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« The one I labeled THAT Post or 15 years ago this week | Main | Happy Blogiversary To...ME »
Monday
Aug042008

Why I changed my blog from Squarespace to WordPress.com and BACK again within 24 hours

Warning: This post contains curse words.  If curse words offend you, please do not read further.  Before leaving a chastising email about my use of curse words in the following post, please know that it was written 2 years ago.  I have evolved as a writer since then.  I often choose to use more colorful words than curses to get my point across in my writing these days - unless a curse is absolutely necessary.  Read Potty mouth police on the prowl for an explanation. (added 7/25/2010)

My husband was laid off back in June. It’s been about 8 weeks and still no job. Not a lot of people are hiring construction executives this time of the year, and those who are hiring seem to be taking vacations left and right. The days are turning into weeks and now the weeks into months. SO, we’re starting to hunker down and set a realistic budget for the first time in our married lives. Sweet Jesus…I’ve been one spoiled Mommy until now.

First to go was my Starbucks addiction. That was a no brainer. Then school. Our daughter is already registered to attend public school this fall instead of the pricey private school where she attended kindergarten last year. Feeling good. I was able to instantly increase my own work hours. Score. We’re looking at other ways to put cash in our pocket and eliminate expenses from our budget, such as scrapping metal in our garage, doing a yard sale, cutting out our telephone land line, and premium cable, etc. I’m not a fan of losing our land line, but I’m willing to do what we need to do.

Since its inception a year ago, Mommycosm has been hosted at Squarespace for the low, low price of $12 per month. It was easy to set up and easy to manage and $12 is pretty affordable. Well, unless your husband, the primary bread winner in the family, is out of work for a couple of months. Cutting $12 here and there out of a budget of next to ZERO can make a big difference.

Squarespace recently upgraded to V5 and all of the changes were, frankly, overwhelming to deal with. They moved things around and completely changed the interface. I began feeling challenged to compose and publish a blog post containing pictures or links. So I thought to myself: Self, maybe now is the time to make the move over to WordPress.

I have dabbled here and there with WordPress and love the idea of it being FREE. I grabbed mommycosm.wordpress.com months ago, just in case I ever wanted to switch over. I checked it out again a couple of weeks ago and decided to make the move. I’ve been receiving requests for me to advertise on my blog. I have poo poo’d the idea of advertising until now. Now? I say, hell, if I can do what I love and make a little money in the process, why not?!

I fell in love with a 3 column template and started to visualize the ad space and widgets I could put into the 2 sidebars. I was surprised at how easy it was to export my posts from Squarespace and import them into WordPress. The biggest glitch was my pictures. I had to upload each of my pictures into WordPress, which was kind of a PIA, but I managed. I love the page buttons I could add across the top of the blog and set up my blog roll...how did I get over 75 blogs into my reader, anyhow??  With the hard part done, I started thinking about my new header.

I was happy and excited and wanted to French kiss my new WordPress blog. But when I got up close, I smelled…garlic? Onions? Something wasn’t quite right.

I tried to move my widgets into my new fancy-schmancy sidebars. Hmm…why isn’t this working? I don’t see anything obvious here. This widget is from amazon. I’ll try to re-grab the code and see what’s going on??

From Amazon:

 

Note:
Currently, you can only add Amazon Widgets to hosted Wordpress.org blogs. Due to security restrictions, Wordpress.com does not allow adding widget code to their blogs.

SHITFUCKMOTHERFUCKER. [<------you were warned cursing was coming.]

I go to the WordPress.com FAQ page and…sure enough:

If you paste code into a widget, save and when you look again it has gone then the system has removed it.
This is done for security reasons.

 

Anything that has a line like this:

or that uses Form or Input tags for instance is not allowed. There are other tags but the effect is the same - they disappear.

 

There are no exceptions to this.


WHA?!?!?

A little tidbit that isn’t widely advertised (or perhaps I live under a rock): the FREE WordPress.com blogs do not allow widgets. Well, they DO allow their own widgets, but you can’t add any others.  I’m sure it was somewhere in their Agreement, which I cannot seem to find since reading “blah, blah, blah, click here” when I signed up.

I had spent hours getting everything organized over there. HOURS. I wanted to cry.

I pulled myself together and decided to check out WordPress.org.

WordPress.org is free also. It’s the same great blogging platform offered at WordPress.com except that you can customize things, such as widgets. The catch? You have to hire someone to HOST it. Looking through the list of their suggested host companies, the prices on their buttons look appealing. $6.95 seems to be the going rate. I click through and realize, not so fast, that rate is only if you sign up for long term contracts, such as paying for 2 or 3 years UP FRONT. To pay monthly, we’re back at about $12 per month.  Perhaps if I was looking for long term savings, or if I was starting from scratch, this would be a decent option for me...but...

Remember, my goal here is to immediately cut costs AND to have the ability to add advertising, mostly in the form of widgets, in the 3 column design that I now MUST. HAVE.

What’s a Mommy to do? What. TO. DO?!

I threw up, poured myself a stiff drink and changed my A Name and C Name BACK to point to Squarespace. I then watched the Squarespace V5 tutorial.

I learned that my blog was clunky because it used a legacy V4 template and should be upgraded to a V5. The video tutorial walked me through switching my template. I found a 3 column Squarespace V5 template eerily similar to the one I fell in love with over at WordPress. I uploaded my fabulous new header (designed by Jeff Day Cartoons) and it fit, cool.

The more I played with my new template and 2 new sidebars, I realized that the V5 upgrades were pretty darn cool. I am extremely pleased with the results and hope my readers will be as well. Any advice/thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated.

SO, the bottom line…the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Sometimes you need to fix the relationship you are in instead of looking for the next best thing to replace it.  Oh, and there's nothing truly FREE in this world.  With FREE, there is always a catch.

If you’re a Squarespace user and are considering leaving, please think twice. I guarantee that you’ll be happier with the upgrades if you watch the tutorial and upgrade to a V5 template. It’ll all make sense. If you need any help, email me: themommy at mommycosm dot com.  I'm an expert now.

If you’re thinking about switching from another blog host to Squarespace after reading this post, I discovered that they have an affiliate program. I won't be shy.  I get a kick back if you sign up using my Squarespace Affiliate Link.  $12 bucks is nothing to sneeze at, people.

There you have it. I could have just left it as hey, a lady has the right to change her mind OR because I have nothing better to do with my time.  However, this is the real reason why I changed my blog from Squarespace to WordPress.com and BACK again within 24 hours.

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    Why I changed my blog from Squarespace to WordPress.com and BACK again within 24 hours - Mommycosm - Mommycosm

Reader Comments (38)

Welcome back! I don't really like the upgrade either and it is full of annoying bugs, but I fear change. Glad you validated that fear :)

[MommyCosm]
I've experienced far less frustration after upgrading my template to a V5 one. Watch the tutorials, man. That was KEY. I know, I know, it's like asking a guy to read the directions when there is "some assembly required", but I get it now and I'm far less frustrated with the changes.,,there are more cool things than annoying for me now.

August 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBusyDad

Glad you decided where your home is! A did the same with WordPress a while back and saved coalminersgd.wordpress.com, but just decided to tweak the blogspot template instead. Much easier dealing with something I knew. And? I love your header! Cute! :)

Well honestly, was searching for something and stumbled here. Read through your post and wanted to say that if the only reason stopping you from moving to worpress (I love wordpress!! .org) is hosting you could always consider godaddy.com their cheapest is 4.3$ approx. You can further get some coupon codes easily like the 10% discounts from http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/725207

Use it if your traffic consumes less than 50 gb/mnth. Furthermore, thats the lowest at month-to-month.

Also, I am in now way associated with wordpress, godaddy or the forum and have no interest in this.

I am a web designer and developer as a hobby and I do charge... Hence I will leave no contact, cause that was not the objective of this comment.

Cheers!!!
[MommyCosm]
Thanks, Ed. I appreciate your comment. I will check out godaddy for hosting.

August 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterED

I agree with your post about SquareSpace. I really like it. Best wishes and prayers for your family.

Jason a.k.a. @iJasonY

[Ashlie- MommyCosm]
Thanks, Jason, for stopping by and for your kind words.

August 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenteriJasonY

Thanks for such an important articles about shopping. This is a very needed info about shopping sites.
Thanks

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjudy

Thanks for providing information and prices of different variety of shopping product. I need this info because i am using online shopping services.
Thanks

October 8, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjudy

Thanks for such an important articles about coupon. This is a very needed info about online coupon, free coupon etc.

October 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJuliet

Its a very interesting and cool post about online shopping. people are using online shopping to buy any product.
Thanks for your time to write this post.

November 12, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

A most delightful post, and informative! I however was most intrigued by one comment you made as follows: "I was surprised at how easy it was to export my posts from Squarespace and import them into WordPress." <-- how, exactly, did you do this??

I am trying to do that right now, but I'm not sure what file format or how to import. (I exported already in two forms, now I have two files and not sure which to use or how to implement.) Very little info on the web about importing from SquareSpace to Wordpress. Note: in my case I don't use widgets and it's not monetized, I'm also using Wordpress already for some other things. However I will keep your review in mind for future - SquareSpace does have delightful aspects and is easy to use.

Not a mommy here, but the blog looks nice and I will recommend to my mommy friends.

[Ashlie]
When I wrote this post, there was an [export] link in the configuration table. Now?

WOW...things have changed a little on the Squarespace end since I exported. It used to be a lot more clear. I believe now you need to use [data snapshots] to [create snapshot] in order to export the data of your blog. Unfortunately, it says that it only exports the data and no pictures. Eek. I poked around and saw this on the bog importer page: " To export data, use the configuration page for the blog component you'd like to export."

I'm not sure what this means?? I would open a ticket to ask them. They have always been very helpful.

December 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersusan

Thanks so much for the quick response! I came back here because I figured it out, so I thought I should leave a note here for how I did it (in case someone else lands here the same way I did :). I had saved two alternate files at Squarespace, one was a data snapshot (xml that has to be unzipped) and the other a text file. After trying a couple different methods to import the xml, I ended up using the txt file instead, as follows:

Use the Import tool in Wordpress for Movable Type / TypePad. First, change the txt file name to mt-export, then ftp it to the wordpress folder (instructions for which folder are in wordpress dashboard), and then there's a simple export button designed for that file name. That worked! It was mostly trial and error to get there, because I couldn't find any useful info on Squarespace importing in the Wordpress support posts.

Also in order to get the txt backup file from Squarespace, I used a support ticket in Squarespace and they were really helpful. (the txt backup does not include photos, but you can save those separately for transfer)

In any case, I was very much encouraged to give it a few tries because you said it was easy! lol. Thanks :)

December 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersusan

Funny foto [url=http://asfdsd.com/vardenafil-and-terazosin/]here[/url]

December 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFlooldidafe

Typepad is another decent platform but I didn't like the feel of it and moved to Squarespace. In my experience of trying many different platforms... Squarespace is the best and Typepad is the second best.

January 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSavior

Thanks for this information. My Choice is wordpress as well. But my own domain name and my own hosting and that's why I install it manually to my hosting http://www.wordpress.org

March 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGodaddy Coupons

Great article on both wordpress and squarespace.com. I just switched to squarespace as well. Even though it costs money I think it is really worth it. Yesterday I was watching this show, "Cranky Geeks" and I came across a promotional code that saves you 12% on a subscription.

The Squarespace.com promo code is:

CRANKY 12% OFF SUBSCRIPTION

Let me know if this helps any of you I like getting feedback! Thanks!

-Tim

April 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim

thanks for the code Tim. I used "cranky" and saved 12%

May 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterreasonist5

@TIM

Oh GrEAT! GroovY pROMo cOdE !

June 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjanice

Whew! I was just about to make the move from Squarespace to Wordpress.com, also because of budget considerations. I was looking for information on how to do this and ran across your post. I will stay with a good thing, and look for somewhere else to save $12. (Actually, I think since I started bringing food to work every day, and skipping even a twice a week fast food meal, I think I'm more than making up for the $12 per month.)

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiane L. Harris

I liked your post, and the reasons for switching, but your STINKING, ATROCIOUS

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob S.

I liked your reasons for changing back to Squarespace, but when I came to your STINKING, ATROCIOUS language I had to leave a post. What is wrong with you pig-mouthed people?
You don't know how to speak decent English. Go chew on a good, tasty bar of soap! Language such as yours has absolutely NO redeeming qualities, whatsoever. I will be sure to never visit your site again.

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob S.

Hi! I see that you wrote this post a while back. I just found it though a google search. How did you import your squarespace posts into Wordpress? I can't find out anywhere how to do it? If you can, please let me know. I'd really appreciate it!

September 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

You can check here also for more live godaddy promo codes,
http://livecodes.blogspot.com

September 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDrummy

How did you import from Squarespace into WP? Squarespace import is not supported in the administrator section?

October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKent

I enjoyed your post as I'm researching WP vs SS. I breezed right past the ShitFuckMotherFucker display without raising a hackle, but the impression didn't dissipate as well-chosen words are wont to do in the process of assimilation. I wondered about you personally, about your other choices, about how high your bar is hoisted. About your spiritual orientation as a mom raising kids. I didn't draw any conclusions except to note that your choice of words was too strong. I won't be back either. Shock tactics aren't a substitute for well-delivered expletives. Not enough groundwork laid for the shitpile as it sits, I suppose. Hope you are open to the feedback. Good luck.

October 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAny mouse.

If you really need to switch from Squarespace to save money, consider WordPress installed on a hosted account with HostGator. I love Squarespace dearly, but I recently moved three separate websites from that platform over to WordPress.

I was called upon to create a new website for the John Jay High School Mustang Band here in San Antonio. Rather than paying $30/month for their full featured plan, then face the possibility of having to purchase additional bandwidth and/or storage space if necessary, I created a hosting account with HostGator. Their best plan has everything under the sun, including: unlimited domains, unlimited subdomains, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, cPanel interface, support for FrontPage extensions (discontinued by Microsoft), analytic reports and much, much more. All this and more for only $14.95/month. If you can pay in advance for a longer commitment, you save even more per month. However, $14.95/month is a great deal for everything you get. And, you can always close your account at any time without any contractual consequences.

Thanks to thie new hosting account, I was able to setup a robust website that included its main pages designed in Microsoft Expression Web, a blog area powered by WordPress, a forum area powered by Simple Machines Forums and multiple widgets of various kins. In addition to WordPress widgets and plugins, I also use WidgetBox to create customized widgets for various puprposes. There is a free version, and a paid Pro version which provides a few more advanced widgets and the ability to remove their small add at the bottom of every widget. You simply choose a widget, customize it, then copy the code. These widgets can be used on standard HTML pages, the WordPress sidebar (in conjunction with the WordPress Text widget), or on any WordPress page or post. Host Gator also makes it possible for me to setup multiple FTP accounts with access to specific directories. Very useful for online storage.

The best thing about it, is the unlimited domains and subdomains. For every specialized area of the website, I was able to easily setup subdomains to point to those areas. For example, instead of going to http://jjmustangband.net/blogs to enter the WordPress blog, you couls use the subdomain http://blogs.jjmustangband.net, and so on. After successfully getting this site up and running, I decided to move three of my own domains over to the same HostGator account. That's three more websites that were costing me $30 each/month, for a total of $90/month. Now, all those domains are hosted together in one account at no additional cost. That's a savings of $75.05/month.

Now, I am in no way affiliated with any of the services I am recommending here. I just honestly think that this is the best option for you if you really must reduce your web hosting costs. I still use Squarespace for one other website I manage, but I'll probably switch that one over eventually as well.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCourante

By the way, did you know that you can change the favicon for your website. Currently, it is showing the default favicon for Squarespace. Simply choose a simple, small icon and save it in the ICO file format (.ico). Then, follow the instructions provided here.

October 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCourante

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