5 Things to Consider About WordPress (from a casual blogger'sperspective)

Here’s the thing. I can go on and on about the lovely features of WordPress and why you should transfer your blog to self hosted WP but you’ve probably read 10 million articles gushing about the same features.

Admittedly, I was attracted to self hosted WordPress for the features. I jumped the gun without thinking much of the other things that comes with the WordPress package. I don’t regret it. Blogging is a huge passion of mine so I chose to invest in WordPress.

I am a casual blogger. I’m a full time student so blogging isn’t my job. I don’t earn money off my blog (aside from $0.01 from my Google Adsenses) or ten thousand sample products. I don’t speak fluent HTML or CSS – I Google all the codes I need to customize the blog I want. I don’t have fancy web designing/graphics skills. And I don’t have 10k followers. Blogging is a passion of mine but I do it casually and for myself.

If you classify yourself as a “casual blogger” , here’s five things to consider when switching over to self hosted WordPress.

1. The Cost

If your blog isn’t aimed at generating an income of some sort, then your hobby for blogging just got slightly more expensive. You can host a WP blog without breaking the bank but compared to free Blogger or just a yearly fee to have a domain name, the cost is something to consider about self hosted WP.

On top of the hosting fees, you should consider the price of WordPress themes. They’re much more expensive than a traditional Blogger template. For example, an average Blogger theme from a well known designer can cost about $150 (entire custom design) where as an entire WP theme can run you up about $500! Aside from premium themes, some best or custom plug-ins can cost you some money too.

Back on Blogger, I paid about $10/year. $10 for my domain name and I designed my own Blogger template. Since switching over to WordPress, my expenses have gone up to $60/year plus any additional themes I would buy in the future (which is unlikely).

2. HTML/CSS… and PHP

You’ve read that WP is extremely customizable and yes, it’s true… if you know how to design a blog. I know the basic of HTML and CSS but don’t talk to me about PHP. I didn’t think it’d be THIS bad but yes, I would say you have to know more than the basics of coding for WP if you want to tweak your theme a bit.

Don’t get me wrong. Most themes on WP have a simple customizer feature that allows you to edit basic stuff such as site title, widget placements and logo/banner. But if you want to center your entire menu or adjust the width of your blog, you’ll have to go into your theme’s files and start tweaking it a bit. It get’s confusing when your basic knowledge of HTML is bolding, underlining, etc.

3. Strict Designs

Adding to the ability to speak fluent codes, if you’re like me and sort of just want a template for your blog and be able to upload a lovely banner, tweak the colours to match your banner and call it day… well, that’ll be tough.

Back on Blogger, I used the Simple Template. I made a new banner every now and then and edit the colours and fonts on my blog to everything looks nice. On WP, very few themes that I came across takes headers. Many of them are aimed towards businesses so they allow you to upload a 150×150 but not your fancy 875×346 banner. If it does, it might look distorted. The best way is to design a header that is based on the recommended pixel sizes that theme suggests. Sometimes it works out but most of the time it’s just testing your creativity habits.

To fully customize your blog, you’ll have to pay for premium themes or learn to code/design a WP blog.

4. Limited Support

Remember how you can easily Google your question and it’d give fool proof tutorials/CSS codes for Blogger to get your blog the way you want it to look? You can’t do that with WP (unless it’s with an extremely popular WP theme such as twentytweleve or twentyeleven). Sure you can send an e-mail to your theme’s designer but most free themes would not have support. And while there is a chance that someone is asking the same question, there’s a high chance that the solution won’t work with your theme for many reasons.

There are so many sites that are dedicated to customizing Blogger and tips and tricks for Bloggers. Those sites rarely exist for WP and if they do, sometimes it gets confusing because all themes are different!

5. Viruses and Deleted Sites

Plugins? Super fun! I love checking out the plugins page and see which ones I can download. Same with themes! If I’m not in the mood to make a new header, I can easily transform the blog into a nicely coded site without any graphics (and without doing the work :P). So, if you’re not gifted in Photoshop, don’t worry – WordPress has SO many beautiful themes that are text based only that gives your blog a different and beautiful look.

That being said, the more you download for your blog, the higher the chances of getting a virus. There’s also risks of hackers targeting WordPress blogs. There’s a chance of deleting your entire blog with a push of a button. You can easily mess up your blog if you mistakenly delete part of a code. You can corrupt your blog if you accidentally delete a file.

It’s scary.

But WordPress is so fun and so amazing! Despite my limitations, I don’t regret switching over to WordPress. I’m currently taking coding classes online to help with my blog. I’m learning more about WordPress everyday. The list of features that everyone raves about is definitely worth it even with the tedious backstage work.

The Liebster Award

Am I a little late to this game? I remember doing the Liebster Award on my ooooooooold blog but I believe the only difference was the fact that we didn’t have to write our own 11 questions.

But, nonetheless, I’m happy to have been nominated by the wonderful Ruth @ Lazy Thoughts (thanks again!)!

The rules:
Link the blog that nominated you for the award
Choose 11 bloggers to nominate who have less than 200 followers
Answer the 11 questions given to you
Let the people you have nominated know that you have done so
You can’t nominate the person that nominated you
Create 11 questions for the people to nominate to answer
So, without further do, here’s 11 questions Ruth asked me:

What is the best place you’ve visited?
My favourite place would probably be Hainan Island, China. I was only there for a few days but it’s literally like the Chinese version of Hawaii. The weather is beautiful (I tanned within 20 minutes!), the ocean is nice, and it was a great place to relax. However, at one point during my relaxation, three men tried to pick me up – too bad I don’t speak Mandarin nor am I interested in Chinese men.DSC01097Can you say throwback?! ^^ July 2011. Look at that background!

How many languages can you speak?
I speak English fluently, and it’s actually my first language. A lot of people are surprised to learn that I don’t speak Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin and the Enping dialect) nor do I understand it very well. To communicate with my parents, I mix both my dialect (literally, I’m at a toddler level) and English together and worst case, I use Google translate app. I studied Canadian French (yes, there’s a difference between Canadian and France French!) for just about 9 years. I also learned American Sign Language but forgot most of it because I don’t have anyone to practice – I think I might pick it up again.

Do you prefer sweets or chocolate?
Chocolate! Especially milk chocolate. I absolutely hate dark chocolate.

Do you own more pairs of heels or more flats?
I think I have to say heels… technically they’re wedges. Here’s the thing about my relationship with shoes. It’s non-existent. Why? Because I have small feet … size 2 1/2 kids; so you can see my shoes choices are quite limited. The only pair of flats I can get are in either black or silver and they’re the same design! All my wedges were purchased back in China (smaller sizes are popular in China) BUT I’m still require to wear to wear insoles to fit them better. I guess… I save hundreds of dollars by having small feet?… haha.

What’s your favourite item of clothing you own?
Don’t laugh… or judge, but it’s either my pink zip up hoodie or grey pullover hoodie. They’re both so cozy and warm, comfortable and fitted too! But, if it’s something more fashionable, I guess you can say it’s black chiffon top with pink rose/floral designs. I love it because it’s lightweight, and easy to pair up. I can dress it up for business, dress it for a nice summer day or dress it up for a night out.

What’s currently on your fashion wishlist?
 Nothing fancy – just new leggings. I have two of the best leggings every worn but for some reason they pile so easily and I don’t have the time to run a fabric shaver/lint roller over them everytime I want to wear it. It’s weird because I buy from this company regularly and it’s only their leggings that have piles on them.

What’s your favourite high street store?
I don’t shop in name designer stores because… A) no matter how much I try, I can’t find anything that suits me and B) it’s too expensive for me. I can’t justify spending $150-$300 on a top (probably because I’m not a huge fashion person). But I do enjoy shopping at Urban Planet, Garage, H&M, Forever 21, Wet Seal, Charlotte Rosse, Sirens, and Urban Behaviour.

Top 3 films?
Titanic, Matilda and Harry Potter series!

What was your first job?
Cashier at Dairy Queen. You can read all about my horrible experience here.

What was the last book you read?
The last book I’ve read was The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. I rated it a 3/5 on Goodreads because it did give me the chills but it moved too slowly. Currently, I’m reading Hitler by Ian Kershaw.

One makeup item you can’t live without?
Ugh, I’m having trouble between eyeliner and mascara! I’d probably say mascara though… I don’t even know why!

Thanks, Ruth for the questions! And for any new readers, hope you learned something new about me, haha.

My 11 questions:
  1. If you can be any celebrity you want to be, who would it be and why?
  2. What’s the most embarrassing fashion moment (either a wardrobe malfunction or a fashion no-no) you ever had?
  3. Do you have any piercings aside from your earlobes?
  4. What’s your career goal?
  5. What beauty advice do you wish someone would have told you earlier?
  6. If you got your acceptance letter to Hogwarts, what house would you be and which animal would you bring along?
  7. What was you’re favourite travel destination?
  8. If you could go back time, which goods/services do you wish you could have created?
  9. What’s your top three most hated disliked store and why?
  10. What’s one thing (fashion and/or beauty) do you wish people would stop doing?
  11. What’s an interesting fact about you?
To be honest with you, I’m not going to tag 11 people. I know the rules say to tag 11 and I’d be unfair that I did this award without following the rules but I feel like most people I follow have already done The Liebster Award and/or has more than 200 followers. I also feel like people are getting annoyed with this award.

So, if you like the questions, feel free to do this award! Thanks for reading and hope you understand why I didn’t nominate 11 people!

Have fun!