The grand finale of my launch has come to an end. The final prize was anew WordPress theme from Sharp Wit Designs and it is valued at over $699! Wow! I loved working with Claire from Sharp Wit Designs. She not only did a rockin’ great job with my site design but was very easy going, understanding, and helpful. She helped me with the move from Blogger to WordPress and answered many of my questions. That took some patience on her part and I’m so appreciative of that.

Now, I know everyone is dying to know about the winner and the title kinda gives it away but first I wanted to tell you why I moved to WordPress. I get emails about this and lots of questions from readers that are on blogger.  Since this really isn’t a techno blog (and I’m not really a techno person) I don’t usually write about this stuff but I’m going to take this opportunity to explain myself.  In my opinion, Blogger is great and perfect for when I started out. I didn’t need to know anything about code, plugins, or html. It was a perfect start until I figured out that I had no search engine optimization, I couldn’t use all of the cool plugins I kept seeing on WordPress blogs and I was never clear on advertising on a blogspot blog. The help group stated many times that you could not have another advertisement besides Adwords if you had a blogspot blog but I could never really find anything definite. Besides, I kept seeing blogspot blogs with advertising so I didn’t know for sure and still don’t.  It works for many bloggers just fine and with Blogger Buster you can now do some great stuff with blogger, similar to WordPress.  I know of many people that use Blogger the service and purchase a domain name. That is a must, buying your own domain name, regardless of what you decide to do. It doesn’t cost much to do this per year and then if you start out on Blogger you can always move to a self hosted site and not lose traffic. That was my mistake and yes, I lost traffic and backlinks. Bummer. I discovered a great little code trick from BlogBroke and Sharp Wit helped me with and that forwarded traffic from my blogspot address over to my new domain. However, the links out there already, like from the N.Y. Times, I had to email all of the individually and ask for them to make the correction. They did but it was a pain.

WordPress.org has to be self hosted and I knew nothing about hosting or FTP but Claire helped me. I went with  Solar Powered Web Site Hosting provided by AISO.Net because it was very much inline with my site and beliefs and they offer phone support not just email support. I highly recommend their services. Once I choose a host I had to get a FTP program and I went with Filezilla because it was free. AISO.net had WordPress.org all downloaded into my server and then I simply had to go into my WordPress account and give WordPress permission to go into my Blogspot account and transfer everything over. It was a click of a button and my biggest guide came from BlogBroke.  It reminded me to back up my blogger template, make sure that my old blogger account was not being searched or indexed anymore by Google and to not delete my Blogger account. There are lots of hacks out there for doing things but I don’t recommend them. BlogBroke also writes a great post about the good and bad with moving from Blogger to WordPress and most of my experiences are similar so I won’t waste time and rewrite what they’ve written.

Instead, I’d like to just add that besides losing some traffic and backlinks my biggest challenge was adjusting to the FTP, figuring out which ad program to use for my blog, adjusting to plugins and learning about them and which ones to choose and then regaining my Page Rank of 3 with Google. Funny enough, everyone told me that I’d quickly regain my page rank and after two months I did. Had I began on WordPress.org and kept all my backlinks and traffic, plus had search engine optimization…I can only imagine what my PR would have been.  If there is any blogger out there that wants to be more professional, have more control of their blog, manage content better, comments better and have more versatility…Wordpress.org is a must, in my opinion.  This isn’t to say there are great blogspot blogs out there because we all know there are.

I do not think that it is enough to just use WordPress.org and not have a nice template or theme and to not use the right plugins. Life Hack was a great resource for learning about plugins and which ones I must have. As for a theme and spending so much money when there are free ones out there, well I wanted to have some custom things done, search engine optimization, some functions that I could not find with a free theme and basically I wanted to be branded. Yes, content matters but so does a good design and intent of moving from Blogger to WordPress was to indeed be more professional and make money.  I think I have accomplished everything I set out to do, thus far but I have just begun!

AND now it is Fussy Pants turn! Yahooo! I had so many great comments and many people entering who wanted to win. Thanks so much to Sharp Wit Designs for donating this prize, which is essentially her time and talent. If you have a chance, I highly suggest checking out Sharp Wit Designs for a redo or to start a new site (you won’t be disappointed) and of course keep checking in to see the changes that will happen for Mrs. Fussy Pants! I can’t wait.

The Drawing from Random.org that declared Mrs. Fussy Pants a winner:

Here are your random numbers:

35

Timestamp: 2008-08-17 14:27:47 UTC

On a side note may I recommend:

A must have advertising plugin that cuts out the middle man but allows you to have advertising on your blog with an automated system and tracking. It’s a one time fee plugin and you customize it, OIO Publisher. Best hosting out there because they are have an amazing list of clients a great reputation and they are 100 % Solar Powered Web Site Hosting.

Yes a nd a great big thanks to Lori over at A Cowboys Wife for all her help and Monica from Healthy Green Moms! I tweeted and emailed these two ladies several times during my WordPress move. Thanks!

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