Since I have a technology blog, and I’ve been around the “blogging block” for many many years, I’m a go to resource for other bloggers out there in need of technical assistance. One of the most frequent requests I get in my business helping bloggers (Blogger’s Helpdesk) is asking for help moving from Blogger to WordPress. At a certain point as a blogger gains popularity and traction, they realize that Blogger is not the right platform for a successful blog, and decide it’s time to move to WordPress. The pain of moving to wordpress from a free service can be extreme, especially when your traffic tanks and links get broken, and when many of us have the majority of our traffic coming from Pinterest, a change in URL could spell disaster as Pinterest warns people they are being redirected, and it could potentially be spam.
So, I always say that the first and biggest mistake that most beginning bloggers make is to start on Blogger.
I understand the appeal of starting on Blogger… it’s free and it’s pretty easy to figure out. It’s a mistake to start your blog on Blogger though for several reasons, the main one being, who owns your content? On Blogger, your blog lives on Google servers using a service you aren’t paying for. That alone would make me nervous about building my business on that backbone. At any moment Google could decide that it doesn’t make sense to continue that platform, and shut it down. The company has actually been known to do that with a ton of various services. Then in some rare cases Blogger has even been known to shut down individual blogs without warning. The saying is ALWAYS true. You get what you pay for.
I literally get asked constantly by friends, family, acquaintances, strangers, etc about how to start blogging as a business. I’ve always said get your own domain name, get some inexpensive hosting, and create a self hosted WordPress blog. That should be the first step for anyone starting a blog. Even that can be a little daunting for a beginning blogger, and fortunately, now I have a super simple recommendation for the many people that ask! The answer is the new HostGator Optimized WordPress.
When creating a blog on other hosting platforms, you typically have to create a new database, install WordPress, and keep up with the updates (of which are released all the time to help keep those hackers at bay). It can be overwhelming for a beginner. Setting up your site with HostGator though could not be easier! You simply sign up for your account, they get WordPress configured and set up for you, and then you get notified that your site is ready to go!
Once it’s installed it’s incredibly easy to manage various aspects of your website, without a lot of technical knowledge. Most hosting control panel sections have a TON of options, that most every day folks won’t even need to access. This dashboard breaks it down SUPER easily. HostGator Optimized WordPress will even handle all of the updates for your WordPress installation, so you never have to worry about breaking anything if you update yourself (which is most of my clients VERY valid fear). They also regularly scan for malware and hacks within your site to make sure you don’t get taken down just when a post of yours is about to go viral!
Since it’s still a self hosted version of WordPress, you will never have to worry about transferring all of your content to another platform, and it’s a super affordable way to get your feet wet in this business. With HostGator you will be able to upgrade at anytime if your site becomes too big with traffic coming out of your ears, and you need some more advanced hosting (like a dedicated server). If you have already started off with a free blogging service, it’s definitely time to check out HostGator for your website hosting. It’s always better to make the move sooner than later.
Don’t get stuck on a platform that doesn’t care as much about your site as you do, since you aren’t making them any money. Start off on the right foot and your new business will grow!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com