Why I Left Blogger for Self-Hosted Wordpress + 5 Plugins That Make My Blog A Supermachine / by Erin Baynham

This post is part of the Scandalous Beauty 25 Days To A Better Beauty And Fashion Blog Challenge! For even more tips, be sure to check out Erin's Guide to Better Beauty Blogging. My blogging career started with Blogger aka Blogspot. I was happy with html templates and Friend Connect. They even gave the option to integrate Adsense, woo hoo!  It worked seamlessly with Google and everything was great. Upon analysis of my blog, I realized that I wanted to upgrade it a bit. It needed a more specifics, more something. I wanted pages (which Blogger now has), super customized templates and all the things I can't remember because I've had Wordpress for so long.

There is nothing wrong with Blogger.

I think it's the best place to start. There is less detail to tamper with and it's absolutely awesome for beginners (Although, if you start with Wordpress, you will get the tough stuff out of the way.) I loved being able to upload and insert multiple images at once. But ultimately, there was a level of customization that I didn't have with Blogger. I wanted more options. Besides that, do you know how many times I've looked at my twitter feed and people are complaining that Blogger is down or malfunctioning? It happens all the time.

Edit: Please let me also say, I would even choose Wordpress.com over Blogger. It doesn't give you all of the options that a self-hosted account would give, but it is a great way to get the fundamentals of Wordpress.

I haven't been on Blogger in years, so I'm going to look at it now to see if things have gotten any better  how things have changed.

*5 minutes later*

...And it still looks as bland as it did before. Well Alrighty.

Wordpress was a total shock when I first got it. I was already terrified that it wouldn't import the years of content and comments that were at my old site. Then I log into Wordpress, and it was a whole new world of blogging jargon. There were so many options, I didn't know what to do with myself. I got what I wanted, and I was freaked the hell out overwhelmed.  I self-hosted with Godaddy, and was just getting my feet wet with the backend. I had to step out of my html comfort zone and get acquainted with CSS and PHP. I was in the Woothemes (my template provider of choice) constantly. There was a lot of trial and error, a lot of long night, and a hell of a lot of learning. I couldn't be happier.

Plugins are what really threw my curiosity over the edge. If you're looking for another thing to make blogging easier or more convenient, there's probably a plugin for it. These downloadable features sometimes integrate with other programs, and make blogging a happier place. I'll be touching on these later during the "25 days to a better fashion and beauty blog" within the month. Here are 5 that I love:

1. Editorial Calendar-View a visual calendar of your posts as you draft them.

2. Mouseflow-Watch video of readers as they navigate your site. This is one of the most outrageously interesting things ever.

3.WP Touch-Make your blog easier to view via mobile devices.

4. Clicky-Real-time statistics, not the most detailed, but 98% accurate.

5. WP About Author-Remind your readers about you, the awesome author, at the end of each post.

There it is, my honest feelings about why Blogger got the boot.

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