Tralisty hasn’t always been on WordPress. It actually started life on Squarespace and it was perfect for my little blog to find its footing and for me to understand where I was going.
As I grew more confident and knew what sort of direction I wanted to go in, I found that Squarespace just didn’t do what I wanted it to. The templates were too rigid, it was too expensive for what was I was getting, and it just felt restrictive.
I’d been looking at WordPress for a while and decided it was time to take the plunge and move to WordPress. Here are a few things I think every self-hosted blogger needs when they decide to move to WordPress.
Self Hosting and Templates
When I decided to make the move, I wasn’t sure what to do.
I’d found pipdig thanks to the world of Twitter and saw that they did a Squarespace to WordPress Migration service. This would’ve been amazing if I’d had £145 in my bank account, but I decided to try it myself.
They recommended Siteground for the hosting so I purchased the StartUp package and chose a theme from pipdig.
Transfering the site myself was actually surprisingly easy… I followed the instructions on Siteground but had to import my data to WordPress three times because I had so many posts. The annoying thing was that it didn’t transfer the pictures I wanted; there was another step for that and I just couldn’t be bothered to go through the hassle with it.
I’ve been on WordPress for about a month now and I’m already loving it. I’m not constantly looking to change my template, it’s easy to write posts, and there are hundreds of plugins to make it easier.
The first few days, I had a few spam comments on my posts and I didn’t want to keep deleting them, so I installed the Akismet plugin.
It’s super easy to install, rarely needs updating and it’s blocked 15 spam comments for me so far.
Not a lot to say and definitely worth it!
I first heard about Yoast from Lucy over at The Literary Edit.
It helps you with your SEO (something I still don’t really get…) and it uses a traffic light system to make it a bit easier to understand. Once you’ve installed it, it shows you the readability and SEO ratings for your posts. Green is good, orange is ok and red needs improvement.
This is awesome for me because I can just ramble. The readability bit lets me know which bits are hard to understand, if I’ve started the sentence with the same thing too many times (happens more than you’d think), and if your sentences are too long.
Now for the SEO. You enter a keyword or phrase for your piece and it tells you how to improve your SEO score. It can either be using your keyword a few more times within your post or adding links to your other posts to keep readers on your site for longer.
I didn’t even think about internal links but having Yoast point it out made me realise that it actually makes sense!
Jetpack is one of those things that bloggers don’t really want, but have to have – site stats.
I hate seeing my day-to-day stats, it just makes me feel heartbroken, but Jetpack allows you customise it so you can see monthly stats instead.
This absolutely blew my mind. When I was seeing the daily stats, I was seeing a few page views a day. With the monthly stats, I’m seeing the bigger picture. In the first week of January alone, I’ve had nearly 700 page views. Yes, it’ll probably drop off as the month progresses, but I’d much rather see the bigger picture than a tiny piece of the puzzle.
This is the important bit, I know.
Costs for Squarespace:
- Subscription: around £16 per month / £190 per year
Cost for WordPress:
- Siteground hosting: £39.60 per year
- Domain transfer: £11.94
- Pipdig theme: £39
Thoughts So Far
I wouldn’t have written this post if I wasn’t madly in love with WordPress already.
I like that I can focus on the writing – everything is set up the way I want it and if I want to change something, it’s as easy as customising the appearance.