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Blogger to WordPress: How To Make the Switch

I finally caved and made the switch from Blogger to WordPress. And I documented the steps here for anyone in the same situation as I. Just before that, I transferred my domain away from Google (enom) to Bluehost and migrated my blog posts from Blogger to WordPress. (If you’re in need of domain transfer, you may want to follow my article Transferring Your Domain: How to Switch from enom to Bluehost first, then follow this one.).

I successfully kept all my Feedburner subscribers and mostly successfully moved my comments over. While many HowTo articles exist, none seemed to cover my particular situation:

1. I already had my own domain (nannygoatsinpanties.com, purchased through Blogger from GoDaddy which at some point moved to enom)

2. I had already signed up for a domain hosting account (Bluehost) and started a practice WordPress blog so I could be familiar with it before moving Nanny Goats in Panties over)

When I say WordPress, I mean self-hosted WordPress, the one you pay for, not the free version which provides a URL with the node “wordpress” in it. wordpress.com is for free blogs, whereas wordpress.org is your reference for creating self-hosted (and non-free) blogs.

This article has the following sections:

  1. Setup your blog on WordPress (including transfer from Blogger)
  2. Other Things You May Need to do (such as adding Disqus or Feedburner)
  3. Lessons Learned (things for YOU to watch out for)

1. Setting Up Your Blog on WordPress

This article assumes you’ve already signed up with Bluehost as your domain hosting service. If you haven’t already signed up with Bluehost, consider using my Bluehost affiliate link below, as I get a few pennies for referring you. CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BLUEHOST.COM

Install WordPress on your domain.

Install the WordPress software onto your domain in Bluehost. You may need to pull it in from Simple Scripts first.

In your Bluehost cPanel, install WordPress by clicking on the  WordPress icon from the Software Service section on the right-hand side:

bluehost SW Services WordPress

If WordPress does not appear (and it won’t if this is your first time installing WordPress on Bluehost), then you must install WordPress by selecting Simple Scripts. Select WordPress from the list, and click the green Install Now button (under Install on an existing server). Follow the directions until WordPress has been installed successfully.

The URL for your WordPress blog login page should be:

 http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin

Now let’s change a few WordPress settings before migrating your blog posts over from Blogger.

WordPress Themes

You can use the default theme provided or pick another. If you know you don’t want the default, plan to spend some time shopping around. You can change your theme at any time with minimal impact on your blog, so you can pick a theme ahead of time, before you go through this process, or just change it after the fact.

Configure WordPress permalink structure

Login to your WordPress Admin page (http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin)

Go to Settings|Permalinks.

WP admin permalink structure

Click the Custom Structure radio button and enter the following:

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

Click Save Changes.

This will format your permalinks (the URLs for your individual blog posts) with the above designated format, which many agree is better than the default naming convention: a simple default page number, e.g. “p=99” .

Personalize your WordPress General Settings

Go to Settings|General.

WP admin gen settings

Fill in the Title, Tagline, URLs, and E-mail address. Pick a Timezone.

The tagline is the thing that bloggers add that says something like, “Laughing and vomiting since 2007“, or “Bringing you the news that spews, one post at a time“. You may, however, wish to avoid taglines that promote barfing. I’m just saying.

Other WordPress admin settings

Go to Settings|Reading – Change the Syndication Feeds to display the last 20 posts.

Go to Users|Your Profile – At minimum, add your first name and select it as the display name in the pull-down box under Display Name.

You may also wish to delete the default Blogroll links and Mr WordPress comment.

Transfer your blog posts (and comments) from Blogger to WordPress

Oddly, this is the scariest-sounding part, yet it’s the easiest part.

Go to Tools|Import. Select Blogger. Enter your login information. All of your Blogger posts and Blogger system comments will transfer across. They are not “moving” from Blogger to WordPress. There will still be a copy of all your posts over on Blogger (which is why there is a step later to help prevent potential Google penalties for duplicate content, if you care about that sort of thing.)

Please note this step only moves Blogger system comments. If you use a different commenting system (such as Disqus, like me) you will have to install the Disqus commenting system to pick up your comments from the Disqus server.

So now all your posts are sitting in WordPress. The problem is, WordPress created Post titles for each of the incoming posts from Blogger using a slightly different naming convention than Blogger. We tried to get close when we defined a custom permalink structure, but Blogger omits words like “a” and “the” from permalinks and truncates at a different spot.

Maintain Blogger Permalinks

Maybe this doesn’t bother you, but boy it sure bothers me, because now if anybody ever linked to my fabulous post called “The Lions, The Tigers, The Bears, Oh My”, that link is now broken because in Blogger it had a permalink like:

 nannygoatsinpanties.com/lions-tigers-bears-oh-my.html

but in WordPress it might now be:

nannygoatsinpanties.com/the-lions-the-tigers-the-bears-oh-my.html

See the difference?

What you need is a magic pill that will convert all your new WordPress permalinks back to what they were in Blogger. And that magic pill comes from a thing called a plug-in. Perhaps you’ve heard of them. You should install that plug-in now. The one I used is called Maintain Blogger Permalinks. In fact, let’s just all thank our personal object of worship for Justin Watt, the plug-in author. Go to the Maintain Blogger Permalinks page and follow the Instructions outlined in the first column.

All I did was download the zip file to my computer, go to Plugins|Add New on my  WP Admin page, upload the zip file, then “Activate the plug-in”.  Under Tools on the Admin page, you’ll find “Maintain Blogger Permalinks”. Run the plug-in and that’s it. You’ll want to double-check a couple of posts to make sure the permalinks changed.

Turn off redirect from WordPress blog to Blogger blog

If you set up a temporary redirect in Bluehost because of a domain transfer (as described in my article Transferring Your Domain: How to Switch from enom to Bluehost), remove it now: Go to cPanel|Domains|Redirects. Click on the Red X to remove the temporary redirect to your Blogger blog.

Redirect traffic from Blogger blog to WordPress blog

If you removed the Blogger redirect in an earlier step, back when the domain transfer first happened, you need to go put the redirect back in. Or if you never set up a redirect in Blogger, you need to set it up now:

Point to custom domain

Login to your Blogger dashboard. Select your old blog and go to Settings|Publishing.

Click the top link, “Custom domain.”  and enter your custom domain, www.yourcustomdomain.com.

Be sure to replace yourcustomdomain with your domain. For example, mine would look like this:

www.nannygoatsinpanties.com

Save.

Now any references to  your “blogspot.com” links will get redirected to your custom domain, although visitors may be prompted to confirm being redirected.

This following is an additional step that helps makes your redirection search engine friendly by preventing them from seeing duplicate content and possibly penalizing you SEO-wise.

Bypass old blog and avoid dupe content

In the Blogger dashboard, go to Template|Edit HTML|Proceed. Place the following code immediately after the line beginning with <head> (should be near the top in the first few lines):

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

Be sure to replace yourcustomdomain with your domain. For example, mine would look like this:

http://nannygoatsinpanties.com

And that’s it. You now have a fabulous new blog in WordPress. Yay!

2. Other Things You May Need To Do

Some other steps you may need to perform are:

Change Feedburner Details

If you do have a Feedburner account, you’ll need to go over there and change your Feed Details to reflect your new WordPress feed URL. Login to FeedBurner, select your blog, and click on Edit Feed Details. Change Original Feed to:

 http://yourcustomdomain.com/feed/

Also, if you have MyBrand set up, you’ll need to add a CNAME record according to the MyBrand set up page.

Adding Disqus commenting system to your site.

This simply requires installing the Disqus plug-in. It may take a few hours for your comments to appear, so be patient about that. Warning: Not all your comments may come across. Mine didn’t, particularly some of the ones whose permalinks were converted. And I’m still bleeping mad about it.

Adding Redirects to avoid losing Feedburner subscribers.

I wrote another article to remedy that called How To Reclaim lost Feedburner Subscribers. I lost 75% of my Feedburner subscribers until I added this redirect. This article can be used as a tutorial for creating any redirect, not just for saving Feedburner subscribers.

Adding Google Analytics or other Statistics code

Depending on your theme, there may be a designated place for you to add this type of code. Otherwise, you can add it to the end of your footer.php file. (Go to Appearance|Editor and click on footer.php on the right-hand side to edit the file.)

3. Lessons Learned

The Urban Giraffe Redirect Plug-in sounds nice, but it currently doesn’t work with WP 3.0. In fact, it wreaks havoc on your blog creating infinite looping and redirection and 404 errors and your blog can go down and I’d stay away from it until it’s proven to work properly.

Using the Maintain Blogger Permalinks plug-in helps resolve broken links, but somewhere in the WP database not all links are getting converted because when someone leaves a comment on a post whose permalink was converted, the email notification that goes out uses the original WP-generated permalink as a reference in the email, so that when you click on it, you get a 404 error and are not taken to the post. So THAT’s annoying.

Using Bluehost as your domain hosting service

If you wish use Bluehost as your domain hosting service, consider using my Bluehost affiliate link below, as I get a few pennies for referring you.

CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP FOR BLUEHOST.COM

 

By the way…

I have a whole new blogging tutorial site called Sticky Readers.

Also? I wrote a book called Sticky Readers: How to Attract a Loyal Blog Audience by Writing More Better. It’s an entertaining and educational guide on how to write more engaging blog posts.

For info about the book or where to buy it, go to the Sticky Readers Book Page.

Sticky Readers, margaret andrews, write better blog posts, blogging tips

62 Comments

  1. […] How do you switch from blogger to wordpress? You can do it yourself…or you can pay someone else to do it. If you’re going to do it yourself- Google it. Seriously. There are TONS of tutorials out there that will give  you step-by-step instructions. Here are a couple very detailed posts: Moving from blogger to wordpress- Part 2 (could help you decide whether or not you should switch) Moving from blogger to wordpress- Part 3 (explains how to make the move) Blogger to wordpress: How to make the switch […]

  2. yoga says:

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!

  3. Supper and simple article dude…. thanks alot. Your steps are really simple.

  4. Alex says:

    I already moved content using this tut http://www.cms2cms.com/blog/import-blogger-into-wordpress-unbeaten-solution/
    And i stumbled upon that redirection staff, your instruction helped me greatly!

    Thank you so much!

  5. Ashley says:

    Wow! This was SUPER helpful. Thank you so much!

    1. Margaret says:

      Yay! And you are very welcome. 🙂 I’m very glad it was helpful for you.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this. I have been frantically searching around because I converted to WP and am having trouble with my feed. The first post on WP redirected, but now the feed seems to be messed up. Anyhoo, I’m hoping some of these tips will help troubleshoot the problem.

    Thanks!

    1. Margaret says:

      Oh, I hope that pesky feed problem goes away soon for you! Good luck! And thank you for your comment.

  7. […] Blogger To WordPress – Best DIY Tutorial. This second one I found through my friend Google, Nanny Goats In Panties’ Blogger to WordPress: How To Make the Switch. I have a few more links bookmarked and ready to read. I’ve just been trying to manage my […]

  8. Rita Busboom says:

    Right here is the perfect blog for anyone who hopes to find out about this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject which has been written about for many years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

  9. mapsgirl says:

    I want to confirm something before I continue moving forward. If I use the “Maintain blogger permalink” plugin, then I just have to install Disqus and it will work? Disqus says that I need to “Upload a URL map” but it refers to the blogspot.com url (http://help.disqus.com/customer/portal/articles/471986-moving-from-blogger-to-wordpress) Any additional information is greatly appreciated!

    1. Margaret says:

      I’m not absolutely sure on this one. Disqus has changed since I first wrote this tutorial. I’m assuming you already have been using your own custom domain with Blogger? And it may also depend on whether or not you’ve been using Disqus on your Blogger blog. It looks like Disqus wants you to upload a URL map to maintain the “threaded” comments, (again, assuming you’ve been using Disqus already on your Blogger blog). If you haven’t used Disqus at all then you probably don’t even have threaded comments (since Blogger doesn’t do that) and you can skip the “Upload a URL Map” step. I hope that makes sense?

      1. mapsgirl says:

        I think I need to contact Disqus directly, explain my situation and see what they say. Some one must have done this before! LOL!

        Thanks for you help! I loved this post; it helped a lot!

  10. Caroline says:

    Thank you SO much. That was so helpful!

    1. Margaret says:

      Yay! I’m so glad. 🙂

  11. Sara - My Merry Messy Life says:

    Great article and I’m just crazy nuts over the name of your blog!!!

    1. Margaret says:

      Thank you, Sara! I hope you find it useful. And thanks for the compliments about my blog name! 🙂

  12. […] I started the process. If you opt to migrate your site over yourself then use a resource like this and several others all over YouTube and other […]

  13. THANK YOU for writing this. It is the single most helpful thing that allowed me to convert to WordPress that I’ve found. You broke down the steps perfectly for a computer illiterate like myself learning the ropes, so thanks! 🙂

    1.  And thank YOU for thanking me. It means a lot to me that you were able to understand it. That’s my goal, after all. And good luck with your new WordPress blog!

  14. […] off doing it sooner rather than later as I was paying to have WordPress on Bluehost. I re-read Nannygoats in Pants brilliant post about making the changeover and started the process. All was going really well. I […]

  15. […] Nanny Goats in Panties has a very good tutorial in two parts..here is part one.. […]

  16. MsChick74 says:

    I tried to do the custom structure on the Permalinks and got this message:  You should update your .htaccess now.

    Um…what?

    1.  “Um… what” is right. I don’t know why it would tell you that. Just what do they think you should update your .htaccess file for? Unless they think you need to add a redirect or something, but with this process, I’m just not seeing the need for it. That’s what that “maintain Permalinks” plug-in is for.

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  18. Anh Pham Thi says:

    Thank for share trick, I’m used to WordPress, Wordprss is best, good for SEO, For Business

  19. Um… this was fantastic!!! Thank you so much for the redirect html! It works like a charm! 

    1.  Yay! I’m so glad it worked for you. 🙂

  20. Allien says:

    Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. I have been thinking long before falling for WordPress. But it is worth, indeed.

  21. Jumping Ship says:

    […] Nanny Goats in Panties ~  used for maintain permalinks and redirecting traffic […]

  22. Sherry says:

    Wow.  I’d experienced the GoDaddy to BlueHost domain name stuff, but never on a domain I’d already been using with Blogger.  WHAT a weekend!  …but seriously, thanks VERY much for both your domain and Blogger to BlueHost posts.  The experience wasn’t exactly the same, of course, but those posts SURE did help.  

    1. I’m so glad they did help. Coming from another technical writer, that’s a real compliment!

  23. myronette says:

    Thanks for this post – it was a lifesaver! I got my blog setup, check it out! http://www.myronette.com

    -shauna

    1. Hi Shauna!

      I’m so glad this worked out for you. I love the name of your blog. And it’s a nice layout. Congrats on the successful transition!

  24. shelly n says:

    Thanks for “holding my hand” during what I thought was going to be a scary change from blogger to WP. You’ve made it quite painless. I had already purchased my hosting and all, but I will recommend you to folks and hope you make “pennies” from them. 🙂 THANK YOU!

    1. Thank you for letting me know this helped! And best wishes with the new platform!

  25. Wow, blogger is down …. my motivation to move the other blog to WordPress.org. Glad I have one test case under my belt!

    1. Yikes! Well, they say you get what you pay for.

      1. You know, I was waiting until after this big conference I was covering May 18-21 before I moved the other Blog because I was afraid I would screw up the second and it would be down during the conference. Now, I am more nervous about Blogger going down during the conference. Starting my second transfer now ….

  26. Thank you! Going to give this a try today!

    1. You’re welcome! I hope it goes well – good luck!

      1. Man, this worked like a charm! Now, just to pretty it up …. and get a lot more experienced with Word Press … thanks, again!

        1. Yay! I’m so glad it helped. Have fun with your newly converted awesome blog!

  27. Thank you for this, I have been putting the move off forever and ever, so afraid of loosing content.

    1. You’re welcome, Robyn. I hope the transition goes as smoothly as possible for you.

  28. […] Nanny Goats in Panties – Hilarious writing and some great blogging resources. Specifically there is a FANTASTIC article about how to switch from Blogger to Wordpress – including how/why I found the article to begin with: How to maintain blogger permalinks! […]

  29. Thanks so much for the info, I’m thinking of switching from iweb to wordpress and keep hesitating because of the techy concerns. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience:) I’m curious about why you chose bluehost over godaddy? Maybe godaddy does not have hosting??? So much to learn!

    1. I guess I chose Bluehost because it was recommended by other bloggers who made the switch like me. I don’t know what GoDaddy offers, but Bluehost has all kinds of amenties beyond merely hosting. It has an automatic WordPress install that makes it easy for the average blogger, and you can do redirects easily, their customer support people are friendly and speak English. There are tons of things you can do if you’re a techie person at all, like writing php stuff. But again, I don’t know what GoDaddy offers.

  30. Mail says:

    how relevant is the meta refresh? I believe it may not be necessary.

    1. The meta tag refresh makes sure that your old blogger domain redirects to your new WordPress blog to avoid having duplicate content.

      1. Margaret says:

        Thank you, Michael!

        1. You’re welcome @nannygoats:disqus . I enjoyed the tutorial, and I will eventually get a custom domain for my tech site, Techman’s World. Have you seen my site yet? It is linked in my Disqus profile.

  31. NewWPThemes says:

    Wow, definitely a great how-to for newbies on installing wordpress! Great images too 🙂

  32. Linda R. says:

    Fantastic how-to article. I'll be saving this one for the day that I take that step. Thanks so much for your efforts and sharing what you've learned.

  33. Jayne says:

    Aw geez… Couldn't I just put a gun to my head? I bow to your awesomeness.

  34. Jaffer says:

    Excellent Tut Nanny ! No matter how many people move to blogger their experience is only slightly to entirely different.

    I am know this is going to help lots of people

    1. Thanks, Jaffer! I had to read several others' experiences before I could get the guts up to go it alone and there were still pieces no one told me about.

  35. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by IDoThings, IDoThings. IDoThings said: RT @nannygoats WordPress: How To Switch (Migrate) from Blogger to WordPress|Nanny Goats in Panties http://bit.ly/cwwrSl […]

    1. Manivasagam says:

      Hi , thanks for the guide, i’ve moved from blogger to wordprss a month ago ,

      till now i haven’t changed the permalink structure from ? URL/year/month/post.html ,

      my question is may i change the permalink from the above to this one,

      URL/post

      , please do reply me..

      1. Margaret says:

        Yes you can. On one of my other blogs, I do not include the date, so I clicked the “custom structure” radio button and simply added:

        /%postname%.html

        after the domain name. But this may change all the permalinks on all your old posts, which you may not want.