Blogging on Blogger always has been a hassle. Here are some of the things I found annoying about writing a post on Blogger:
- The spacing always got messed up. I had to carefully place
<br>tags here and there to keep things consistent.
- I had to type in HTML. Why? Cause I had codes in my posts and I wanted to highlight them using SyntaxHighlighter. For that I had to create
<pre class="brush:cpp;">tags. You can’t do that in the normal visual panel.
- The most annoying part is when I switched between Visual and HTML view in the editor. It always messed up my clean HTML.
- I had to HTML escape my code before pasting it ( < sign would need to be
Well, that’s it actually. Writing and editing post on Blogger was a pain.
Now that I wanted to resume blogging again, the Blogger editor was making it hard to get started. It would have been amazing if Blogger had a markdown editor, but it didn’t. Nowadays, I write most of my notes in markdown, which I keep in a git repo: notes.
Then, I also read a recent blog post (TechCrunch: Blogger gets a spring cleaning) on how Google stripped down some of the (already lacking) features from Blogger. Forget about getting a markdown editor, someday the whole platform might disappear.
I had to switch before I continue. And I did. And I am glad that I did.
How did I switch? Well, basically I just followed this tutorial: How To Move Your Blog From Blogger To WordPress
The first step was choosing a Hosting. I had a few options in this case:
- Get a new VPS: I usually just rent a VPS from Linode and directly deploy my projects there. Then again renting a whole server just for a blog seemed slightly overkill to me.
- Deploy it on my existing VPS: Better than the first option, but I will have to configure my Nginx. I kind of forgot how I configured it last time, so I was a bit reluctant about this option.
- Get a shared hosting: Now, all the tutorials out there suggest this option. I never actually used a shared hosting before, so this option had the charm of “new experience” with it.
So I went for the third option and bought a shared hosting from Dhrubo Host and deployed my WordPress blog from CPanel. Couldn’t believe how easy it was.
While getting the hosting, I noticed that forthright48.com was available again! Yay!
I previously owned forthright48.com domain but didn’t renew the lease after a year due to procrastination (I can be really lazy sometimes).
A few months after my domain expiration I tried to buy the domain again only to find that some random guy bought the domain and is using it to redirect to fb.com. I was really surprised. Why would anybody in this world apart from me be interested with a domain named forthright48.com? And then use it to redirect towards facebook!
I guess they wanted to resell the domain to me for a higher price. I think I once saw an asking price around 3000$ on GoDaddy. Too bad I was too poor to buy it back.
Migrating the posts took the biggest toll on me. Though there was a plugin to make things easier for most people, unfortunately, my blog is filled with latex equations. And they all broke down. Mainly the backslash symbol (
'\') disappeared from all posts.
So I had to manually fix every single post. It took me 3 days to fix all posts. I fear that there is still some broken stuff left here and there. If you happen to notice any, please leave a comment.
Was It Worth It?
So I went through so much trouble (3 days of manual labor for fixing posts) to migrate my blog. Was it worth it?
- Theme: It looks so much better than before. Blogger didn’t have so much option.
- Markdown: Finally, I have a markdown editor! Now I can just focus on writing and not worry about the HTML.
- Link Checker: I realized the power of WordPress when I found this plugin. It checks all my posts and detects if there is any broken link. Then, it sends me an email! Amazing plugin indeed. I don’t think I could have gotten such a feature from Blogger.
- MathJax: I had MathJax on Blogger too, but in order to add MathJax to Blogger I had to manually edit the theme. On WordPress, I just had to install a plugin.
- More Plugins: There are so many plugins with so many cool features that I kind of feel like I was living under a rock before. What the heck was I doing on Blogger?
I am really enjoying my old blog on the new WP platform. Now that I can write in markdown, hopefully, I will be able to resume writing again.