When I changed my blog over to the new URL, I started thinking about hosting the blog myself, rather than going through blogger. My first thought was “How am I going to move the existing articles over?” I have since decided not to do this, at least for now, but while thinking about it, I realized that I had no backup of my blog entries anywhere. I thought this might be a good idea, so I looked for an export function in blogger, but there isn’t one. After a bit of searching, I found a couple of complicated methods of exporting all of your blog entries. One of these involved replacing your template with a different one, which would change the actual blog itself so that you could basically cut and paste the entire thing and then replace the template afterwards. This seemed like overkill, but then I found a comment that said something like “I just created a wordpress account and imported everything”.
I looked at wordpress and found that not only did it have an import feature that would automatically import all blog entries and comments from an existing blogger blog, but it also had an export feature which would to export your entire blog (including comments) to a single XML file. This seemed like exactly what I wanted, so I created a wordpress blog, imported everything from my blogger blog, then exported it to an XML file. The whole process took maybe 5 minutes, and I now have a 1.4 MB file containing every entry and comment on my blog from the beginning of time (also known as April 9, 2005) until January 26, 2008. I then changed my blogger setup so that it will automatically email every entry I post to my gmail account, and I’ll set up a filter there so that entries automatically get tagged as blog entries and archived so I’ll have a record of those as well.
Truth be told, I actually prefer the look of the wordpress blog to that of my blogger one. The export feature is a very nice thing that blogger doesn’t have, and I was considering switching over to use wordpress permanently, until I saw this at the bottom of wordpress’s features page:
To support the service we may occasionally show Google text ads on your blog, however we do this very rarely. In the future you’ll be able to purchase an upgrade to either turn the ads off or show your own ads and make money from your blog.
I seem to have this implicit dislike of online advertising (though I use (and love) gmail which does have ads, and I appreciate that this is how these services can be offered for free), so no thanks. If I had hundreds or thousands of readers, I could maybe see putting some ads on there for a little extra income (though having said what I said about online advertising, I might feel like I sold out to The Man). However, the way my readership numbers look now, I’d likely make nothing — the odds that either of my readers would click on anything are pretty low. Isn’t it ironic that one of the reasons that I don’t want to switch is because WordPress might show Google ads, while blogger (which is owned by Google) does not?
Another problem is that if I wanted to use http://www.cutthechatter.com (rather than cutthechatter.wordpress.com), I’d have to pay $10 / year, whereas it’s free with blogger. (Well, I have to pay for the domain itself, but I’d have to pay for that either way.) So I think that for the foreseeable future, I’ll be sticking with blogger.
I do think I will have to play around with my blogger template to make it prettier, possibly using the WordPress one as a guide.