Many WordPress bloggers like to say that “only real nerds use WordPress,” and that’s because it takes a great deal of knowledge of how to set up WordPress for a blog, especially when moving from another platform. Most importantly, if you are thinking about moving from Blogger to WordPress, you need to know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The .com version of the blogging software is similar to Blogger in terms of customization, features, and usability. WordPress.com will host all of your pictures, files, and posts on their servers and you will have a domain name in the format of myname.wordpress.com. WordPress.org, or most commonly referred to as a “self-hosted WordPress blog,” is when you host the necessary PHP files, pictures, WordPress CMS software, and everything that makes your blog function on your own FTP server. It sounds scary, but it’s actually quite simple after you get the initial setup completed. You should also note that a self-hosted WordPress blog will cost about $15 per year for the domain name and up to $70 per year for FTP hosting.
The first thing you need to set up a WordPress blog is an FTP server. 1 Tech Portal is hosted on Fat Cow, but you are welcome to use any FTP host that supports WordPress CMS software. Just note that if you are clueless about the technical details of web design, you should use the same hosting company as this tutorial shows. The next step is to purchase a domain name. If your Blogger blog is currently hosted at myname.blogspot.com, then you don’t need to worry about transferring the domain name. If you have your Blogger blog hosted at myname.com (without the blogspot name in the URL), then you are in for a great deal of fun. You will need to remove your custom domain from the Blogger blog. To do this, log into your Blogger Dashboard, go to Settings > Basic. Under the heading “Publishing,” you should see a box like the one above. Make sure you remove the regular .com domain name and leave only the .blogspot.com name. Now when you sign up for FTP hosting, you will need the necessary information to transfer your domain name to them.
After you sign up for Fat Cow (or equivalent) hosting, you will be asked to create a new or transfer a domain name. If you need to transfer the domain you just disabled above, select transfer. If you need to create a new domain name, select that option and choose one that is available. The domain name will cost anywhere from $13-15. The hosting will cost an additional $60-70 for the entire year (12 months).
If you purchased the domain name and it is brand new, you are ready to move on to the next step. If you needed to transfer your domain name, you must wait until the domain fully transfers to the hosting service.
On the main page of your host’s Control Panel, they should offer some type of WordPress blogging support. When you go into the WordPress easy setup, have Fat Cow create the database, PHP files, and set everything up for you. It is much easier than having to figure that out yourself and the result is exactly the same. When you click on the WordPress icon, select the “Install a Brand New Version” method. Select the newest stable version of WordPress, the domain you want the blog created on, and the extra plugins you want installed. Fat Cow will automatically create you a MySQL Database and set up all of the WordPress files properly. Fat Cow will then give you the user and password for your WordPress blog. WRITE THIS DOWN.
When you go to your URL, you should now see the default WordPress theme installed with a sample post and a sample page. If the setup failed, you do not see the default blog installed, or something else went wrong, contact me. Since transferring a blog from Blogger to WordPress is complex and can be frustrating, I suggest breaking it up into several days. Right here is a good place to take a break to cool down after creating the hosting account and such.
Please see the next part of the tutorial: PART 2.