Why I Switched from WordPress to Blogger (Part 2)

So, before I get into Part 2 of this journey, if you're NOT a techie person, some of the terms here might not make a whole lot of sense to you. So, please feel free to click off this post, you are NOT hurting my feelings at all! :)

To all my techie friends, particularly WordPress people, you'll probably understand where I'm coming from. Okay, in my previous post (Part 1), I talked about my reasons to transition back to Blogger and I'll talk about how easy, and how complicated the process was. So, let's hop to it!

For many reasons, a slow loading website is a deal breaker and here's a few reasons why:
  • People will click off your site if it takes too long to pull up. I even find myself doing that. We just don't have a lot of time nor patience sitting in front of the computer. We need information FAST! And, a lot of people are using mobiles to access websites and blogs and so if my blog is slow, they'll end up doing business elsewhere.
  • Making changes to a slow website is frustrating, because the days of static websites are behind us. People want to see new content when they come to a blog. For me, I want to share projects I'm working on, photos of trips I've taken, beauty and fashion tips, recipes, products I'm using, and how my day is going. I can hardly do this effectively if it's taking me hours just to work on one post because pages are loading at a snail's pace (no pun intended to the snail!).
  • Making improvements and enhancements are impossible. There's no way to add new features and functionality, because installing more WP plugins was just slowing down my site even more and it ended up stagnating the blog to a point that it could not grow and evolve.
My frustrations grew and I found I dreaded working on my blog. That's not good. I love writing. And, I've invested a lot of time into the design, layout, research, photography, and writing, so I am looking for a return on investment.

Well before I made the decision to switch back to Blogger, I tried to fix the problems by:
  • Changing WordPress themes (sometimes developers write code for a theme that isn't responsive, meaning it won't load on mobiles, but the coding isn't written well and causes all kinds of incompatibility problems)
  • Deactivating all my plugins and reactivating them one by one to try to narrow down if the culprit was just one plugin.
  • Installing optimizing and caching which is designed to make images smaller, get rid of junk files like post revisions, and thereby reducing the time it takes for a website to load; and I was
  • Performing constant speed tests 
However, little progress was made and my blog continued to be slow. I put up with it for as long as I could and then I knew I had to do something drastic. Initially, I wasn't looking forward to moving back to Blogger, because I didn't know how much work would be involved. However, I knew that if I didn't do something, this problem was NOT going away. So, I bit my lip and backed up my site downloading all my posts and pages. Now Blogger doesn't like the WP format so it would mean I needed to find a way to convert the files I backed up so I could import them into Blogger.

I looked and looked and looked on the web, but nothing. The thought of copying/pasting one post at a time with over 100 posts was not an option. That would take forever to do. But, finally after much prayer and more digging online, I found a blog post where the writer moved her blog back to Blogger. She went step by step what she did to get her blog off WP. She also posted a website  link to a WP to Blogger converter. Alas, I found the site to convert my WP posts into a format that Blogger can read! YAY! I followed the instructions (very easy), downloaded the new version of my back up files and imported them into Blogger with no problems! That part was easier than I thought. I'm half way there!

Blogger even gave me the option of publishing all my imported posts or saving them allowing me to post them manually. I chose to manually re-publish, because some of the posts were quite old and this would give me the chance to spruce up the writing and maybe swap out some photos.

The complicated part was the photos and videos attached with my posts. Did they come over easy to Blogger? The answer is NO. I actually had two choices when it came to dealing with the media: (a) keep my photos where they are on on my server and just let my posts point to the photos as normal or (b) transfer all my photos and manually upload them to Blogger's server and then replace each one in every post (and some posts have a minimum of two photo with a maximum of six). Well, you can guess which option I chose! I definitely chose option A. Now, there was some work with the videos because instead of a using a shortcode in WP (just a command between two brackets that would embed videos), I had to open up all the posts with video and go to YouTube, copy/paste the codes and insert them to update those posts. Thankfully, I only had six posts. That could have taken some time if I had had more to do.

This might sound like there was little I had to do, it wasn't. But, I'm so thankful it was as bad as it could have been. There was help out there and getting those posts converted to Blogger was key. The next step was to uninstall WordPress but I manually removed the folders no longer needed. I just left the media files right where they are :)  And, my online shop pages were carried over too and linked to my blog. PERFECT!

Now, I've got a brand new site (sort of) with a new template design that came ready to use out of the box by ThemeExpose.com and a blog that loads fast, easy to use, and not heavily technical as before. I'm a happy camper. Sometimes you just have to start again when things aren't working.

My advice to anyone that is thinking of downgrading a service or product -- sometimes you just don't need all the fancy bells and whistles. Sometimes you just want a simple process and that's fine! At the end of the day, this is my job, my ministry, and I don't want to hate it. I want every aspect of writing and working my blog to give me satisfaction and I believe I'm well on my way :) Thanks for reading!