One of my most common blog redesign requests is transferring content from Google’s Blogspot to a self-hosted WordPress blog.
There are a variety of good reasons to shift from Blogspot:
- Creative Options: Blogspot is a decent choice for new bloggers testing out the process. However graphic choices are limited if you want to customize your blog’s color scheme and layout.
- Limited Functionality: Blogspot is made for blogging only. It isn’t a platform for integrating website pages, eCommerce, email list building, and landing pages.
- Branding: I personally cringe whenever I see a business blogging via Blogspot. The appearance of blogspot.com in their URL immediately detracts from their branding. It says “we aren’t serious enough to invest in bringing you a professional, seamless, and creatively compelling experience.”
But, there are some legitimate issues to consider before making the switch. While none of these concerns would be a deal-breaker for doing the change, they need to be addressed.
1: SEO: “Doesn’t Google favor Blogspot blogs?”
The concern is that Blogspot is a Google service and Blogspot users may benefit from keeping their content on the platform. I’ve yet to see proof of Google penalizing non-Blogspot blogs. Google is focused on content quality and is working hard to fill its index with great sites that delight their users.
It’s important to know that a self-hosted WordPress blog has and advantage in the SEO department because of effective SEO focused plugins available (i.e. WordPress SEO, SEOPressor, All-In-One SEO, and Scribe). These plugins allow you to fine-tune your pages on-page SEO factors to help your rankings.
2: Ease of Use: “I heard that WordPress is hard to use”
Blogspot is exceptionally easy to use. Google offers a simple trade-off, you get ease of use and sacrifice customization and ownership of your content. This trade-off is looking worse everyday.
Also, WordPress is exceptionally easy to use as well. But there is a slight learning curve to get used to the new interface and options. After doing a Blogspot to WordPress transfer, I set aside 60 minutes to train my clients on the new WordPress interface. All of them are comfortable with posting new blogs and pages within the first 30 minutes.
3: Ongoing Costs: “Won’t I be spending more money if I switch to a self-hosted blog?”
Yes. Blogspot is free and that’s hard to beat.
While the WordPress software is free, you will need to invest in a professional theme ($40 – $100), hosting ($6 – $20/month) and a new domain name ($10 – $30). These costs are investments. In return you get a professional appearance, 100% control over your content, flexibility to monetize your audience, and incredible customization options.
4: Technical Expertise: “Wordpress requires more technical expertise to use effectively”
WordPress is open-source software. Anyone can crawl under the hood and customize their WordPress blog anyway they want. Geeks like me love this because I can create my own themes and plugins to suit my needs. But technical expertise is NOT required to publish a fantastic blog.
99% of my clients swear they are technical Luddites but they all post regularly and rarely need help with technical questions.
WordPress is designed to get you blogging immediately. As your blog grows you may need specific help with certain features. That help is easy to find for free with some research or via sites dedicated to WordPress technical services.
5: Broken Links: “Won’t all my Blogspot links break if I transfer my blog?”
The process of migrating your blog should include redirecting visitors from your old Blogspot blog to the correct page on your new self-hosted WordPress Blog. This redirect will maintain your Google links and authority too.
6: Traffic Drop: “I heard that people lose about half their traffic when they move from Blogspot.”
Blogspot users are accustomed to using site traffic information provided on their Blogspot dashboard. These numbers report human visitors and “bots” which are automated scripts used to find and index new web pages. This means that standard Blogspot site traffic numbers are inflated.
After migrating to WordPress and installing Google Analytics, your traffic stats will only report unique “human” visitors. This number is lower but more useful since it is reporting real traffic.
Another cause for lower traffic is a botched migration that breaks links sending users to 404 pages. However a careful transfer process will solve this problem.
7: WordPress.com versus Self-Hosted WordPress Blogs.
WordPress.com is similar to Blogspot. You can have WordPress host your blog and offer you comparable services. However this is just a lateral move that doesn’t deliver better dramatically better options. You still are limited creatively, locked into one layout, be forced to pay for added functionality along with other drawbacks.
If you are going to make the transfer, move to a self-hosted blog that gives you the long term options and flexibility you need to succeed.
This can be a confusing topic so go ahead and ask questions in the comments below. If you want to make the transfer but need help, consider this.