So as you might have noticed my blogs had a completely new re-design over the weekend! This is not the first time I’ve turned to pipdig to create a semi-custom template for my blog to keep in with my original colour scheme and header illustration. When I first started blogging, I did get my blog template re-designed by another company and I have looked around, but in all honesty, nothing compares to the service pipdig provides. You get so much choice at different price ranges, making it perfect for new bloggers to more advanced features, such as custom designs at a much higher price for more professional bloggers! Basically what I’m trying to say is pipdig provides something fresh and easy to navigate at a budget-friendly price.
My Experience with Pipdig
The reason why I always went back to Pipdig was the fact all the templates look clean and really focus in on content and design, making it easier to navigate and just pleasing to look at, another point I liked was the price and different options you get with each theme. You can buy pre-made templates and easily install it yourself, or go one step further and buy the semi-custom designs, which I’ve done on separate occasions! I picked the pipdig Kensington template and with the semi-custom designs you can really make it your own, whilst keeping in with a budget-friendly price, making it a great option for more experienced bloggers that do this as a daily hobby, like myself! If you have more money or run a blog as a business or make an income, you can always opt for the custom designs, which offer more flexibility and custom design, such as the main header. My header illustration was created by another company a good year or so back now, but I love the way it’s integrated into the design without sticking out like a sore thumb! If you’re wanting a custom header you can do this through Pipdig or look for other services and Pipdig can then integrate this into the design for you I’m sure.
When it comes to your blog, anything you can imagine pipdig really knows how to bring it to life to enhance your blog and user experience! It’s great because not only do you get a completely new blog design, but they also include a user-friendly Mobile version, making it great for increasing SEO and reading your favourite blogs on the move with the clean, easy to read layout. With the Semi-Custom designs, they do start off at a fixed price but you can explain your vision and how you want your blog to look and feel and get a quote for extra add-ons to the template, such as the Mobile Version, Custom Header, Favicon, Widgets and Drop Down Header (like the one pictured below). I’ve always been thrilled with the amount of effort put into both of my blog designs and how they’ve helped me to install my template by doing it all for me, and giving advice and help with anything that goes wrong in the processor in the future whilst using the pipdig templates.
Blogger to WordPress
Since I first started blogging back in 2013 I’ve stuck to Blogger as my main blogging platform and loved the easy navigation of the site and dashboard, and of course the fact it doesn’t cost me a penny to use, apart from my domain payments. However with this in mind, I always felt I was missing something and wanted more control of my blog and I guess more ownership, so a couple of weeks back it got me thinking, and that’s when I started researching the benefits of WordPress.org. As soon as I submitted my design ideas to Phil at pipdig through the form on the main website, I was put on a 4-week waiting list, which really gives me the time to think and plan the future of Krystel Couture and how I want to have it designed. In all honesty I was going through a phase of losing motivation with my blog and wanted something that would get me focused again and enjoying blogging, as it’s something that’s now part of me and we can all have that horrible sense of not having motivation to go on when you get writers block and feel you have a million in one thing to do…. Anyway, my new design has completely changed my mindset, and really got me excited about blogging again and that’s also partly to do with my decision to go with Wordpress.org, a self-hosted website.
Phil was really helpful with the whole process and we did come under a few hiccups over the weekend (you might have noticed my blog disappeared), yes my blog was no longer available, this was down to a slight slip on my behalf after overriding my new blog design with a new Wordpress.org blog, that I downloaded from the MOJO Marketplace through Bluehost, which btw you shouldn’t do! pipdig sets everything up for you, so you don’t need to download and install Wordpress.or yourself, I learned this the hard way, after getting into a panic at the weekend and uninstalling Wordpress and re-installing it again, this completely overriding my original blog and losing all my work (Yes I might have had a little cry to myself at this point, and it just made me realise losing your blog is the worst thing ever! especially after putting months/years of hard work into it). Luckily enough Phil managed to get my blog back by restoring the original download, which is a way too confusing for me! Once you go self-hosted it can be scary, but I don’t have the slightest idea and do find it easy once you get the hang of it, and don’t do silly things 😉 After the technical glitch my blogs been running great, and I’ve really enjoyed the features Wordpress has to offer compared to blogger.
You get so much more freedom in the terms of widgets and SEO, really making your blog more personal! The SEO tools are very handy and I’ve still to get everything sorted with this but it definitely makes a difference in terms of post reach and traffic. Other tools I’ve yet to try are the widgets and feeds, hopefully at the weekend I have time to completely finish my blog and have it how I want it 🙂 As for now I’ve installed Disqus and love how easy the app is to work with Wordpress, I did have problems with my blogger blog when it came to installing this app, but happy it works with Wordpress.org smoothly. You can also change the appearance, such as the header menu (I’ve added subcategories to mine) and widgets, social media icons, pages, categories and template design. I never realised how much more control you have with WordPress and thought pipdig might have to change features of my design for me, but no you have full control over everything through the dashboard!
WordPress.org is self-hosted, giving you full control over your blog, and pipdig install everything for you if you plan to convert from blogger to Wordpress! Before my conversion I never really looked into the differences between blogger and Wordpress, tbh there isn’t much difference but Wordpress does allow more options and control in the terms of posts, design layout and SEO, but this comes at a price! It does cost to self-host and I went with Blue Host, recommend by pipdig, and it turns out Blue host is slightly cheaper than go-daddy (my domain provider) and the price is good for what your getting. Do I regret moving to Wordpress.org? No! I think it’s the best decision I’ve made this year and definitely has me excited to get blogging again and put more effort in to provide different subjects and posts. One thing I do miss from blogger and the whole switch is the fact I’ve lost my GFC app with my Google followers, so I’m going to try look into this as it is a blow when you’ve worked so hard to then loose readers that loved reading your blog for your blog not to appear in the Google blog feed. Speaking of feeds you also lose your BlogLovin and Feed-burner RSS feed, so you need to go into blogger and re-direct this, otherwise, these apps don’t update your blog feed, thus resulting in no traffic or readers to view your posts who follow your blog. I’ve managed to fix this slightly but hopefully by this weekend, my blog will be completely finished once I’ve sorted everything out in-between working and personal life.
WordPress.org Dashboard and Features:
So I think I’ve covered everything here to do with my experience with pipdig and moving to Wordpress.org!
If you have questions on either pipdig or the WordPress.org service or want to know more, leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP!