Welcome to the NEW & IMPROVED BudgetBlonde.com! I’m so excited that you’re here. This swanky new website has been in the works for several months, and I truly hope you like what you see!
I’ve been wanting to transfer servers from blogger to a self hosted wordpress site for an entire year.
Here’s some information about the switch you’re seeing as well as some information on why and how I did it in case any fellow bloggers out there are interested in doing the same thing.
Why Switch From Blogger To WordPress?
This is a great question, and trust me, I’ve asked myself this question often, especially in these last few weeks when things got glitchy, and I got discouraged. (Seriously, I almost gave up all together!) Essentially, wordpress is a much more powerful platform than blogger. There are an endless amount of plug-ins that are possible that are not available on blogger. Plug-ins are essentially what you see on my sidebar, but they are also things you can’t see, like equipping each post with an extra search engine optimization (SEO) boost so that this site has the potential to rank higher in Google. The themes (or the way the site looks) are also much more professional looking on wordpress. The main negative in switching is that there is a steep learning curve in wordpress, whereas blogger is very user friendly, hence me taking forever to do this!
Seriously, Why Did It Take You So Long? Weren’t You Going To Switch, errr, Last YEAR?
Right, about that. I totally wrote a post telling you I was in the middle of the switch last year. But, obviously, that did not work out until now. I was not ready like I thought I was, and I wanted to be very careful about not losing my work. My site was in what I have been calling “purgatory” for several months. Essentially there were two BudgetBlonde’s for a while, one where you could see me blogging and another that I was updating and trying to design behind the scenes. It was very slow and very frustrating. Many bloggers I admire did their entire switch to wordpress and design process by themselves, and for those brilliant people, you have my utmost admiration. For me, however, after my blog was sitting in purgatory for a good 6 months, I knew I had to…
Call In The Professionals
There are many, many people that I would like to thank for the way my site looks today. I am very glad that I handed my blog over to them, because I realized that I had just reached a point where I couldn’t do it by myself. This is not to say that you could not move your blog by yourself. By all means, that would be the most budget friendly thing to do (and you know I’m all about budget friendly.) However, for me personally, I had great peace of mind finally letting go of the reins and allowing others to help me.
Here’s my team of heros:
1. Daniel of the BrandKit Company
- header & logo
Daniel is an extremely gifted graphic designer. He and I worked together for months – literally – to get my pink swirly logo just right. He was extremely patient as well. I was so excited when I saw the hot pink logo that you see now. I absolutely love the shape. It’s organic, it looks like ribbons, and it’s so me. I couldn’t believe his attention to detail, making the colors both pink and purple depending on how you look at it. The header you see on my site now was actually version 5. Yes that’s right, version 5. I actually e-mailed poor Daniel and said things like, “Can you make that a shade darker pink?” Sum, I highly recommend his services if you are in the market for any graphic design work.
2. Sara of Moonsteam Design
- blog buttons, navigation bar, sidebar, sidebar buttons
Just as I was literally a day and a half away from making my blog go live, I started having all sorts of technical issues that I just could not fix on my own. Trust me, I really wanted to fix them on my own, but I just could not. No amount of reading articles or googling different codes could make my site the way I really, truly wanted it to look. There was a point where I considered publishing it and fixing it as I went along, but something in me really wanted to make it right from the beginning. I started searching Etsy for wordpress designers. I e-mailed 6 of them and out of everyone, I just had a feeling that Sara of Moonstream Design would be the best fit for me. Like Daniel, she was seriously more patient than I deserved. I literally wrote her e-mails that resembled books, and she answered everything I needed to know and more. Once I gave Sara access to my blog and she started fixing it up for me, I had more peace of mind than I had felt in weeks. I didn’t realize how much the transfer was stressing me out until I handed it over to someone else. Plus, she’s Team Jacob, which means she has excellent taste. I would have hired her for that fact alone.
3. Ken of The-Web-Mechanic.com
- brains behind the operation
People don’t believe me when I say how awesome twitter is. I cried out for technical help on twitter, and seriously 10 minutes later, I was actually on the phone with Ken who graciously talked to me – a total stranger – even though he had guests about to come over. It was Ken who noticed that some things were glitchy on my site and pointed them out to me. I’m pretty sure he’s some kind of a genius hiding away working on wordpress blogs all day.
4. Ryan of RyanEllison.com
Ryan is my real life friend who does web design and development from his apartment in Grenada! He was nice enough to chat about my site with me on facebook and even went in there and helped me with a thing or two along the way. It was so nice to have a friend in the biz to give me advice when I needed it.
5. Erin of ErinGiles.com
I can’t write this post without thanking Erin, who is an amazing business coach. One year ago, just before I left for Grenada, I had a skype session with her. Erin looked at my website, offered critiques, and really got me motivated. It was her idea to make my my logo have back to back B’s, something I incorporated in my old blog and as evidenced, brought in to the new design as well.
I also had many blog friends, colleagues, and family members look at this site before it fully launched, and to them I am thankful. I am also grateful, above all, to the hubs who has been incredibly supportive of my work during the past two years.
I think the lesson here, folks, is that it is okay to ask for help. While I had visions in my head of what I wanted this site to become, it would have never been possible without the support of the people I mentioned above. It would also not have been possible without you, my lovely readers.
You are the reason why I wanted to improve the look and feel of this site and make it more user friendly.
So, please, explore and have a look around! All of the tabs at the top have brand new information and tips in them, and everyone, whether you have a blog or not, should be able to comment now with great ease!
I hope you like what you see!