What seemed like a big decision of moving from Blogger to WordPress, turned out to be a good deal as I look back and this blog completes one year on WordPress. I share my experiences with you on how things turned out over the last year since my move from Blogger to WordPress on my own domain.
I talked about some issues and progress in the 6 months on WordPress post. In December 2006, this blog turned 2 years old. The biggest advantage of being on WordPress is being part of a large helpful open community. You have your own domain name, own web hosting and your own independence to progress and develop the blog in whichever way you like.
Domains and Web Hosting
The most crucial decision when I shifted to WordPress was to select a good domain name registrar and a reliable webhosting service. I was lucky to buy my domain name from Godaddy (still offering cheap domains), which has give hassle free service, bundled with private registration. Dreamhost web hosting provides a great package at very reasonable rates. You can read the reasons why I love Dreamhost so much.
I Love WordPress
Importing blogger posts and comments to wordpess is a simple task and latest WordPress versions make it even more simpler and that should not hold you back from making the move (WordPress experts can install a fresh wordpress for free). I would advise you to host WordPress in a sub directory, as you can later add pages, wikis and forums etc. The major advantage is that your root domain name url is working even if your wordpress stored in a subdirectory is having MySQL issues.
Unlike Blogger which takes care of all upgrades in the back-end, with WordPress you need to keep upgrading to enjoy new features, fix bugs and protect your blog with security upgrades. Here are some tips about WordPress 2.1 upgrades. I recently upgraded to WordPress 2.1.2 when a cracker modified the download files on WordPress servers. Those with multiple blogs can try upgrading via Shell access or using the InstantUpgrade plugin.
WordPress plugins I use add considerable functionality to my wordpress installation. I keep a lookout for new plugins being developed by the amazing wordpress community.
Comment Spam continues to be a major issue, but Akismet has it all under control blocking 300,000 spam comments to date. Related Posts is my favorite plugin to effortlessly display related content and get more pageviews (I even added it in feeds). The Google (XML) Sitemaps generator creates sitemaps.org compliant sitemap of my WordPress blog which is supported By Google, MSN Search and Yahoo and helps get my articles indexed better (get the beta).
Plugin sandboxing will make plugin use more safer in next versions. The WordPress plugin directory is a wonderful step to showcase the best wordpress plugins.
Site feed readers have been on a rise and now averaging over 9500 RSS subscribers daily. In fact my feed counts doubled after the Google subscriber counts were added. 370 people have subscribed by email and get a daily news digest. We switched to full feeds a few months back, but there was so much automated content scrapping, that we were forced to get back to partial feeds. You can redirect your wordpress feed to feedburner to track all readers.
The pagerank of this site fell steeply due to the wordpress move is now back. The pagerank of this site is PR6 and most popular pages are PR7. The Page strength is 7. The site traffic has increased to around 210,000+ (210K) unique visitors a month with 330,000+ (330K) pageviews a month. We are one of the top 100 favourited blogs on Technorati and you can still add to Technorati favourites and keep tracking us.
The blog revenue which dropped significantly following the move is now double than before. Google Adsense is still the main revenue source for the blog. Other extra sources of revenue have been text link ads and the feedburner ads. I added Chitika eminimalls off and on, but the revenue was limited. I was lucky to get a blogads invite, but no advertisers so far.
I would take this opportunity to thank all my readers (who spend their valuable time checking updates), 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). Join our Mybloglog community to meet like minded readers.
Thanks for your readership. Hope you got some tips worth your time to become a better blogger and a more informed geek.