So, after a month of using self-hosted WordPress instead of Blogger, what is my verdict? I love it! There are so many great features that make keeping an organized and connected blog faster and easier. I was a bit nervous of the more complicated back end, but now that I’m used to it it’s not difficult to navigate. And I’m glad that I now have total ownership of my content, not Google.
Here are just some of the reasons I’m glad to have made the switch. Those marked “UBB” are available through the Ultimate Book Blogger, a paid plugin from NoseGraze that I highly recommend. (I like it so much that I’m a NoseGraze affiliate, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through links on this site. Just so you know.) I can’t see ever going back and losing these, although in the beginning I really liked how easy Blogger was to use.
1. Automatically updating review indexes (UBB)
An up-to-date, properly organized index is a joy to behold, especially if I don’t have to create it myself.
2. Automatic posting to GoodReads (UBB add-on)
I was too lazy to post my reviews to GoodReads before, but now it happens effortlessly.
3. Editorial Calendar (plugin)
Seeing my scheduled posts in calendar format makes it easier for me to keep track of them. And I love being able to change dates by just dragging and dropping, as well as making quick edits directly from the calendar.
4. Searchable and editable media
When I need to find an image I’ve already uploaded it’s handy to be able to search for a title. And sometimes I want to change the dimensions of an image after I’ve uploaded it, so it’s great to be able to do that directly from the media panel.
5. Automatic book info and disclosure statement formatting (UBB)
With the Ultimate Book Blogger, you can enter all kinds of information in various fields and have it appear in each review post in the same format. You can even customize that format (I’ve made mine appear at the end of the review rather than the beginning).
6. Dropdown page menus
In Blogger it took extra coding to create a drop-down page menu. In WordPress it’s an easy matter of dragging and dropping.
7. Spam prevention with Akismet
I don’t have to moderate comments any more, hooray.
8. Automatic posting to Facebook and Twitter
No more having to go in and manually post to Facebook! And I might actually start using Twitter now.
9. Comment reply notification (plugin)
I always liked getting comment reply notification from other blogs, so I was happy to be able to offer this myself.
10. Related Content (UBB)
On Blogger I was using LinkWithin, but the relationships generated were a bit random. Now the related posts are based on tags and make much more sense.