Migration: A Story

Okay, as promised, here's my story which serves as a background why I returned to Blogger. As I told you earlier in this story, I've just recently migrated my blog from Blogger to Wordpress. Simple to say, I want more content, more flexibility, and more features. That's why I opted to get my own hosting account instead of registering a wordpress.com account. I chose a hosting based on my own country thinking that it would be faster. It's cheap, yes, and I get unlimited storage and bandwidth for less. Besides, I had 50% discount for my first year, so I thought, "What can I lose?"

Setting up WordPress on the hosting account was painless. You just need to click here and there, type a few things about your site, and it's all good. Setting up themes and appearance? Well, not so easy. Setting the theme was easy, but customizing it wasn't. Honestly, I'm not a design-oriented person, so I tend to get confused so easily and not patient enough to carefully assess my own customizations. Finally, I just gave up and set the color scheme instead. I'll let the design be handled by the default template. Alright, everything seemed good. However, things I mentioned here started bugging me.

AdSense Account

I forgot where, but I mentioned that I'm blogging not for the money. While that's still true, people recommend me using AdSense to at least get some income from the blog. I thought "Okay, why not?". While my AdSense account still has little to no balance (I understand people using AdBlock, and to stay true to my principles, I don't think I'm going to ask people to disable their AdBlock any time soon), I still want it active.

I want to apply this to my new blog as well. However, setting up AdSense in WordPress isn't as easy as in Blogger. In Blogger, I remember you just need to sign up on AdSense with your Google Account. Either that, or just input a publisher code in the dashboard. However, in WordPress, the easiest thing I know is to install a separate plugin which will produce a shortcode. Put that shortcode in your widget to summon the ads.

An excerpt I received from Google AdSense team
Okay, that part done. Now I need to upgrade my AdSense account from hosted account to self-hosted account (or whatever the name is, I don't remember). I applied, and again, I had to wait for Google's AdSense team to review my site. A few days later, I received an email whose excerpt is in the image above. If you don't understand Indonesian, it says that a part of my site was down or unavailable when the team was reviewing my site. What's ridiculous is that the URL they reviewed was a preview page. I don't know how they got there, or how WordPress stores URLs, but my upgrade request was cancelled. If I applied again, there's a chance it might fail again, and if your request were cancelled multiple times, I'm afraid that Google would have to close my AdSense account, which means I would have to start over again. Of course I don't want that. My AdSense account has been active for more than three years now!

Picasa (or Google Photos) Integration

Google Photos, a rebrand of Picasa (or so I thought)
The next thing that I realized when writing an article is the lack of integration with Google Photos. As a daily driver, I'm using an Android smartphone. As you all have probably known, Google's integration with Android is top-notch (except for some Android variants, such as Chinese MIUI). This includes GMail, Google+, Contacts, and Google Photos. The last is the most important for me, as I usually take review pictures using my cell phone. Using Blogger, I only need to pull the necessary pictures from Picasa (or Google Photos) which are automatically synced with my phone via Wi-Fi, rather than re-upload the whole thing into WordPress.

Yes, I initially thought I could use a plugin for that function, but I was wrong. Yes, there's an integration plugin, but it seems complex, especially in the part of logging into your Google account. If you have a Google account and have more than one services using it, you must know how difficult it is for you to integrate your Google account with other services in the name of security. Yes, I know it's necessary, but personally, I think it's a hassle.

Branding and SEO

SEO and Branding is important when building a website,
no matter what content you're offering in the site.
Even though my blogging isn't business-oriented, branding and SEO is still important. I want people to know my blog, I want people to know what I've shared with you all. Having established this site for a few years contribute to the fact that my blog is slowly ranking higher and higher in Google search. However, when I decided to abandon ship and start over, I didn't realize that I've also wasted my years of effort in promoting this site. That's my biggest and foremost mistake.

Secondly, when registering for a domain, I wasn't thinking of moving my entire blogging to the new site. I just thought that when I have my own server, I have my own sandbox–my own place to test my projects before passing it into the real server–my own testbed. Thus, I gave it the hardest name I could find, which is against every principle and knowledge about SEO. Besides, there's already a website with the same domain name (using .com instead of .net) and it's a large, established one. It'll be very difficult, if not impossible, to outrank it. 

Sluggish Server

Even though this one is more dependent on the individual (a subjective matter), this is what I feel. When using Blogger, I am automatically "renting" some space in one of Google's servers. Google is a very large, if not titanic, and a very respected and well-established company. Such a massive tech company will never use a sluggish server, no? So you automatically get the following perks for free: fast server, virtually limitless space, almost 100% uptime, and free HTTPS. Okay, not exactly free since it's not your own domain, but heck, that's a small price to pay compared to the benefits you got.

I'm neither blaming my web host nor WordPress here, but I'm just comparing their services to Google's. I know it's not fair, and is different in every way. However, whenever I tried to access my WordPress dashboard, it felt very slow and sluggish, very different compared to when using Blogger. No, it's not the plugins. I've already deactivated the plugins and it's still sluggish. I don't know if it's because I ordered the mid-end package, but that still doesn't mean I deserve slow speeds. Another thing which made me reverse my course was the support. If I complained about the slow speed, they would ask me to upgrade to a higher tier, which includes more CPU and memory. I want them to tell me something I don't know. If I want to upgrade, I will. However, seeing how the support responds to my question, I said to myself, "It's not worth the upgrade. It'd just slow down again and I'll have to pay more for an even higher tier."

Extra: Fetching Old Contents

This one is more like an add-on than a reason why I decided to revert. My plan was to copy all the available contents on my blog, then import it into the new one. I could've copied the posts one by one, but since there are more than a hundred posts here, it'd take a very long while, and I don't think it's worth the effort. Oh, and I also tried using Blogger importer. While they're great at importing post content, they're not importing the images at all they're not great at putting images in posts. The images were imported into my server, but weren't included in posts as it had previously been.

Okay, so those are the reasons why I decided to reverse my course. Sure, I admit that WordPress has more features and flexibility. However, if you want a simple blogging experience that is tied very tightly with Google's services, Blogger is still the way to go. Sure, Blogger is like an ancient behemoth, but it still works... very nicely. If you want a neat site with lots of features and have the time and patience to style and carefully tinker with your site, WordPress is the clear winner here. I speak of experience, and that is what I've come to learn.

Well, finally, that's all I got to tell you, Folks. If you're curious about the new site, I'm going to turn it into a landing page that leads nowhere (or somewhere which benefits me...) on the front while I'm going to use the server for my personal interests. I apologize if I offended you or something you like, but really, that's what I really felt, no offense intended. Anyway, thanks for reading and I'm looking forward to your next visit. Stay tuned, there will be more content coming.

Have a great day, People! :D


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