Over my first three years of blogging, I found myself asking Google the same question every few months: Is it worth it to switch to WordPress?
Was it worth the cost, the disruption, the hassle, the unknown element of learning a new platform? Unfortunately, Google never gave me a very clear answer.
Fortunately, a very kind blogger who was far ahead of me in her blogging journey generously shared her advice that the switch to self-hosted WordPress was very much worth it.
And now, I thought I’d contribute my story, so that when my readers and others typing this question into Google might find the answer, at least from my experience.
Is it worth it to Switch to WordPress?
There are a few things to consider when looking at the switch to self-hosted WordPress.
1. Is the The Cost worth it?
Not surprisingly, for me, the potential cost of switching to a self hosted site was intimidating. I had started out on the free blogging platform offered by Google called Blogger. I eventually did purchase a custom domain name (that means you don’t have a blogger.com/ web address, but a more professional one like www.growingslower.com. However the limitations of the platform were still great.
Over the years, I got pretty good at hacking Blogger and html coding to make it look how I wanted, but there were still a lot of limitations. Still it was free. Before we were out of debt, there was no way I would consider the extra expense.
However, if I had realized that it was truly so affordable to get started with a private host, I would have done it much sooner.
2. Is the The Learning Curve worth it?
As I mentioned, I knew Blogger pretty darn well after 3 full years of using it for my blog. I’m a busy stay at home mom with a 1 and 3 year old, a home and a blog to run. I really didn’t feel up to the challenge of learning a whole new platform.
I now know I need not have worried about that either. There is a reason WordPress is the most popular blog platform in the world. It wouldn’t have gotten so popular if it weren’t so easy to use. Yes, there was a learning curve to get it to do everything that I wanted it to do. But to get my blog set up, it only took a few days, and was really easy.
3. Is the The Disruption and Hassle worth it?
When I finally started thinking seriously about transferring to self-hosted WordPress, the blog was growing really well. Traffic was up. My community of amazing readers was growing, and I worried that something would go wrong during the transfer.
Would I lose my links? My images? Something worse? I didn’t want to lose all the traction I’d gained, or my hard work over 3 years of blogging. (If you’re just starting out, this won’t be an issue for you.)
In a lot of ways, I’m pretty risk averse. I thought it’d be better to just keep my head down and weather the limitations of Blogger rather than make the leap to WordPress.
I need not have worried. My host took care of making the switch for me, and everything went great. I was able to get my theme set up how I wanted it before the site went live, and the transfer took place in the middle of the night, so there was zero disruption to my readers.
Is it worth it to Switch to WordPress?
Despite my reservations and with the encouragement of the other bloggers in my network, I made the switch, and I am so glad I did.
Not only does WordPress offer an almost unlimited number of options for building a blog, business, or website, (so much more than I ever dreamed of doing with Blogger) it also turned out to be very easy to use and very affordable to get started.
I was able to create an online store to share my courses and books. I also was able to set up my courses online to make them much easier to use, so I could offer a lot more valuable content to my students in one organized place that I can easily update.
Ironically, Blogger is not very well optimized in the search results by their parent Google and other search engines. One of the most immediate benefits I saw after switching to a private host was that I immediately began to get more search traffic. In the first month it increased by 34% and has steadily grown since then.
Whether you’re wanting to get started with a blog or business, creating a self hosted website on WordPress should be one of your first and most important steps, and one you shouldn’t be afraid to try.
Do you have a blog or website? What are your biggest goals and challenges? Share your story in the comments!