If you are deciding to make the switch from Blogger to WordPress, a huge congrats for this awesome step for your blog or business! If you are weighing the pros and cons of Blogger and WordPress, I outlined the reasons why I made the switch in Part 1 of this Blogger to WordPress series. Switching from Blogger to WordPress was a huge adventure for me, which took up a lot of time for 3-4 days over my winter break. Doing it on my own required a lot of research, some tedious post reformatting, emails, video tutorials and faith that everything would work out. The goal was a smooth transfer–with no content or traffic losses. In the end, I am super happy with the result, and even happier that I was able to accomplish the switch on my own–with no phone calls to hosting companies! So here is all about my experience making the switch, and what I recommend. I hope this can answer some of your questions, as well as point you to some other resources to help.
What do you need to switch from Blogger to WordPress?
- A blog already hosted on Blogger
- A domain name – I bought mine through GoDaddy.
- Web hosting – I settled on Blue Host’s Plus Package.
- A WordPress framework or theme – I highly suggest the Genesis Framework and a complementary child theme. The Genesis Framework is growing in popularity and many designers and companies see Genesis as a trusted framework for their sites. Also it is SEO-optimized, which is great for your blog!
- A handful of good tutorials–my favorite tutorials are below!
- Lots of time on your hands!
How much did everything cost?
My total expenses for the switch were $306. This included my hosting, the Genesis framework for WordPress and a child theme. I bought my domain name back in June for about $10 for a one-year plan, so I didn’t need to purchase this when I made the switch. Here are the total costs breakdown:
- Hosting: Blue Host Plus Plan for 2 years (Cyber Monday Deal): $206.79
- StudioPress Genesis Framework + Swank Theme Package: $99.95
- Domain Name with GoDaddy: $10.16
Making the Move: Blogger to WordPress, Step by Step!
Overall, there are six main parts of getting your WordPress site up and running. A couple things to note before we start: if you are using a Blogger blog with a .blogspot.com address (mydomain.blogspot.com), these steps may be a little bit different for you (I noted these differences below). If you are going from a mydomain.com blog on Blogger to WordPress, this process is more for you!
Step 1. Clean up your Blogger blog.
Before moving your blog, log into your Blogger account and go through the drafts section, removing or publishing your old drafts. I also did a content analysis of my blog: I went through all my posts and deleted old posts that seemed irrelevant to the focus of my blog. In the end, the less posts you have to transfer, the more time you save.
Optional step: I cleaned out all my Blogger labels for my blog. “Labels” in blogger transfer as “Categories” in WordPress, and a lot of times it doesn’t make sense to have 50 of your labels be categories of your blog. You can also update your categories and labels after you switch to WordPress, but I preferred to make my Blogger blog as clean as it could be before the move.
Important! Before moving your blog, make sure to backup your Blogger blog, including your entire blog and your XML template file.
Step 2. Set up a temporary “test” subdomain on your hosting account and install WordPress on that subdomain.
Note: This step is key if you already had a custom domain (mydomain.com) linked to your Blogger account. This makes sure to keep your blog live and your traffic as you make the switch. If you are moving from a blogspot address (mydomain.blogspot.com), your steps will be slightly different. You can follow this tutorial from Blog Ambitions for more info!
To do this, log into your hosting account and navigate to the domains section. Click on subdomains and add a new subdomain such as “test.mydomain.com.” If your host comes with a one-click install for WordPress, set this up using your subdomain, “test.mydomain.com.” Now you are ready to start using WordPress!
Step 3. Import your Blogger blog into WordPress using the Blogger to WordPress plugin.
Important! To prepare before importing your Blogger blog, adjust these settings in WordPress:
- Settings > Media Settings > Image Sizes > Medium Size – Make the max width and max height both 1500 (This ensures your images will import at the correct size!)
- Settings > Permalinks > Select Custom Structure > Type this into the field: ” /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html/ ” (Without the quotation marks)
Now it’s time to import your Blogger blog! Go to Tools > Import and select Blogger at the top. Go through the steps to Install the plugin, Active the Plugin, and Run the Importer. Then, click Authorize, which will ask you to give access through Google. Then click “Import.”
This will import your posts, images, labels, and comments. You will have to set up your pages and sidebars, manually.
As the importer runs, it may freeze at some points, but I just clicked the import button again. While some tutorials said that there would be a “Congratulations!” message appear when it is does, that did not happen for me, but all my content was imported just the same.
Step 4. Clean up the look of your site, add pages, set up your sidebar, etc. Make your blog look actually the way you want it to!
Now you are all set to make all the changes you want to your blog! Go ahead and install a theme, build your sidebars, add your pages and customize your blog. Read this post to learn tips on how to customize the design of your blog.
Important! It is also time to make sure all your WordPress links match your old Blogger links. To do so, download and install this plugin to your site. Go through the steps to activate the plugin, and after a couple moments, it should have your URLs updated.
Step 5. Transfer your subdomain to your real domain. And redirect your Blogger blog to your WordPress site.
I found Fabulous Blogging’s tutorial extremely helpful during this part of the process. To start redirecting your old Blogger blog to WordPress:
- Log into your Blogger account. Revert your URL back to your mydomain.blogspot.com address. Also, disable your mobile theme under the “template” settings.
- On WordPress, Install the Blogger to WordPress plugin for a custom 301 redirect code. Delete everything in the “Edit HTML” section of your Blogger blog and paste the new redirect code in its place.
Moving from your temporary domain to your real domain:
- Update the nameservers and DNS Zone files on your domain. This means researching the nameservers to your particular hosting company (From Blue Host, their nameservers are ns1.BlueHost.com and ns2.BlueHost.com)
- Update the DNS settings on your domain. If you are using GoDaddy, navigate to the DNS Zone Files and delete the rows associated with Google servers or your Blogger account. Update the DNS files with your new IP address you can find with your hosting company.
- Now log back into your WordPress account, and go to Settings > General. Update the links in the “Home” and “Site” fields to your custom domain. This will change them from test.mydomain.com to mydomain.com. At this point, it will seem like your site will break. Don’t worry!
- Close out of your browser and reopen it, clearing the cache. Then, you should be able to log into your WordPress site (mydomain.com/wp-admin) and it should be updated!
- As of now, your post and image URLS will still be “test.mydomain.com,” but to update it to “my.domain.com,” use the Velvet Blues Plugin, which will ask for your temporary domain (test.mydomain.com) and your new domain (mydomain.com). Make sure to update all pages, posts, images, etc. to make sure all your images and posts are updated.
Step 6. Final Steps – Google Analytics, Bloglovin, Disqus + More
I made sure to test my links from other sites (like Pinterest, Twitter, etc.) and from sites where I was receiving the most traffic. I also reinstalled Google Analytics to my site and started researching other plugins to improve the user experience of my blog. I also installed Disqus and tried to update my old comments to my new site. However, I’ve still been working on trying to get my older comments to appear on my site. In addition to this, I also contacted Bloglovin support to make sure my Bloglovin followers transferred to my updated site. This was a pretty easy process! Then, I updated my Feedburner account and my feed on Blogger to my new WordPress feed to maintain email subscribers and GFC followers.
The longest part of the process for me was cleaning up the look of my blog, reformatting posts (making sure images were the proper size in posts to avoid text wrap) and setting up my pages and sidebar. However, depending on how much you want to customize your site, this can be an easy step. In addition to the steps above, I recommend reading many tutorials to help you out along the way. Overall, there are many different ways to move from Blogger to WordPress, but the outline above was the way I found the easiest!
What tutorials will help me with the switch?
- “Move Blogger to WordPress” by Blog Ambitions – I recommend reading this first since it gave me a pretty clear start to how the process will work! I didn’t learn everything from this tutorial, but it was very helpful!
- “Moving from Blogger to WordPress, Part 1” by Amy Lynn Andrews – Very good info for giving you the overall picture!
- Blogger To WordPress Migration Guide with Permalink & SEO by rtCamp – Excellent details in this article, one of the best tutorials I found!
- The Beginner’s Guide to Moving Your Blog from Blogger to WordPress by Fabulous Blogging – Another excellent post that gives you good information about redirecting your site, especially towards the end of the process.
- Moving a Blog Checklist by Fabulous Blogging – This breaks down the process into small steps, making sure you got everything.
In addition to the tutorials above, I googled my questions and emailed with other bloggers. The WordPress support site also has a ton of great information as well. If you are looking to make the switch on your own, I would recommend you have a basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and the WordPress platform (either from using a different WordPress.com or Wordpres.org blog). Also, if you are familiar with setting up domain names and IP addresses, that would help too!
Another option is to pay for a Blogger to WordPress service. I am familiar with Kristie’s Blogger to WordPress services as well as Blogelina’s Blogger to WordPress Transfers. These options will work for you if you would prefer to not dive into the tech stuff!
Let me know if you find this tutorial and a behind-the-scenes look of my Blogger to WordPress transfer helpful! Have you switched from Blogger to WordPress? What was your process like?