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Making the Switch – How To: The Ultimate WordPress Guide!

Jan
11

7 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

I know I’ve told you my contemplations about moving to WordPress, and the followup, but what about what happened in between? What about the actual move? That’s what this post is for – to show you how you can make the move to WordPress, too. I promise it’s easier than you think if you take your time and stick with the decision.

STEP 1: There are two versions of WordPress? Help!

Yes, there are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

The difference between the two, in simple terms, is that the .com version is entirely free. When you sign up, it’s much the same way as when you did with Blogger. However, be aware that if you have a custom layout/theme, or want a custom layout/theme, you won’t be able to have it. WordPress comes with over a hundred theme options for you to choose from, and there are “Premium” ones you can pay for, but you must use one of their themes. You can change the header and sometimes colors, but that’s about it, unless you want to upgrade for $30 to be able to add CSS and change fonts.

Make note, though, that even though you can’t customize much, you can have your own domain.

On the flip side, the .org version is free to download. However, it requires an installation, as opposed to the .com version which is just you signing up for a blog account like Blogger. This is where everyone asks, Why do I need to install it? You need to download and install it because, while it is free, the hosting is not free. Granted, WordPress can host if you pay, or you can find cheaper hosting sites. Most hosting sites usually come with a free domain, too. So if you aren’t hasty you can get a two-for-one kind of deal for your site. By using the .org download, you can have an entirely custom layout/theme; you’re not limited to what WordPress has to offer.

The problem is that many people fear the installation, so they put off the move.

If you’re afraid or confused about the WordPress installation process, these guides may help you:

A user step-by-step guide to installing WordPress.

The official WordPress installation guide.

STEP 2: Do I have to install WordPress on my own? I’m horrible with computers! Help!

The good news is no, you do not have to install WordPress on your own if you don’t want to. How is this possible? Well, you have a few options:

  • Ask your layout/theme designer. If you’re having a custom layout/theme made, your designer may offer installation services for free or a small fee. You might think you don’t want to pay, but think of the hassle it’ll save if you’re really that uncomfortable with the thought of installing on your own. If they don’t list installation as a service, ask! Most designers I’ve been referred to have offered to set up everything I needed for WordPress. Plus, asking can’t hurt.
  • Some sites/programs will do the installing for you. For example, the web host Fantastico has the ability to automatically install applications to a website. In short: It will do the work for you!
  • Use visualization to your advantage. Don’t like to read long installation guides? No idea where that file goes or what a client is? No problem. Use a video guide to help so you can have someone not only show but talk you through the process. The video guide below starts at the very beginning, before even downloading and installing WordPress; it begins with getting a host and domain.

 

STEP 3: OK, I know there is a .com & .org WordPress. Which is right for me?

So now you know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. But which should you use?

Whether you have a domain or not, if you’re unable to or don’t care to get a custom layout/theme, WordPress.com is your best bet. It’s free, easy to sign up and super easy to import everything from Blogger.

If you have a domain and host (or are at least wanting/planning to self-host) and have your own custom layout/theme, then downloading the latest version of WordPress from WordPress.org is what you need to do. You’ll have the freedom to make your site exactly how you want it to be without the limitations on customization of WordPress.com.

STEP 4: I’m still not sold. What, exactly, does WordPress look like?

Click through the thumbnails to see what WordPress looks like! They’ll show what the Dashboard and Post Editor look like, what’s it like looking through themes and the Import and Widget pages. For a comparison, you can also check out the WordPress.org Dashboard and Post Editor; the other menu tabs are all relatively the same.

WordPress.com:

          

WordPress.org:

  

 

STEP 5: I can do it!

Yes, you can do it! You’re so close!

You know the differences and you’ve got the guides and screencaps. You’re ready to switch to WordPress and you’re ready to do so with confidence. Just believe in yourself and take your time.

REMEMBER: As you’re making the change, nothing you have on Blogger will be destroyed. You can import your posts to WordPress without losing what you have on Blogger.

So, no pressure!

The end! You made it!

I hope this How To post is informative enough and answers the questions you may have about WordPress. I’ve tried to reply to every little question I’ve gotten. If there’s something you’re still confused about or you just have a general comment, please don’t hesitate to ask/post in the comments or on Twitter; I welcome and encourage all feedback.

I couldn’t take the thought of bloggers missing out on this move simply because there’s not enough info out there for them to better understand WordPress, and/or because they’re hesitant to leave the comfort zone of Blogger. Going by what I’ve seen on Twitter, a lot of bloggers actually want to make the move – they just don’t know how or why they should. Hence, the reason for my creating this post.

If you’ve stuck around until the end of this, I thank you and wish you the best of luck on making the switch to WordPress!

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7 Responses to “Making the Switch – How To: The Ultimate WordPress Guide!”

  1. Nafiza says:

    Dude, I love the new site but the colour is killing my eyes! Have mercy! Congrats on the movie!

  2. Fabulous post. I’ve increasingly started thinking about making the switch. I haven’t decided if it’s worth it yet.

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