Guess who’s back… back again!!!!!
Hello everyone, welcome back to another one of my blog posts. I am in a very good mood right now and I think it will definitely come across in my writing style today. I have something very exciting to be sharing with you which has been highly requested on Twitter and Instagram. So, today I will be explaining to you my process and reasons as to why I switched blogging platforms. This will include all the blogging platforms I have used to get to where I am now, including Blogger, Wix and WordPress. First of all, you should go grab yourself some snacks and a drink because I have a feeling it will be a long read for you and I am currently munching on some Oreos myself. So, without further ado let’s move on…
For those of you who don’t know, I started creating and writing for my blog in January 2018 originally on the blogging platform Blogger which is a part of the Gooogle+ apps/service. It’s only been 3 months since I’ve started blogging which is why people have been questioning my sudden and vast change. As a ‘newbie’ to the whole blogging world, I had no idea what I was doing nor did I know which blogging platform to use when I first started. I would often sit and read blogs in my spare time which is why I gained an interest in writing, especially as being a student writing essays etc. I wanted to give this a try because I have a huge passion for photography and I think combining both would work out very well especially in order for me to share with everyone on a website. After speaking to a few bloggers about what they use and how they started blogging, I made a final clear decision to start my first ever blog with Blogger.
How did I get on using Blogger?
At first, Blogger was perfect for many reasons in relation to what I wanted my blog for. It was easy to set up (just need a google mail), easy to create, easy to navigate and easy to post blogs. When I created my blog, I wanted it to focus predominately on my thoughts, interests, fashion, lifestyle and travel. I hadn’t really thought about the whole photography aspect and how I can incorporate that on to my blog. I started by writing blogs based on my photography as I wanted to share with you my beautiful photo-shoots and captured shots. However, this made it difficult for me to write blogs which were based on reviews, fashion and beauty or on my personal interests because sometimes it would be difficult for me to photograph these posts which did not reflect the continuity of my blog. My blog was pretty basic in terms of the theme, customisation and the technical aspect as I could not do anything fancy to it.
What do I want my blog to look like?
Anyway, in a nutshell, I realised that I wanted to have a website that showcased my blog posts and photography portfolio separately. This is because I really want to learn to photograph properly/professionally and I would need a separate page for photoshoots as I don’t want to always write blog posts on them. Recently, I have been wanting to start a ‘Bloggers Photoshoot Series’ which means I would do free of charge photoshoots for bloggers predominately, but anyone is welcome and showcase these photo-shoots in my portfolio. To be able to do this, I would need to have a website in which I could focus on other aspects as well as blogging. For a couple of weeks, I tried to change/customise my blog, with Blogger, to try to create separate pages to differentiate the blog posts and the photography photoshoots. It was difficult for me to do so. Due to this, I was really unhappy and not motivated at all to write for my blog as I did not know what to do. I was confused and had no idea what I was doing. This is when my creative mind decided it was time to explore and delve into another blogging platform ideal for me and my preferences.
How did I get on using Wix?
From this, I knew straight away what my ideal website had to look like and the features I wanted it to have. I had a look online at some website builders based on what my favourite bloggers used which is when I came across Wix. I have previously seen a lot of advertisements based on this website, especially on YouTube and thought that I would start there and give it a try. I spent 2 full days creating this website which is why I hoped that this would be the one. I enjoyed creating my website and using Wix for many of reasons, such as:
- It is FREE to use
- Simple to use template designs to create your own website
- There are many customisation features e.g., design, font, images
- Business customisation – set your website design to suit what you want to create e.g., photography, blog, music, events
- Able to use menu bars and drop down menus ideal for portfolios and different blog categories.
I preferred using Wix in comparison to Blogger as I was able to design the template using my favourite colours as well as use the convenience of a menu bar that includes a drop-down menu which I used for my photography portfolio. This is an image of what my ‘Home’ page looked like. As you can see, Wix places an advertisement on your blog which is there every single time on pc and mobile devices. This did not bother me at first as I knew if I wanted to stay with Wix I would pay the monthly subscription to get rid of it.
At the bottom of the ‘Home’ page, I included a small description about me and the blog to give the readers an insight of who I was and the purpose of my blog. I really liked having this design and feature on the website looked exactly how I wanted it to. Unfortunately, Wix occasionally made my photographs slightly blurry which I was not happy with. However, I believe that when you pay for the monthly subscription it enhances the graphics. Again, I do not have a problem with these little things as you expect faults especially if the website builder if free.
My ‘About Me’ was exactly how I wanted it to be. I found it easy to create by using text and an image to give the readers an idea of who I was and what I wanted to achieve. I really like the amount of control given when editing your pages and including once. I was able to change completely everything, even the structures and start from a blank canvas. I would have liked the advertisements to move away at some point because it does look annoying and is really distracting. I personally believe that if I stayed with Wix, I would have paid for the monthly subscription to completely get rid of them and use when advertisement when I wanted to.
The ‘Blog’ page is what made me really think about whether or not I should be using Wix as I had many thoughts which lead to me asking for peoples opinion on Twitter. I enjoyed writing the blog posts on Wix as it was easy to navigate, change text and font, add images and videos and successfully publish. I did not realise that when it is published it gives an estimated reading time which is next to the date. This can be seen in the example above of ‘The Go-To Smart/Casual Outfit’ as it says 2 mins. I would say that the reading time is accurate. I think this is very convenient for the blogger as well as readers because it means that you can keep control of the timing of blogs and the readers know what they’re going in for as if they have time to read it. Another thing I liked about this page is that you are able to visually see how many views it is. This could be seen as a hit or miss type of thing as if it has a low count people not read it. However, if the view count is high people would be more inclined to read the blog post.
Unfortunately, this is when I noticed problems occurring with Wix. When I began to publish a blog post and ask people to view them to see if they worked it was not functioning probably. It did not work on my mobile device either. I worked on fixing this for a very long time, however, I could not do much about it. People commented on a tweet I posted on Twitter about the cons of using Wix which were the exact problems I was facing. When I was editing and viewing the website signed in, everything worked accordingly with no problems except the advertisements. Sadly, the website was not loading on mobile devices nor on some computers. After reading all the comments posted online I realised that I didn’t think it was worth me paying for the subscription if all these problems would still occur as that would not be worth it. I decided to stay with Wix for a bit longer to try to fix the problems as I really loved this website that I had created. It wasn’t much time after that I took the advice from many of you on Twitter advising me to use WordPress.
Lastly, I would like to inform of the incredible feature I was able to create which is exactly what I wanted to create original on blogger. This is the ability to create a page which focuses on my photography including my own photo-shoots and ones I have taken of people or based on travel. As you can see from the image above, I have created a fashion portfolio which includes photographs of my fashion/modelling images which I wanted to showcase. Alongside this, I wanted to create a drop-down option on my menu which would have categorical options for my photography portfolio. I was so happy when I found out I could do this because it was my main goal when creating a new website as I wanted to create a site combining my blog posts and photography together.
I genuinely thought that Wix was the blogging platform for me until the problems started occurring. Was it going to be that easy? Of course not! LOL… I knew there would be complications. I spent approximately 2 full days creating and editing my website on Wix and I really liked how simple it was to navigate. Things started to get a little complicated when I started to get people to check out my blog on their devices. I didn’t delete my original blog on Blogger luckily as I was worried to lose everything. Unfortunately, my Wix website did not work functionally on mobile devices nor did it work on larger devices as it was slow, links had bugged out and it was quite laggy. I was really surprised at the number of comments I got regarding Wix and how I shouldn’t use it because people have had problems with the website in the past. I wish I was told this a lot sooner, but I am glad that I was informed before I deleted my blog on Blogger and before I paid for the monthly subscription on Wix to get rid of the advertisement and give me greater freedom with the control over my blog. This is when I took the advice of my Twitter friends and started creating my website using WordPress.
How did I get on using WordPress?
You’ll be thankful that this is where my swapping and changing of blogging platforms stops. I spent a reasonable amount of time creating and editing my new website using WordPress which I am over the moon about. I wish I started using WordPress from the start. It is brilliant! It is so easy to use, creating and editing a basic site, there are so many designs and templates, free to use, ability to add widgets, menus and creating an authoritative site. I have been using WordPress for almost 2 weeks now and I am so happy I made this change. My website isn’t fully there yet or complete in terms of the customisation aspects, however, I feel that what I have created is exactly what I wanted. I think it is even better than what I ever expected I could achieve! I cannot wait to customise it further creating my own website exactly how I want it.
My ‘Home’ page and the whole website is very similar to the website I created on Wix which just goes to show that I did like Wix until the problems started to happen. I absolutely love how easy it has been to convert everything into WordPress and how functional it is. I have not had any problems with this yet and I hope I don’t… LOL! I really like how spacious my website is as it looks pleasing and tidy which is something that interests me as a reader and writer. I don’t want to show too much in terms of images of my new bog as I think I will let you explore and take a look at my WordPress website once you have finished reading this. There is nothing to fault with using WordPress, other than me needing to learn how to use it, but I think I have mastered it now. WordPress has been free for me to use which is beyond amazing because I have created my perfect website including all I wanted to, such as a menu with a functioning home page, about me page, blog page and a photography portfolio page with a separate drop-down menu working accordingly. Once I have got used to the whole editing and customisation aspect of WordPress I will be developing and editing the website further to maintain the continuity and keeping it up to date. In my opinion, I think that if you are considering becoming a blogger then you should definitely use WordPress straight away because it is free to use and effectively has more beneficial features for you to use than other blogging platforms. I am almost certain that once I have finished with designing my website I will pay for the monthly subscription to use blogger.
Thank you so much for reading this blog post and I hope I have answered all of your questions regarding my change. If I haven’t and you would like more information please message me on social media or comment below. I didn’t want to give too much away about my WordPress website as I would like to have a look at it and let me know what you think. It is still very new and I am working on adding extra features and pages. If you would like me to do a WordPress review let me know and I can do that at some point.
I hope you have a lovely week ahead and I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. A huge thank you to Chelc on Twitter who assisted and supported me through changing and creating my WordPress blogging and photography website. You have been incredible and I appreciated your help greatly.