Time sure flies! Today it has been 6 months since we moved from blogger to WordPress on 15 March 2006. I would like to share my experiences with you how things turned out since my move from Blogger to WordPress on my own domain… and was it worth it!
Starting with WordPress
Importing blogger posts and comments to wordpess was a simple task thanks to Blogger Import tool. I am glad I hosted WordPress in a sub directory, as now I can use the root to store other directories, wikis and forums (which I closed down due to lots of spam). Read about my initial reactions to WordPress. But undoubtedly the new Blogger beta (with known issues) is a much more competition to WordPress now. Yet I love WordPress.
One thing I miss about Blogger is automated updates. Google automatically updates and bug fixes your blogging platform for you. You need to manually upgrade your WordPress to get new features, security and bug fixes. I recently upgraded to WordPress 2.0.4 and it was my first WordPress upgrade which was simpler than I expected.
Remember it is much easier to delete a blogger blog by mistake, so always back up your blog. Also remember, with WordPress you are on your own (with a lot of freedom to break and bug your blog), with your own domain and hosting bandwidth. Your problems are your own now and you can easily mess up your blog if you are not careful.
Traffic steadily increased over these 6 months. Currently traffic is averaging 90000+ unique visitors and 150,000+ pageviews per month. This is much more than the previous site, but I guess there are more posts to crawl now than before and WordPress is more SEO optimized. This month is half through and there are already 60000+ visitors, looking good…
Site Feed Readers
I think the best decision was to offer a Feedburner feed as the default single feed. Not only did it offer professional feed management services, but allowed easy migration of my feed readers. Each feed reader is important, as they spend a part of their valuable time reading what you write about. And it is very difficult to tell them to update their feed url. With feedburner, I just had to change the source url, and I feedburner started getting the wordpress feed.
The feed readers have doubled over the last 6 months from 1700+ numbers to 3600+ now. Most of my subscribers are using Bloglines. I recently redirected default wordpress feed to feedburner, lets see if the numbers increase… I started advertising in feeds using feedburners ad network and that is getting me some additional revenue too. I switched to full feeds initially to enhance your feed reader experience, but unprohibited automated content copying forced me to switch back to partial feeds. You can even edit your feed to add related posts and increase pageviews.
Email readers have steadily increased and Feedblitz shows that 200+ readers get email updates daily. You too can grab our feed or subscribe by email and stay updated. You can also add to Technorati favourites and keep tracking us, after all we are one of the top 100 favourited blogs on Technorati.
Search Engine Rankings
A search for quickonlinetips.com will reveal that we are well indexed on Google (46600 entries), MSN (3980entries), Yahoo (13500 entries), Alexa (rank 18888) and Technorati (rank 2,270 – 1,338 links from 722 blogs). It just takes time to get all those backlinks back.
Domains and Webhosting
Though I hosted on Dreamhost after considerable research, a major factor was the cheap webhosting deal. But I realized Dreamhost is an excellent webhosting provider and I want to tell you the 10 reasons I love Dreamhost. There are many cool things you can do with your own webhosting. I could use the Google sitemaps (now blogger can also do that). I could use text link ads now since it requires some plugin on wordpress and your own server. I could host my own favicon (or try Myfavatar). And my own external CSS stylesheets.
GoDaddy is undoubtedly the best domain name registrar I have encountered. It has provided a feature rich, freebie rich secure domain service. Getting your domain name is very essential for your brand value. Even if you decide to shift to your own webhosting later, your domain name maintains your pagerank. In this era of privacy, do not hesitate to spend a little more on private domain name registration. Also remember to renew expiring domains and lock them.
How is the earning?
Revenue is getting better with more search engine traffic and as the blog gains more prominence in the blogosphere. Though Google Adsense remains the primary source of income, other advertising programs link Text Ad links, Chitika Eminimalls, Adbrite do get in some additional revenue.
What is still Missing?
Though the Blogger site had a PR6, the current pagerank is still stuck at PR 4. There are has not been a major update since the last 4 months and I expect to get the PR6 back soon since the thousands of backlinks are back in place. We are still not listed on the Wayback Machine or Archives.org. They usually list websites after 6-8 months, so I guess it is time and we should be live there soon. I guess that would also contribute to a good PR.
Was it Worth It?
Definitely. I would say the brand value attached with your domain name is tremendous. It helps you get credibility, site traffic, and advertisers. The freedom, control, features and security which WordPress provides is again outstanding. Powered by a huge community of WordPress techies, developers, fans and supporters – WordPress is possibly the best blogging platform available today.
Get your own domain name and webhosting if you are even a little serious about blogging. It is worth it. Get a domain name today, even if you want to host elsewhere (works by domain masking), and when you decide to get your own webhosting, switching will be easier. I hope you gain from my experience. But if you are absolutely new to blogging, then Blogger and WordPress.com are definitely much simpler alternatives to get started, where you can concentrate on blogging with full backend support you dont have to worry about.
I would take this opportunity to thank all my readers (who spend a valuable part of their time in their busy life to check what is fresh here), bloggers (who graciously link back and spread the word), commentors and critics (who help us improve and add to the joy of blogging) and advertisers (who keep this blog running motivated by the power of money).
Thanks for your readership. Hope you had a nice reading and got some tips worth your time to become a better blogger and a more informed geek. You can subscribe to get updates and advertise to showcase your site here.
Update: We are now 1 year old on WordPress. Read about our milestone.