As you all might know I recently migrated from Blogger to WordPress a couple of months back now, so figured I would put this little post together to help new and experienced bloggers that maybe want to switch platforms. This is basically a little Blogging Platform and Design Tips post for all bloggers, and hopefully you will find some of this information useful, this is mainly stuff I’ve picked up from my own experience blogging and thought I’d share what I’ve learned with you all as this would be great information for beginners especially…
When I first started out blogger was my first platform, it’s easy to use, free and most importantly convenient!
BLOGGER OR WORDPRESS?
I would recommend blogger for beginners that want to expand there blog over time and get to know basic HTML and photography. Blogger basically allows you to focus primarily on content and expanding your readership, you don’t have to know in-depth HTML and hosting is provided at no additional cost. In fact, the only expense you have to make with blogger is picking a custom domain name when you feel ready to expand, and I went with godaddy.com as it’s easy to use and you can find helpful YouTube tutorials on submitting your domain into blogger and the GoDaddy DNS server. Adding your custom domain name can be a difficult experience if you haven’t done this before, so I do recommend researching and watching tutorials along the way! You could also contact Pipdig, as they help set up everything for a small price and it takes the stress off your hands.
Speaking of Pipdig, they do incredible custom and semi-custom blog templates at very reasonable prices! This is the only blog design company I’ve used and always feel pleased with the finished results. Pipdig offers templates for blogger and WordPress blogs, and you can have them tailored made to fit in with your personality and blog theme! It’s definitely worth checking out if your thinking of blogging for the long haul and want something interesting that represents you. Blog design really is important and makes a great foundation to stand out against other blogs and add your own creative elements to the theme, personally, I like blog designs that are easy to navigate, clean and straight to the point and most importantly easy to read. I always find a nice blog design more eye-catching, and gives me a good idea of who the author is and what makes them tick, it just makes a great way to let readers into your design space and creative outlet. Talking about blog design I am currently working with the lovely Grace at Berry Vary designs to create a custom header illustration to update my blog a little. The illustration I have at the moment is also from Berry Vary, and this was created a good two years back now and I loved the outcome! Basically, Grace works with watercolour to create the most beautiful of illustrations to your needs and talks you through the whole process whilst sending over her progress work, so it turns out how you picture it in your mind. She does an incredible job and even installs the complete design for you as part of the payment package! I’ve been around £70-100 for my headers, so the price can vary, depending on what your wanting and how technical the design is! At the minute we’re working on beauty and style illustrations around my header text for a more updated look, and I feel it’s more fitting to my blog now. So if your looking for a new blog design or header illustration to stand out I can highly recommend Berry Vary and Pipdig they offer budget-friendly options and pricier designs depending on your requests.
BLOGGER OR WORDPRESS MIGRATION
Pipdig actually helped me with my blogger to WordPress migration and without them, I would never have managed to do this myself! It’s very complicated and involves paying for your own hosting and advanced plugins if you choose to go down this route. Hosting was easy enough to set up and I went through Blue Host as this was the cheapest provider and I’ve had no problems with the service so far! Switching over to WordPress was a huge commitment but exciting! It’s definitely a great platform for more experienced bloggers that have a good idea of what they want from the platform and how to use the specific plugins for different applications on the site. I’m definitely not experienced when it comes to setting up WordPress, and Pipdig really made the whole process easy and effortless! They did an excellent job at moving all my blogger content over to WordPress, such as images, pages and posts and installing extra security on my new blog. The beauty of WordPress is definitely the creative outlet, as it really lets you play around with your design/blog theme and test different plugins. Anyone can join WordPress even new bloggers but you will need to do a lot of research as it can be pretty complicated! I know I struggled when I first started and feel research is a must to get the most from WordPress or WordPress.org, with WordPress it is a free platform but you will be landed with adverts on your blog unless you pay a yearly fee to have these removed! I would highly recommend going for wordpress.org as it’s basically the same price after paying the hosting fee and it’s your own website, completely owned by you!…
USEFUL WORDPRESS PLUGINS
WP Super Cache – Great for speeding up your blog and making it load faster
Limited Login Attempts – This stops more than a certain amount of logins from one IP address, keeping your blog secure
Disqus – An easy to use comment system and allows readers to leave comments and the author to respond directly to each comment
Updraft Plus – Backup/Restore – Perfect for backing up your blog in case disaster strikes! This is useful and you can send backups to Google Drive or Email
Instagram Feed – This can be placed anywhere on your blog and I have one in the footer and right-hand sidebar, perfect for showcasing your photography
WordPress SEO – One of the most important plugins as this basically improves SEO on each post and gets your images/content higher ranked on google whilst improving search results
Nofollow for the external link – Another great plugin that automatically adds ‘rel=’nofollow’ to links provided in your post (You can pay for more advanced plugins that let you follow certain links but I haven’t done this yet!)
So hopefully I’ve covered the most important plugins and these are generally the only plugins I currently use, apart from the Pinterest hover button! So we’ve covered the basics of what platform you should choose, basics of a good blog design and what plugins you should be using on Wordpress. I would like to point out that since moving over to WordPress, I have also noticed a wider reach in traffic down to the advanced SEO plugin that WordPress provides; this in return putting your posts/content higher in search results and the images compared to the blogger platform. It’s definitely something to consider if you’re looking to move over to WordPress, as it does come with more beneficial features and exposure, and hopefully, these tips have helped in your decision.
I’m hoping to add to this tips post next week covering my basic blog photography and what camera equipment I use 🙂
Do you have any blogging tips you’d like to share? If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try to answer them as best I can!