via smoke signals like page views.

I do not regret migrating. I am getting used to the new normal of how WordPress does things and over time I will rebuild readership as I did on Blogger. Although I’m sorry to have lost the live blogroll feeds, I gained hassle-free comments :).

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