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Jun 08

The Great WordPress Migration

As you have probably noticed, more and more bloggers have been switching from the Blogger platform to WordPress (Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C).  Some of this has to do with the constant problems Blogger has been having both with their big outage two weeks ago and with their on going commenting issues (which seems to have been ignored thus far).  Another part of it is that bloggers are realizing extra potential of a WordPress blog.  Features such as nested comments and the ability to easily reply to individual comments, more powerful and robust themes and better SPAM filtering are just a few of the reasons why a WordPress blog might be for you.

WordPress, however, comes in a couple different flavors which I think causes a bit of confusion and apprehension.  So, I’m going to try and clear that up really quick.  There are mainly two versions of WordPress: WordPress.COM and WordPress.ORG.

WordPress.Com

WordPress.Com is essentially a direct competitor to Blogger.  To create a WordPress.Com blog, all you do is create an account and boom you have a blog. There is a plethora of options available on the administration side to customize the look and feel of your blog.  However, you are constrained to use the plugins and themes available and are unable to add your own.

One limitation to WordPress.Com in particular (that I didn’t know about until I started helping Mandy with her WP.Com blog) is that you are not able to include Javascript in any of your sidebar widgets.  A lot of fun 3rd party widgets (like a Google Blogroll for instance) rely on Javascript and thus won’t work on WP.Com blog.

WordPress.Org

Now, the slightly more confusing part – WordPress.Org. WP.Org is free software that anyone can download and install to create their own independent blog.  The blog itself will function and be administered much like a WP.Com blog, however there is a bit more setup involved.  Because WP.Org is a software product and not a service like WP.Com, you are required to have your web hosting space in order to host WP.Org.  While the WP.Org software is free, the hosting space is not and will generally run $5-$10 per month and is available through numerous companies (eg. BlueHost, DreamHost, etc.)

However, because a WP.Org is hosted by yourself, you gain full control over the blog.  You have basically limitless possibilities when it comes to themes and plugins to customize your blog.  In the case of WP.Com, they offer a standard set of themes and plugins which are free to use, but you aren’t able to customize outside of their set parameters.  With WP.Org there are 1000’s of plugins and themes for pretty anything you can think of available to add to your blog.

So, that is a quick and dirty comparison of the WP.Com and WP.Org.  If you want to read up some more on the topic, check out http://en.support.wordpress.com/com-vs-org/.

My Offer to You

So, why am I telling you all this?  I want to offer YOU a WP.Org blog on the cheap.  After talking with Mandy @ Caratunk Girl, we have come up with a great offer for you.  By pooling together our resources, we can offer you a WP.Org account for around $10-$15 per year rather than $10-$15 per month! 

What’s the catch?  Well, there really isn’t one. 

The way most hosting services work is that you pay a monthly fee and are able to host as many websites on the account as you want.  Well, there is no reason everyone needs to have their own hosting account.  Instead, my plan is to purchase some hosting space and then can offer WP.Org blogs to bloggers who want to make the switch.

While I would personally manage the hosting account and get the WP.Org software installed for your blog, you would still have complete and full control (and privacy) over your blog just like you do now.  But instead of being stuck with a flaky, limited Blogger or WP.Com blog, you would have a full fledged WP.Org blog to customize to your heart’s desire.

I know what you are thinking.  You already have a well established blog and you don’t want to lose all your hard work.  Don’t worry!  WordPress.Org offers a tool specifically designed to import your Blogger posts, comments, and categories into your new blog.  There will be some initial setup to get your WordPress.Org blog looking the way you want, but trust me, it’s an easy process.  And if you get stuck, I’m sure that myself, Mandy or any of your fellow WP.Org users would be happy to help.

How does that sound?  Would you be interested?  If so, let me know.  The more people we can get involved, the cheaper the cost would be per blogger.  Still have questions?  Just ask and I’ll do my best to answer.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/06/08/the-great-wordpress-migration

31 comments

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  1. lindsay

    maybe. you’d have to take paypal.
    lindsay recently posted..may 2011

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      You know you want to. All the cool kids are getting WP blogs :) haha

      Haven’t worked out all the logistics yet as we’re still seeing who would be interested but Paypal would probably be the way to go.

      1. lindsay

        so has this gone anywhere?

        and i bought my .com through godaddy, do they not just host it there? my biggest thing with making the switch is not knowing what the heck hosting is.

        see how internet dumb i am? :)

  2. Mandy

    Great write up Kevin!! I will repost this soon. I have a friend working on something as well (detail as to how to migrate from blogger –> WP) and I think the two will fit nicely together back to back.

    I am almost caught up with work (you know, those people that pay me?) and will get on this stuff soon!
    Mandy recently posted..Rev3 Quassy Half Race Report

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Awesome!

      Work? Come on now. We gotta get your priorities in order: triathlon, blogging, THEN work. haha I suppose we have to pay for this addiction somehow. :)

  3. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    PayPal is the way to go for sure. Feel free to have those that are interested to use me as a resource as well. I’m more than happy to help.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Thanks Jason! Will do! We still need to work out a profit sharing model ;) haha

  4. adena

    I would love to do this!! ahem and what is your fee per hour to help when I do the actual migration? I have questions.. You may want to reject me. ;-)

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      No one is rejected! :) I’m sure that we can work something out to get you migrated over easily. To get your current blog migrated over in a similar format would honestly probably take an hour or so. No big deal.

  5. adena

    Lookout Jason, there will be questions.. and I know how to find you just about everywhere..
    adena recently posted..Addicted Naw- its just a tattoo

  6. Laura B

    I’m interested!! I’m wanting to ditch blogger, and have tried wordpress.com several times and have had trouble customizing it the way I want.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Awesome! I’ll add you to the list of people interested. If you want, shoot me an email (kevin.neumann AT gmail DOT com) with some of the problems you have had with WP.Com in the past and I can make sure WP.Org will work for you.

  7. Matt Oravec

    I am cheap. Like, seriously cheap. I will buy expensive races but not pay monthly fees… maybe I am just messed up in the head?

    Actually sounds awesome. Not sure how long after Rev 3 I will keep consistent blogging going though… it is WORK!

  8. Kristin

    So I have a WP.com blog I guess and I still don’t really understand it. I know how to do the basics but really have no clue about the ways and means around a blog. You did a great job explaining the difference (much better than the WP website even). I really need a hands on tutorial to walk me through the odds and ends to make it my own. You have me intrigued. (Mandy’s website rocks as do most of my friends who have WP…I want mine to be part of the cool kids club) :-)
    Kristin recently posted..Mach Tenn Sprint Tri

  9. Elizabeth

    I’m a big wordpress fan. I use it for my company websites too. I used wordpress.com for free for a long time, then I bought my own domain and imported my wordpress.com blog right in. It is very intuitive…and the default themes are simple and easy to use…but there are TONS of great WP themes out there (some free, some available for purchase) that can really amp up what you want to do. I totally recommend it.
    Elizabeth recently posted..The grass so little has to do…

  10. Jeff Irvin

    uuugghhhhh … you and Mandy are killing me! Blogger does blow and is limited in many of the functions. My concern is losing followers and losing backlinks as I still have a .blogspot domain. Some a-hole bought danglethecarrot.com a while back. What would your advice be in this situation?
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Tejas Race Report

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I hear you. Losing followers is often a big concern, but I don’t think it ends up being a huge issue. Mandy said she has a friend putting together something about the Blogger -> WP transition and I am personally going to do some more research on the topic as well. Another option is that you could run both WP & Blogger simultaneously. If you are a PC user, you can use something like Live Writer, type the post up once and publish it to multiple blog accounts (both Blogger and WordPress). I wouldn’t recommend this as a long term solution, but it could ease the transition.

      As for DangleTheCarrot.Com, I say we go find the guy in MN that bought it (and isn’t using it) and go kick his butt! haha
      http://who.godaddy.com/whois.aspx?domain=danglethecarrot.com&prog_id=GoDaddy

  11. Viper

    So, what, you don’t like my blog? I’m hurt. Somebody give me a couple beers to catch my tears. Cheers!
    Viper recently posted..The Heat- the Hills- the Hurdles

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Ha! This opportunity simply changes the layout/structure/features of the blog, not the actual writing. There is no quick fix for that :-P.

  12. Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)

    I might be interested!! It’s a great idea!
    Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) recently posted..Boulder Sunrise Du Race Report!

  13. Joel

    I switched my blog from Blogger to a WP.com blog. So far I’ve been pretty pleased, but like others, I’m not very techy. I’m not sure if I have the mental skill set to move to a .org blog….but I’ll noodle on it. I do like the idea of having a little more freedom to add more widgets, etc…Not having a blogroll has been a pain.

    Like @Jeff, I too am concerned with losing followers. While I’ve seen a little bit of a drop in daily traffic, I’m getting more and more hits every day – so perhaps it all comes out even in the wash.

    BTW – GREAT post!
    Joel recently posted..Tri Madness Has Moved!

  14. Joel

    And I guess it would help if I updated my reply with the CORRECT TriMadness URL ;-)
    Joel recently posted..Downhill Swimming

  15. Jon

    I certainly know who to ask if I ever make the switch! Great write up with comparisons.
    Jon recently posted..Tri Ridgefield Sprint Race Report I won my Age Group!

  16. adena

    Question, I am switching to MAC, this won’t have any impact on all this will it? I hope to switch first (tomorrow) and then once you guys sort this out, then swap to wp.org. Sadly ‘needagoal’ url is already taken so i’m going to have to go with ‘shesaidineedagoal’. or alternately ‘ihavethelongestblogurladdressintheworld.com’
    adena recently posted..so I was

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Nope, it shouldn’t matter if you are Windows or Mac. Good luck with the switch! :)

  17. Colleen

    I know I should… but I barely have the patience to write a blog these days, no less change the platform and update it. :) God I’m lazy…

  18. Regina

    Yes! I’ve been wanting to switch for awhile (especially since there’s a good App for my iPad to do posts; none for blogger). Keep me posted, I’ll drink the Kool-Aid. Presumably the web adress I have will change, i bought the one that doesn’t have blogspot in the domain name.

  19. Kristel Hayes

    Hey Kevin-
    Really great article & well written w/regards to the comparison btwn .com & .org. I’m the “friend” Mandy has mentioned that helped her migrate & am pulling together a little how-to on the actual migration process. Good news for those not technically-inclined, the installation of their theme is easy (though with so many to choose from, selection of one may not be, so maybe yet another good/helpful post), & migration is really easy. Hopefully I can do as good of a job documenting these as you have above.

    One question…what plugin are you using for the calendar in your header? I love it, & am working on a client’s site that could use something like it. Also, quick tip, for better SEO, you may want to go into your general settings & change your tagline from “just another wordpress blog” to something about you :-)

    Psyched to see how this all goes for you…you’re a brave man to take it on, but I guess that goes without saying based on what I’m seeing here on your blog.
    Cheers,
    Kristel
    Kristel Hayes recently posted..Become a Social Superhero Wk 4- Flickr &amp YouTube aka the Dymamic Duo

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Kristel-
      Thanks for the comment! Any friend of Mandy’s is a friend of mine.

      I agree, I think the process is going to be a lot easier than some people think. But, like you said, the number of options almost slows the process down because there is so much to digest and choose from.

      As for the header, I’m not using a plugin. Instead, I generated the Javascript from http://www.ricocheting.com/code/javascript/html-generator/countdown-timer and added it to my header.php file. My real world job is as a web developer (.Net though, not PHP) so I have a bad habit of just diving into the code and making the changes I want rather than finding the way that WordPress may actually support a feature with a plugin or using their pre-existing functions.

      Thanks for the SEO tip. I forgot about that tagline because I’m not visibly displaying it other than the footer.

      Take care,
      -Kevin

  20. Patrick Mahoney

    I’d like in. Been thinking about this a lot. Thanks

  21. Michel

    I would be interested as well. I get hit with a lot of spam if I don’t have word verification up for comments due to my blog’s name so if this will help eliminate that it would be great!

  1. How and Why I Converted to Wordpress | My Reason to Tri

    […] And apparently he is kind hearted enough to extend the same offer to others in need of help, see {this} post for […]

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