Google just announced that it will start censoring adult content on their popular Blogger platform.
Who’s in danger: adult erotica authors, photographers, escorts, adult entertainers, sex-positive activists; anyone who has explicit (whatever that means for all-knowing Google) content on their website – from images and videos to writing. Judging by the Google’s history of paid ad censorship, trying to prove that your blog is among the “chosen” few that should not be included in this purge is going to be long and painful process.
For many creative artists and writers who worked hard to create the strong web presence and precious links to their Blogger sites over the period of years, this will be a terrible blow. Links lost, content pretty much invisible, back to square one.
Internet censorship is the reason why having your own domain name is so important – even if your host decides you’re a dirty smutmonger who doesn’t deserve their business, you can pick up your stakes and move to another hosting company that’s more up on the 21st century sensibilities. Your links will keep working, and your faitfull visitors will know where to find you. The worst you might expect is a few days of downtime, if the corporates decide not to give you any warning.
Are you one of the Blogger refugees? Don’t panic! There are still things you can do to make sure this never happens in the future:
1) Get a real-life, own web hosting account for your website.
We recommend Lunarpages, (use aff15off discount for 15% off your bill) as they’re extremely dependable, easy to use and very reasonably priced. A full year of hosting, with a free domain name if you don’t have one yet, will cost you about $100 for a Basic Hosting account. (get the $1.50/month backup upgrade, it’s worth much more than that if your blog ever gets hacked). We’ve been hosting 95% of the websites we designed for others with Lunarpages, for the past 10 years or so, and had nothing but good experiences with them. They have historically been very comfortable hosting adult websites of all kinds, and are very proactive in hacking prevention and keeping their servers clean and up to date – a rare combination. They even have a tech support phone line, staffed with patient and knowledgeable people. (Disclaimer – we’re also a Lunarpages affiliate, as we feel we can fully stand behind their quality.)
If you already have a domain name, transferring it is easy. If not, you can get a new one during the signup. Keep an eye out for the “Welcome” email from your new host, it should contain all the information you need to move forward.
2) Go to your Control Panel (if with Lunarpages you’ll have one, but most other hosts have something similar), and install WordPress from Softaculous scripts page or comparable interface – on Lunarpages, it’ll even ask you to choose from a nice selection of website layouts. You’ll be able to adjust these later, too.
3) Import your Blogger content to your new WordPress website, either by using the built-in tool (instructions), or one of the WordPress plugins built to do so (here’s one – note, we don’t recommend any particular plugin, as each has its dis/advantages). Make sure you go through the content and check that everything you need has been transferred – depending on the plugin you use and your host’s setup, some of the content may not transfer! Here’s another great (though a bit technical) guide to moving from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress blog without losing your Google rankings.
Voila! You now have your own website, with your own domain name people can find you by wherever you go (and you hopefully won’t have to move again for a long time, if ever).
If you want, you can now get into more advanced customization – search engine optimization, custom blog layouts, adding various plugins to make your blog faster, safer, and even more user friendly. WordPress is a great platform, and not too hard to use once you learn the ropes. /shameless plug/ If this is all still too hard, feel free to contact us for a quote. We can help you with transfer, design you a completely custom (or cheaper out-of-the-box-but-still-awesome) layout, make sure search engines love you, and hold your hand during the entire process. We’re right now offering a sizable discount for Blogger refugees – transfer sites start at $300, with content transfer, signing you up for hosting (not including hosting bill), and basic customization with sidebar “widgets”, custom header and more.
And, if you want to try the transfer on your own, feel free to drop me a line through the comments on this post if you get stuck. I can’t promise to answer all inquiries, depending on my (busy) schedule, but I’ll try my best to help in a timely manner – and you’ll be helping others facing the same issues.