Believe it or not, my very first blog was started in WordPress. Had I just stayed there, I would’ve saved myself a lot of trouble, but I think it was a good thing for me at the time. I was on WordPress and felt pretty alone. I didn’t understand how to plug into the blog community and get my blog “out there.” I was writing to myself and my mom and we both already knew what I was doing.
As I started to get sucked into the world of DIY blogs, I saw that almost everyone was on Blogger, so I clicked the “start a blog” button and ran with it. Blogger was easy to use, easy to connect and easy for me to work on myself. Then my blog grew…and grew…and grew and about two years later, I realized I had created a bit of a mess for myself. I had a website (and my original blog) on www.missmustardseed.com. That’s where I wanted to move my blog. So, we had to kick my website off and work through the tangled web of links and sort out the domains and get my humungo blog moved over. I don’t suggest waiting until you have over 800 posts and 47,000 comments to make the switch. There was also two years worth of tweaks, adjustments, widgets and personalization that had to be added to the new blog and we’re still working it out. (Can I insert that my designer, Marina, is an angel? I’ve been such a pain and she has been so patient with me.)
OK, so now that I’m here, what do I think? Well, I already had experience using WP, since it’s what I used for my website and original blog. I did need some guidance (and I still do) and I’m sure I am doing things in the most inefficient way possible, but I’m figuring it out slowly. I was also able to use the site before we went “live”, so I was able to get comfortable with it. I was stressed and nervous about it at first, but as I started using it, I got excited about making the switch. I was really enjoying the features and the dashboard and the updated look. Now that I’m here…I love it and I’m glad I made the switch.
Here are a few new things to look for…
- The comments section is one of my favorite parts. Comments can be in threads, so I can answer a question directly and everyone else can see the answer without having to scroll through every comment. It feels so friendly to me, because we can have a discussion. So, if you ask a question, stop back by to see the answer. I’m trying to figure out how to e-mail the response AND have it post, but we’re still working on how to do that. For now, just check back. (**UPDATE – Creative Kristi shared an awesome plugin with me that will send you an e-mail if I reply to one of your comments on the blog. Nice!
- Many of you have noticed my new profile picture. I had a few people tell me I looked mad in my old picture, so I snapped a new one. Yes. I just set up a tripod and had a little photo shoot with myself. Awkward. Anyway, now I’m smiling, so people can see that I’m friendly.
- I’m often asked where to find a list of my HGTV.com articles and now there is an entire page dedicated to them (with thumbnails!)
- I have a new portfolio page, so you can check out a good representation of my style and some of my favorite pieces.
- We’re still working on some things to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, so hang in there as we get that done. Until then, there is a search box on the side bar. Just enter a key word like, “sheet music wreath” and you will get a list of posts where that phrase is used.
- I’ve also had a request for a translation option, so we’re going to work on that as well.
Advice I would give if you’re thinking about making the switch:
- Work with someone you’re comfortable with. You are trusting that person with a lot of information, pictures, etc, so make sure you choose wisely.
- When possible, get your WordPress site up an running while your other site is still live. That way you can work out the major issues before the transfer happens.
- Move while you’re small. It’s much easier to move a smaller blog than a larger one. I should’ve made the switch long ago, but the fear of how it would affect my numbers and how it might mess things up kept me from it. Those fears were baseless. Everything transferred just fine and all of my readers, friends and subscribers have come with me. The only statistic that was affected is my Alexa ranking, but that will climb back up to where it was and it’s not that big of a deal.
- Enjoy the change. There are a lot of great features available, so do some research and explore how you can use all of the plugins and widgets to make your site better.
I grew up as a military brat and we moved a lot, so I am comfortable with change. This change to WordPress has been a perfect time to revamp and update some things I’ve been meaning to work on for a while and I think it will be better as my blog (hopefully) continues to grow. Thanks for coming along for the ride!