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The Easiest Way to Transfer from Blogger to WordPress (and keep your readers, links and rankings!)

There are lots of tutorials on migrating from Blogger to your own WordPress, but this is by far the easiest way to keep your traffic, rankings and subscribers. UPDATED 14 Jan 2013.

Also: check out my guide to setting up WordPress on BlueHost, an inexpensive, WordPress-recommended hosting company!

If you find this helpful, please consider signing up for BlueHost with an affiliate link. I get a percentage of any purchase made through my link.

Using a Custom Domain on Blogger? Check out the Ultimate Guide to Transferring from Blogger with Custom Domain to WordPress!

transfer from blogger to wordpress

I made the move from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress five years ago. At the time, I wrote the original ultimate guide to migrating, which I updated in 2009, but a few things have changed in the meantime. So I present the fully updated, all new, easiest ultimate guide to migrating from Blogger to WordPress!

Be sure to check out my article on deciding and preparing to switch your domain. Once you’re sure you’re ready, then here are 10 steps to transferring your blog safely, completely and . . . well, awesomely. This method preserves your links, your subscribers, your comments and your content, and makes the move search engine safe.

Get the goods: a domain, hosting, and the WordPress software

1. Get a domain, preferably “yourblog.com.” Don’t own a domain? I use either GoDaddy or Bluehost (aff) for domain registration. Their prices are okay. I recommend three things here:

  • Get private domain registration. No junk mail, no strangers getting your address from your whois info.
  • If available, get yourblog.com, yourblog.net and yourblog.org. Sometimes GoDaddy offers a deal where you can get free private registration when you register 3 domains. (Then redirect .org and .net to the .com using account management. Select 301 redirects.)
  • If you go with GoDaddy, search for “GoDaddy coupon.” Click on the first result and use whichever coupon will save you the most money (calculate out the % to see which one that is if you have to).

2. Get hosting. I recommend Bluehost.com (I receive a commission off sales through this link, which costs you nothing); they came highly recommended and are a pretty good deal. I’ve used them for over four years and I’ve always been very happy. Also, they’re one of WordPress’s recommended hosts and feature a very simple install for WordPress.

3. Install WordPress. With Bluehost, just login to your control panel, click on Simple Scripts under Software/Services, select WordPress from the list, and click the green Install Now button (under Install on an existing server—even if you’re importing your old blog, you’ll be using a new installation of WordPress). Fill in the forms and you’re done. If your host doesn’t have a similar install, you’ll have to install manually. It shouldn’t be too hard; WordPress gives you instructions (and they claim it takes five minutes!).

Prepare to transfer your feed: you don’t have to lose any subscribers

4. Blogger enables you to transfer your subscribers seamlessly as well. I recommend using FeedBurner. If you haven’t already, sign up for a FeedBurner account (if you need a walkthrough to FeedBurner, check it).

Then, login to Blogger and go to Settings > Other > Site Feed. In the Post Feed Redirect URL box, enter your new FeedBurner address. This will help redirect your subscribers.

If you don’t want to use FeedBurner, you can also use this box to direct your old feed directly to your new blog feed by entering http://YourURL.com/feed (with any folders or anything else in your URL).

Prepare your new WordPress blog: with some fun stuff

5. Login to your WordPress (might take a little time for the installation to “take”). Select “Settings” then “Permalinks.” Select “Custom” and type this line in the box:

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

This is to match the post structure of your Blogger blog, to minimize the number of broken links and redirects.

Wendy Piersall has a few more steps to setting up your initial WordPress installation and getting it off the ground. All good steps!

Gidget at Homeschooling Unscripted made the move using the last edition of this guide this month, and she reports that “The SEO Blogger to WordPress plug-in allows a redirect even if you use a different permalink structure – and it also has a single step to import your photos so that the featured images in your theme work.”

To install the plugin, see the directions here.

Move your posts and comments

6. This is the easy part! In WordPress, go to Tools > Import. Select Blogger from the list. You’ll have to install the plugin. Once it’s up and running, enter your Google login information and grant access to your account. Click the “Import” button next to the correct blog and this should automatically transfer all your posts and comments for you. 😀

However, some of your links won’t work anymore because Blogger and WordPress convert post titles into URLs differently—Blogger leaves out stop words like “and” and “the.” You can fix this, too, with another handy plugin, Redirection. Upload it, activate it and you can use it to easily track and redirect individual broken links (for example, from “/this-best-post-ever.html” to “/and-this-is-the-best-post-ever.html”).

There are also some other plugins to do this automatically. To get these (or any) plugins, in WordPress go to Plugins>Add New. Search for the plugins by name or related terms. (Searching for “blogger permalinks” brings up some plugins that can help with this and some of the other technical stuff.)

Transfer your feed: keep all your subscribers

7. If you’re using FeedBurner, login, go into the feed and click on “Edit Feed Details.” Change your Original Feed to http://YOURNEWURL.com/feed/ .

8. In WordPress, you’ll probably want to use FeedBurner as well, and if so, there’s another plugin to integrate the two services perfectly, FeedSmith, owned by FeedBurner (which is owned by Google). (FeedSmith is still available. I promise. But you might have to download it and then upload it to the plugins page from your computer.)

If you’re using a plugin to handle redirection, you might also want to redirect your feed url: YOURNAME.com/feeds/posts/default to YOURNAME.com/feed/ .

Change over the URL: the final steps to move your blog

9. Back in Blogger, select Settings for the blog you want to transfer. Select Basic and scroll down to Publishing. Click the top link, “Custom domain.” By Blog Address, click on +Add a custom domain. You already own a domain, so you’ll want to Switch to advanced settings. Type in your new domain, www.yourblog.com, and save. (Getting Error 32? Check out the instructions in this comment.)

Now your links will transfer automatically to your own domain (though sometimes Blogger will show visitors a page to make sure they’re not being taken to a different site accidentally), but you’ll need one more step to transfer your blog home page over. Already using a Custom Domain? Check out the Ultimate Guide to Transferring from Blogger with Custom Domain to WordPress!

10. Alternatively, still in Blogger, go to Layout>Edit HTML. Place the following code anywhere after <head>:

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

This sends visitors to your blog homepage directly to your new URL, and, as Sebastian’s Pamphlets says, is a search-engine safe method of redirection.

Like the change in step 9, this can show visitors a warning page that they’re being taken to another domain. Some might think that it’s just as good to put a link to your new URL in your old blog and leave it up. However, it’s better for your search engine rankings to transfer it like this—if search engines see two copies of your content around the Internet, they may try to penalize one or both of your sites for “duplicate content.”

Be sure to test your main blog URL as well as some of your old post URLs to make sure everything is working, and of course, be subscribed to your feed to make sure that’s in order as well.

And you’re ready to blog on wit’ yo’ bad self.

Note: You might have to import your images to WordPress as well, but I haven’t. However, the last plugin listed in #5 can handle this too!

Feeling brave? There are other ways to transfer your blog from BlueHost to WordPress, but they are more technical. This tutorial seems to be the easiest of these. Good luck!

Also: check out my full guide to setting up WordPress on BlueHost, an inexpensive, WordPress-recommended hosting company!

If you find this helpful, please consider signing up for BlueHost with an affiliate link. I get a percentage of any purchase made through my link.

Disclosure: the Bluehost link is an affiliate link.

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Custom permalinks come to Blogger!

Blogger keeps getting new features that really make it more and more of a “professional” blogging platform. The latest feature is something called custom permalinks.

The permalink for a blog post is the direct link to that post (as opposed to your main page, an archive page or a tag/label page). It’s set by default from the title of the post, usually something like:

http://YOURBLOG.blogspot.com/2012/07/first-five-words-post-title.html

Now Blogger has added a feature so than you can change the words in blue to a custom permalink. You can use upper and lower case letters, number, and three special characters: period, hyphen and underscore.

To set your custom permalink, just click on permalink in the right hand navigation of the post window. Select Custom URL and type in your choice!

This is especially helpful for search engine optimization, since using search keywords in your URL can bump your search engine rankings.

It can also be useful if you want to know exactly what the URL will be before posting, or if you want to make the URL easier to remember.

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The Easiest Way to Migrate from a Custom Domain on Blogger to WordPress (and keep your readers, links and rankings!)

It’s finally here! I’ve been meaning to put together this guide to changing from a custom domain on Blogger to “self-hosted” WordPress, and I finally sat down and did it. Hooray!

Also: check out my guide to setting up WordPress on BlueHost, an inexpensive, WordPress-recommended hosting company!

If you find this helpful, please consider signing up for BlueHost with an affiliate link. I get a percentage of any purchase made through my link.

If your Blogger blog is at http://www.YOURBLOG.com/, you’re using a Custom Domain on Blogger. I think that’s a smart move—but switching to WordPress can be even smarter if you’re up for it. WordPress offers greater flexibility and customization, but probably the best reason is that you’re totally in control of your layout and content. As you’re shopping for hosting, I’ve really liked my experience with BlueHost. I receive a percentage of sales make through this affiliate link, but I have been with BlueHost, a WordPress-recommended host, for over five years, and I’ve really loved them.

transfer from a custom domain with Blogger to WordPress

This guide is directed exclusively at people using a Custom Domain on Blogger (i.e. your blog is NOT on blogspot.com). If you’re on blogspot.com, I recommend my ultimate guide to migrating from Blogger to WordPress. This guide will borrow heavily, because a lot of the basic process is the same, but there are some important differences to take into account.

The good news is that your migration can be even more seamless—so let’s get you moved!

Get the goods: a domain, hosting, and the WordPress software

1. Unlock your domain. Yes, you already own your domain, but right now, it points back to your Blogger blog. If you purchased your domain separately (i.e. not through Blogger), you can skip this step. If you purchased your domain through Blogger—most likely, through enom or GoDaddy via Blogger—you need to be able to control the domain to point it to your new hosts. Often you’ll have to turn off domain privacy, then unlock the domain.

Here’s how to unlock your domain. For more on managing your domain from Blogger and exactly how to unlock it, check out this post and the comments. Once your domain is unlocked, you can edit it or transfer it if you choose. You can keep it the current registrar, too, as long as you can edit the nameservers to point to your new host (see step 2), telling web browsers (via the Internet’s DNS) that your URL now points to your new hosted site.

Transferring the domain isn’t too hard. When you unlock it, the registrar will give you am EPP verification code, which you’ll need to enter at your host when you try to transfer the domain. You can do this when you sign up for hosting (step 2). For step-by-step help with with transferring a domain from Blogger to BlueHost, check out this post.

2. Get hosting. I recommend Bluehost.com (I receive a commission off sales through this link, which costs you nothing); they came highly recommended and are a pretty good deal. I’ve used them for over four years and I’ve always been very happy. Also, they’re one of WordPress’s recommended hosts and feature a very simple install for WordPress.

When you sign up, you can transfer your domain as part of the registration, as long as you have that unlock (EPP) code from step one. You do not have to transfer your domain—some people recommend keeping your domain ownership and your hosting with separate companies, but personally, I like having everything in one place. If you do not transfer your domain, however, they’ll probably try to convince you to put up another domain. Hosting has to point somewhere.

If you decide not to transfer your domain, change your nameservers to point to your new host. Transferring your domain may or may not change your current nameservers—meaning that it might shut down your blog for the present. It’s difficult to move without some down time, so plan accordingly. (To minimize that as much as possible, you might consider using a “test” subdomain, like beta.YOURDOMAIN.com, to get your layout, etc. ready.)

3. Install WordPress. With Bluehost, just login to your control panel, click on Simple Scripts under Software/Services, select WordPress from the list, and click the green Install Now button (under Install on an existing server—even if you’re importing your old blog, you’ll be using a new installation of WordPress). Fill in the forms and you’re done. If your host doesn’t have a similar install, you’ll have to install manually. It shouldn’t be too hard; WordPress gives you instructions (and they claim it takes five minutes!).

Prepare to transfer your feed: you don’t have to lose any subscribers

4. Blogger enables you to transfer your subscribers seamlessly as well. I recommend using FeedBurner. If you haven’t already, sign up for a FeedBurner account (if you need a walkthrough to FeedBurner, check it).

Then, login to Blogger and go to Settings > Other > Site Feed. In the Post Feed Redirect URL box, enter your new FeedBurner address. This will help redirect your subscribers.

If you don’t want to use FeedBurner, you can also use this box to direct your old feed directly to your new blog feed by entering http://YourURL.com/feed (with any folders or anything else in your URL).

There will be another step dealing with transferring your subscribers later, and you need to do both (and especially the later one).

Prepare your new WordPress blog: with some fun stuff

5. Login to your WordPress (might take a little time for the installation to “take”). Select “Settings” then “Permalinks.” Select “Custom” and type this line in the box:

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

This is to match the post structure of your Blogger blog, to minimize the number of broken links and redirects.

Wendy Piersall has a few more steps to setting up your initial WordPress installation and getting it off the ground. All good steps!

Gidget at Homeschooling Unscripted made the move using the last edition of this guide this year, and she reports that “The SEO Blogger to WordPress plug-in allows a redirect even if you use a different permalink structure – and it also has a single step to import your photos so that the featured images in your theme work.”

To install the plugin, see the directions here.

Move your posts and comments

6. This is the easy part—and another spot where Custom Domainers have to do something a little different. In Blogger, go to Settings > Basic > Publishing. You must turn off the Custom Domain to transfer the posts, so edit this setting and move back to a Blogspot.com address.

Next, in WordPress, go to Tools > Import. Select Blogger from the list. You’ll have to install the plugin. Once it’s up and running, enter your Google login information and grant access to your account. Click the “Import” button next to the correct blog and this should automatically transfer all your posts and comments for you. 😀

However, some of your links won’t work anymore because Blogger and WordPress convert post titles into URLs differently—Blogger leaves out stop words like “and” and “the.” You can fix this, too, with another handy plugin, Redirection. Upload it, activate it and you can use it to easily track and redirect individual broken links (for example, from “/this-best-post-ever.html” to “/and-this-is-the-best-post-ever.html”). This plugin comes in handy for fixing the broken subscription link.

There are also some other plugins to do this automatically. To get these (or any) plugins, in WordPress go to Plugins>Add New. Search for the plugins by name or related terms. (Searching for “blogger permalinks” brings up some plugins that can help with this and some of the other technical stuff.)

Transfer your feed: keep all your subscribers

7. If you’re using FeedBurner, login, go into the feed and click on “Edit Feed Details.” Change your Original Feed to http://YOURNEWURL.com/feed/ .

8. In WordPress, you’ll probably want to use FeedBurner as well, and if so, there’s another plugin to integrate the two services perfectly, FeedSmith, owned by FeedBurner (which is owned by Google). (FeedSmith is still available. I promise. But you might have to download it and then upload it to the plugins page from your computer.)

8b. If you’re using a plugin to handle redirection, you might also want to redirect your feed URL from inside WordPress: YOURNAME.com/feeds/posts/default to YOURNAME.com/feed/ . Some of your readers might subscribe to your blog through your old name with the RSS file name on Blogger, and this makes sure they’ll move to the new RSS file name on WordPress.

Change over the URL: the final steps to move your blog

If you’ve always (or almost always) used a Custom Domain on Blogger, GO TO STEP 9A. If there might be some links to Youroldblogname.blogspot.com still floating around on the Internet, GO TO STEP 9B

9A. Turn off search engines to your old blog. If search engines see two copies of your content around the Internet, they may try to penalize one or both of your sites for “duplicate content.” While this “penalty” has often been made out to be a bigger deal than it really is, if you want to be extra careful, go into Blogger and go to Settings > Basic > Privacy. Click on Edit. For the question “Let search engines find your blog?”, select “No” and save changes.

I only recommend this if you’ve been using Blogger’s Custom Domain. This is because existing links to your blog should use the custom domain already, so they’ll go straight to your new blog. They won’t have to go through your old blog to work. (People using a .blogspot.com address need the redirects to work for existing links to work. However, Blogger is working very hard to break that capability.) YOU’RE DONE!

9B. Back in Blogger, select Settings for the blog you want to transfer. Select Basic and scroll down to Publishing. Turn back on your Custom domain. (Continue to step ten.)

10. Alternatively, still in Blogger, go to Layout>Edit HTML. Place the following code anywhere after <head>:

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

This sends visitors to your blog homepage directly to your new URL, and, as Sebastian’s Pamphlets says, is a search-engine safe method of redirection.

Like the change in step 9, this can show visitors a warning page that they’re being taken to another domain. Some might think that it’s just as good to put a link to your new URL in your old blog and leave it up. However, it’s better for your search engine rankings to transfer it like this—if search engines see two copies of your content around the Internet, they may try to penalize one or both of your sites for “duplicate content.”

Be sure to test your main blog URL as well as some of your old post URLs to make sure everything is working, and of course, be subscribed to your feed to make sure that’s in order as well.

And you’re ready to blog on wit’ yo’ bad self.

Note: You might have to import your images to WordPress as well, but I haven’t. However, the last plugin listed in #5 can handle this too!

Feeling brave? There are other ways to transfer your blog from BlueHost to WordPress, but they are more technical. This tutorial seems to be the easiest of these. Good luck!

Also: check out my full guide to setting up WordPress on BlueHost, an inexpensive, WordPress-recommended hosting company!

If you find this helpful, please consider signing up for BlueHost with an affiliate link. I get a percentage of any purchase made through my link.

Disclosure: the Bluehost link is an affiliate link.

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Updated: the Quick Guide to Google Analytics for Bloggers!

Did you know that things change? Yes, it’s true. Especially things on the Internet, and especially when the time frame is 5 years.

Since I was blogging about using Google Analytics on my other blog, I dug out my old guide to GA for bloggers—and some of that stuff? Changed.

So now, the Quick Guide to Google Analytics for Bloggers is all updated! Pop on over and check it out!

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Blog comments from start to finish

I’ve got so much information packed into old posts that sometimes even I forget what I’ve already written about. But I was talking to one of my sisters about comments on our craft blog the other day, and I remembered that I’d posted at least a couple times about blog comments on here. Yeah, it was more than a couple. Here are some of the highlights on my posts on blog comments

Four Ways to Encourage Comments on Your Blog
Are you making it harder for people to comment on your blog? Make it easier for people to comment (and get more comments?).

Protect Your Blog with a Comment Policy
You can protect your blog from comments that are mean-spirited or reveal sensitive information so easily—and never feel guilty for deleting those comments!

Subscribe to comments to follow blog conversations
Ever leave a comment on a blog post and want to see the replies? How easy is it to forget to come back later? Don’t let that happen with this easy trick!

Handling negative comments
It happens: people disagree. How can you handle it and move on when someone disagrees on your blog?

Follow through on comments
Show your commentators some love (and maybe get more comments?) by following through on your comments.

What’s your best advice on blog comments?

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Making the most out of your Blogger profile

Even if you don’t have a blog on Blogger/Blogspot, you probably have a Blogger profile, either to comment on blogs that require you to sign in, or just by default with a Google account. Since my sisters and I have developed our craft blog over the last year, I’ve looked at a lot of Blogger profiles from our commenters. And let me tell you: not all profiles are created equal. But even if you’re not on Blogger, your Blogger profile can be a great tool for driving traffic back to your blog—if you do it right.

We’ll take it section by section to talk about the best ways to optimize your Blogger profile. (To edit your profile, go to Blogger.com & sign in. In the upper right-hand corner, there’s your profile picture and name, with a triangle next to it. Click on that, then click on Blogger profile.

When your profile is up, in the upper right-hand corner again, you’ll find an orange Edit Profile button. Click it.)

Here’s what the editing page looks like:

I absolutely believe you should check that first box, “Share my profile.” when you leave a comment on a Blogger blog with your Google account, your name links to this profile. If you don’t allow people to see your profile, bloggers won’t be able to get back to your site to leave a comment in return or follow your blog.

Show my email address is generally a good idea, too. When Blogger sends a comment notification to a blog owner, if you don’t have this checked, they can’t reply by email, and you will have to go back to their post to see if they respond there.

Under Show blogs to display, you can select which of your Blogger blogs to list here. I have about a dozen, but most of them are for personal projects/jokes/random venting. I choose to list only the ones I currently use—and the ones I’d want people to see. When you customize your list, be sure to save your settings!

For Show sites I follow, this is a personal choice. I do like to see the lists of who commenters follow because who doesn’t like to see I choose not to display them for one simple reason: Blogger puts the list of blogs I follow second on my profile, bumping the “About Me” section of the profile way, way down. (Bad choice, Blogger. The lists might be interesting, but why is it more important than learning more about the person who made the profile?)

In the next section, Identity, you can set what email address you receive your emails to, as well as the name that appears at the end of your posts and in feed readers.

I hope the profile photo section is pretty clear! I recommend using a clear photo that works as a very small and medium sized image. I’m always partial to faces (it’s a pretty natural human response).

Next comes the audio section. A recorded greeting and short introduction of yourself would be good here if you choose to use it. (I don’t, but you certainly can.)

In the General section, you can fill out your gender and birthday if you choose. Here is also where you specify your homepage URL. This is probably one of the two most important sections of your profile, especially if your blog isn’t on Blogger. I recommend filling this out even if your homepage is on Blogger, however. (You will have to pick just one homepage to list.)

This homepage is listed as “Web page” beneath your profile photo. If you don’t list (or have) any Blogger blogs, this is the logical place for any visitor to your profile to go.

Also here, you can list a wishlist, such as on Amazon, and your username for one of several IM programs.

Next up, location and work. These are optional, of course. Only list what you’re comfortable to. If you’re using your blog to appeal to a certain demographic, though, either or both of these might be helpful.

All right, now we’re getting to the meat. This is where your profile can really work for you (if you hide the blogs you follow, anyway).

Under Interests, you can list everything you’re interested. I recommend listing everything you blog about, separated with commas. I use the blogger profile search tool to find other blogs in my niche from time to time, and these interests are what get you listed in those search results.

For Introduction—make this section work! This is the other of the top two most important sections. If you have multiple off-Blogger sites, important career notes and distinctions, and anything else that might make someone come to your site, highlight them here. Since I use the same Blogger profile to comment on blogs in each of the niches I blog in, I try to do this. Here’s what mine says:

I’m a wife & mother, author, and crafter. I pretty much think I can do anything.

I blog about writing at http://JordanMcCollum.com, motherhood at http://www.MamaBlogga.com, and crafts (with my 3 sisters & mom) at http://www.WaywardGirlsCrafts.com . My first novel is coming in 2013!

I list all my blogs, even the one on Blogger, so that people can see the types of blogs I have, tell the difference, and find the blog that they’re most interested in. Unfortunately, these aren’t links, but it does showcase my sites, my interests and my writing and make it so people can find me.

You can list whatever other movies, music and books seem appropriate, and you can answer the random question, or not. (If you’re wondering, the question is displayed—they don’t just stick a totally random answer on your profile.)

And here’s the finished product:


What do you think? How else can you get the most out of your Blogger profile?

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