blogger to wordpress transfer | my experience

Blogger to WordPress transfer

In September of this year, I decided to transfer from Blogger to WordPress. Even though I’m enjoying this platform because of the plug-ins and customization, I can honestly say that this switch was the worst experience of my blogging career. My theme was completely botched and was causing loading errors for readers, my links weren’t working (Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Facebook were completely useless to me), and all of that SEO juice I had built up over a little over a year? Gone. I still can’t believe I paid that much money for someone to completely screw me over and not even blink. When you invest hours upon hours of work into your website and an “expert” ruins all of that, you want to scream and give up on blogging all together.

It gets better. The paperwork I filled out in the beginning of this whole process specifically stated that I needed to be on the Genesis framework because that’s basically the only reason I wanted to switch to WordPress in the first place. Did I get that? No. I got an old theme that wasn’t even mobile responsive. When I asked if their WordPress person could go back and re-code everything to give me what I wanted in the first place, I was told that she was having some difficulty but could install what she had already coded and work on things while my blog was “down”, or we could “cut our losses” and leave my blog as is with the old theme. When I asked how long it would be down, I was told it could be days. Now, many of my blog friends transfer sites from Blogger to WordPress and code themes on a regular basis, and they had never heard of a blog being down for days. I decided to cut my losses.

A few of these same blog friends (Amanda and Lisette) helped fix a few things, and then I ended up hiring a WordPress guy recommended by Genesis. He took one look at my blog and told me that everything was a “hot mess” SEO-wise and that my theme lacked solid coding. Also, my site was slow as molasses. Funny because this “expert” was supposed to code everything from scratch and it was supposed to be awesome. It was not. My views dropped a ton, I wasn’t getting any organic traffic whatsoever, and like I said above, links to my blog didn’t work so people couldn’t find me. Why was this woman allowed to mess with my website at all?

Even though I wrote a really nice (and calm) email expressing my concerns and disappointment, I wasn’t offered any additional support and I wasn’t given a refund of any sorts. I guess I could have responded with more concrete evidence that this theme was complete shit, but I didn’t. I don’t enjoy confrontation and would rather cuddle a puppy to lower my blood pressure.

Long story short, WordPress guy fixed everything and now I’m attempting to work on my views. I still feel sick to my stomach when I think about how much money I wasted in just a few months because I could have purchased a really nice camera lens. Instead I’ve had to deal with a screwed up blog since the middle of September and it’s been quite the headache.

What can you learn from this? Do your research. Only trust your website with someone who actually knows what they’re doing. And if everything is already screwed up? Hire Jesse Petersen. He has been a lifesaver and I will continue to go back to him for any website support I need.

       
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Filed Under: blogging, Blogging, Blogging Advice74 Comments
  • http://danceanthak.blogspot.com Erinn C. D.

    yikes!! I do love your design but what a nightmare.

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Thanks. I love my design too but this whole process wasn’t worth it. I’d rather have my old design back than deal with website issues again.

  • http://www.the-lifestyle-project.com/ Danielle

    Thanks for being open about this experience Rachel. I’m looking into making the transfer eventually as well so I really appreciate reading honest reviews/opinions about other bloggers’ experiences. Your design is beautiful, but was it the same maidae company that messed up the transfer as well?

  • http://www.northernbellediaries.com/ Lisette

    So sorry this happened to you, friend. I was sincerely worried that you would quit blogging altogether.

    I have to say, as one of your friends who looked at this work (yes I’m outing myself), it truly was a shitty hot mess. I’m so glad you hired Jesse because the problems were honestly beyond the average designers’ capabilities. While the design itself is amazing, the coding was a nightmare. My eyes literally crossed when I saw it. It was not built from scratch. It was an old WP theme hacked to pieces. You’ve been more than classy in not flipping your sh*t. I would have.

    The other “friend” and I did what we could to transfer the design into Genesis. It wasn’t easy—I’ll give that coder THAT reprieve–and it took several weeks. However, that coder shouldn’t have just left you to your own devices. That’s complete bullsh*t. I was livid for you.

    You’re my friend, and a wonderful person, but above all I love you….and it made me really upset that you were in the situation you were in.

    Here’s hoping that others will learn from our mistakes!

  • http://www.princessburlap.com/ Princess Burlap

    Rachel, I just love that you’re on WordPress now! And yeah that’s me being totally selfish because I was really lonely in WordPressVille all by myself. I cannot even imagine the trip to the Brimstone Buffet that was a platform transfer, however. I recently switched hosting companies and just that was a site-crashing nightmare, and I didn’t even do anything, as I’m (almost) married to my tech support guy.

    I’m curious what possessed a rock star blogger such as yourself to make this monumental switch. I started out on WordPress – which I initially hated because nothing in the Blogosphere applied to me, and then there was that pesky no-reply-blogger thing. Said tech support guy insisted on it over Blogger for development reasons. He claimed it was a much better platform upon which to build custom code. For instance, he wrote an email system for it that sends a notification to my commenters from my dog (who takes over my blog pretty often), alerting them that I have replied to their comment. My biggest gripe was with comments. I was replying to them in the thread and no one was coming back to see them. So I had to copy each one to the commenter’s email. Which people loved. But oh my gosh HELLO tedium.

    Ok, I’m stopping. Sorry. I tend to suffer from word vomit. I’m just so excited that someone else has landed on WordPress Island! Let’s make thatch huts and eat poison berries and talk to volleyballs!

    • http://www.oliveandivyblog.com/ Chelsea

      You should get your man to install the plugin ReplyMe :) It automatically emails your reply to the commenter!

      • http://www.petersenmediagroup.com/ Jesse Petersen

        Disqus (which is being used) does that. ReplyMe hasn’t been updated in nearly 5 years. Please, everyone stay away from plugins like that – they are likely to break a site or introduce security issues that were fixed years ago.

  • http://themovetoamerica.wordpress.com/ Molly @ The Move to America

    Sounds hideous – and definitely don’t settle for not getting some kind of compensation for the stress. Use the loss of views/visitors and SEO stuff as evidence as you can take a snapshot of your figures.

    I am not on a paid wordpress blog but I have found, for my needs, it has worked well. I may one day look into taking it forward – but not yet.

    Glad you found a person to fix it al for you!

  • http://heleneinbetween.com/ Helene

    this is what really scares me about it! i remember my blog went down for a few hours and i was freaking out. i can only imagine. good to know there are people out there that know what they’re doing!

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Yeah, it’s scary! My blog was down for a while, and then nothing worked. I was panicking all the time. Glad it’s finally over…

  • Jamie

    Oh my goodness, that sounds like a mess! I can’t imagine why anyone would claim to be an expert at something if they clearly don’t know what they’re doing. So glad you at least got it figured out!!

    Jamie @
    The Growing Up Diaries

  • http://lulug1975.blogspot.co.uk/ Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

    This is what has put me off transferring! : /

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      As long as you find someone good, you’ll be fine. :) But definitely do your research.

  • http://www.thecrackedlensblog.wordpress.com/ Asia @ The Cracked Lens

    That’s terrible!

  • http://www.thewanderblogger.com/ Sarah Shumate

    Well, reading this pretty much seals the deal for me. I’m staying with Blogger FOREVER. I am so sorry you had such a headache over this. I can’t even imagine.

    • http://www.northernbellediaries.com/ Lisette

      I transfer people constantly without any issues. I learned what NOT to do because I also hired an incompetent person for my transfer. No down time. No nightmares. I’m with them every step of the way. I don’t have any intention on returning to blogger (yes, WordPress really is THAT amazing).

      • http://www.thewanderblogger.com/ Sarah Shumate

        Thank you for that response! After reading this I had pretty much decided there was no way I’d switch to WP. Blogger is easy. I understand it. WP is this huge unknown place that scares the crap out of me!

        • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

          I really like WP and I’m glad I switched even though stuff got messed up, but only transfer when you’re ready. It sounds like Blogger is working perfectly for you and your website!

    • http://www.oliveandivyblog.com/ Chelsea

      Yes, I’m with Lisette. I’ve done a few transfers over to WP seamlessly… don’t let a bad designer scare you away! Just, as Rachel said, do your homework first! :)

      • http://www.thewanderblogger.com/ Sarah Shumate

        Maybe you can tell me – besides more leeway design-wise…what’s the point of switching to WP? Does it improve your blog somehow?

        • http://www.oliveandivyblog.com/ Chelsea

          As far as I know, the SEO is waaaay better because you have use of optimization plugins. Lots of people have found that they get way more pageviews since the switch purely because their SEO has become a lot better. I’m mostly in it for the leeway design-wise I guess though. I love how customizable everything is and plugins rock!

          • http://www.thewanderblogger.com/ Sarah Shumate

            I am just beginning to learn about all of this. It’s an aspect of blogging that I find really hard to understand. I take pictures and write – that’s about it. So maybe WordPress would be too advanced for me? I appreciate the information, though. Thank you!!

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      i can vouch for Lisette, she transferred me and it was the easiest, most pain free experience in blogging! I had heard about NIGHTMARES in transferring but I haven’t experienced any of that since I hired her to do it all for me!

      • http://www.thewanderblogger.com/ Sarah Shumate

        Then I know exactly who to use if I ever decide to make the switch. I’m such a small blog that I don’t think it’s necessary to change anything right now, but you know…good to know for future use! :o)

  • http://www.freeborboleta.com/ Fran

    yikes, I’m so sorry this happened to you. As someone that works on blog designs, my motto has always been “design is not just what it looks like, but how it functions” but it sounds like the people you worked with focused solely on the how it looks like and not so much on how it functions… I’m so sorry that happened to you.

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Yes! How it functions is so much more important than how it looks. I wish other designers would think about this!

  • http://eatseedoblog.com/ Anna

    Wow – this is horrible. I had no idea you were going through such a headache. I noticed you were obviously transferring and there were changes going on behind the scenes but no idea it was this bad. Good on you sticking it out and thank goodness for friends!! I used to want to be on blogger as everyone was on it. Now I’m glad I’m on wordpress but I still had some issues when transferring to my own domain and I am still getting problems with broken images.
    Thank you for sharing this – a lot of bloggers read your blog and though you went through crap I’m sure you’ll be helping someone out there not to go through the same thing!

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Oh yes, broken images. What a pain! I hope that you’re getting everything figured out, too. And thanks for the sweet comment. I’m glad it’s over.

  • http://www.therandomwritings.com/ Rachel G

    Oh, how disappointing that must have been! It can be hard to know who to trust when you’re hiring others to take care of internet business!

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Exactly! I thought these people were professional but I was wrong. It’s hard to vet people over emails.

  • http://treasuretromp.com/ Nicole @ Treasure Tromp

    ekgag! (is that word / sound?) I cannot believe that all happened to you, friend. what a horrible experience. I’m so glad that you found somebody to help fix it for you!
    on the bright side, your blog looks awesome. ;)

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      I know! It was a horrible couple of months. Now I just need to get back into the swing of things, instead of wanting to delete my blog… ;)

  • http://www.pinkonthecheek.com/ Lauren

    HOLY poop. I transferred myself from Blogger to WordPress and I practically gave up blogger after that. I even made the HUGE mistake by going BACK to blogger. That really messed things up. Now I am on WP again (yes, I went back and forth) and I am staying. It totally sucks when all the things you worked so hard for to show up organically, is totally gone. But, keep pinning and pushing SEO and you will slowly get back there.

    • http://www.oliveandivyblog.com/ Chelsea

      Saved your life. xoxoxoxo

      • http://www.pinkonthecheek.com/ Lauren

        HAHA you really did!

        • http://www.northernbellediaries.com/ Lisette

          This cracked me up. Lauren–I’m glad you came back to WP. #shakingmyhead

          • http://www.pinkonthecheek.com/ Lauren

            I lost my mind. I really did. Who knows what I was thinking, but it definitely didn’t help when I moved back and forth.

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Ha. Holy poop, indeed! Here’s hoping our blogs grow on WP. :) Are you glad you’re back?

      • http://www.pinkonthecheek.com/ Lauren

        I am glad I am back. It was stupid for me to think if I just went back to Blogger everything would be okay. It wasn’t and then I lost my themes and all my WP stuff from before. It was a hot mess.

  • http://www.diariesofanessexgirl.com/ Kate Hall

    Oh my gosh Rachel, what an AWFUL experience! I am so sorry you’ve lost so much traffic and that you had such an awful process to go through, I would have been freaking out about that!
    I understand your reasons for not “outing” the designer who screwed up your design but I also think it’s worrying she could still mess up someone’s in the future. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t happen!

    • http://www.chimerikal.com/ Erika

      I agree with Kate! And I’m so sorry, Rachel — I had no idea that you were having such a tough time with the change! The design looks really great, though!

      • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

        Thanks, Erika! I’m just glad it’s over now. :)

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Yep, I was totally freaking out. And I thought about including names, but I assume people can figure it out pretty easily. Well, hopefully…

  • http://NewMamaDiaries.com/ Tenns Reid

    Wow, I can’t believe this happened to you! Thanks for sharing your story. I don’t know what I would do if that happened to me. I switched from Blogger to WP self-hosted myself, and it was pretty painless. It was an investment, but I had been well worth it. I know my blog still has a lot of room to grow and I’ll be continually updating it as times goes on. I wasn’t willing to hire someone, because I just didn’t trust anyone, especially when it came to the money aspect of the switch. I would have been okay if I’d jacked my site up myself, instead of being left out to dry like that person did you. its even harder to trust some when the only way you know them is through a computer screen. I wasn’t willing to take that risk.

    I glad you got everything straightened out and your blog looks great!

  • http://www.oliveandivyblog.com/ Chelsea

    Ugh, it really sucks that you had such an awful experience and as a designer who works with WP I really think people should STOP working with WP if they don’t know what the heck they’re doing. Or at least be upfront and let clients know when something is out of their league. Also, I think Lisette should totally have a special mention in this post for her insane amount of work on this project too- she did a more than fantastic job in helping get out of the mess that your previous designer made!!! :)

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Hey, Chelsea! I’m definitely so appreciate for all of the work and time Lisette and Amanda put into my blog! I made sure to give them lots of Twitter mentions when they were working on the coding, etc. I just wanted to give Jesse his own post because I know he felt bad for me and didn’t charge me as much as he should have even though he’s a WP genius. :) I hope he gets lots of new clients because of this. He deserves it!

  • http://somewhereyonder.blogspot.co.uk/ Claire (@Kurea_San)

    Thank goodness for Jesse Petersen! Well I’m still reading and enjoying what I’m reading. Hope your SEO builds up nice and quick again.
    Claire xx

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Thanks. :) I hope it does too.

  • http://www.scatteredseashells.com/ Chantal

    That sounds terrible!! I did my transfer to WP myself, and then had someone install my theme. I’m so glad nothing bad happened.

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      I didn’t trust myself to do it, but maybe I should have! Ha. I’m glad your site is fine. :)

  • http://www.expat-tales.com/ Jamie @ Expat Tales

    Ick! This is only further proof of exactly the conclusion I came to a while back: designers tend to be really black or white, few in between. I’ve been working in website management for the past five years (primarily with the WordPress CMS) and have consistently been tasked with these clean-up jobs after a disastrous developer takes off. Right now, I’m working on one where the guy just never started, so at least there’s no mess to clean up! Sorry for your experience, and I’m glad you’ve now found someone great!

  • http://www.livinginanotherlanguage.com/ Amanda

    I’m glad you wrote this post. Your whole experience was nothing short of a nightmare from hell. To me, I just cannot even understand how your original designer claims they do WordPress then screwed everything up so bad. It blows my mind! But then again you know how I feel about this (all those late night, early morning chats).

    That being said, I’m super glad you’re finally on Genesis and your page views are on the up and up! We will get you back there, I promise! :) You’re a rockstar Rachel, and everyone knows that!

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      You’re awesome, lady! Thanks for your help. I had someone email me about WP and I told her to hire you. Hehe. :) You’re another one of those WP geniuses. :)

  • thediynurse

    I’m so so sorry you had to experience this, let alone pay for it! Sometimes it’s just easier to cry than confront- I get ya. I’m glad everything is back to normal. Yay for wordpress guy :)

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      I’m realllllly horrible at confrontation. Ha. But yes, I’m glad it’s fixed now… even though I wasted so much money. Sigh.

  • http://independenttravelcats.com/ Jessica – Independent Travel C

    I remember when you transferred and had all the initial problems, but I didn’t realize how long this drug on for you! I am so sorry to hear that. I hope that it is all getting back to normal for you! I love the new blog design.

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Thanks, Jessica! I think I actually emailed you right before they transferred me… ahh! I’m glad everything’s fixed now and hopefully it’ll be less of a headache.

  • http://www.petersenmediagroup.com/ Jesse Petersen

    Pro-tip for the bloggers here: ask for credentials or ask openly on Twitter about the person and use the #WordPress hashtag and #GenesisWP if it’s a Genesis theme. Specialists will serve you best. I still have my list of things to vet me to put her at ease because this was a rescue mission.

    In the past 5 years, I’ve lost count of how many times people contact me who have already lost more than $1000 to one or more developers prior. Don’t let it happen to you – vet your “experts.”

  • Keith

    Thanks for the warning Rachel! As a newbie blogger it’s difficult to know which platform to go for. After reading several online reviews I decided for Blogger, as it seemed the best balance between features and simplicity. I also tried out the newish Postachio for Evernote. I liked that your posts remain on your own HD, however the features are limited. Tried Tumblr as well and I really liked all the beautiful, sleek themes, but customisation is not easy. Didn’t try WordPress, as I felt from the reviews I read that it would be too complicated for a beginner. Any pro-bloggers out there use Tumblr?

  • Luchessa Grossmann

    I’m so sorry you had that kind of annoying experience sweetie. I can only compare it to the time when i went from basic WordPress to a selfhosted independant platform without actually understanding the whole process…but when you are not an engineer, you expect someone to help you (even more if you pay money for that service).
    I’m glad Amanda & Lisette were able to give you some tips, so you could move along.

    Cheer up, hopefully everything works fine now.
    xo,
    Luchessa.org

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      Aww, thank you for the kind words! I’m glad everyone helped me out and hopefully everything will work out in the end!

  • http://she-travels.net/ Chantal

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this. I don’t understand why people would hire themselves out for coding and webdesign when they’re shit at it and not feel guilty about taking other people’s money (without refunds) while completely messing up someone’s site!

    I’m happy you got it fixed in the end but I’m sorry to hear you had to spend so much money to get a screwed up site first only to have to spend more to get it working properly. But hooray for Jesse Petersen!

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      I know, I still can’t believe my theme was that botched. Ahh! And yeah, thank goodness things are working now. I’m glad my site is less of a headache. ;)

  • http://clubnarwhal.blogspot.com/ Amy | Club Narwhal

    Rachel, thanks so much for sharing your experience with the transfer. Your honesty is really useful, especially for someone like me who is constantly waffling between whether to make the WP jump or not! Also, yes to: would rather cuddle a puppy to lower my blood pressure. Me too, all the time. The school I work at actually brings in puppies during finals week to help students de-stress. How awesome is that?

    • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

      I think as long as your hire someone who knows what he/she is doing, you’ll be fine. And bringing puppies to school? Um, awesome!

  • http://www.postcardsfromrachel.com/ Postcards from Rachel

    The change was good. Well, with WP that is. I really LOVE it. Transferring was not fun, though. Just find someone good and you’ll be fine!

  • Sarah

    Ugh, this sounds horrible! When I switched from one hosting company to another, my blog was down for 2 days as a result of some really terrible customer service. You’ll recover, I’m sure! Your blog is full of great content that will draw people in and keep them coming back.

  • http://www.sarainlepetitvillage.com/ Sara Louise

    I’m thinking of making the switch in the next couple of months so I’m so very thankful you posted this. Pinning for future reference :)

  • KPsays

    Ugh. I hate all the heartacahe you had to endure, but your blog looks fabulous! As a relative blog newbie, I started out self-hosting on WP. It has been an awful learning curve, as I do not know anything about coding/html. I do want to revamp my blog design, as I have no coding experience. May hold off until I learn a bit more. Thanks for sharing Rachel :)

  • http://megancstroup.blogspot.com/ Megan C. Stroup

    Gee, I’m glad I was already following you on Bloglovin’ and that didn’t get messed up! I’m glad you’re working it all out. Good luck!

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  • Niamh

    Wow! I can’t believe it! I am so glad I’m not the only one to have received crappy service from these guys. I too received really poor service and payed WAY too much for the final result from them. So disappointed in their work, the communication was slack and lacked professionalism. I’m so glad you were able to rectify your situation. I have no idea how and when I’ll be able to fix mine. So glad I’m not the only one though!!

  • http://merevin.com/ Meredith Lambert

    I just stumbled upon this blog post and I can barely express how angry it makes me! I work at an Internet Marketing company that does everything from designing/coding websites to on-site and off-site SEO to social media strategies. And if there is one thing that upsets me the most is when a company screws up someones site without regard for their built up SEO love.

    I’m sorry to hear this happened to you, but I am glad you got it all sorted!

  • Nataliya Bogdanets

    I’m so sorry about your experience…:-(
    Long ago I started to blog with Blogger, but soon I felt limited with its possibilities and now I’m sticking with the best platform ever. WP is a dream come true for not very computer literate users like me. By the way, I managed to migrate all my content without shelling out for a developer using this tool http://goo.gl/7xq6N5. Now all my WP pages are workung as they should. It’s a pity you haven’t heard about it and spent a fortune hiring an expert…((