I'm Back! Why I Left Wordpress

February 20, 2015




I kid you not, on the morning of the hack, this is what I found on my kitchen table

It all started with an email. "You have been hacked."

I certainly was. My site was gone. Blank screen, fatal error message, bye, bye. Done. The mysterious intruders had gained access though a plug in and destroyed my theme, my files and my posts.

"You can probably restore it," they said, "it's easy."

Um, yeah...it's not.

WordPress was a giant mystery to me. In Blogger, I was able to add HTML code and alter css to change my website.  I moved gadgets around with ease and stylized my font. In WordPress, I couldn't even find the code. I was told that it was in my Cpanel, with my host...but be careful, if you touch the wrong thing, your whole site will come down. You can pretty it up with plug ins, but be careful, if you used too many it will slow down your site and the wrong one can crash your blog.

Just back up and you'll be fine!

I have to be honest, I never felt fine.

I am not a stupid girl, but I am a creative type, not a techie. WordPress code was seriously technical and I was lost from the get go.

Back it up? How?

Which plug in is best for that?

Like everything else in WordPress, I was told to leave it to the pros, "Pay for it."

Ugh. Not the words a compulsive DIYer wants to hear.

It was, however, the best advice I received during this whole mess. I did back up, for a fee, and after many hours waiting for emails (it's all email customer service...and waiting), I ~ well, not me, my new friend Phyllis ~ was able to access the files and get Exquisitely Unremarkable going again. It was a mess, links didn't work, there was a lot of time spent on the phone, on Facebook messenger and on Google.

I just wanted to go back home to Blogger. Why did I ever leave?

I'll tell you why ~ hype.

I was told that if I wanted to be serious, I had to get off Blogger. It was a limited platform for design and SEO. I was told that I would never get the kind of traffic I needed to get noticed as a writer if I stayed with Blogger and I needed to get to WordPress, fast, because everyone ends up there eventually anyway and I was just wasting time.

My Blogger site had become glitchy and I was told that Google could in fact take my site down for no reason whatsoever and my blog, all the pretty posts I spent two years creating, would be gone. (Kind of ironic, don't you think?)

That is not true, by the way, but I drank the Kool-Aid.

So last September, as the kids went back to school, I got down to business and moved to WordPress. I got a good deal and for about a hundred bucks, I moved over. I was given hosting for a year, a pretty theme that replicated my Blogger site and hearty pat on the back, wishing me luck.

I regretted it immediately.

There were things I didn't like about my set up, things I could not fix on my own. Plus, since my theme came with my package, I did not own it and therefore, I could not get support in the forums. There were security issues and hosting malfunctions I had to tend to and a lot of time was spent figuring out how I could communicate with my old friends. You see in WordPress, there is no way to directly email your commenters back.

NONE. On WordPress, everyone is essential no reply.

You want to respond and keep the conversation going, well, it has to be in public on your blog and how will your readers know that you have responded to their comment? Well, they don't...unless they come back...or you have a plug in that let's them know and believe it or not, there aren't a lot of them.

I made a big deal about this lack of communication in a few forums and no one seemed to care. I was told, "Wow, you keep bringing this up, it must be a big deal for you."

Um, yeah!! It was a really big deal for me.

I loved the interactions and friendships I built on Blogger. I answered all of my comments, struck up friendships with people, gave tips on my projects and chatted about ideas. That was the best part of blogging and now it was gone. On WordPress, I was relegated to talking at people instead of to them.

Then I found the greatest plug in, called Thank Me Later. It would at least email my commenters letting them know that there was a response on the blog. It was kind of annoying, but it was the best I could find. At least, there was a chance for conversation.

Things were looking up. Until...

It was through Thank Me Later that I was hacked.

More irony.

The funny thing about the whole situation is that it was an actual relief. Now I had a reason to go back to Blogger. I hated WordPress. I found it constricting, austere and lonely.

Here is what no one told me about WordPress:

It is hacked a lot, regardless of the security you have and it's all up to you to mind that security.

It is expensive. I got a great deal for the first year, but next year, I would've paid over $150 for my hosting alone. That doesn't include any of the technical help I would be paying for, if I had an issue, or the $60 for back up (which was worth every penny, btw) and if I got tired of blogging and wanted to take a break, or quit, I would still have to pay for hosting forever, if I wanted my site to stay up for posterity sake.

Forever.

Nope, none of this was for me. I was ready to go home.

Unfortunately, getting back to Blogger is not something most people do, so the how to information on Google is limited at best and when you ask others about it, they laugh. Seriously. Apparently, Brenda from Cozy Little House and I are the only two people in the whole world who have ever done it.

Of course, I'm just kidding.

A few people commented on Facebook that they had gone back and actually, lots of people quietly emailed me saying that they too missed Blogger and would love to go back, but couldn't.

I get it.

Once you spend the money and make the commitment to go, it's hard to turn around. I don't care. I look at it as a learning experience. I can say that I went, I saw and I didn't like it.


Same tulips with a little water. I was able to revive my site, too. Do you believe in signs? 
So I'm back, thanks to the amazing Phyllis at Blogger Connections. Phyllis was one of the only people that reached out to me in one of the Facebook groups I posted in. She was super kind, extremely knowledgeable and never gave up during the crazy process.

She got me un-hacked!

She walked me through all of it to get my site up and running again, and trust me, it was not easy. There were a ton of roadblocks in the way and Phyllis navigated around all of them with grace and kindness. She was awesome.

If you need a tech girl, blogging help, a virtual assistant, you want to move to WordPress (no judgement!) or back, like me, I highly recommend her. I was hanging in the breeze and Phyllis was fabulous. She never left me waiting and when something is wrong with your website, you don't want to wait. She is a blogger herself, so she totally gets that. If she could get me out of my WordPress tangle and back to Blogger, I'm pretty certain she can do anything!

I also want to thank Brenda, who not surprisingly, answered my email call for help right away and held my virtual hand throughout the hacking. She was there with advice, resources and offers to help me get up and running again, if I had to start all over. Thank you, Brenda!

Thanks to these ladies and a lot of Googling on my own part, I am a Blogger blogger again.

My site looks exactly the same as it did on WordPress, all done by me with a little bit of code ~ no plug in, no help! Who says that a Blogger blog can't look as slick as a WordPress one?

I am not sure if I will show up in your email or in your blogroll automatically or if you'll have to resubscribe, if you're interested. You may not. Some things are still a bit fuzzy...like I said, the how to on moving back, a little sketchy!

Of course, if you don't have a Google account, it is harder to comment here. You will come up as no reply and I won't be able to email you back, but rest assured, your comment will be answered here on the blog.

Well, it's been a long week and I have bored you with my Exquisitely Unremarkable tale long enough. I am off to putter around my site and make myself comfortable again.

I told you I was the ultimate homebody...

...and it's good to be home!


~ Update ~

I have been back on Blogger for about ten months now. In that time, I have been featured in The Huffington Post seven times, I have written for major publications, been approached by and worked with several major brands. I was nominated for an international blogging award twice and placed in the top five in 2015, became a contributor to a local paper and, most recently, I was notified that one of my crafts ranked among the Top 100 of 2015 at All Free Christmas Crafts.

I'd say that's some pretty serious blogging.

Wouldn't you?


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105 comments:

  1. Oh wow Kim that is just horrible and thanks to those people who helped you out of the mess. I am so glad that you are back on blogger too! Yay and yay for blogger friends! Have a wonderful weekend.
    Julie xo

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    1. Thank you Julie! Good to be back home again!! :)

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  2. I keep hearing all the chants that everyone needs to be on Wordpress, but thank goodness, I am pleased as punch on Blogger. So glad you are back.

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    1. Thanks Marty, happy to be back!! :)

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  3. I'm glad you were able to get back to where you were - but what a terrible detour. Thank you for the warning!

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    1. Thank you! It was a detour for sure! I am glad to be back! :)

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  4. I had considered moving to Wordpress for the same reasons you were given, Kim. I'm a writer and successful writers were telling me I'd never be taken seriously unless I had a Wordpress blog. Except that what I noticed was that there are highly successful bloggers using the Blogger platform, their blogs look great and I couldn't see how they were harmed by not being on Wordpress. So I waited. And then a Wordpress user gave me an opportunity to write for her Wordpress blog and I needed a Wordpress account so I could get into her blog and guest post. I'm really glad I had that short experience, because it confirmed for me that Blogger is the right amount of techiness (is that a word? it is now!) for me. Wordpress is way too unfriendly for this simple user. I read Brenda's tale about losing her Wordpress blog and gong back to Blogger. I'm so glad she was able to help you -- she's great that way. And that Phyllis and Natalie got you back where you're happy. I'm so over worrying about whether my blog makes me look good or not. This girl just wants to have fun, interact with readers and other bloggers, and concentrate on providing quality, interesting content. That's what makes me happy. Welcome back, my friend! xxx ~ Nancy

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    1. It was a nightmare Nancy, a total nightmare. I mean it’s only a site and words, but it was something I had worked on and created for two years. I had so many post that I was proud of, some featured on other sites. The idea of it all being gone was so depressing. Phyllis helped me bring it back to life. She was great. I honestly don’t get the WP hype. I still think that there are some really big Blogger bloggers out there doing just fine. This is a much easier platform, it’s free and my content is what makes a blog worthy of my time, not their hosting company or platform! Who knew that at 46 years old, I could still be so naive?

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  5. Yeah, me too. Listened to the hype (oh, everyone is so excited to get you to move over to the green green grass of WP), saw, got hacked, and came back to Blogger with nary a post to my name in July 2013. (And, I was treated like a leper upon my leaving by many WP users, and to this day, it hurts me terribly to have been treated that way). And maybe people will start to listen to those of us who went to the green green grass of WP, watched our pretty lawns turn brown and die, and then jumped back over the fence. DO NOT listen to the hype. I assure you that's all it is. Truly.
    Brenda

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    1. Brenda, thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support!

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  6. I'm glad you got your blog straightened out! And now I know that if I had any doubt about staying with Blogger, I don't anymore! I'm technically challenged, so I like to stick to easy, and blogger has always been easy for me! As far as being hacked, I visited a website that messed up my computer too, I think my husband finally got it fixed, but Phyllis through a Facebook comment. I don't think I need her now, but I certainly will keep her name handy in case I need her! Good to have you back, and you were still in my blog roll!

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    1. I am glad that your computer problems seem to have been ironed out Rhonda! I am not a techie either...I just want to write and create. Like Diane Keaton said in that movie "Baby Boom", I just want to turn the faucet on and have water, I don't want to know where it's coming from! ;) Thanks for the comment!!

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    2. What I meant to say, but failed to proof read before I hit publish was, Phyllis commented that she would help me after she saw the comment I left you on Facebook. It's good to know I have someone to call just in case I have problems. Thank you for sharing her name:)

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  7. Kim,
    Whew! What a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach you must have had when you first realized your blog had disappeared. I am so glad that you were able to retrieve your backed-up posts and were able to migrate back to Blogger. Last year I had a minor glitch for a day in which I kept losing access my blog on each different browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc...). I reached out to the blog world while I still was signed in one of my least used browsers and help appeared. Between blogger friends who emailed that they could access my blog on every browser they had and someone at the Google Blogger Help, we were able to find MY error in a recent post that kept rerouting my computer to another URL address. What would we do without our blog friends?

    I, too, have been watching the exodus from Blogger to WordPress and wondering what is it that I do not know. So, I am really glad to read your information about your experiences on WordPress. Sorry that you had such a hard time, but grateful you shared it with us.

    Welcome home,
    Judith

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    1. I did have a sinking feeling, Judith. It was terrible. I know that when you run into a problem on Google there is no direct support, but we do have a lovely community to help us out. On WP I didn't buy my theme, it came with the migration, so I had no personal help there either. There a lot of people out there who love WP and I say awesome, whatever floats your boat. Turns out, it's just not for me! Thanks so much for the sweet comment!! :) Have a great weekend!

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  8. KIM! No wonder I had not seen any posts by you? What a literal nightmare. All that hard work gone - it must have been devastating. I am in the process of copying and pasting some posts and I hope that my blog will at least remain...so much technical processing here...I just wish you success and peace as you continue. See you later! Anita

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    1. Oh Anita, no fun at all!! I have spent the last week dealing with this mess...thankfully it's been so cold out that being hunkered down inside with a warm cup and a snuggly blanket hasn't been the worst thing! I am glad to be back though! Save those posts...but I think that on Blogger your posts should stay forever without any intervention!! Thanks for popping by!!

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  9. I was wondering where you were! And when I hit the 'subscribe' button at the bottom of your email post, it said I'm still subscribed! YAY!! So glad you're back to where it's fun to blog!

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    1. Thanks Nancy! Glad to hear to we can still hang out!! :)

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  10. What an interesting post, I too have considered moving over to WordPress, like you because I have heard tales of SEO isues and blogs being disabled by Google/Blogger, so it was very reassuring to read your thoughts and to hear that blogger is great too! I also have to say that your Blog looks gorgeous, I have serious layout envy right now! I am not very technical and feel that the 'look' of my blog really lets me down. Congratulations on Exquisitely Unremarkable!

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    1. Thanks Josie!! I am really happy with the way my site looks. It was not hard to do, a little bit of css here and there was all it took and while it sounds scary it is not at all. I was able to make changes and mistakes and then delete them if necessary. There are so many tutorials out there. If you have any questions, please ask! I'm willing to share whatever I know! :)

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  11. I'm so happy you are back! Wondered where you went!

    I am always amazed over the WP turnovers and temptations. I considered it once. The fear of what you experienced only confirms my decision to stay where I am.

    I know you went through a lot and hope it's smooth for you here on out! Hugs!

    ~Robin

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    1. I am sure that it is a great platform for a lot of people, Robin, it just wasn’t for me! I am a creative girl, not a webmaster! Thanks for popping by to welcome me back! :)

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  12. Well, of course they thought you were silly for caring about responding to your readers.... Most of them don't, because they're in the "Big Girl League". Didn't you know? (dripping sarcasm here ;) )

    They were dishing out that malarky right before I quit all those years ago. That whole business about having to be on wordpress to get a lot of readers is a bunch of BS. People want to enjoy themselves when they come to your blog and get interaction. They don't care what you use. I had thousands of readers, 100s of comments and a lot offers to advertise everyday back then, and not once did I ever get a complaint that I was on Blogger.

    Anyway, welcome back to the dark side, Kim ;)

    xo,
    rue

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    1. Thanks Rue!

      LOVE the sarcasm…a girl after my own heart! I think you are right, no one has ever asked me about my platform and I was featured on some really big craft sites and national publications on Blogger. I jumped into WP with both feet, believing that this was just the natural progression of things and regretted it from the get go. I felt very isolated there. My numbers didn’t jump from improved SEO and everything I needed to do (besides post) was a giant pain in the tail. I am a very simple girl, with simple taste and usually not swayed by the crowd. Like I said, Kool-aid…

      Thanks for the visit and the welcome back~ an appropriate sentiment for us both! xo

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  13. After Brenda's nightmare and now your's I know I would never change. Of course I'm a Google Mom and my heart stays with their products pretty much.

    Linda

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    1. Linda, at least I can say that I went and saw what it was all about, I just wish that I could have had a trial run before I committed. I knew from the get go it wasn't for me. Google is good! ;) Thanks for popping by!

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  14. I remember when Brenda went through it. Glad you were able to get up and running again. I think I will just stick with Blogger. xo Laura

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    1. It's a great place to be, Laura! I feel bad, Brenda lost everything. Thankfully hack left my posts intact, but boy, I am happy to be back!

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  15. WOW! I am so glad Brenda featured you today- I would not have found you otherwise. You dropped off my sidebar. I will reinstall your name now and pray it goes through. I have been approached several times to go to WordPress (if I want to grow)....ummm....no thanks. I've got about all I can handle-thank you very much.
    So glad you found your way home! xo Diana

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    1. That was so nice of Brenda to feature me today, Diana. She and I share a common experience now...and not a pleasant one at that. I am glad to be home, too...this is about all I can handle and it's just perfect for me! :)

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  16. First thing I thought was "oh those poor tulips!" Then after reading your post, I said "oh poor you!!" I can't imagine finding "nothing" where your blog should be. My head would have been spinning. Good that you received so much help. And I'm happy the tulips perked up too :)
    My favorite flower in the whole flower world.

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    1. Tulips are my favorite flower in the whole world too, Kathy and yes, lots of helpful people out there! :)

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    1. It was not fun, Su, but my family was super supportive and that helped a lot! :)

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  18. Hi Kim,
    So glad you are back! What a mess!! I would have been crying my eyes out. I think you handled it all very well. And I am happy so many folks are willing to help us out.
    Enjoy your new freedom. ;-)
    Carla

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    1. Carla, my first reaction was to cry and freak out, but I actually laughed my way through it, because honestly, there was nothing I could do. I was lucky that I had things backed up. I am happy to back to a place where I am in control. Mostly! ;)

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  19. I love Blogger, too! Tried WP for awhile and couldn't understand it either, so went back to Blogger. Very happy I did! It's much more user friendly. Congrats on the move back, and sorry it was so painful a reason.

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    1. Thanks Kimberly. Yes, it was tough to keep up with all the updates and the security checks and the caching for speed, etc. I just wanted to write, craft and post...glad to be back! :)

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  20. I had wondered which plug-in it was ! : )

    Glad that you have it solved and are comfortable where you are again :)

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    1. That was the one, Deb. It was up to date, too...go figure!

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  21. I'm not sure why there's the rumor that you have to move to Wordpress. There are so many blogs that have thousands of followers and they are on Blogger. Like Rue, I've blogged for a long time and things have changed a lot. You have to decide what is important to you and pave your own way. I'm so glad you were able to figure it all out. :)

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    1. Thanks Stacey! I never thought I would ever leave Blogger. I dismissed the WP conversations for the longest time, believe it or not, I was being prodded to move from the day I started. I was impulsive and tried it, but definitely not for me! Thanks for the comment! :)

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  22. I like the ease of Blogger too but for the reasons you mentioned I thought of leaving too. Thank you so much for this post! Now I know for sure I am in the right place and I really didn't want to leave anyway, welcome back!

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    1. Thanks! I think it crosses a lot of people's minds at one point or another, Gigi. I took the plunge and didn't love it.

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  23. Hi Kim! All the technical things that can go wrong are surely enough to make you feel crazy, but I'm glad you were able to get the help you needed through Phyllis! I had a blog through wordpress once too, and found it very cumbersome to maneuver around. For me, blogging is more of an outlet to express myself and share things that we are doing with family and friends who are far away, and not so much a business adventure. So blogger works great for me. Hope that your day gets better - and by the way - love your tulips and how they responded in kind to the situation you were facing, so amazing!!!

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    1. Cumbersome is the perfect word to describe WordPress, at least in my opinion. My dashboard was crowded with plug ins and updates and all I wanted to do was write and share. The tulips were seriously ridiculous! I walked into the kitchen and there they were, wilted. Red tulips have been my blog symbol from the day I hit publish! A little water and they were revived....a little Phyllis and so was I! ;)

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    2. OMG, Kim, you are so cute! LOL I loved your last comment! Hahaha! I was just checking up on you to make sure you are all safe and sound and it appears you are! :) Happy to have you back where you belong! :) AND...if you ever need anything...just give me a holler! ;-)

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    3. Will do, Phyllis! Thanks for checking up on me! :)

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  24. What a story! Glad you are back up and running smoothly. Your tulips revived too. That doesn't always happen. '-)

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    1. Thanks Sarah! I was happy about the tulips, my daughter did not think they were coming back! I kind of felt that way about the blog! :)

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  25. I'm so sorry that you got hacked! What an awful thing to deal with. Glad you made it back home though :)

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  26. Your flowers tell it all! I'm so sorry for all you had to go through. I've had wordpress from the get go and so far, so good. I had someone set it up for me because I am not tech savvy at all. I find that on blogger there are often times (at least 50%) that I'm not able to leave a comment because the drop down where it says "Comment as" does not include name/url. For example, one of my favorites, Brenda over at Cozy Little House I not only am unable to comment, I can't leave her a message under her contact info either. At any rate, I'm so happy you're back in business!

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    1. Thanks Susan and you are right, it is hard to comment on Blogger blogs, that is a fact. I was able to stay in touch with friends here, once on WP, because I had a Blogger profile. I guess no platform is perfect, so it's all about finding one that works well for you. Thanks so much for stopping by to comment!

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  27. So sorry you had to go through all that - what a nightmare for you. But, glad you're home now - welcome back. Cathy

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    1. Thanks Cathy. I should've stayed put! ;)

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  28. Ouch that is terrible! I am still using both wordpress and blogger. I love the visual I get from wordpress. I know I don't have the tech abilities to do that on blogger. So I just stay on the fence with the two of them. Thank goodness you were able to put it all back together.

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    1. Thanks Janet. I agree, there was more freedom to be creative on WordPress and my photos were better. You have the best of both worlds! :)

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  29. Oh, Kim, what an awful situation. I assumed when there wasn't a notification of a new post that maybe you were on vacation or too busy to post. I have to say that my daughters both blogged before me and they suggested that I could blog and helped me get it set up. They were on Blogger and set mine up there as well. To be honest I have done very little changing once I got it set up and I am pretty much illiterate as far as tech stuff so I don't know that I would be able to fix things as you have. If is funny but the same thing happened to my sister's facebook page. One day it was just gone. A few weeks earlier she couldn't find her son's page. I could find it from my page but she could not. She wasn't listed as a friend on his page anymore and was not able to find him on a search. He rarely used facebook and had not intentionally blocked her but a few days later she was just gone. She is not on my friend list. Her life has been crazy busy so she hasn't done a lot to try to restore it and may just try to start a new page when her life is a little less crazy. Not sure if that will be a possibility but what a mess. Glad you are back. Now I will have to go back and see if I missed anything. I saw your post on met monday and thought I recognized those tulips :)

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    1. Hi Lorri. This is why I like books ~ the text never disappears! ;) Technology is a tricky thing and I am really not all that tech savvy myself. I learned out of necessity. No one here knew anymore than me! I was able to fudge my way through it on Blogger, but WordPress is the very involved. Facebook is another mystery to me. I'm happy to just paint, sew and glue. I'm going to stick to that from now on! Ps~ I love that you recognized my tulips!

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  30. I'm so glad you were able to recover everything and are back where you're happy. I love Blogger and I love tulips :)

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    1. I'm a big tulip fan, Hilda, my favorite! :)

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  31. I am so glad to read this! We considered changing sometime in the future, over to WP... because of all the hype and warnings that you talked about... we DO want to be serious about blogging... we DO want to make money... etc. I am so glad to put the whole idea of switching right out of my mind... Thank you.

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    1. There are some really big, really serious bloggers on Blogger and some making a lot of money. I have heard people say that sponsors never ask what platform you are on and I agree with that. No one ever asked me, they don't care. Of course, it's a personal choice and some people love WordPress. It just wasn't for me. Good luck!

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  32. So glad I found this post whilst floating around on Google+. I have been on Blogger for 5 years and have heard no end of comments and encouragement to go to Wordpress. At one time I went over and started messing with it but felt like a first grader trying to do college work. I didn't like the feeling so I've stayed on Blogger... however, every now and then I wonder if I should bite the bullet and learn what's necessary to do Wordpress. I'm not going to worry about it anymore. Thanks!

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    1. Ha ~ Patricia! That's how I felt, like a first grader, doing college work, I love it! :) I know that many people love it, but the tech stuff was way too consuming for me to deal with on an everyday basis! Glad you found my experience helpful!

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  33. Wow...wow. I am on blogger and also thought from conversations that Word Press was where one had to move to if they were "serious" about their blogs. Thank you. Thank you for telling your experience. I have started with Wordpress, but moved to Blogger so that I could have some income producing advertising. I have a question about becoming "self hosted"...and is that necessary for a "successful" blog. I do want to own my content...so that I could not be randomly shut down as folks "say" could happen on blogger. I am a writer and a creator...and not a techie either. So glad I saw your post.
    Sheila@mykentuckyliving

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    1. Hi Sheila,
      I am no expert that is for sure, but there are plenty of really big, really successful bloggers making a lot of money of Blogger. I think that it’s a misnomer that you don’t own your content on Blogger. It is your original work and you own the copyright. As for being randomly shut down, I have heard of it happening, but I was on WordPress, self hosted, and my whole blog was deleted. So it can happen anywhere. There are no guarantees on either platform. WordPress works great for some people, it was just not for me. I guess it’s just all about finding the one that works for you. :) Thanks for popping by!

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  34. Kim... you survived your nightmare and made something good from it. I applaud you! And the tulips... that was pretty interesting. ;)

    You know I blog on WordPress and I did a lot of homework before I launched my blog. It's all I know so I like it. And, sometimes I think that's the key as much as anything. We spend a significant amount of our time on our blogs... they're our second home... and maybe they're even like a child that we've birthed. So... it stands to reason that whatever we began with is what we will be most comfortable with.

    I'm so glad that you didn't give up and stuck with it until you got back "home." I would surely have missed you. It's interesting about comments. I replied to every one and then about a year into blogging discovered that no one knew I replied unless they visited. Well... I, like you found a plug-in (a different one than you)... and even wrote a post on it. It's served me well. But, I do like that I always have email addresses as well, so if I want to write something a bit more personal, I can easily send them an email, too.

    I'm on Google... but it's not very helpful to me as a WP user, other than in leaving comments. So... I'll re-subscribe to your blog.

    I'm starting to set up a website and blog for a friend of mine on WP... I think maybe I could use some prayer to 'get it' right. ;)

    Glad you're back, friend!! [[hugs]]

    p.s. If you get a chance, I'd love to know who you got your hosting through and what framework/theme your blog was built on. TX!

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    1. Hi Diane,

      Thanks for your support and encouragement. You are always so kind!

      You bring up several really great points in your comment, the most important one, I think, is that you started on WordPress. I think that is the key, you are right! Blogger is so basic and simple, there are no plugs in to manage, no security updates to think about, no hosting issues and code manipulation is super simple. There was a lot to learn and the hacking was so devastating. I am not sure I could go through that again and it would get too expensive to keep having someone bail me out.

      Commenting was the part that really got me. I investigated so many plug ins, the one you have came highly recommended, but my host told me that it hadn’t been updated in over two years, so the security was no longer updated and was vulnerable to hacks. A lot of other people recommended Thank Me Later, up to date and secure…ha! Ironic isn’t it? Anyway, Blogger is a comment heavy community. People tend to weigh in on every post and get an email response. A lot of people were not happy that they had to go back to the blog to find their comment answer. It was a hard transition for someone who was so engrained in the Blogger community. I totally get it that it’s hard to comment on Blogger as a WP user. They don’t really play nicely with each other, do they?

      As far as the tech stuff goes, I had Genesis, Lifestyle Pro Child Theme, which were all up to date. I had a security plug in, security from my host (who did a great job of picking up the hack and quarantining the mess), back up from Vaultpress and only about 5 or 6 plug ins. I was hosted through Web Hosting Hub, which I have to say had excellent customer service and I was only down once during my time with them. I also apparently had a hearty dose of bad luck.

      I think it really is a personal choice. There are many very satisfied and happy customers on both platforms. I guess what I really do not like is the idea that gets spread as fact that if you are not on WP you cannot succeed. I believed that and moved, but I am back now and happy to be here. I am glad that it has worked out well for you Diane. You have a lovely blog and I am sure you will set your friend up with a stellar site as well!

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  35. I've read so many posts telling me I really do have to switch to wordpress but just don;t have the time or money to be even thinking about it. I understand there are tons of advantages, but reading this has made me feel so much better with my decision not to worry about it.
    I am looking at your super professional looking blog though and thinking maybe I need to tidy up my side bar! I have a little go now and again, but like you, I'm a creative not a techie and I'd rather spend my time making things!
    Thanks for telling your experience, I'm so glad you got it all sorted.

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    1. Julia, choosing a platform really is a personal choice, WordPress was just not for me. I don't like the rhetoric that is out there stating that you cannot be successful if you are on Blogger. My advice would be to build a great blog, a great business, a great following and then if you choose, if you have the money and the support behind you and you want to, move. I went, I saw, I tried, I got hacked and I'm back! :)

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  36. Kim, just reading about your experiences, or rather, predicaments, made me very nervous! So glad you got some excellent assistance from Phyllis; she truly sounds like a lifesaver! Happy that you are home! :))

    Poppy

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    1. Thank you, Poppy! It’s good to be back up and running again! :)

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  37. Oh wow, what a horrible nightmare for you! I wondered what was going on -- I hadn't seen your posts in my feed for a long time. And the other day, I just told my husband that I would have to move to WordPress soon. Now, I definitely have something to think about, especially since I had a hard enough time with some issues that occurred when I got rid of the Blogspot address. So nice to hear you're up and running again. :)

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  38. I have stayed with blogger because I don't handle change well and I am not techie at all. It would cost me a fortune plus the stress like you had. Glad to have you back on blogger. I think my blog has done just fine on blogger and I know others who have, too.

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I am so glad to be back, I was completely out of my element. Thanks for the party and taking the time to stop by and comment.

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  39. I looked at WordPress and thought that people were selling it too hard. I like Blogger, I don't feel the need to be "cool." ;o) One day I will buy my own domain name. I already customized my blog with my own code and things I made in Photoshop. The WP mess looked like hype to me, glad to hear that confirmed. AND welcome back!!

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    1. I think that each platform offers some neat features. I am just much more comfortable with Blogger and happy to back! :) Glad you've found your own home!

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  40. Thanks so much for writing this post! I'm a newbie on Blogger and have always thought that I would have to one day make the jump as well to WP. This just confirms my gut reaction to stay put! Have a great day!

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    1. I would stay put, Beth, until you are really sure you are ready for the move. I clearly wasn't ready! ;)

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  41. I'm with Beth. Thanks for sharing your story. I will pin this onto my "Blogging World Tips and Tricks" board to share with my followers.
    Alexandra
    EyeLoveKnots.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Alexandra. I was hesitant to write about it, but I needed to vent and I was hoping that sharing my experience would help others!

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  42. WOW! I can't believe you have been through all this. What a mess for you! I am glad everything got resolved and you are back. Take care. Maria

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    1. Oh Maria, it was a mess. I should’ve just stayed put. Take it from me, stay put! ;)

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  43. So sorry for all the trouble you went through. You know they say all things happen for a reason... that reason may just be for you to be an encouragement to those considering making the switch to WP or even giving courage to those who want out. I'm still with Blogger, and just haven't been able to fully convince myself to make the move. I appreciate your words of wisdom.
    Blessings,
    Nici

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    1. Nici, thank you so much. I agree that there is something to be learned from every experience and I am glad that I could share. I just popped over to your beautiful (um, and totally delicious looking) site and I cannot imagine how it would be improved on WordPress. It is professional, visually appealing and your content is excellent. If you decide to move, I am sure it will be equally as amazing, it just wasn’t for me. Thanks so much for the comment

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  44. Hi Kim, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that. Sounds like a huge mess! I've been thinking about moving to WP for a long time, but have been a concerned about making the leap into the unknown. I think for now I'll stay put. Blogger is definitely user-friendly, and I'm going to just stop listening to all the WP hype. I really appreciate you sharing your story.

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    1. Tuula, I leapt before I looked and I wasn’t thrilled when I landed. There are a ton of super successful people who moved, I was just not one of them. Blogger is certainly more user friendly and I know that there are a ton of people saying that you don’t own your own content (not true) and your blog can disappear, but it happened to me over there, too. I am sticking with Blogger and if someday my blog gets huge (ha!), I will let “my people” worry about my site! ;)
      Thanks for weighing in!

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  45. That's horrible, Kim! I'm so sorry for your headache. You handled the situation gracefully and thankfully had a lot of support. I've never been tempted to move to WordPress and after your experience I'll be sure to share your post with anyone considering the switch. I have however thought about changing my url and recently bought my domain name, I wonder if that would change anything within Blogger?

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    1. Brandi, it was a total headache! I am so much happier on Blogger. I have always had my own url and it has never been a problem. You should talk to whoever your bought the domain name from and they can walk you through the redirect. It’s super easy to do and it shouldn’t interrupt anything. Good luck!

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  46. Thanks for sharing your experience. Like everyone else I've heard the hype to but I've been far to busy to even consider - until very recently. I blog completely off my phone which has some challenges. I had thought very briefly that Wordpress might be the answer but I have stayed on the fence. The longer I linger I see that is not where I am going. Many thanks!

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    1. Rhonda, I am not looking to monetize my blog through advertising, so for me, it didn't pay. I'm a creative girl, not a techie. I'm back and I am going to linger! ;) Thanks for popping by to say hello!

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    1. Thanks Vanessa! I guess I really am the ultimate homebody! ;)

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  48. You know my feelings about the WP kool aid ;-) I'm sorry you had to go through all of this! Breaks my heart really! So happy you were able to find such awesome help (the blogging world truly does rock!) and are back up & running! I'm also thrilled you are a part of the Bloggers on Blogger (Blogspot) Facebook group! You are such a valued member!

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    1. Kathe, thanks so much for popping by and weighing in. I wish that I had found your Facebook group before I jumped ship. I really do enjoy the support and the camaraderie. Instead, I joined a group that touted WordPress, they said that you must get off Blogger immediately if you are serious. I did learn a lot from the experience (and wasted a lot of money), but now I know for certain that any success that comes my way is due to my effort and my content, not my platform!

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  49. I could have written almost the exact same words Diane did, except one very importsnt difference: I didn't do tons of research before launching my blog. When I decide to do something, I jump right in and rarely have the patience to spend a lot of time figuring out the pros and cons of things. Since wordpress is all I know (and I use that term loosely), I am fine with it, although in hindsight I probably should have gone with Blogger. I'm not monetized and right now don't care to be, and most of my blog buds are on Blogger anyway. I also didn't know Blogger was easier to navigate. As a non techy person, that means a lot.

    One thing I will say is I don't have issues commenting on Blogger blogs. I have a Google account so I'm sure that helps.

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    1. Doreen, I too jumped into blogging without looking first. I went with Blogger because it was free and I didn’t know if I was going to like this life online. Of course, I fell in love with the process and I was super happy on Blogger, very connected with my audience, but I heard that everyone moves to Wordpress eventually, so I jumped ship. I am happy to be back. There are many, many happy people on Wordpress and I have no bad feelings towards the platform itself or those that use it. It just wasn’t for me.

      Thanks for weighing in. I think I hit a nerve with this one! ;)

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  50. Kim, in my 2 1/2 years of blogging I have only been with Blogger, but I too have heard the hype. I had a friend who started blogging about the same time I did with WP and while we were both learning by tutorials along the way, she gave up because she had invested and found WP so hard to navigate. Thank you for sharing your story because I had no idea and it is reassuring to see other "serious" Bloggers ;) Props to the successful WP bloggers out there, but I'll stick with Blogger, thank you!

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    1. I am a huge proponent of doing what works best for you and if WP is your thing, I think that's awesome. I just never should have moved. It cost me a lot of money and time and because of the hack, I lost my search tabs in Google and was downgraded in search, because so many of my links were hijacked and redirected to a sketchy shopping website in China. Once back on Blogger, I was nominated for an international blogging award, published in several magazines and have been solicited by many companies for sponsorship. I'm convinced that it's not about the platform, but the content. :)

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  51. Oh My! I am so glad you wrote this. I have been contemplating a switch. Think I will stick to blogger!

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    1. Some people really love it, Lynn, and I think that’s great, it just wasn’t for me. I am a very cheap girl at heart and there were a lot of expenses involved…hosting, back up, certain plug ins…plus the fact that I could not alter my blog in any way. I needed tech help for almost everything and that was pricey, too. Once I got hacked, I was done. I paid to have myself moved back and I am staying put now!

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