After one week of struggling with HTML, Php and other barbaric names… here I am on Wodrpress !
The move wasn’t that smooth… but quite interesting actually.
I had made the decision to switch from Blogger to WordPress a few weeks earlier. I wanted more flexibility, I wanted to learn more about coding, and I’ve been blogging for almost a years now – I knew I wasn’t going to quit anytime soon.
My quest started on Bloggeries, where I’m a moderator (yeah, I ban people for fun and I love being sadistic !). I got basic advices for the move : I learned that I would lose my PG3 (oh well) but that it was possible to import all my Blogger post to WordPress fairly easily, my main concern.
So, I needed a domain name. I settled for “Correr Es Mi Destino” (“to run is my destiny” in Spanish, a line from a song I love), following Jorge’s advice (I was going to pick my Chinese name as a domain !). I bought my domain name at GoDaddy : the transaction was smooth, although I hated to website design and omnipresent ads everywhere.
I then picked a hosting site. I settled for Site5 and their $5/ month deal. Registering was easy but activating my account took way too long in my opinion… however, a few days later I was all set.
Site5 is quite user-friendly and I was able to install WordPress easily thanks to a Fantastico script. Here I was, with the default WordPress template for the first time on my own .com. How emotional. Nah, just kidding, I’m not that bad.
The WordPress interface is quite similar to Blogger’s. I didn’t have major problem there. However, the real fun started with the template customization…
I knew importing my heavily-customized CSS from Blogger was a big no-no. But since I didn’t want to pick a free template, I tried my best to recreate my Blogspot atmosphere. I picked a free 3 columns template and started from there. I’m quite comfortable with CSS, but Php was a nightmare at first… Just changing the header took me almost a full day (fortunately, I was on holidays !). The sidebars weren’t very cooperative when it came to setting margins and my main content disappeared several time. Let’s just say I was quite bitchy focused sometimes at home !
I then imported my blog from Blogger. Or at least, tried. WordPress 2.2 has a build-in import function, but unfortunately it doesn’t work anymore because Google recently changed their API. A quick fix exists (editing blogger.php) but it doesn’t seem to work for WordPress blogs hosted on a personal domain. Alright, what do I do, then ? I asked for help on the WordPress support forum but got no replies… my biggest disappointment during this move was actually the WP forum. Questions aren’t answered and when they are, the moderators and admins are extremely technical, thus making things harder. I understand there’s no easy way and there’s some research to be done, but we have to start somewhere… right ? I finally figured a way around : I started a blog on WordPress.com, imported my Blogger from there and then imported from WordPress.com to my own website.
My fonts were a bit messed up in the process but I’m working on that… and I’m sure there are still a few bugs here and there – should be fixed soon. There were a thousands little things to do, once the basic template was looking fine : installing the favicon, setting up my archives, importing my blogroll, my old widgets, signing up with Google Analytics… all that took a while.
Overall, I’m quite happy with WordPress. Sure, it’s much more technical that I though it would be : Blogger is a good place to start a blog quickly with minimum knowledge, and I’m glad I learned my basics there. WordPress is extremely flexible : thousands of plugins are available, designing new functions is a bliss and there’s no limit on what I can do. Feels good, very good.
I moved my blogroll with me so you’re all here guys ! If I forgot someone, if your link isn’t working please let me know and I’ll fix it right away. If you can update your own blogroll with this new Correr Es Mi Destino, that would be great too !
Now I’m gonna stop being such a nerd and I’ll be back to my usual writing soon !