July 6, 2011

I'm Moving to WordPress on August 1st

Doesn't get much simpler than that. Blogger has been kind to me these past 2 years, but I've realized that it was time to stop mooching off the freebie arrangement and pony up for self-hosted goodness. That said, Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed will be moving to WordPress on August 1, 2011.

If anything, this has become rather timely, as Google plans to retire both the Blogger and Picasa brands. They won't be deleted or taken down; rather, both will undergo complete rebranding. While I'm sure this won't impact Blogger users too much, Google has said that the rebranding should happen as early as the next 6 weeks, to coincide with the launch of Google+. It all just seems to be falling in place that it's time for me to make the move to WordPress. (For more information about the Blogger/Picasa rebranding, check out this article here at Mashable.)

Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed Transition FAQ

Q: Why the move to WordPress?
A: A few reasons, really. The first is having a more reliable server; I've paid for annual hosting whereas on Blogger, I'm at the mercy of Google. If Blogger goes down, my content goes with it, as it happened during the Great Blogger Blackout of May 2011. At WordPress, I can even schedule my blog backups, whereas with Blogger, I have to do it manually. The second reason is WordPress offers a level of customization and functionality that simply doesn't exist on Blogger. I've been building the new blog over at a mirrored domain and boy howdy, you can do a LOT with WordPress. And thirdly, I'm moving because of this new development about Blogger/Picasa rebranding; it just makes sense to transition.

Q: Wait, what do you mean "new" blog?
A: Well, the name and content is the same, but I've been doing LOTS of redesigning based on feedback from my Blog Survey. While I don't want to give anything away with the new design, I will say this: be ready for a more conservative use of pink and a header image that actually makes sense. (See, I listen to your feedback!)

Q: Speaking of Blog Survey, who won the $25 Visa Gift Card giveaway?
A: I'm glad you asked. I got 81 responses and of those, 58 agreed to participate in the giveaway. Each giveaway participant was assigned a number based on their row number in my spreadsheet. A number was chosen at random via random.org. The winner is.... Jo of MoJo Working! Congrats! It's in the mail as soon as I get your mailing address :)

Q: What two things can I do right now as a reader to prepare for the move?
A1. Update ANY of your bookmarks for this website to www.hannahweptsarahlaughed.com. If you continue to link to hannahweptsarahlaughed.blogspot.com, it won't work anymore. This includes anywhere you may have linked to my blog, such as a blogroll. Don't worry about posts you linked to - WP has nifty plugins to (hopefully) redirect those links to my space at WP.

A2. Update ANY feeds to which you're currently subscribed in your Reader of choice to point to http://feeds.feedburner.com/HannahWeptSarahLaughed (capitalization counts). This is super important because if you're using my old blogspot Atom feed link, it won't show up in your Reader.

Q: Are you deleting your blogspot.com account (or Google Blogs as the Blogger rebrand is anticipated to be called)?
A: Nope. If I do, all of my (hundreds of) darling image links will break. However, it will become delisted from search engines and will no longer be visible. That's why it's super important to make sure you take care of the 2 steps above to make sure you have no lapse in reading.

Q: Are your moving all of your comments over too?
A: You bet! Believe it or not, I've been able to import not only all my posts (including drafts) but each and every single one of my 2600+ comments. The great thing about WP is that I'll have better comment response functionality as well.

Q: What else do I need to know?
A: August 1st is the anticipated launch date. It is very likely that you may see the change as early as July 30th as I'll be making the transition over the weekend. How early you see it will depend on your servers and when my blog was last cached and when they update their server. Seriously though, please update your bookmarks for this blog, including the feed link.

Q: Who inspired the move?
A: Mel from Stirrup Queens was the first blogger to put the bug in my ear last November. Then at the SITS Girls Boston Bloggy Boot Camp Conference, it was basically the #1 piece of repeated advice I heard all day. I finally bought Sharon Hujik's eBook, How to Move from Blogger to WordPress and it's basically been my Bible for the past month in making the big leap.

So set your alarms and mark your calendars. Come August 1st, things are going to look a whole lot different around here!


SmartOneKym said...

I recently made the switch, albeit from Typepad (the Devil) over to WordPress. Typepad's structure doesn't allow for such a smooth, seamless transition, so I basically have to move posts over one by one by copying and pasting, and I've lost all of my comments and SEO stats. The alternative is paying some computer genius hundreds of dollars (literally, I've called) to do it, and that's just not going to happen.

I'm glad your transition will be much smoother, and I can't wait to check out your new digs.

junebug said...

Yeah! I'm making the move, too, and using the same book.

I was wondering if some major Blogger changes were coming with all the problems they were having.

jjiraffe said...

Woo Hoo! WordPress users unite :)

I never used Blogger. In the beginning, I thought not having Blogger was a mistake because of the follower function and the fact that all the IFers seemed to be on it, but I like all of the functionality on WordPress. Is it perfect? No. But it suits my needs. Right now, anyway ;)

Heather said...

That's great news! I also am now using self-hosted wordpress. (wordpress.org) Earlier posts are still at thefertiityblogs.com and I guess they'll just stay there.
How do you back up using wordpress, by the way?