Blogs are an important part of an online marketing strategy, especially for a small company—they provide a way of directly connecting with customers, they are an inexpensive way to differentiate your client from their competition, and they provide real benefits for search engine optimization.

In many cases, however, designers are engaged to build an ecommerce solution for their client’s business and understandably spend most of the available time and budget on the online store—focusing on product presentation, categories, navigation and checkout. A blog is frequently an out-of-the-box, bolt-on solution to complete the site’s feature set—especially for a designer that has limited development resources.

Typical integration focuses on the navigation and presentation however—a common header and style are used across both the application that powers the store and the application that powers the blog—but stops there. Data cannot be shared easily, authenticated sessions are not supported, and any changes to common elements need to be updated in multiple locations, but that’s just the start of the support woes.

WordPress’s plug-in architecture is a huge advantage for most users—having developers around the world add features and functionality gives designers and clients a wide variety of options to extend their blog’s functionality. But with any plug-in architecture, you need to stay current as platform upgrades impact plug-ins. This is just another aspect of the maintenance hurdles that can grow into costly maintenance tasks over time.

Smaller design firms working with small or medium sized businesses need to maximize their efficiency and reduce long-term support costs. You should be focusing your effort on delivering value for your client, and keeping support costs low.

Even designers who recognize this issue find themselves in a larger hole: the cost to change is sometimes greater than the cost of dealing with support issues. Most full service platforms acknowledge that and provide tools to assist migrating an existing site into a new platform.

BigTurns provides tools to migrate an online business onto their platform—including blogs. Blogs represent a special case because blogs contain structured data with relationships that cross articles. For instance, most blogs have comments and comment threads, they are assigned to categories, and have a history. In this article, we’ll walk through migrating your blog into a new BigTurns site and set up a seamless template based on your current WordPress blog.

Beyond blogs, BigTurns is really a platform for an online business and provides tools for integrated ecommerce, marketing and content management. Other articles in the series cover those topics in more detail.