Blogger to WordPress – How to make the move

You may have seen my previous post, Blogger to WordPress – Why I made the move so you probably already know why I did.  If you haven’t read that post, please read through it because as I have stated before, there are quite a few reasons to move.  Also, as I have stated in previous posts, I don’t have any problems with Blogger and I would recommend it to anyone especially when starting to blog for the first time.  I just felt that for me, it was time.

I am now going to attempt to tell you all how I moved my blog.  I did it all on my own with quite a bit of research, trial and error.  I will not tell anyone that they shouldn’t hire anyone to do it for them either because it is a daunting task, a lot of work, and can be pretty frusrating – at least it was for me because I had no idea what I was doing.  It can be done though and if you follow these steps, you should be able to do it yourself too.  Some of it may sound a little confusing or simply just too much but it can be pretty simple following these steps.  Everything in my post worked for me and I did not lose any of my Page Rank, followers, subscribers, or any “google juice” etc. after everything caught up and updated.  However, I am NOT and expert and I am not really tech savvy either so I can’t gaurantee everything will work for everyone.  There are different versions of “this” or “that” that may prevent something from working exactly right.  The following steps worked for me and I hope they help and work for you too.

First of all, get the goods!

1) Get a Domain!  You need to purchase your domain name, preferably “yourdomain.com“.  It’s recommended that you get private domain registration so that way no one can get your “whois” information.  It’s also usually best if you get the .net and .org versions of your domain as well so that no one else can buy them up and you don’t have to worry about someone else having “yourdomain.net” when you have your “yourdomain.com”.  I really hope that made sense.  Your domain registration is usually around $10 a YEAR (per domain) and a lot of places have a package deal if you get all three versions.  You will most likely only use the .com version but if you do purchase all three, you can redirect the .net and .org to the .com and you don’t have to worry about anyone else getting them.  GoDaddy usually has a great deal when you purchase all three.

2) Get Hosting!  I have hosting through DreamHost because it is a recommended host of WordPress.  DreamHost also has “one click” install too so there wasn’t anything I had to do except click and they did all the install work for me!  When I purchased my hosting, I went with the 2 year plan that only ended up being $166 plus my domain (1 domain) registration remains free for as long as I host with them so I don’t have to worry about my domain registration.  I have never had a single problem with DreamHost either.

You should receive all your information including FTP info, WordPress login, and all the goods you need to know from your host so that you can get to all your website files.  Don’t worry about the weird names and terms.  I still don’t know what it all stands for but it’s easy to use once you get everything set up. 

Now that you got your domain, hosting and WordPress installed, take a deep breath and let the fun begin!

1) First, log into WordPress and in your dashboard, scroll down to settings > permalinks, choose Custom Structure and in the box, paste:

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html

Blogger’s link structure is a little different and using this will match the link structure to minimize broken links and the number of redirects.  There will still be links that you will have to have redirected but this will match most of them.

2) Import your posts and comments from Blogger to WordPress.  WordPress allows you to do this easily by using the import feature.  From your WordPress dashboard, go to Tools > Import and choose Blogger.  You will have to authorize Blogger to allow you to do this – it’s a very simple instruction and afterward, all the import process will begin.  This may take some time depending on how many posts and comments you have on your blogger blog!

3) Back in Blogger, select settings and then select publishing.  Click custom domain and enter “yourdomain.com”.  Blogger will automatically transfer your links to your new domain.  A lot of them will be matched up but there will still be some that will be “not found” on your new domain.  This is when the Redirection process comes in.  You will need to redirect all links to the correct location on your new domain.  Since you have switched to a “custom domain” on blogger, anytime you click on view blog, it’s going to automatically take you to your new domain and will no longer see your original blogger blog but you still have complete access to your dashboard and can get to your posts, pages and everything else from there.

Using your custom domain will redirect your blog home page to your new domain homepage and will also transfer or redirect most of your links (as I was trying to explain above).  Blogger will also now redirect your old blogger domain to your new domain for you so they have made redirecting a bit easier.  “We won’t leave your readers behind!”  It does sound a bit odd since we changed to “yourdomain.com” – it’s still redirecting all those old links to all the new ones.  Make sure to check the box to redirect underneath where you put your custom domain in.   Blogger will show visitors a page letting them know your blog has moved but there is one more step to transfer your blog home page over.  Still in Blogger, go to layout > edit HTML in your dashboard, and copy and paste the code below after the <head>:

<meta content=’0; url=http://YOURNEWURL.com/’ http-equiv=’refresh’/> 

This is supposed to be a search engine safe method of redirection.  Another thing to take note is that after you change to a custom domain, it will say “The DNS record for your domain is not set up correctly yet.  If you just purchased this domain the set up process may take up to a day.”  Just ignore this because this doesn not apply to you.  Changing the DNS settings just allows blogger to host your domain for you thus changing nothing except that you have your own domain on blogger.  Your DNS settings should be set to use with your host (which you should receive instructions from your host if you didn’t purchase your domain through the hosting company).

Redirecting

After your Blogger blog is imported, most of your link structure will be matched up since you used the Custom Structure.  However, you will still have some that will not be matched up.  These links will need to be redirected.  I use the Redirection WordPress plugin which I manually redirected all the broken ones myself.  It did take me quite a bit of time but I figured that way, I can at least make sure they all work without getting 404 errors.  With this plugin, it also keeps logs so that if there happens to be any 404’s I can find them and fix them.  I’m not going to get into how the Redirection plugin works but it is pretty easy once you get into it – time consuming, but easy.  There are other plugins that will do all this for you if you would rather try those.  I just like Redirection because it acts like a permanent 301 redirect while some of the others didn’t really say that they were.  Besides that, you can’t 301 your blogger blog the usual way via .htaccess file because you don’t have any access to your blogger website files.

Update your feed!

Most likely you have been using feedburner on your blogger blog.  You will now need to update your feed with your new feed from your new WordPress domain (click on “edit feed details”).  After you have updated, go back to Blogger and go to settings > site feed and enter your new feedburner address in the Post Feed Redirect URL box which will help redirect your readers/subscribers that you have already built up on blogger to your new domain.  That way all those readers and subscribers will now be receiving your new feed and being redirected and you won’t lose any of your subscribers. 

I am trying to explain this the best I can – I plan on posting about updating your feed in a more detailed post soon so it may end up making more sense then if it sounds confusing to you. 

Almost Finished!

All that’s left are the finishing touches.  Make sure that your WordPress blog is being searched in search engines by going to settings > privacy in your WordPress dashboard and choosing the

Then, go back to Blogger and go to settings > basic, then scroll down where it says “Let search engines find your blog?” and select NO.  Again, this sounds like an odd thing to do since we are now using “yourdomain.com” but it is still blogger and you don’t want search engines getting confused thinking that there is duplicate content being searched until the search engines get caught up and see all the redirects going on.

You are now finished moving from Blogger to WordPress!  All that is left now is getting your new domain on alexa.com.  If you already had your blogger blog on alexa, you will know what I am talking about.  Unfortunately, you will have to start over your alexa ranking and register your new domain.  It didn’t take me long to get back where I used to be – in fact, I think it went slightly quicker.  After my new domain got caught up on alexa, I deleted my old blogspot domain claim.

Whatever you do, DO NOT delete your Blogger blog!!!  This is VERY important!  First of all, if you are moving from blogger to WordPress, chances are you have been at it for a good while.  Since Google penalizes for duplicate content, your first thought probably is to delete your blogger blog but that would be a big mistake.  You have all those posts that have grown rankings and other “google juices” and if you delete it, there goes all the good stuff.  You want to make sure that all the “juice” gets transferred to your new links so that your new wordpress blog doesn’t lose all that and everything gets preserved.  As long as all your redirects are in place and your move was successful, the search engines will catch up and you won’t be penalized for anything.  Besides that, all your images that you have used in your posts will stay on blogger because you don’t have access to your website files meaning that blogger will still be hosting all those images or pictures that you have inserted in all those old posts.  If you delete your blogger blog, all those images go with it even though all those posts are imported into your wordpress blog.

Following these steps automatically transferred my traffic, subscribers and readers after updating my feed because everything was the same since all the redirections were in place.  I do have to warn you, Google Page Rank won’t transfer right away.  Believe me, this was the part that really worried me because for almost 4 months, my ranking was a big fat 0 when I used to have a 2.  When Google Page Rank finally updated, my page rank was there and I had successfully preserved it!  I don’t believe my PR has been penalized by any duplicate content either and that all my redirections are working as a 301 permanent redirect should.

You should also get your new domain set up on Google Analytics, get your sitemaps together and submit them, submit your new domain to search engines, etc.  I updated every place that I had my blogger blog listed at with my new domain too.  For example, I have my blog listed at On Top List, Blog Catalog, and so forth.  I am also a member of a lot of different things too so I had to update everywhere I could think of.  The more you replace your old blogger url with your new one, the better.

Last but not least, you will have to manually add all your buttons, badges, widgets, etc. that you had displayed on your blog.  Another thing that you will most likey want to do is take your Google Friend Connect with you.  GFC is a blogger thing but it is very simple to take with you and transfer all your GFC followers to your new wordpress blog.  It’s easy but there is some explaining to do so that will be for another post.

I really hope I was able to explain everything in a way that makes sense and I didn’t confuse anyone.  Again, I am NOT an expert and I can’t gaurantee everything will work for everyone.  This is exactly how I made my move and everything worked out great for me so I hope this information is helpful to anyone deciding to make the move themselves!

Happy Blogging!

Related Posts

Blogger to WordPress – Why I made the move

Blogger to WordPress – How to make the move (you are here)

 

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