Why I Left Blogger

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I have been busy on the blog lately, but not just writing. I’ve been working on host and design changes.

A little history…

I began blogging with Blogger over six years ago when we lived in Texas. I called it “Life in the Hill Country” because we lived in the hill country of Texas. I never even considered what I would do with the title if we moved! Terry had worked and waited for seven years to become a pastor, we would never leave! But, we did just that after almost three years there. My “Life in the Hill Country” was then going to be “Life in the Timberland Region” of Arkansas. Not too catchy. I changed it to “Valerie’s Hope Chest”, because that was the name of our city. I didn’t like that name much, either. Then, a man in our church (who left long ago), whom I’ll call “Joe”,  said he knew a lot about blogging and websites offered to do the church’s website. He also offered to help me. I only wish I’d known that he was the most unreliable man in the world. With Joe’s help, I purchased my first domain name (valeriebasham.com) and tried to learn about mysterious things like “My SQL” and “FTP” and “plugins”. I was helpless without Joe’s aid, and that became harder and harder to come by. Eventually, Joe gave up the church’s site. I quickly saw that my advice-getting-days were numbered, so I bailed. Everything I had written that year was on a server (which I had no clue how to access) somewhere out there. All I could do was call the company and cancel my domain. That’s like pulling the plug on your computer, it doesn’t gradually shut down, it just dies and quickly! I decided to go back to Blogger because at least I knew how to use it. I had posted over 150 posts on self-hosted site, and lost all but thirty. That was a horrible, terrible, very bad day. Before I shut it all down, I went to the site and managed to copy and paste those thirty posts, and their corresponding pictures, into a Word doc. I then copied them from the Word doc onto the new blog on Blogger.

I was still unsure what to call the old/new blog. One day, weeks later, the name “Valerie Write Now” came to me. It seemed to fit. It had my name, what I love to do, and the topics of which I write – what’s happening now – all in one short phrase. The best part is that it was a name I could take with me everywhere! (Though I didn’t plan on moving.) I found that I could purchase a domain name through Google, and keep the Blogger platform for my writing. No crazy My SQL or FTP or plugins! Just write, add photos and share! Ahhh…

And now…

Several months ago, I started having issues with the gadgets on Blogger. (Those are the links, menus and photos that were on the right side of my blog.) I didn’t worry about it because Google (who owns Blogger) has always been very good about repairing things like that pretty quickly. As of last week, I still had those issues, plus new ones! I noticed the search button for my blog wasn’t working. And when I tried to investigate, the entire layout page was blank! No problem, I’ll just contact the good folks at Google. But… you can’t just call them, you must *ahem* google them. Well, I googled every thing under the sun that was remotely close to the issues I was having, with few results. The possible solutions that I did find, I tried with no success. Finally, I decided I was done with Blogger. If I’d wanted to host my own site and write my own code, I would have stayed with the self-made site I’d had long ago. So, I researched what it would take to move everything over to WordPress.com and point my domain there. Believe it or not, it wasn’t that difficult to to do. It took several hours and much reading, but I did it!

Now that I’m here, and adjusting to the new setup, I really love it. I wish I’d done it years ago. They have so many options for writing posts, adding images is easier, and it’s just a cleaner looking site. I love that they share my posts for me automatically on various social media. AND, I have been able to get my questions answered quickly by searching their support site! My favorite feature so far is the dropdown menu for my pages (the labels across the top of the page). For instance, if you’ll hover your mouse over the label at the top of the page that says “About Me”, you’ll see a dropdown menu that has “Postpartum Depression (PPD)” and beneath that one is “Contact Me”. The same is true of the “Good News!” tab – there are other pages relating to that topic that drop down. This was only possible with Blogger if you could write the code for it yourself. Also, there is no limit to the number of separate pages you have! Blogger only allowed you to have ten.

It has definitely been a learning curve, and a bit overwhelming at times, but I like learning new things. I hope you will look around and make yourself at home. If you “followed” my posts using “Google Friend Connect”, you will no longer be able to get updates that way. Also, if you had subscribed to the feed on my other site, you will need to re-subscribe, even though the web address is the same. You can also use the WordPress “follow” link, which goes to your email, or choose from the social media buttons displayed in the sidebar. I’d love to hear what you think, so leave me a comment! 🙂

Thanks for reading and for keeping in touch!

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2 thoughts on “Why I Left Blogger

  1. Valerie, I have to say this new blog and layout is the best one you have had yet. I love it! I love how it’s clean and fresh but uncluttered. You have got me thinking about WordPress now….:) Love it!

    Like

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