This post is written based on my own experiences with Blogger2WP and includes my own opinions. I did receive their service for free but as I always say, nobody tells me what to write! This is a review, not an advertisement.
I’m a busy woman. I mean, who isn’t busy these days? But I really do have too much on my to-do list and it always feels like I’m spinning plates. I try to keep them all spinning but I know that eventually one plate will fall and then the rest will follow. That is why I try to outsource as much as I possibly can. I suffer from serious overwhelm when I’m busy and even the most simple tasks can seem like climbing Ben Nevis. This isn’t always easy when you’re short on cash, although it is sometimes necessary. A few weeks ago, I made a decision that I wanted to step away from freelancing and focus on my own business again. It’s not like I was even making that much anyway – most “freelance jobs” I was going for were un-credited fillers and reader’s letters unless, of course, you count the focus group I participate in regularly, reviewing French-language rap music for a major record label. It’s fun, but it doesn’t really pay. Hopefully my fiction will start paying the bills again soon and in the meantime, I’m having fun with blogging. It’s a hobby but that doesn’t mean I don’t want my site to look its best.
I want Rock Paper Spirit to be slick and stylish. I want it to have a user-friendly layout and most importantly, I want everything to run smoothly without any hiccups, for me or the readers. The problem is, most of the features and layouts I wanted to add to the site required self-hosting. Switching to self-hosting would require a bit of time and effort that honestly, I simply don’t have at the moment. I have exams to study for, a child to keep up with, books to write and a never-ending pile of ironing. I mean, where does it all come from?! I already spent a week trying to build this site last year and I’ve spent the last year switching everything over from three old Blogger sites as well as collating everything I ever did on MSN Spaces and MySpace, so that I finally have my whole blogging portfolio in one place. Still haven’t managed it but I’m getting there. So, switching to self-hosting seemed like a big headache I wasn’t ready to deal with.
Step forward Blogger2WP.
I discovered this company online through word of mouth and decided to investigate. If you purchase a self-hosting plan through them, they will handle the switch-over to self-hosting for you and if you use their affiliate link, they offer the service for free. It seemed too good to be true, so I read up on them and they seemed like a reputable company, so I reached out to them and asked if I could work with them. My contact at Blogger2WP was Laura who got in touch very soon after I sent my message with some more information. She gave me the self-hosting company’s link so I could familiarise myself with what service they offered and make an informed decision. That was the first thing that I really liked about this experience. They were transparent throughout and willing to let me do my own research rather than bamboozling me with sales jargon and pressure. So, I did some research and then I came across something that made do that emoji face where the guy’s thinking and stroking his chin. You know that one? I noticed that the self-hosting service did a lot of things that Blogger2WP do, so I had to ask Laura, what exactly was their unique selling point? Why should I put my faith in them rather than handle this myself, especially when the self-hosting company was making similar promises. So, here is what Laura explained Blogger2WP would do that SiteGround don’t.
- Install WordPress for you.
- If you already have a custom domain name in use, they install and build the new site on a temporary domain while things are being setup. This way there’s no downtime or interruptions, and no negative user experience. Only when you’re happy with the final result will they take the new site live.
- Provide a premium theme for free and set it all up. (They have themes from pipdig, you can choose between Opulence, Blossom, Gloss Romantic, London Calling, Valentine, Tundra, or Minim).
- Connect your social profiles, setup the menu, configure widgets, install any required plugins, rebuild your contact form, add Google Adsense code (if you have any), add your analytics code (if you have one), connect the Jetpack plugin so you can also migrate your followers, and make sure everything works as expected.
- They also have a guide on how to sign up for the hosting account
They had me at Pipdig. I used a Pipdig theme for my old site on Blogger in 2016 and I remember at the time wishing that I had a WordPress account instead since the themes were better. When I switched to WordPress in 2017, I paid for a premium plan rather than self-hosting and a premium theme. Bad decision, but it’s been rectified now. And the idea of someone else handling this while I got on with the important things (ahem…you’ll find out what they were later in the post) really appealed.
By this point, I was getting excited about what my site might look like. I purchased a SiteGround plan and gave Laura the go-ahead to work on things. The one thing that is worth mentioning is that you have to give your passwords for SiteGround and your blog to Blogger2WP, so there is a huge amount of trust being placed in them. I had that moment of “should I really be doing this?” like most people would as I sent off my passwords, but they were temporary ones, simply for Laura to do the work, and have been changed now that everything is complete.
Laura worked on things while I was having a mini-break last week, so while I was rocking out to the Manics at the Hydro and living the high life in the Hilton, Laura was working really hard to get the site moved over to WordPress.org from WordPress.com and knowing that I was having fun while the work was outsourced made the experience all the sweeter! I didn’t have to spend hours hunched over my laptop until my shoulders were stiff and my neck felt like it had been over-stretched. We’ve all had that feeling, right?
When the work had been done, Laura emailed me with a link to the site before it was taken live. I had to connect Instagram and she talked me through what I’d have to do to connect it. This way of previewing the site also gave me a chance to play around with fonts, colours etc and familiarise myself with things. I really liked how it had turned out and other than connecting Instagram and changing the colours from drab grey to pastel pink there wasn’t much else to do at that stage. I played around with Pipdig widgets and added a little map with my location to the site, just because I thought it was cute and might be fun to have. I couldn’t have had that on my old site.
Within a few hours, Laura got back in touch to say the site was live. I was delighted and proudly tweeted a link to my gorgeous new site – although nobody else really cares about the self-hosting thing and they probably don’t know the difference, I do!
So, there were a couple of things I had to do, and twenty minutes at the laptop handled it. I had to migrate the followers from the old WordPress site over using Jetpack. Not difficult at all and Laura gave me the link to handle this. I downgraded my WordPress plan to free and made it private so that there were no duplicate content issues for Google to get annoyed about. I’ll now have to pay for my domain name every year rather than having it as part of my WordPress plan, and I’m fine with that.
So, overall, I give this service a firm 10/10. Excellent communication, trustworthy and approachable team and easy to get everything done. If anyone has any questions about this, do comment below. And the first smart-arse to comment and tell me how easy this would have been to do myself is getting filtered to spam. It was much easier to get the help and when all I had to do was use an affiliate link, there was really nothing to lose!