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Monday, October 26, 2015

Should I Move to WordPress?

We had a tremendous amount of rain since Friday. More than 12 inches in a 24 hour period. We'd been dry for months so the rain was welcome. I just wish it hadn't come all at one time.

The storms were so fierce it brought down two (dead) trees on our land, but further south of us, flood waters derailed an entire train hauling cement. That won't be pretty to clean out.

I'm continuing my research on expanding my blog. The big question will be whether I should migrate to WordPress or stay on Blogger. I like Blogger but many of the affiliates I'm interested in seem better connected to WordPress. It would be a big step for me. 

Right now I'm busy reading up on their terms of service. From what I've heard, blogging with affiliates is a lot trickier than it used to be. I don't want to make any missteps out of ignorance.

For instance, I can't advertise too big a percentage of free books if I also happen to have an affiliate that sells books. I think I can get around that if I post a separate post that doesn't compete with the affiliate. My plan right now is to offer a small venue to my writer friends.

In my own small way, expanding into a bigger audience looking for bargains and DIY articles, I might be able to showcase a few books every week. I'll know more once I parse out all the fine print. 

And tomorrow, I'll tell you why I'm doing this. 

In the meantime, I want to give a shout out to a few friends in the middle of a promotion.

Jenny Schwartz is asking people to nominate her novel, Sky Garden for the Kindle Scout program. This sounds like a pretty sweet deal so be a pal and nominate Jenny's book. Here's the link.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan is in the middle of a blog tour promoting her fantasy series, Seasons Avatar. They're offering some pretty nice prizes in the rafflecopter. Check it out.

My buddy, Jimmy Garcia Jr. is doing a bang up job in direct sales of his books with a couple of live book events. I really need to interview him and find out if he has any secrets to share. He always seems to do a great job hand-selling his books. Must be the smile. 

Tyrean Martinson is putting her book, Champion in the Darkness for free to get people interested in the rest of her fantasy series. Go over and take a look.

Last but not least, Mike Keyton is looking for readers with a soft spot for "not your average" noir fantasy with his novel, Clay Cross. I know Mike must be serious about his career because he sent me his author photo and I touched it up with the right background. Look out world!

To all my WordPress friends, how do you like it? Is it easy to navigate? If I do this I'll be spending the extra bucks to have my own domain. 

Is it cool by you? Other than the rain, our temps have been pretty mild. 

End of Part One. Click here for Part Two.


Sandra Almazan said...

Thanks for mentioning the blog tour, Maria! It's actually a Broad Universe blog tour, so there are a lot of other authors participating too.

I don't have much experience with Wordpress, so I can't offer advice on that. I wish Illinois would let me use Amazon Affiliate links, though.

Long and Short Reviews said...

We moved LASR and Goddess Fish to WordPress -- but we don't use it the way you would be. I *do* know that a bunch of our tour hosts had their wordpress blogs pulled down for posting "spam" because their posts weren't unique enough all the time (again, I don't think this would be an issue for you). And that was only on the free WordPress sites ( -- WordPress IS apparently more easy to hack (we've had our LASR site down three times because of it, and we use almost no plugins, which is where most vulnerabilities come from). That said, WordPress is FAR more diverse in its abilities to do what you want it to do and it allowed us to have our website (with unlimited pages) and our blog posts all in one place, which Blogger did not.

Not sure how much that helps, but there you go ... :-)

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: You're welcome! I didn't know Illinois forbade affiliates. I wonder why. I've gotten some of my best deals from them.

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne (LASR): Thanks, Marianne! That's good to know.

I'd heard WP had some issues with malware. that's why I've been thinking of moving it to a web host with a dedicated firewall.

I think all platforms have some problems. It's the investment that concerns me. Will I get what I pay for?

LASR is a huge operation. I don't plan to be that big, but I might bug you for help if the time comes. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I've only used Blogger, so I don't have much advice to offer here. But good luck with whatever you choose! :)

It's still pretty warm here, but it's drier air so I no longer feel like a drowned rat the moment I walk out the door.

betty said...

I had tried WordPress and I didn't find it as user friendly like Blogger is. Worse thing about it is when I was done with it, I couldn't cancel my account with WordPress. I can't remember why you can't, but it did specifically say something about it (because I looked long and hard to find how to cancel it). I use it for blogs that are on WordPress that I might follow, like through the A/Z challenge, but otherwise I tend to avoid blogs on WordPress. Looking forward to why you are thinking of changing over to WordPress.


Melissa McClone said...

When I had a new site made, most of the designers used WP so I migrated my blogger website there. Well, they did. So far no problems other than the twitter widget not working and me not liking how things are shared so I just past the link rather than use the buttons. I need to email web designer about that.

I've not had any hacking issues, but I have no idea how my designer has it set up. I do like some of the functions and the ability to easily create tables without needing some html to do it.

I also found many readers have issues commenting on blogger blogs. I had to stop a guest blogger gig because it was becoming that big of an issue (I'd offer a giveaway with each monthly post.) I haven't had that issue on WP.

Good luck with your decision!

Rebekah Loper said...

I've been using for probably 6 or 7 years now. It does have some limitations - you can't do anything with flash or iframe, and you have to pay extra for more 'features' such as the ability to edit your CSS on your site. They only recently added the ability to change the font on non-premium sites (though there's only about 5-10 options to choose from).

They're PICKY about affiliates and referrals, too, though I did find a workaround - while they often don't allow referral links IN a post, they make no distinctions between referral links and regular links in their link widgets. They do allow affiliate links from Amazon, and a few other places, but it's very limited.

However, if you go self-hosted and just use the Wordpress.ORG framework, then you can do pretty much whatever you want. If you want to try for a while and see if you like it, it's very easy after that to transfer all your stuff (except for subscribers) to a self-hosted site. (Or so I've heard.)

I will eventually go to self-hosted, but for me, that's probably 2-3 years down the road. I just don't need it yet.

Maria Zannini said...

Madelyn: I like the fall in Texas. I'm even happier that winter is so short. LOL. I'm a wimp!

Maria Zannini said...

Betty: I think Blogger is more user friendly too--or maybe I'm just used to it.

I could try a dummy account on WP and see how easily it would be to navigate. I just have to remind myself of the learning curve.

Maria Zannini said...

Melissa: That's taking the easy way out. I'm hoping that if I use a web host they can guide me to what I need.

The only thing I dislike about WP as a reader is that I can't leave a comment without subscribing for a reply. That seems an unnecessary step imo.

Mike Keyton said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Maria. I confess I got a bit of a shock when I saw that grin staring back at me 😊. I have nothing to contribute to the Wordpress party, but the learning is interesting. Totally intrigued by your new projects, what they entail, and what affiliates mean. All shall be revealed in time Best of luck in everything

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: Self-hosting might be the way to go. It's more $$$ but if the affiliates pan out, they'll pay for my research time and hosting.

I really need to find someone who can explain WP in all its many forms and what I can and can't do on each of them.


Maria Zannini said...

Mike: You're welcome. I think tomorrow's post should explain things better--at least my reasoning on why I want to do this--and actually spend money to do it. LOL.

Angela Brown said...

It has been very rainy around these parts. Much needed but in such a concentrated dose, yeah, the consequences.

I'm still on Blogger but I would be interested in what you discover from your research.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

As a blogger use, I often find Wordpress blogs irritating but it's probably only because I'm unfamiliar with them. On the other hand, wordpress has the more website 'feel' and look to them.

Susan Says

Stacy McKitrick said...

I don't recall having to subscribe to ALL the wordpress blogs I've commented on. I usually do subscribe, because I want to know when someone has replied to my comment. Other than that, that's all I know about wordpress. Blogger is enough for me.

Weather is cooling here. In the 40s this morning. I think the high is supposed to be in the 60s. Trees are looking pretty, too! I just don't like that the sun sets before 7pm now. And, of course, it'll be a lot earlier once DST is over this coming weekend. I hate that abrupt change.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: We're expecting more rain this weekend. It's going to be a soggy October. My plants seem to like it though. Everything is thriving.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: I agree. WordPress does seem to look more like a web site. Blogger started going that way a few years ago and then abruptly stopped.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Maybe it's just how WP treats me. I always have to subscribe to each and every post if I want to see replies.

I wish they would just give me a small check box like Blogger does. Don't make it harder on people.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

My author website is on WordPress and of course includes a blog where I post just a couple times a year. I really like WordPress but since I started first on blogger that's where I stay for regular posting. I really prefer WordPress as a professional and useful website, finding it easy to manage. But I still like blogger best for using as an interactive blog.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Thanks HEAPS for the shout out, Maria :)

I'm a big fan of Wordpress, but I'm not sure of its restrictions re selling/affiliations. I'm self-hosted, so a bit different.

Tia said...

I have experience with moving from Blogger to Wordpress, and then from a self-hosted Wordpress blog to the native blog, which is 99 dollars a year.

I am now planning to move back to a self-hosted wordpress blog. I am just trying to find a good web host. I need a host that provides hacking support, because hacking can be a problem. It was the reason I moved to However, I am too limited at, and I want the flexibility of a self-hosted site again.

My last site was hacked because my web host was not keeping up with updates to its backend software, including mysql. It was outrageous. Any of the sites that recommends has better support than that. The webhost has to keep things updated on your end, and you have to keep your worpress plugins updated. Since a lot of plugins bog your site down anyway, you're not going to want to install a huge quantity. A lot of them will maintain themselves.

Feel free to email with questions.

Maria Zannini said...

Karen: I won't expect as many comments in my new format, so maybe it'll work for me. There's just so much to learn about WP in all its variations. I might need more than 2 months!

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: You're welcome! And I did nominate your book.

I think I'm going to have to use a web host. I want someone who knows more than me to keep an eye on malware and spam.

Maria Zannini said...

Tia: LOL. You might be sorry you volunteered. I know I'm going to have questions.

Re: hack
Oh, gosh. I remember that. I had commented on your blog and my email got infected. It was awful.

I'll definitely keep an eye out for a web host that is proactive with hackers. Please let me know if you find one you can recommend.

And thanks!

Diane Carlisle said...

I just can't bring myself to make the switch yet. I tried Wordpress and I don't like their templates. If I can learn to customize like I do with Blogger, I might consider it. I don't have the time to tinker is the problem.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: Blogger does have a lot of nice templates, and they're relatively easy to install.

I hate to learn new software. By God, I grouse and whine for three solid weeks and then it becomes second nature. But those three weeks feel like three years.

Happens every time.

Rebekah Loper said...

One thing you can always do (and actually recommends this) is to create a test account with them, and play with themes and formats and the back-end in general before going public. I actually have a separate account that's set to private for my blog, and I test any major theme changes, etc, there before I do it on my public blog that you all see. It's been great for when I get antsy and want to change things up. It either helps me find something better, or it cures my urge to play, lol.

Tia said...

Dang. I never knew that commenting on my blog infected anyone with anything! I thought it was just a hack--not a virus. I will definitely be careful when making a move. Hmm. Something to think about.

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: I probably will do a test blog. I did that with Blogger before I went public. I like to try different things without having to inconvenience readers.

Maria Zannini said...

Tia: Yep. It was scary for a while. I couldn't stop it. I ended up deleting my account and starting fresh. I was so afraid it would spread.