Ta-da! If you haven’t noticed yet, things look a little different around here. After 5+ years of blogging on Blogger, I made the terrifying & exciting switch to WordPress. I spent a lot of time thinking about, dreaming about, and planning for this journey but there comes a time when you just need to jump in! So I jumped.
I totally hyped up the transition in my head like a crazy person (PS: I have a tenancy to be a little dramatic and emotional at times #thesearemyconfessions #usherthrowback ) but it wasn’t as scary as I thought and getting some things set up beforehand really made it all flow so well! Since now I am a pro (WINK FACE) at all of this, I want to share with you some things to keep in mind if you are moving to WordPress or making any kind of blog transition!
HIRE A DESIGNER
First things first, figure out who is going to do your new design. There are so many great designers out there to chose from that have a variety of price points to fit so many budgets. In fact, you may be the designer you hire on for your redesign! Figuring out who will be your designer and what you will be paying is the first step in this whole journey. When you hire a designer, you may not be able to launch next week – it may have to be in a couple months when it is your turn for the designer to focus on your project. Once you get your designer signed on, you now have a time table to work with and plan on.
Whitney of Heart & Arrow Design came to my rescue when my initial designer fell through. I went on a mad hunt for a new designer and knew Whit was the one for the job within minutes of our Twitter conversation! She is pretty much an all-star and was able to throw all my crazy dreams, ideas, and inspiration into one beautiful site!
TIP: When you are looking for a designer, keep your personal taste and blog content in mind. Each designer has strengths & a style they tend to create in. Pick someone who has a website you love and has a portfolio filled with designs that fit you! It is always best when you and your designer are on the same page and working in each other’s strengths!
SET UP HOSTING / PLATFORM
This may have been the most intimidating process to me – all those opinions, reviews, stats, and programs. I decided to go with WordPress because it felt the most grown up and filled with potential room for growth! I went to the familiar and what I saw people recommend over and over and signed up for Bluehost. Then I just started forwarding all the emails to my designer and even got her to help me transfer my domain over from Godaddy. It turned out to be a really simple process (thanks mostly to my rock-star designer and the seriously friendly people over at Bluehost.) If you are freaked out like me, have no fear- a great designer and friendly customer service will get it all settled fast and stress free!
SCHEDULE A PHOTOSHOOT
Okay! So this is one of the most fun parts about this all and I highly recommend you do it! Work with a local photographer (or your husband) to get a set of photos that you can use all over your new blog! It will help create a theme, identity, and cohesive feel! I worked with Allison, a local photographer who I love and adore at Stellar Propeller Studio. You can see how they turned out since they are all over my site plus I have a pile of extra post that I’m trying to sneak in everywhere!
You don’t need to pay the big bucks to set up something like this – in fact, many photographers have pretty affordable packages for headshots. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out and find a way to collaborate! Some newer photographers may be willing to do a trade since they are looking for exposure and some more established photographers may offer a discount in exchange for a feature post. You never know until you ask!
WRITE COPY (AND/OR HIRE A COPY EDITOR)
When you are launching a new website it is always good to get someone else’s eyes on your work! Especially if you are creating a launch page (like my New Consultation Page!) or writing an about page you will want someone to at least read over what you have written. I love working with Copy Editors for things like this. They are great because most have a large range of services for affordable prices. If you are looking for someone to write a good chunk of your copy you can hire one or you can pay significantly less to have someone read over what you wrote and make minor changes.
I used Katlyn of Kincaid Editing to help finalize things for this website. She is so sweet and helpful and I highly recommend her if you are looking for any help with writing!
PLAN THE TRANSFER
The last thing you need to do is set a final date for the launch and figure out how you are going to go about the transfer process. I was switching from 5 years of blog posts on Blogger to WordPress and I wanted too keep all that content! I am not super confident in code or any type of blog foundations so I wanted to make sure I had someone help me so it all would go smoothly! When I was picking a designer I asked if she was able to help with the transfer process and what the extra cost would be. It was totally worth it to have her switch it all over for me! If you are not wanting to hire your designer or someone else to help with that, you need to do your research so that you know what you need to do and can plan for it.
Have you made a big transition before? Are you planning on making one soon? Tell me what your top tips are!