Hi, I'm Dara!

Welcome to Living My Someday! 

Here on LMS, I share my Whole30 tips, hiking and travel adventures with my family, motivation + life  lessons, and a few blogging biz tips.

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From Blogger to Squarespace: The 13 BEST Tips for a Successful Transition

From Blogger to Squarespace: The 13 BEST Tips for a Successful Transition

I know firsthand what it's like to be to annoyed with your blog. Before I made the transition from Blogger to Squarespace, everywhere I looked on the internet, seemingly everyone had the most beautiful websites bursting with eye-catching photos, impressive graphics, and all sorts of other bells and whistles I couldn't even begin to create! I wanted to upgrade, but I lacked the knowledge, time, and budget to make a website from scratch. Of course, everyone says the content is what matters, and I'd say this is absolutely true. However, if you can't get people to stay on your blog long enough to read it, where does that leave you?

Stuck, frustrated, and maybe even ready to quit. 

I know that struggle I know all too well! I created From Blogger to Squarespace: The BEST 13 Tips For A Successful Transition specifically for novices like you and me because, while we have a lot of talents and abilities, coding or graphic design aren't one of them. Still, we can learn by determinedly taking it step-by-step, until we've built a blog we can be proud of. This guide is designed to help you save time, effort, and frustration, so you can get back to the business of blessing others with your gifts.

The prospect of moving your blog from a familiar platform to new one can be downright terrifying, but please don't let that stop you! I, myself, was scared the entire time because I was doing it completely on my own; yet, I knew I needed to push into the experience despite my fear because I was certain Squarespace was the right platform for me, as it fit my budget, skill level, and aesthetics.

The 13 tips below represent what I learned from the transition, mostly through trial and error. I documented them because I didn't want people to make the same silly mistakes I did, and I believe in sharing wisdom, rather than hoarding it. Just as I have made use of other valuable posts on the subject—and have mentioned a number of them below—I wanted to give of myself, too. The fact of the matter is, I want you to be successful! A rising tide lifts all boats, right?

1. Delete, delete, DELETE!

Before you import your blog content from Blogger, take the extra time to go through it and get rid of any superfluous, fluffy posts. I know you're probably anxious to start working on the new platform, but please don't skip this step! Depending on how long you've been blogging, chances are, the direction has changed at least once. Paring down will make your overall presence more cohesive and easier for eager readers to find what they're looking for. Further, in the event some links end up broken, you'll have less URL mapping (I'll explain what that is next) to correct. This is an opportunity for a fresh start, so don't be afraid to give it some thought. Are you the same person you were three, five, or even 10 years ago? I had a post in which I mentioned being an extrovert; I now know I'm introverted (INFP, to be exact). Thus, I deleted that content because it no longer applied.  

2. Broken link(s)? Get To Know Squarespace's URL Mapping Panel

When I imported my blog from Blogger, just about everything went smoothly...except for the links. They were all broken. Every. Single. One. BLERGH! Thankfully, Squarespace was incredibly helpful and I discovered their URL Mapping Panel. Because I opted for a major in Communications instead of computer software engineering or graphic design, I still couldn't make sense of their crystal-clear instructions. I needed something much simpler. If you're in the Not Terribly Tech-Savvy Club like me, this pictorial is for you! In it, you'll find explicit, easy-to-understand instructions, as well as step-by-step screenshots! You can download it here. 

3. Take Some Time (But Not Too Much) To Tinker

One of the criticisms of Squarespace is their limited number of templates. I think that's perfectly valid; however, for someone like me, who becomes overwhelmed by too many choices, Squarespace is a great fit! Thanks to Megan Minns' killer FREE Squarespace video tutorials, I was able to dive right into the Bedford template with a nice foundation of information. I still took the time to tinker with the layout and other design choices, but I was careful not to become too wrapped up in the details. It's really easy to become focused on relatively minor issues and forget about "reopening the doors" to your blog. I'm still not completely satisfied, but I fix broken links and correct wonky formatting while also creating new content. Check in with yourself along the way so you can guard against tunnel vision. 

4. Use Pinterest For Inspiration

My color scheme is pretty much the same three colors I've had for the past few years, but Pinterest has been incredibly useful for tips on branding, mood boards, photography, and more! If you need an idea of what I'm talking about, follow my Blog and Vlog Business board. It has a ton of awesome ideas for improving one's online presence.  

5. If You Need Help, Ask Squarespace!

Between their extensive library of tutorials and their attentive online support, I've been really impressed by Squarespace's level of dedication to its users. When I needed help with the URL mapping, I was able to have my questions answered within thirty minutes of reaching out. The forums are also a great place to look for more information and tips directly from other Squarespacers.

6. Be Evergreen

I realize there's a few different schools of thought on this, but I personally like the idea of removing the dates from posts. Often, readers can be quick to disregard a post if it was written a year or two ago, even if the information is still solid. Why not remove that possibility? You can do so by going to Design → Custom CSS. Then copy, paste, and save the following code:

div.entry-dateline {display: none}

Another way to keep content fresh is to update the blog pics and/or graphics. This is on my (growing) list of Things To Do. It's tedious work, but makes a huge difference!

7. Make Use of the Sidebar

FYI, not every Squarespace template has a sidebar. If that's the case for you, Rekita Nicole has a great video tutorial on creating a faux sidebar! The Bedford template does allow for a sidebar, but you need to enable it in the Style Editor. If you don't see it, head to Design → Style Editor → Hide Sidebar—if it's checked, deselect it. After saving your work, go back to the Blog page and hover your mouse over the right side of your content area; a black rectangle should pop up with the option to start editing your sidebar. Click Edit to start adding your preferred design elements. For some reason, my images weren't loading consistently when I used the Summary Blocks. In order to get around that, I created linked photos and stacked them on top of each other. It looks similar and does the job. Summary Blocks work beautifully to highlight related content in my blog posts, so I still make use of them!

For example, at the end of my latest hiking post, I used the Carousel Summary Block to share other outdoor content. 

For example, at the end of my latest hiking post, I used the Carousel Summary Block to share other outdoor content. 

8. Utilize and Pay Attention To Thumbnails

I'm not sure about the other templates, but thumbnails are incredibly important in Bedford. They not only serve as the larger photo at the top of each individual post, but also the images used for Twitter cards— I used this tutorial by Rekita Nicole to make mine—and blog excerpts. Whatever graphic you use, don't forget to adjust the focal point. To do this in each post, go to Edit → Settings → Options. Once you've added an image, move the circle within it to ensure proper placement. Then, save your work.

9. Use Blog Excerpts with Photos

One of the most intimidating aspects of stumbling onto a new blog is finding a wall of text! Break it up by using blog excerpts. Some templates automatically include the thumbnail image in the excerpt. Bedford doesn't, but with a little help from CSS, you can make it happen

10. Make Sure Comments Are Enabled 

What has two thumbs and didn't realize she needed to manually enable comments? *points thumbs to self* This gal. So basic, so ridiculous, so essential! To check the status of your comments, head to Settings → Blogging → Comments Settings. If Enable Comments Globally is unchecked, select it. You can also peruse the other options and decide if you want to allow likes, moderate comments, etc. When you're satisfied, hit Save.   

11. Use Categories & Tags to Organize Content

I'll be honest, I didn't think about this much when I was on Blogger. I simply wrote about whatever and tagged it (or not) the same way. Now, I see the error of my ways! Squarespace makes it so easy to organize your posts and share them all over your site. I'm still working on this (I have a lot of posts to slog through. *sigh*), but I've found that utilizing tags and categories has helped me not only divide up my work, but see what I've written about most. It's a great way to find your niche if you're unsure! You may have positioned yourself as an expert on a subject without even realizing it! So far, I've only used Summary Blocks to showcase related content in handful of posts, but I'm planning on implementing an Archives page in the next month and adding a Resources page sometime this year. If you need more ideas, here's a great post by Elle & Co on creative ways to utilize Summary Blocks. 

12. Connect Your Social Media Accounts

Squarespace makes it simple to connect almost every social media platform to your site, which makes it that much easier to share your content across the Web with a few clicks! To connect your accounts, go to Settings → Connected Accounts. You can also share content as soon as you hit Publish. To do this, go into the post editor, click on Social, and then select the sites you prefer. Don't forget to scroll to the bottom and save your changes!   

13. Make Note of How To Restore A Deleted Post 

I wasn't planning on including this, but since it just happened to me, I figured I should include it. I mean, the Delete and Save buttons are next to each other, so I'm guessing I'm not alone in making this mistake! Anyway, to restore a deleted post, scroll to the bottom of your blog and click on the trash can. Find the desired blog post and click "Restore". If it's been less than 30 days from deletion, you're golden! However, content is permanently scrapped after the 30-day mark.   

And there ya have it, folks! Thirteen of my best tips for making the transition from Blogger to Squarespace smooth, efficient, and successful! If you found this list useful, feel free to share it wherever you'd like. Have another helpful tip? Leave a comment! It not only benefits me, but everyone who reads this post. 

Blogging Is Supposed To Be FUN!

Blogging Is Supposed To Be FUN!

Hiking With Kids: Garden Of The Gods!

Hiking With Kids: Garden Of The Gods!