To continue from last week’s post about the new blog layout and transfer, today is all about why I am now recommending WordPress over Blogger.
I was told to get started on Blogger from the get go for how user friendly it was. And yes, it is. It’s fantastic actually. Also has a built in blog reader to it and everything is linked to your Gmail. However, after making the switch, I am now encouraging all new bloggers to start on WordPress. Let me tell you why…
Although WordPress is a little more expensive, you have to self host to get the site you want, it allows you to have 100% full control over how your site looks and functions. This means all HTML, CSS and all the other fancy schmancy words I don’t know are at your full control. Wordpress truly lets you and your web designer create just about anything your little heart desires. The difference with Blogger is that you are limited, but it’s free. Sure you can get some great templates, have someone design etc. But the actual site design and functionality is limited. So if you’re looking for a basic blog, to do for fun, Blogger is perfect. But if you hope to one day take your blog to the next level, I beg of you to just start on WordPress and keep the headaches for someone else.
My favorite feature as the blogger behind a Wordpress site is the ease of widgets and plugins. Adding these to your sidebar and site are so darn easy. There’s so many you can download but to keep it simple, these are a few of my top WordPress plugins that are ideal for fashion bloggers. They include:
Alpine Photo Tile For Pinterest – a photo grid of your recent pins, it’s a great way to add some visual to your sidebar and encourage traffic to your Pinterest page. There’s also an instagram version here if you like to share those too.
Top Posts & Pages (Jetpack) – a photo grid of your top posts and pages. I coded mine (yes I did, it’s amazing what you can google) to remove the pages from this option as many of my pages do not have photos and it doesn’t pull a photo if your general URL is one of your top landing pages. To me, this widget is way better than archives, no one wants to sort through your months of archives, but this is a great way to see what’s popular. And if you love archives, let me know so I can add them back.
Tweetily – This plugin will tweet a random post (you can set which ones it picks from based on categories) and shares it with your Twitter followers. It’s a great way to get a tweet out without any effort which is ideal for me who’s a busy person! Verdict is still out on this one for me though, so we’ll see. As of now, I like.
Layered Pop – That lovely pop up that comes up when you come to my site? That’s this plugin. Oh you haven’t signed up yet? Don’t worry, click here for daily posts to your inbox and my exclusive newsletter. I discovered this one thanks to Megan of Lush to Blush. It has the code in it to delay it (which is ideal since a new visitor won’t know what the hell they’re signing up for) and to enable cookies so it doesn’t pop up EVERY SINGLE TIME. Because I hate that. It makes me not want to sign up or come to your site. Just saying.
SEO Yoast – Thanks to Waiting on Martha for this tip, this plug in walks you through the steps of making your posts SEO friendly. Increasing traffic views and searchability. This is a GREAT one. Love it.
Redirect Options – For those of you switching from Blogger to WordPress, you’ll want to download this plug in. With the different permalinks WordPress automatically sets, this is ideal for maintaining as much traffic as possible. Also, you can change your permalink set up in WordPress to include month, date and .html at the end to ensure your posts work after transfer (note this will not work on 100% of your posts if you changed your permalink or included “stop” words like an, a, and). You can do that without this particular plugin, but I still recommend downloading this for any posts you find that no longer work, as I found several from Pinterest that were quite pin worthy and needed an update. This one was a life saver, and helps me sleep at night.
Many of these plugins were also installed by the fabulous Whit of Heart & Arrow!
All of these great features help to create a gorgeous website that you have full control over.