we help adults teach art to kids

Transferring from Blogger to WordPress: My Story

Art Vocabulary from Deep Space Sparkle

The skies are heavy and my house is warm. I’m sitting in my perch (my office is located in a little nook in my bedroom) watching the rain thunder down. Today is a perfect day for reflection; about teaching art, managing and keeping students happy, and most importantly how transfer my blog to Word Press.

The art stuff you know but I rarely blog about, well, blogging. How does a blog evolve? What are the indicators that you need to take it up a notch?

For me, it was one thing: you.

Why I started blogging….

I began Deep Space Sparkle in 2008 on Blogger with the intentions of providing parents a peek into their children’s art class. Few parents visited but art teachers did. Soon, DSS evolved to what you see here, which is my attempt to provide anyone who is interested easy access to student-tested art lessons. When I began the blog, only a few others art teachers were blogging (Kathy at Art Project for Kids , Katie at Briargrove Elementary Art Page and Julie at Miss Julie’s Place and Gail at The Artist Lady). It was great fun seeing what these ladies were up to but more importantly, they provided ideas for art lessons. Now there are so many art blogs out there. Just recently one of my favorite blogs, Vivid Layers provided an art directory of art teachers. Almost a hundred! Not bad, huh?

When I began teaching, I remember the anxiety I felt wondering what on earth to do with my groups of students. I think I bought every art book out there but most of the time, they weren’t enough. I  needed pictures, visuals, tutorials…I needed help! That’s what inspired me to expand DSS into a teacher’s reference site. Just the desire to share my lessons with the expectation that I might help lessen stress somewhere.

What its like transferring your Blogger blog to WordPressThe move to create PDF Art Booklets was a result of all your feedback…more questions, deeper explanations, requests for handouts…that type of thing. As my readership grew and opportunities to provide ad space beckoned, I decided that I wanted to keep my blog authentic to my original mission; ad free, visually inspiring and hopefully, helpful and easy to navigate. Selling the PDF’s for a nominal fee has helped me stay true to that goal.

Outgrowing Blogger…

As my number of lessons grew and my collection of PDF’s increased, I felt the need to move beyond Blogger to WordPress. Blogger is still the platform I recommend to most new bloggers, but Word Press is the creative king. I have to pay someone to host my site but the control I have is worth it. I read once that Word Press generates more traffic than Blogger but I’m not so sure about that. I also read that Word Press is the platform to go with if you are operating a business with your site. Again, I’m not so sure about that. For me, the benefit is the flexibility that I didn’t have with Blogger.

What its like transferring your Blogger blog to WordPress

Resizing and naming images…who knew?

I did learn a few things as a result of having to host my own site. First, the size of my pictures. Because Blogger had provided the storage for my photos on my blogspot account, I never considered size as a problem. But now, I have to reduce the image size of every single photograph I put on my site so the loading of a page doesn’t take forever. Do you ever visit blogs when the header takes forever to load? The blogger didn’t scale back the size of her photos. That’s why. So reduce your image size. It makes pages load faster.

I had to spend a great deal of time loading pictures onto my site from Blogger. The text and pictures in the posts transferred easily, but Blogger still hosted these photos. In order for a photo to appear in the little thumbnail box in my new blog, I had to download it directly onto wordPress. Now that WordPress hosted it, the photo was able to show up in that little box. Confused? I’m with ya there. Transferring blogs is not for everyone.

What its like transferring your Blogger blog to WordPress

Categories and Pages make my new blog easier to navigate and that lovely menu bar is really the reason why I wanted a WordPress bar. Talk about stuffing more information into the blog! Love it.

Picking the right name

I also learned a great deal about how people find you and your blog. One of the biggest problems I see (now that I know better) is how many people have different URL’s and blog names. Take me for instance, I have a writing blog hosted on Blogger. The address is www.pattypalmer.blogspot.com but the name of the blog is Capturing Joy. Now people have to remember two names when trying to get to my site. If you have two different names, it helps to switch them before you get too big and popular (which maybe too late for some of you awesome guys!) So blog names matter. The stranger the better, if you ask me!

Who owns this blog?

I learned how important it is to introduce yourself on your blog. People want to know who is running the show. Make sure your name is somewhere on the top half of your page. If you can provide an email that’s even better. I’ve heard of people say they are worried about privacy, but readers have to assume that if you are making your blog public then they have the right to know who is creating such great stuff. Bloggers just love to interact! It’s mostly why we do it, right?

I hope these tips are helpful. I love reading all of your blogs and wish you all the best in developing them, in whatever way you wish. Most of all, thanks for sharing, thanks for commenting, thanks for buying my art booklets and thanks for providing feedback…it’s been a great journey!

    14 Comments

  1. I’ve been blogging on my Oodles of Art site for a long time too 🙂

    I’ve used your blog for a lot of tips the last few years! thanks!

    Katie B.

    January 2, 2011

  2. Hi Patti:

    It’s been a long time since I have blogged, but I can say that I use your DSS blog at least once a week and purchased your PDF files for an art enrichmnet projgram sponsored by our PTA. Most of my parent volunteers are really anxious about doing art in the classroom because they aren’t artists themselves. I think I need to do an intervention! Anyway, those lesson plans put them at ease. Super easy to follow and all those great pictures!

    I hope it will give us a boost next year as we start recruiting volunteers! Thank you and I am looking forward to DSS in 2011!

    Sherry M

    January 3, 2011

  3. Hey! Thanks for linking to my blog on your blog! I’ve gotten a lot of traffic there recently. I love your blog and have gotten a lot of great ideas from reading yours. I do like the changes you made on your layout since going to wordpress.. it looks very professional!

    Marcia Beckett

    January 3, 2011

  4. Hey Patty,

    Thanks so much for linking to me again!, and for directing me to Marcia’s site and the blog directory.
    It’s amazing how much this blogging has transformed over the years, I now feel like I have this alternate workplace and many supportive co workers instead of working in isolation!

    Gail

    January 7, 2011

  5. Hi Patty, Thanks for the tips on blogging! You, Gail, and Kathy (Art Projects for Kids) actually inspired me to start my own blog. And I am having so much fun with it!

    Sheila Whittenberg

    January 7, 2011

  6. I am always interested in how other teachers handle painting sessions. What is your favorite way to put out paint? Small baby food jars, egg cartons??? I have powder paint and liquid paint and was wondering how you like to put it on tables and keep it viable. Thank you. I LOVE your site and come here often for inspiring ideas.

    Frances

    January 17, 2011

    • I use a 6-well paint palette for tempera paints when I want the students to create their own colors. I also have clear plastic pint-sized containers with lids that I store pre-mixed paints in. I set these on the table with brushes inside. It’s a great time saver as the lids pop on after the lesson, so no clean up.
      For liquid watercolors, I use small condiment containers with lids.
      Hope this helps!

      Patty

      January 17, 2011

    • Hi;
      My solution for delivering liquid tempera to the tables and storing it has been to use paper cups, waxed ones for hot drinks in take out fast foodcup trays.The paints can be kept moist by spraying and covering with plastic sheeting. I can keep them like this for a long period of time and when finished after six weeks or so i just toss out the cups. I keep these two levels deep and store on a trolley under the counter .
      I have been storing tempera paint ready for students this way for about twenty years.
      Hope this helps

      sharon

      February 16, 2011

      • Hi
        Patty ;
        I just found your site today; Well all that information about blogging is really impressive as I know how much time it takes. Our school is just this year venturing into that area. I saw your picture in front of your parents house on the Northumberland Strait. We have a family cottage at Caribou.Next time you are there we need to connect and if you email me I will send you more information. Love your site. I teach art K-3 at an international school (11years) and will be reiring to my home in Nova Scotia soon ( after a gap year of travel).
        Love my job and working with young children they are the true artists.

        sharon

        February 16, 2011

  7. Patty, thank you so much! I am a teacher in a tiny town in Colorado. I teach all grades K-6, every subject. Suddenly I have found myself an art teacher as well. Thanks to your our art is amazing, while both the students and myself are learning so much about art. We couldn’t do it without you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nancy

    January 25, 2011

  8. Hi Patty! I love your website and I was wondering if you would share with me who created your site and what program was used. I would like to set up a webstie for my school and I love the organization to yours. Hope you can share this info!

    Laura

    laura

    January 26, 2011

    • Hi Laura
      I use the Lifestyle theme on WordPress. WordPress has tons of free templates and some that you purchase. Lifestyles is one that you purchase. Darcy at Graphically Designing did the general design and set-up. Good luck!

      Patty

      January 27, 2011

  9. Hey Patty!
    Thanks so much for adding my blog to your ART LINKS! I appreciate all the support. I just wanted to let you know that my blog site name has changed. It is no longer “Ms. Art Teacher”. It is now “That Little Art Teacher”. But the URL is still the same http://ms-artteacher.blogspot.com/. Again thank you for all that you do. You are an inspiration!
    Becca Ruth 🙂

    Becca Ruth

    January 27, 2011

  10. Hello to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this weblog; this website includes remarkable and genuinely good stuff
    in favor of visitors.

    home improvement project

    January 19, 2015

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *