If my sense of time is right (which it usually isn’t) it’s been approximately one month since I made the jump to move to WordPress! I wish I could provide cake for this special occasion, but I can’t afford any. Anyway, moving to WP is probably the best decision I’ve made as a blogger, and even though it took a lot of thinking, I’m glad that I just held my tongue about subdomains and went for it.
I’m not usually the kind of person to get all meta and write blog posts about blogging, but I thought that this would make a good post. When I was originally drafting this out, I realised that I was almost accentuating the negatives, which is a horrible habit of mine, so I evened it out by remembering to say what I like about the platform too. Because my brain is a butt and tries to make me hate everything.
More freedom with customisation
If this isn’t the main reason to move to WordPress then I don’t know what is. On free platforms like Blogger and free WordPress (especially free wordpress imo) there’s a huge limit on the amount of freedom you can have. But with self-hosted WordPress, you’re as free as you can possibly be to do what you want with your blog. If I want to have stars instead of normal boring bullet points I can (i could also do that on blogger, but that’s not my point), if I want to automatically have a signature at the end of my posts without having to insert it every time I can. I am a little more scared of breaking things now than I was on Blogger because I know very little about coding, but at least Google is always there to help.
A better comment system
Okay, I know I said that customisation was the main reason to move to self-hosted, but for me, I wanted the default comment system. I know what you’re thinking “you wanted the default system???” and yes, I did. Blogger’s default comment system is a total butt. It makes you log in and it doesn’t notify you of when your comment has been replied to. I don’t know about any of you lovely people, but I don’t have the time or energy to manually check when somebody has replied to my comment.
An app that actually works
Blogger used to have a smartphone app once upon a time and it sucked. You pretty much couldn’t do anything with it. All you could do was write posts, but not even format them properly. You couldn’t read posts from other blogs or reply to comments, or anything like that. And then it just disappeared.
WordPress’ app is an actual lifesaver. It lets me write and format posts, upload images, reply to comments, be notified of when other people reply to me, read other people’s posts (even though I don’t use the reader), and even do minor customisation things. That’s pretty much what I expect from a blogging app, and yet Blogger’s app completely failed on that.
Plugins are great. I wish I could use as many as I could, but unfortunately, that would slow everything down, and I know that nobody wants to visit a slow site (looking at you, tvtropes, and your constantly refreshing ads). At the moment, I have a few basic plugins that were recommended, and also a couple that are more cosmetic like FontAwesome, and one that lets me upload my own default avatar, but I’m seriously lusting over the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin. I don’t even write reviews anymore, but I just want it so badly. Too bad I can’t afford it 😭
If someone were to ask me to pick one thing I miss from Blogger (which nobody would ever do), it would definitely be Google Photos. WordPress’ media library really pales in comparison to Google Photos because it gets cluttered so fast. I make graphics for every single post and having to scroll through all of them just to find the graphics that I use the most is a huge pain in the butt.
My ideal media library would have folders just like Google Photos so that I can find things more easily, but unfortunately for that, I’d have to fork over a ton of money for a plugin. Or WP could just offer proper integration with Google Photos but that’s probably not going to happen.
Am I still upset about this? Yes. Am I always going to be upset about this? Until I somehow miraculously fix it, yes. If I could go back to 2011 and tell newbie-blogger me one thing it would be to not change comment systems so many times. Because I changed from default to Disqus, then back to default, then to IntenseDebate, and then back to Disqus again, and then moved to WordPress, I’ve lost a lot of comments that are now stuck in Disqus and I have literally no idea of how to get them back. Hopefully, I’ll get them back someday but that’ll take a lot of time and patience, and I am not a very patient person at all.
Everyone says this all the time but self-hosted WordPress is not cheap. I was so impatient to move that I went for free hosting but I still forked over a lot of money for my theme (£39 for a theme is not cheap, let me tell you). Because I don’t have any income at the moment I definitely can’t afford to change my hosting to an actual paid host and get my own domain and every time I look at the order forms I get extremely freaked out because you have to pay so much money up front. And if that much money came out of my bank account in one go, my parents would be extremely suspicious.
Ooh boy this gets on my nerves. I’m more likely to make graphics for my posts than take photos, which suits me just fine because sometimes I’m too lazy or forgetful to take photos. But the thing that bugs me is that sometimes when I upload my images to the media library, they end up blurry. Now, here’s where it gets even more annoying: they look completely fine in the post editor thingy, just not in my actual posts. I’m currently looking for ways to fix this soon because I really hate having blurry images.