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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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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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The 2009 Ultimate Guide to Migrating from Blogger to WordPress

Check out the most recent guide to migrating from Blogger to WordPress, from February 2012.

UPDATED 18 June 2011.

Want a full guide to setting up WordPress on BlueHost, an inexpensive, WordPress-recommended hosting company? Sign up for BlueHost with an affiliate link on this page, and email me (guide at mamablogga.com) for a free PDF guide on installation, set up, WordPress, add-ons and more! I get a percentage of any purchase made through my link.

I made the move from Blogger to self-hosted WordPress more than a year and a half ago. At the time, I wrote the original ultimate guide to migrating, but a few things have changed in the intervening months. So I present the fully updated, all new, 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 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 small percentage of sales through this link); 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.

UPDATED 3. Install WordPress. With Bluehost, just login to your control panel, click on Fantastico under Addons/Plugins 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. 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 > Site Feed. In the Post Feed Redirect URL box, enter your new FeedBurner address. This will help redirect your subscribers.

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 “Options” “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. (It’s possible to change this structure, too, of course, but it’ll take additional steps.)

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

Move your posts and comments

6. This is the easy part! In WordPress, go to Manage (Tools in WP 2.7+) > Import. Select Blogger from the list and enter your login information. 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. Login to FeedBurner, 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).

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 Publishing. Click the top link, “Custom domain.” Type in your new domain, www.yourblog.com. Save. 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.

10. 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.

Want a full guide to setting up WordPress on BlueHost, an inexpensive, WordPress-recommended hosting company? Sign up for BlueHost with an affiliate link on this page, and email me (guide at mamablogga.com ) for a free PDF guide on installation, set up, WordPress, add-ons and more! (Note: you must sign up with an affiliate link to receive the guide.)

Disclosure: the GoDaddy and Bluehost link is an affiliate link.

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Safely Move Your Blog (eMoms Group Research Project)

Table of contents for Migrating your blog

I made the switch to my own domain just over 3 months ago. I’ve loved it! But moving your blog, especially if your blog is well established, can be a scary thing.

Why? Because it can break every link that your site has already earned. Those “backlinks” bring visitors to your site and may help your search engine rankings. And if you break them, all is lost.

However, all need not be lost. There is a safe way to move your blog or your website that (most) search engines recognize quickly.

If you’re moving from Blogger/Blogspot to self-hosted WordPress, I recommend my Ultimate Guide to Migrating from Blogger to WordPress, which includes two vital steps to preserving your backlinks. These steps are:

  1. properly implemented redirects
  2. maintaining your permalink structure

Of course, if you do #1 right, #2 may be moot. With proper redirects you can change your entire permalink structure without breaking backlinks and losing search engine love.

But first, we need to:

Evaluate Why You Want to Change
Why do you want to change your URL/domain/blog home? Some good reasons for changing your URL:

  • You don’t own your previous URL.
  • You can’t control your previous URL.
  • Your site/business has evolved into something completely different, and your domain name is completely irrelevant.
  • Your site is expanding and the blog will no longer be at its core. Perhaps moving the blog to a subdirectory is smart—but be sure to use conditional rewrite rules, or people trying to visit the new pages of your site might be redirected to nowhere.

Not as good reasons for moving your blog:

  • Your latest domain name is cooler—will you change every time you snap up a cool new domain?
  • You don’t like having the blog on the front page, but it will still be a very prominent part of your site-If you’re publishing with WordPress, you can set a static page as the “home page” and not have to move anything. This option is found under Options>Reading>Front page. Select “A static page.” The pages system in WordPress is also a fairly good content management system (CMS).
  • Your site/business has changed slightly, and the old URL is not quite as spot-on as it used to be, though it’s still pretty relevant—unless you have a far superior domain name that has significant type-in traffic, you’ll probably be better off explaining to your visitors the full scope of what you do. However, this example may be borderline.

Prepare for the Move
One of the best things to do before you move your blog/site is to generate an XML sitemap for your old site. (This assumes, of course, that you’ve already mapped out a lovely, themed site archetecture, if your site isn’t blog-only.) Hold on to that puppy, because it’s pretty important.

If you’re migrating into WordPress (and especially any part of your blog has been hosted on anything other than WordPress), it’s important to set up your permalinks before importing your old posts. I highly recommend using the Custom Permalinks option, and having your %posttitle% your permalinks.

If feasible, you might consider using a Custom Permalink structure similar to your old one. If you’re importing directly from Blogger to WordPress, for example, you might consider the permalink structure /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html to minimize redirect problems. Not absolutely necessary, but nice.

Be sure to line up some highly linkable content for the first few days and weeks after the move.

Finally, test your design and your new site to make sure it’ll be ready when you throw the switch.

Move
Whether you’re just manually copying your files over or using your blog software’s built-in import feature, you gotta get your files there somehow. Unless you’re using domain masking. That’s another story all together.

Redirection
Make sure you have proper redirects in place. If this is a permanent move, use “301 redirects” to indicate to search engines that this is permanent. Visitors and search engines will automatically be transferred to the appropriate page on your new site if you use these rewrites.

There are various ways of handling this. You can login to your domain registrar and 301 the entire domain over. You can login to your old website and modify the individual pages to include 301 notices in their code. Or you can login to the back end of your website, using Apache or Windows Servers to redirect the old URLs.

The first options here only change the domain name in the URL. If you also changed your permalink structure, be sure to implement redirects for that, too. (It’s probably best to avoid chained redirects, i.e. a visitor going to oldblog.info/superpost.html being sent to yourblog.net/superpost.html being sent to yourblog.net/duperpost.html being sent to yourblog.net/duperpost/. You can handle most of these changes in 1-2 rules rewrite rules.)

For the actual implementation of 301 redirects, I must defer to those who are much more informative than am I:

The Aftermath
Now you’ve done it. You’ve flipped the switch and your new site is live. Be sure to go back through your old site’s URLs (a sample of them, at least) to double check that redirects are going to the right place.

If they’re good, submit that old site sitemap to Yahoo and Google. This will tell them to visit your old links, whereupon they’ll learn they’re redirected to your new links. (Once they’ve come through and learned that, go ahead and replace it with your new site’s sitemap.)

Unfortunately, Technorati will be a casualty in the move. At present, they have no way to edit your blog’s URL, so your new URL shows up as a completely separate blog. (If this changes, I’ll let you know.) If your redirects are written correctly, your posts on your new blog will show up as coming from both your new blog and your old blog. Plus, any internal links within your posts will come up as incoming links to your new blog from your old blog. Confusing enough?

Do what you can to recoup your Technorati authority: e-mail people that you have connections with, asking them to update their links. Also go through Technorati’s steps to delete your old blog. Really, it’s just clutter at this point. Finally, post that really killer, linkable content to earn more links—important for search engine rankings and Technorati authority.

Bear in mind that it will take time for the correct URLs to update in search engine results, but the URLs will change. It took me about 2 weeks before my new URLs started showing up in results. I’ve also seen a page that I redirected a few weeks ago still not change its URL in the results. Aaron Wall’s article this week says he noticed Google & Yahoo change pretty quickly, but MSN/Windows Live not so much.

Don’t forget to update your other blogging add-ons: Google Analytics, FeedBurner, MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, and anywhere you may have entered your old blog as your website or homepage.

One final concern that you might have: this “sandbox” (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry about it). I didn’t experience it for my new site. It’s only 3 months old and I’m in the top 10 for some interesting (and some useful) terms: migrate from Blogger to WordPress, blog stickiness, mom blog advice, etc.

This doesn’t mean that your toolbar PageRank will transfer immediately; this is only updated every few months. Patience. Unless you’re using ReviewMe or Text Link Ads, it doesn’t mean much anyway.

Personally, I think that using the 301 redirects to transfer the trust you built up on your old domain to the new one is the best way to avoid the “new site” penalty. Of course, I didn’t have a ton of trust on my old site, but I did have several months’ of content. (Also, my domain wasn’t brand-new; it was “gently aged.”)

Good luck!


Part of the eMoms at Home Second Group Research Project

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Increase Your Blog’s Stickiness

“Stickiness” on a blog (or website) is getting visitors to stay longer, read more, subscribe and leave comments. Now, isn’t that something we all want?

So today, three tips that I’ve heard only about a billion times to help increase your blog’s stickiness:

  1. Link to related posts. I know with WordPress there’s a way to do this automatically (with a plugin), but even if you have to do it manually, it’s worth it. Before posting, brainstorm posts on similar topics. You can also look through labels or categories in your archives to see if there’s something related. At the end of your post, list a few (three is a good number) of these related posts. If someone has read that far, chances are they’ll want to read more stuff just like it!
  2. Make it easy to find similar posts. As with above, if someone is reading your site, chances are they’re interested in what you’re saying. Use some sort of categorization and/or tagging system (categories, tags, labels, etc.) to help them find similar posts on your blog. If applicable, list your categories/tags/labels in the sidebar to help people explore your blog.
  3. Tell visitors what to do. You want your visitors to subscribe to your blog or comment? Tell them! At the end of every entry, invite readers to subscribe to your feed (code the invitation into your template!). Ask for comments; put a subscribe button in a prominent place on your blog. If someone arrives at your site and doesn’t know what to do next, they’ll probably leave instead of hunting for something to do on your site.

Would you like to know more about developing your blog’s stickiness? I’ve written a free guide to increasing your blog’s stickiness, “Get Your Visitors to Stick!


Also be sure to submit your entries for our Group Writing Project this week!

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The Ultimate Guide to Migrating from Blogger to WordPress

Table of contents for Migrating your blog

Check out the most recent guide to migrating from Blogger to WordPress, from November 2008 August 2009 February 2012.

UPDATED 13 July 07 (step 6)

I assume that you want to move from yourblog.blogspot.com to www.yourblog.com. Otherwise, I say, don’t bother. There’s no benefit to moving from yourblog.blogspot.com to yourblog.wordpress.com unless you really want to use WordPress. I recommend, if you like your Blogger template (especially if you’ve heavily customized it), using Blogger’s capability to publish to your own custom domain (WordPress’s similar feature is a paid add-on). If you want to, you can stay with Blogger. The blogging police won’t come and get you.

But if you’re sure you want to switch, then here’s what you do.

1. Get a domain. Don’t own a domain? I recommend www.GoDaddy.com for domain registration; I use them mostly because I’d heard of them before. 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.)
  • 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; they came highly recommended and are a pretty good deal. 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 Fantastico under Addons/Plugins, select WordPress on the left, click New Installation on the right. 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.

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

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

5. Import your blog from Blogger. You absolutely MUST use the Blogger RSS Import plugin. If this link doesn’t work, try again later. Follow its directions. It loves you. One day it will be included in WordPress. This brings all your posts and comments over.

UPDATE, 16 May 07: That day is today. This import function is included in WordPress 2.2. The other steps here are still important, though, to maintain your permalinks.

6. Delete the Blogger RSS Import plugin from your website. COMPLETELY.

UPDATE, 13 July 07: Now, Blogger enables you to transfer your subscribers seamlessly as well. If you haven’t already, sign up for a FeedBurner account. Then, login to Blogger and go to Settings > Site Feed. In the Post Feed Redirect URL box, enter your new FeedBurner address. This will redirect your subscribers, but you’ll want to be sure to integrate your FeedBurner feed with your new WordPress blog. (FeedSmith, owned by FeedBurner, is a plugin that does just that!)

7. Still in Blogger, select Settings for the blog you want to transfer. Select Publishing. Click the top link, “Custom domain.” Type in your new domain, www.yourblog.com. Save. Now all your links will transfer automatically to your own domain, all your posts are on WordPress and you’re ready to blog on wit’ yo’ bad self.

Afternote. Clean up: You might have to import your images to WordPress as well. If they suddenly stop showing up on WordPress, then you need to import them. If you don’t have very many (I think I have 80-90 and I’ll end up doing this by hand because I’m afraid of the warnings on established plugins), you can easily “recode” your pictures. Login to your WordPress in one tab/window and login at http://picasaweb.google.com/ in another. In Picasa, click on the album for your blog. Select the photo you’re replacing in WordPress. On the right side, click on “Link to this Post” and copy the first link they give you. In WordPress, edit the appropriate post, looking at the code tab, and replace the link that follows the code <img src= with the link you just copied from Picasa. I think that will continue to work.

Also, unfortunately, your Technorati links will not move with your blog. HOWEVER, links themselves are redirected.

Disclosure: the GoDaddy and Bluehost links are affiliate links.

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