Should I Migrate my TypePad Blog to WordPress?

TypePad & WordPress logosShould I migrate my blog to WordPress?

Given the brouhaha that’s going on this week (Six Apart was bought by VideoEgg and they’re forming a new company named SAY Media. Please click that link and read the article. I was surprised at a quote from SAY Media’s president about how they plan to work with bloggers), that’s a reasonable question. Before you make your decision, I want to give you the low-down on your WordPress choices. There are two versions of WordPress: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Both are free.

WordPress.com is free and hosted on WordPress servers so you don’t have to deal with finding your own hosting. You cannot run an ad network or sell ads on your blog. However, WordPress.com is free because they sometimes put ads on your blog. If you choose to migrate to WordPress.com, you can always choose to upgrade to WordPress.org later and the migration will be easy-peasy.

WordPress.org is also free, but it’s a self-hosted version. That means you need to pay a third party to host your blog for you. I use DreamHost (affiliate link), but I have many friends who use HostGator. You’ll just have to do a search to see which host is right for you. NetTuts has an article on what to look for in a web host.

Some people balk at WordPress.org initially because buying server space seems like a big investment up front. Actually, you can probably find server space for about as much as you were paying for TypePad every year. Consider that most bloggers have the $14.95/month plan with TypePad and most servers ask for $99-$150/year. It’s a wash. With WordPress.org you can run ad networks or sell your own advertising in your sidebar.

Are you wondering why it can be expensive to pay someone to migrate your TypePad blog to another platform? It’s because it’s time consuming. The main issue is that when you export your TypePad blog, that export file has your content, comments, and trackbacks. It does NOT have any files you’ve inserted into your posts (i.e., images, video, or pdf files). Those have to be transferred to the new server manually. You also don’t have your CSS (your design elements) in that file and your design has to be recreated. I know it sounds like a lot, and it is, but I hope you won’t let it scare you. More than anything, it’s time consuming, but if you’re willing to learn some new things, you can definitely do it yourself. If you don’t want to mess with it, you can hire me to do the tedious stuff. Just fill out my Contact form and let me know you need me to help you migrate your TypePad blog to WordPress.

If you decide you want to migrate your blog to WordPress, you have some options. I’ll be writing my own instructions on how to migrate your blog, but in the mean time here are a few articles you may find helpful.

I’ve had a few people ask if they can migrate to Blogger instead of WordPress because they’re afraid WordPress is too techie for them. I don’t advise it. WordPress is the industry standard. If you ever need help fixing a WordPress blog, there are thousands of articles, websites, forums, and geeks ready to help you fix your problems. Blogger can’t say the same and they’re lax about responding to questions. Blogger simply doesn’t have the community that WordPress has.

I’ll be back with my own version of instructions for migrating your blog and I’m going to try to do some quick and dirty video tutorials to help you feel more at ease with the WordPress dashboard and how a WordPress blog works. It’s really not that much different from what you’re used to with TypePad — except that many things, like putting widgets in your sidebars, are easier. You won’t have to click around so much to find what you’re looking for, it’s all on one dashboard.

In the meantime, relax. I don’t see TypePad disappearing this year. You have some time to think about what you want to do and how you want to do it.