Google’s blogger was my first choice to build my website and start sharing my thoughts (at least the digital ones) with whomever is interested in reading them.
Also, i believe in the reign of content, and i’m sure well written and marketed content will go places on the world wide web. So i not only created the blog/site, but also started to run tests on all paid and earned media – my owned media is basically the content!
So i started with blogger for google’s SEO – not thinking that there’s not gonna be a lot of people looking for me – and quickly found out the possibilities of customising it from a non-coders perspective are limited. At first you are satisfied with the choices and easiness in installing google analytics and finding code for the cool widgets, but then the options become limited.
If you want a flashy homepage it’s not that simple to achieve…at least not as simple as in wordpress. So after a bit of research i came across a few cool flashy templates that were just what i was looking for, and they were free.
The next step was to migrate the 11 posts i’d already written with all the metadata and assets. Fortunately blogger has an export function, and wordpress an import one for xml – which kinda helps!
So doing that was easy. Then came the small details, setting up widgets – wordpress is cool – allows you to park widgets, which saves you the trouble of do/undo when you want to change the look of your page – google analytics, and discovering cool stuff to add on like setting up a redirect from your URL.
Jetpack is a really cool Plugin and it makes a lot of things like social widgets, photo carousels and a really slick mobile optimised theme – which had impact on the amount of mobile traffic I began to have. It also juices your blog and powers it with cloud-power from wordpress.com, making it a self-hosted wordpress site – downside is you’ll have to spend $99 USD.
Optimised mobile design, tracking performance and cloud power are musts in any digital venture! [tweet this].
The second choice was theme – and after a lot of search I chose a free one: Tempera by Cryout Creations. The key factor was the presentation page that allows a slider, giving your page a really professional look. It’s got tons of options like social media buttons on every page, customisable fonts, colours, backgrounds, etc.
The third point is plugins. Easy to install and configure they give you cool features without requiring any coding (you can search for html bits, but it’s a trial and error exercise – which i enjoy!). SEO WordPress is a must have, as it allows you to customise (and optimise) the site’s content, metadata, titles, etc. Akismet is another must, as it allows you to dodge spammy comments (which ruined my previous wordpress attempt – 3 years ago).
The results are inspiring in just 3 days – traffic up about 25%, so baring in mind i’m not experimenting with payed social media on Facebook nor twitter anymore, that’s great results.
Other cool improvements from using wordpress instead of blogger:
- Mobile usage up to 27% vs 19% on blogger
- Pages/User up from 2.1 to 3.53 and average navigation time up 100%
I’ll go into the paid media results once i’ve completed all experiments, but the key thing is keeping up the social media activity to get all of you to read these posts.
What cool wordpress plugins are you using?
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