Are you ready to migrate from Blogger to WordPress? If you’re a newbie blogger, the idea of switching blog platforms may scare you. It’s downright intimidating, and you will probably make mistakes along the way. To help you avoid major “oops,” make sure that you read this blog post very carefully, and follow every one of the steps.
Making the move from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress blog can become an unnecessary headache, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Switching from Blogger to WordPress isn’t that hard, but it’s the technical glitches that can really consume your time and energy. (I migrated this blog to WordPress in November of 2010, and due to technical difficulties, I didn’t finish transferring over until January. I hope to help you learn from my many, many mistakes.)
In this WordPress migration tutorial, I have included screenshots to help you out. I have tried to explain everything as simply as I can.
Step 1: Buy a Domain Name for Your WordPress Site
You can skip this step, if you already have a custom domain name that you are using with your Blogger site.
If your domain name ends up “blogspot.com,” you MUST buy a domain name in order to switch over to a self-hosted WordPress blog. You can purchase a domain name from a web hosting company (see Step 2), or from an internet domain registrar, like GoDaddy.com. Domain names aren’t expensive, and you can purchase one for under $15 – less if you have a coupon.
For my domain names, I use GoDaddy.com. As of 2011, they sell domain names for $11.99/year but you can find discounts and coupon codes online. (You can also try my Affiliate Link, which will get you a domain name with GoDaddy for $7.49. I’m not sure if you can combine that with other discounts, but you can always try. There are always other discounts online for domain names. All you have to do is Google for it.)
When deciding on a domain name, I have a few words of advice:
- You should choose a domain name that matches your blog name. This is best tactic for SEO purposes. (The only reason I didn’t choose to do this is because I liked “Hip Chick’s Guide to …” I thought it was catchier and just plain cuter than “My Pregnancy Baby” or “Pregnancy Baby 411” – my previous domain name.)
- Your domain name is a branding tactic; so pick a domain name that will stand the test of time. Make sure it also has a few keywords that you want to rank for!
Step 2: Select a Web Hosting Company
Step 1 and Step 2 can go together, but I’ve separated them for the sheer reason that I did not purchase my domain name from my web hosting company. I like GoDaddy, and the prices they offer for domain names.
Many web hosting companies also sell domain names. Many also give you one free domain name, if you sign up for their services. This may be the way to go, if you’re on a budget. You should choose your web host very carefully. Some web hosts have GREAT customer service that will help you with technical issues; others just expect you to understand all the nitty-gritty technical stuff.
When choosing a web host, you should think about your needs. Do you need unlimited domain hosting? (Do you plan to run more than one website?) Do you need email accounts associated with your domain name? Do you want unlimited hosting space? Do you want a web host with great customer service that can walk you through every step of the way?
As someone who has gone through two web hosting companies , please be very carefully when choosing a web host. You want a company that is reliable without any downtime. Research the companies online and read customer reviews before you sign up for anything. Please stay away from web hosts that claim to give you unlimited domains, unlimited disk space . . . and they only cost $3.95. These companies offer you the WORLD, but as your site grows, you will have the SLOWEST load times and you may even experience A LOT of downtime, when your site is getting too much traffic and they can’t handle it.
From my personal experience, I have to warn you to stay away from InMotion Hosting and iPage. Both are relatively inexpensive. I think iPage was $3.95/month, and InMotion was a few bucks more. DO NOT sign up for these web hosts, unless you want a lot of aggravation and stress. With both companies, I experienced the longest load times on my blog and my blog kept going down. There were many occasions in which my site went offline because I was taking too much of their resource load. And this was when my traffic was under 1,000 visits a day. These companies were not compatible to running a WordPress blog like mine, so I had to switch. I cannot stress how badly these web hosts SUCK.
I’m currently with HostGator, and I haven’t had any problems so far.
For suggestions, check out WordPress.org’s list of recommended web hosts.
Step 3. Redirecting Your Nameservers
If you purchase your domain name from GoDaddy or another company that is not your web host, you will have to redirect your nameservers. (You can skip this step if you bought your domain name from the same company that is hosting your blog.)
Changing nameservers on GoDaddy is very simple. Go to your GoDaddy dashboard, and click on your domain name. For this tutorial, I will be switching over my shih tzu puppy’s Blogger site to WordPress.
You’ll be brought to the “Domain Details” page. At the bottom of this page, you will see “Name Servers.” Click on “Set Nameservers.”
When the next screen pops up (see below), you will want to select “I have specific nameservers for my domain.” Your hosting company will provide you with the specific nameservers to use. Click “OK” when you’ve entered your details. It may take 24 to 48 hours before your domain name will point to your hosting account. Please be patient while this process takes place.
Migrating from Blogger to WordPress
Step 4: Install WordPress
The next step in your WordPress migration is to install WordPress. This process differs for different web hosts. Some web hosting companies have a “Simple Script Install,” in which you install WordPress in a click of a button. [Below, I’ll show you how to install WordPress using HostGator – which is the web host that I use for my sites.]
Other companies may require you to manually install WordPress. Unless you know what you’re doing, this can be complicated. For newbie bloggers, my suggestion is to find a web host with an easy WordPress install.
As I’ve mentioned, installing WordPress differs for different web hosts. If you’re using HostGator, go to your Control Panel and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Under “Software/Services,” click on the purple smiley face that says “Fantastico De Luxe.”
On the next page, click on “Wordpress” and you’ll see this screen. Click on “New Installation.”
Select the domain that you want to install WordPress on. Fill in the information and click “Install WordPress.”
Follow the next few steps. They are self-explanatory. On the final page, you will get the URL to the admin area. (http://YourDomainName.com/wp-admin)
Congrats! WordPress is now installed on your domain name. Your blog (which has nothing on it yet) will look something like this.
Moving from Blogger to WordPress
Step 5. Backing Up Your Blogger Blog
Your Blogger to WordPress migration is almost done. Next, you should backup your blogger blog. It’s always good to have a backup, just in case something catastrophic happens and you happen to lose everything. So always back up your blog.
Go to your Blogger dashboard. For this tutorial, I’m using the new interface. On the left side, click on “Settings” → then “Other.” This will bring you to the “Blog Tools” page. Click on “Export Blog” and download your blog.
As a kindness to your readers, you may want to write a post about your move from Blogger to WordPress. Since you’re using a new domain name (I’m guessing), it’s probably a good idea to inform your readers of this development. It’s just common courtesy, and it’ll help you keep readers.
Migrating from Blogger to WordPress
Step 6. Switch to the Blogspot Default Domain
In order to migrate to WordPress from Blogger without a hitch, you need to make sure that your blogger address ends with “.blogspot.com.” If you have been using a custom domain, you have to revert it to the default blogspot domain name.
This is very, very important. You are going to run into problems if you do NOT revert to the default blogspot domain name. This is the step that I messed up on when I originally migrated to WordPress. So learn from my mistake and change/keep your blog address to the native .blogspot.com one.
Next, you will need to make your current Blogger blog unsearchable. This means that search engines won’t be able to find it. Yeah, I know – this is rough, but it’s a must. You don’t want to get it penalized for duplicate content!
Moving from Blogger to WordPress
Step 7. Import Your Old Blog into WordPress
You are finally migrating from Blogger to WordPress – how exciting is that? Say goodbye to Blogger, because you’re moving on to bigger and better things!
Login into your WordPress dashboard. You can access it by going to http://yourDomainName.com/wp-admin.
When you first login to your new WordPress blog, you’ll see there is one sample post, one sample page, and one sample comment. Delete them all. You don’t need them! (Note: you can’t delete the “Uncategorized” category.)
On the left hand side, scroll down to “Tools” and Click on “Import.” You will see a list of options. Click on “Blogger,” since this will import all your posts, comments, and etc. from your old Blogspot blog.
Follow the steps, and wait for your posts to import into WordPress. Depending on how many posts and comments you have, this can take awhile. When everything is imported, you will notice that all your “tags” are now “categories.” If you don’t like that, take time and change the categories to your liking.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to manually add any sidebars or footers from your original Blogger site to the WordPress one. These don’t import over. For this reason (and other reasons), you do NOT want to delete your old blog.
We’re Not Done Migrating to WordPress Just Yet …
Those are just the basic steps of Blogger to WordPress Migration. [I apologize for splitting up this tutorial, but this post is approaching 2,000 words, so it’s getting pretty lengthy for one article.]
Next, it’s time to get your hands dirty and finish the process. You have to redirect your Blogger blog to WordPress, you have to move all your followers and subscribers, and you have to play around with the design elements to get your blog looking like how you want it.
All of these questions will be answered in the next part of this Blogger to WordPress Migration tutorial.
Next in the series . . .
Moving from Blogger to WordPress Without Losing Any Followers
Learn how to redirect your old Blogger blog to your new WordPress blog without having to lose any traffic, any Google Friend Connect and RSS followers, and more.
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