First of all Happy Halloween Everyone!

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I thought Halloween would be a good day to share one of the scariest things I’ve ever done: switching from Blogger to WordPress
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Are you Ready to Read?
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As you know a month ago I hiked the huge hill up to WordPress Mountain and I jumped from the top of it  leaving Dear Blogger behind.
I use this analogy because it really felt that way… I don’t have a HUGE blog but even though I felt terrified with the possibility of losing my followers, your precious comments and hours of work reflected on each post.
 I am sure that many of you that are considering transferring your blog to WordPress.org have some of the same fears.
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If I was writing this post a month ago my thoughts would have been completely different from today…That is why I chose to give Wordpress some time and see what would happened before I could give you a true and fair picture of the transition.
So this post is for you all that are at the bottom of the mountain looking at the peak of it and thinking
Should I go up there?
Should I jump?
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The purpose of this post is to answer some of the questions you have asked me through your emails.
I hope it helps!
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QUESTION:
Did you do the switch yourself or someone else did it for you?

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ANSWER:
My answer to this question unfortunately is both.
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I spent a ridiculous amount of hours for over two weeks
researching how to do it. I read dozens of posts and articles… I am sure that if you are computer literate you would have understood  what they were saying.

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Me?
I am many things…
I am a woman,
a wife,
a mom,
a friend,
I blog between laundry and macaroni and cheese,
and when I see HTML the first thing that comes to my mind is…

 Help
This
 Mom
Learn.
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But after so much homework I thought I was ready to hit the button and cut the umbilical cord that had me attached to Blogger…
And being me and having a little too much passion in my blood I just found the courage to do it.
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I pushed the button that made the old thirtysixthavenue.com
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Everything in the beginning seemed to be PERFECT!
“Hey girl… this mama has skills!” – I thought
This sense of accomplishment vanished just two days later when  I saw my pageviews collapse { from over 2500 to under 1000} and I started receiving email after email  letting me know that my RSS was not WORKING.
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PANIC? 
Yes!
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At this point I decided to take a closer look of everything that had been transferred and I realized that I was missing over 35 posts {nooooo!} and that all your precious
comments were gone in pretty much every post that had been transferred!
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PANIC? 
NO!
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Sadness?
 Heck Yes!
I felt lost, sad and STUPID!
Why did I switched,
Why ?
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Something good that came out of this mess was that my appreciation for you grew to another level. Don’t take me wrong. I loved my readers I appreciated you following my blog but at that point I missed you and I realized how much joy you bring into my daily life and how much of me is you.
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.QUESTION:Who helped me?
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ANSWER:

First of all you did!
I posted on my Facebook page my frustration.
I did NOT LIKE WORDPRESS!
I wanted to go BACK to Blogger!
How could I do it?
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I realized soon that after you transfer it is extremely hard to go back to Blogger.
I am serious after you cut the umbilical cord you are on your own…
The best way I can explain the difference between Blogger and WordPress is like this: before you were renting an apartment {Blogger}
but when you transfer to Wordpress you are a home owner.
If something breaks you fix it or hire a contractor to fix it for you…
So I was stuck.
 I knew I couldn’t go back and I knew I could not fix the mess.
One of my readers recommended me Blogelina.com
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Blogelina Blogger to WordPress Transfer
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I went to their website and I read about their services and products.
I decided that I was going to trust their knowledge and I did!
I CAN’T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT Tanya and her CUSTOMER SERVICE!
She was not just quick to help  but they will do  your transfer for $85.00.
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THEY WILL DO IT FOR YOU!
Shut the front door!
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WHY DIDN’T I DO
THIS FROM THE VERY BEGINNING?
WHY DID I SPEND ALL THIS TIME TRYING TO DO IT?
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Because I had not heard about them… That is why!
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After a few emails and a couple of days my post were all back, my comments were all back, my feed burner was working again, and my pageviews did not just come back to normal but higher than ever before…
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Tanya, THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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QUESTION:Who designed your blog?
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ANSWER:

Me.
I like to have the freedom to change the look of my Blog if I want to.
WordPress works different than Blogger. You have to go out there to find your theme {template}. The challenge here is that there are thousands of themes to choose from. Things don’t have the same name either. It takes some time to figure out how to customize your blog.
One of the first free themes I tried was Platform 1.3.7 by PageLines
After playing with it I knew I liked it and I decided to upgrade to PlatformPro 1.5.3 by PageLines
PlatformPro Thumbnail
What I like about this theme is that you can choose colors, picture galleries, fonts, page design, and a ton of other options  and it is easy to use and follow…. Anyone can do it. If you have question they have a great forum to find answers and a HUGE community of bloggers to give
you help. You can ask me too and I’ll do my best to share what I know. I love it!
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QUESTION:
Does it take longer to blog?.
ANSWER:
YES!

If I tell you the truth I don’t even write my posts in WordPress. I still use Blogger for that…🙂

There are basic things that WordPress won’t do for you without changing the CSS and HTML…
I AM LOST!
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I have not even found yet a plugin for Picassa that works…
SO I write my post on Blogger and when I am done I copy the HTML code and paste it on WordPress… Really this doesn’t take much longer. The part that I can’t STAND ABOUT WORDPRESS is that the enter key to add spaces between paragraphs DOES NOT WORK.
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THIS IS SO ANNOYING TO ME!
and one other little thing…
YOU CAN’T just highlight an area and change the font size like you can do in Blogger.
Here is why it takes me longer…
I am picky therefore after I copy and paste I add a dot and change the color to white so you don’t see it to form a space between paragraphs…
Do you know how many white dots I paste?
MANY!
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So here is my little note to WordPress:
Dear WordPress we are in 2011 could you please explain to me why the most basic key {ENTER}  on a computer does NOTHING for me here?
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Please let me say it again : ANNOYING! 

QUESTION:
Do I regret it?
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ANSWER:
A month ago YES… a month later NO.
I am not a WordPress SUPER LOVER yet but I balieve I will be.
I am learning more about it everyday and I am starting to see the benefits of it.
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I LOVE how easy it is to leave comments and reply to them.

I really like the plug-ins… there are hundreds of things that you can activate or deactivate with a click of a button to change, improve or customize the look and performance of your blog. AWESOME!
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QUESTION:

Was it worth it?
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ANSWER:
YES!
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Keep in mind that WordPress.org is not FREE.
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You are looking anywhere between $200.00 to who know how much dollars to get your site running.
My total cost was around $350.00
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I read time after time that if you are serious about blogging you might consider switching…
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I still don’t understand fully how and why my pageviews have increased. I LOVE connecting with people and it seems to me that WordPress is
a bigger window
to the Blog world than Blogger was.
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QUESTION:
Do you miss Blogger?
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ANSWER:
I do sometimes…
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I miss the comfort of knowing what I was doing and that I didn’t have to deal with being a “home owner”. I liked renting.
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The first few weeks I have to admit that it  was weird. It felt like I got disconnected and was alone.
It was like I was writing for myself without an audience… I’m not sure why I felt that way but it did!
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 My Final Advice
1. Before you cut the umbilical cord… DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
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Find out if you are ready:
How much it will cost you?
What do you need and what do you want?
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2. BE REALISTIC

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There are things you can do and there are things that other people can do for you!
I wish I would have contacted Blogelina.com on day one!
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Now I look back and I think the only thing I hated about switching was the switch process.The endless hours of searching of how to do it, the dozens of questions that I could NOT find an answer for, the fear to lose you. All I can say is that those $85.00 was the best money I have EVER spent.
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3. GIVE IT SOME TIME… Changes are hard.
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Give it a fair chance before you give up!
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BE READY FOR THINGS TO GET WORSE BEFORE THINGS GETS BETTER.
It takes some time to get used to it but that is how it is with everything,
motherhood, a new job, going to college, moving to a new area…
It just takes time!
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I hope this helps!
If you have any questions please drop a comment, let me know.If  you have any other suggestions for my readers please share them and I’ll be more than happy to pass them along…

So I am going to say what I never thought I would say…

WordPress ROCKS!

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Have a HAPPY AND SAFE HALLOWEEN!

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POST UPDATE:

This is what one of my EXTRAORDINARY readers shared with me after reading my post:

“Desirée, thank you so much for sharing your moving experience! 🙂
I’m still playing around with WordPress, before making the big move, but what I’ve noticed helped with the line break issue is either making the line break
in the HTML code or in the visual mode, pressing shift and then the enter button. Let me know if that solves your problem. 🙂
Happy Halloween and besos!
Vanessa”

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And it works!

For some reason I have to double enter to create a single space…

WordPress you are NOT so annoying anymore 😉

Thank you Vanessa!