I spent Labor Day importing Treasure Tables from Blogger to WordPress, which is why things looked funny here for most of the day!
I decided to make the switch because this site, and its readership, are growing (which is great!), and I wanted a more robust platform to work with. The more I posted using Blogger, the more I felt that I was butting up against the limitations of that service — and it’s easier to switch sooner than later!
Thank you for bearing with me while I got things moved over — hopefully you’ll agree that it was worth it! For those who use Blogger and might be thinking about making this switch themselves, I’ll cover my approach here.
1. Research: I looked into WordPress and Movable Type, and weighed their advantages against the pain-in-the-butt factor of making the switch, and I took notes throughout. It’s not a hugely complicated process, but I’m glad I did my homework first.
2. Installation: My webhost, DreamHost (affiliate link), offers a one-click install for WordPress. You make a few choices, clink “Install,” and you’re off — very cool.
3. Importing from Blogger: Losing 20+ posts and 200+ of your excellent comments in the move wasn’t an option, but fortunately clever — and generous! — people have made this switch before me. I used a custom script by Andy Skelton to import all of my posts and comments, and followed Catsudon’s step-by-step tutorial for that script; both are excellent. I wound up having a couple of minor problems, both fairly easily solved by reading the comments on those two sites (and neither of which affected the outcome, which was 100% good).
4. Choosing a Theme: There are oodles of themes for WordPress, and I leaned on two great resources to choose mine: the WordPress Theme Viewer and Emily Robbins’ massive list of WordPress templates. In the end, I settled on Connections, by Vanilla Mist, which was just about perfect for what I had in mind.
Tweaking the Site: I have good knowledge of HTML and limited knowledge of CSS, but combined with the extensive documentation on the WordPress Codex and a willingness to play around with the files, that was enough to get the results I wanted.
So what what was I after that Blogger couldn’t provide? Four things in particular, all standard in WordPress:
- A comment form
- Native trackback
- Great customization
Blogger’s hosted-only comments — which took you away from the site, onto a clunky comments page, and then back — were what really drove me to switch. (Well, that and Spring Clean Your Blog, a post on ProBlogger, my favorite blog about blogging — it came along at just the right time!)
Unless you just want to stick with the default template (nothing wrong with that!), WordPress requires more tinkering than Blogger — but there’s a lot more to tinker with, and I think the tradeoff is well worth it.
Welcome to the new Treasure Tables — I hope you like it!
how many hours did this take, would you be so kind as to tell me? and do you have broadband? thanks!
It took me about 2 hours to do the import, because of the problems that I mentioned; with no issues, it would have been a few minutes.
Picking a template took about 8 hours over several days. I’m anal — your mileage may vary. 😉
Tweaking the site (again: anal) has taken about 12 hours of fiddling so far.
I do have broadband, which certainly helps. 🙂
I’m picking templates right now. It’s sloooooow going, however. Most are pretty bad. You’re right, Connections is pretty nifty; I immediately liked it. (It helps that the 10 just prior to it are junk) 🙂
Any tweaks/plugins you currently using?
My other top choices for themes were Minima Plus, Relaxation (and its three-column variant) and Almost Spring. Connections won out in part because it needed the least tweaking. 😉
The only plugin that I installed was Live Preview, which is what generates the as-you-type preview of your comment that appears just below the comment box.
Haven’t made it to those yet. 😉 Almost Spring is on my short list #2, right behind subLIMEnal. Blix, draft, and FastTrack all get honorable mentions. =)
Check out Popup Image Gallery and Bad Behavior, too.