The Blogger to WordPress migration is complete. While moving things over, I got a few questions from readers on the move and decided that a post detailing it should be beneficial to everyone.
First things first – should you move your blog to WordPress? I listed a few points that can be found in this post on why I decided to move. For you, if those conditions do not bother you, and the blog is simply an outlet for your ideas, Blogger will be just fine. But if you want to grow your blog into a business and do more than just write articles, taking full control and make something more of it, moving to WordPress is a no-brainer. I still do not know where my own blog is headed, but for now, I have decided to move to WP and theres no looking back.
Right, considering you have decided to move to WP, here is the list of things to do when moving things over; incl. some tips to consider.
- You will need someone to host your site. A search for “WordPress Hosting” will give you hundreds of options. I got a few recommendations ranging from BlueHost, HostGator, DreamHost, LiquidWeb, FatCow, GoDaddy etc. There are pros and cons to each and each provider has different price points depending on the service. I ended up picking GoDaddy because my domain name registration is with them and they had an offer of $1/month incl. one free domain for the first year, which was very agreeable for me.
- Redirect your nameservers. Your domain name registration (if you had your own domain pointing to Blogger) should be moved from Blogger to the new site. Get your WP provider’s IP address details and set it up. These IP addresses are hidden in a maze unless you are familiar with the system and the menu structures – so I just started a chat session with GoDaddy and the agent helped me get the address and set it for me in less than 5 mins. Alternatively, you could look up the GoDaddy help system for a quick lookup if you cant find it quickly.
- At this point you have to wait until the nameservers are forwarded to the right server. They say that it takes anywhere between 1-24 hrs. But normally takes 1 hr. Just type in your website’s address in the web browser and make sure that it doesnt take you to your Blogger site. If it does, wait until it doesnt.
- Once the nameservers are updated – depending on your provider, you might have to install WordPress. But some providers – incl. GoDaddy, came ready and pre-installed, so I didnt have to install it myself.
- For the sake of safety, backup your Blogger blog. Go to Settings > Other. Click on Export Blog at the top of the page and Download Blog when prompted – store it in case of hiccups and emergencies.
- Switch your Blogger default domain. This step is important and skipped by a lot of tutorials out there, which results in lots of issues. This is only applicable if you had your own domain. In Blogger, go to Settings > Basic. Delete your domain name so that the blog address now only has an address such as YourBlogName.blogspot.com. To confirm, enter your domain name in the browser and it should go to your new host site and yourblogname.blogspot.com should take you to your old blogger site.
- Now you start the main part of importing your blog from Blogger to WordPress. There are plenty of tutorials out there that describe the process in detail, so I wont repeat them here. I used the following tutorial and it worked like a charm.
- A couple of problems I did notice while transitioning was that the Pages do not get transferred to WP. So, I had to move those manually. Also, I decided to add all my posts to various categories – which took up a couple of hours of my day. This may vary depending on how many posts you already have published.
- Next step is to select your theme and customize it. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of themes in WP – so, picking was hard. Eventually, I settled on Kirumo – something that was clean and simple, although I was very tempted to go with the default Twenty Fourteen, but I just felt that it didnt suit my blog well.
- Now that the basic site is setup, the rest of the work is optional. There are various plugins that I installed (in addition to the ones described in the link above) that I felt were needed. Heres a list, FYI.
- Fast Secure Contact Form – to add a contact form on the blog
- Gravatar – to show gravatar icons on comments
- ShareThis – for social media sharing (there are a lot of other very good options available, but I’ve always like the style from ShareThis, so I picked this option)
- Simple Follow Me Social Buttons – for Follow Me buttons
- Google Publisher plugin – for Google Webmaster Tools and Google AdSense. There are some other third party plugins for AdSense, but I wasnt sure I trusted them, so went with the official Google plugin for WordPress.
- Quick Page/Post Redirect plugin – I decided to change the name of my page from Holdings to Portfolio, but the link to Holdings has been used all over the web on syndicated content. In order to redirect it to the new page, I added this plugin to send the traffic to the right page.
Thats all folks! That took up almost a whole day to get the site moved and configured. There are still a few minor issues that need some tweaking, but for the most part, the site is fully functional. Hope this post helps you in your move from Blogger to WordPress. Feel free to send me any questions or comments you may have.