Recently I migrated my blog from Blogger to WordPress, and I was surprised at how simple it was.  While the actual migration of the posts and comments was as easy as clicking a couple buttons, there were a few other things that I had to do afterward to ensure that I would not lose any SEO or incoming links, since I also changed my domain name in the process.

This was my scenario:  My previous blog address was sharepointwendy.com, and I wanted the new address to be wendy-neal.com.  My blog gets a ton of referral links from the search engines, so I wanted to make sure that all my old posts redirected to each corresponding post in the new blog seamlessly.  Also I wanted to make sure that my RSS feed redirected to my new RSS feed URL, so that everyone who had subscribed to my blog would not have to change anything and would still get my posts sent to their feeds.

The following sections list out all the steps I took to move my Blogger blog to WordPress, in case you would like to do the same.

Setup your WordPress Blog

I’m not going to go into great detail here about setting up a new WordPress site, since there are already many tutorials out there.  Note that if you want to use a custom domain for your blog, that you need to either upgrade from a free WordPress account to a premium account, host the WordPress site on your own server, or have someone else host it for you.  I chose the third option, and went with GoDaddy to host my WordPress site since I also get my domain names through them.

After procuring my domain name and WordPress blog through GoDaddy, I chose a theme for my blog.  I wanted my blog to portray a professional look, that was at the same time clean, simple-looking, and user-friendly.  I chose Magazine3’s ProBlog theme (affiliate links).  I love the Magazine3 themes, not only because of their beautiful, simple, clean design, but also because they are extremely fast loading, responsive (mobile-friendly), and very easy to set up and configure.  It is also very easy to modify the CSS to get the exact look and feel that you want.  Although not free like some WordPress themes, the small one-time fee was well worth it to me.

Migrate your Blogger posts to WordPress

The next step is to migrate your old Blogger posts into WordPress.  This is extremely simple – just click on Tools -> Import from your WordPress admin panel.  You will see page like this:

import-blogger

Then click on the Blogger link to bring up a list of all your Blogger blogs (you’ll be prompted to enter your blog’s URL and authenticate using your Google account).  Note that you may be prompted to install a plugin before you’ll have this capability.

importing-blogger

Clicking on Import next to your blog’s name will import all your old posts and comments from your Blogger blog into your new WordPress blog.

Update Tags/Categories and add Featured Images

Probably the most time consuming part for me was going through each migrated post individually and updating the categories and tags, and adding a featured image (the featured image is the thumbnail image that appears on the blog home page and category pages next to the headline and article snippet).

Using the method above, when migrating from Blogger to WordPress, the tags that were used in Blogger mapped to categories in WordPress.  I wanted to have just a few categories, with the tags actually being tags in WordPress.  So I just updated the tags and categories in each post’s properties.  After I was done, I discovered that there is a “Categories and Tags Converter Plugin” available that may have made the job easier (see the first screenshot above).  I’m not sure how much time it would have saved, however, since I already had to touch each post to upload a featured image.

Redirect your Blogger URL to your new WordPress URL

At this point you will still have duplicate posts on both blogs with separate URLs.  The next thing you want to do is redirect all your old post URLs to the corresponding post in your new blog.

I found a few good posts that describe how to redirect your old Blogger blog to a new WordPress blog (listed at bottom of post) that included different code to perform the post redirects. However, by far the easiest method was to install a plugin that automatically generated the code to map my old URLs to my new ones.

I used the Blogger to WordPress Redirection Plugin to create my redirection code.  It essentially creates a one-to-one mapping from all your Blogger posts to your WordPress posts, even if the permalinks aren’t in the exact same format.

After installing the plugin, you’ll have a new option under Tools called Blogger to WordPress Redirection.

blogger-2-wp-redirection

Clicking that will take you to a configuration page where you can generate the code for the one-to-one mapping that you will place on your Blogger site.  After clicking Start Configuration, your Blogger blog will appear.  Click Get Code to generate the redirection code snippet.

redirection-code

Lastly, you will copy and paste the code snippet into the HTML of your Blogger blog.  Log in to Blogger and go into your blog’s Template settings page.

You’ll want to click on Edit HTML and paste the generated code snippet from the previous step, overwriting all the code that is currently there, and then save your page.  You may want to make a backup of your Blogger site before doing this!

save-template

You’ll also want to make sure that you disable the mobile view on your Blogger blog, else the redirection will not work on mobile browsers such as Androids or iPhones.  Just click the gears icon on the Templates page, then select No. Show Desktop template on mobile devices before saving.

disable-mobile

 

Redirect your RSS feed URL

An extremely simple, but not-to-be-overlooked task that you’ll want to perform is redirecting your old blog’s RSS feed to your new one.  This will ensure that everyone who has subscribed to your old blog’s RSS feed will continue to receive your updates in their feed reader, without the need for your subscribers to update their settings (which most people won’t do!).

Simply go to Settings -> Other in your Blogger blog’s settings and enter your WordPress RSS feed URL.

redirect-feed

Last but not least

One thing to remember is that you will need to leave your Blogger blog online, and you also must keep your old custom domain (if you had one) active as well.  If either of those aren’t kept online, then the redirection from your old blog to your new one will no longer work.  Instead, users will be faced with broken links if they attempt to get to your site from old bookmarks or links from other sites that contain the old URL.  In addition, the Blogger to WordPress Redirection Plugin must always remain activated in order for the redirection to work.

References:
http://www.labnol.org/internet/switch-from-blogger-to-wordpress/9707/
http://www.mamablogga.com/easiest-migrate-custom-domain-blogger-wordpress-readers-links-rankings/
http://john.do/migrate-blogger-wordpress/

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