How to move your site from Blogger to WordPress

Prepare your Blogger Blog for the Move

The ONLY way, and I stress – only – way to keep your Google ranking with a move away from your original URL is to publish to a “custom domain” and stay on Blogger until every single one of your readers and posts are switched over to the new URL.  Meaning everyone will now be linking to:  myblog.com instead of myblog.blogspot.com.

There will be stragglers. For example – all those pinterest pins and links on other social media sites. We will deal with those later. But the more people link to your new URL, the better for SEO.

As long as you stay on Blogger – they will forward everyone automatically.

Before the move, and after you’ve added your new Custom Domain, you need to remind your readers to erase their bookmarks and re-bookmark your new URL.

After 2-3 months, depending on the popularity and complexity of incoming links, (the more popular the blog, the faster Google re-indexes it), you can proceed.

Start the Migration by being familiar with the entire process

It is really difficult to stop half way through this process. And I’ve spent many all-nighters trying to fix errors. I beg you: save yourself the agony and understand the entire process before you even think about beginning!

NOTE:  The final move is a difficult one to try yourself, you need to be familiar with .htaccess files and permalinks to make the post titles on your WordPress installation match the post titles from Blogger.

I was going to write out every step that we do but it is just a bunch of geekery that is difficult to understand and I would NEVER advise my clients to use these scripts anyway. So I’ve posted my scripts below just for my developer friends and community. I hope you find it useful!

Step by Step Process:

1. Purchase the hosting, set up a temporary domain name. Obviously your new domain name is now being used at the Blogger blog.

2. Install the following:

  • add WordPress installation
  • configure SEO plugin
  • configure backup plugin
  • configure contact form and add to a new page
  • configure basic links in navigation bar
  • add anti-spam plugins & configure
  • set up avatars, commenting options, and social networking auto-publishing options
  • set up sharing icons beneath posts (if desired)
  • add editor and sidebar extensions to make them easier to use
  • configure permalinks to match the blogger permalinks (/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html)
  • install the theme

3. Review the site now; make changes to theme/design. Use dummy content if necessary.

4. Once your new site is ready, say goodbye to Blogger and post a ‘We’ll be back better than ever in 2 days’ post on the Blogger site. Stop posting.

5. Export a copy of all Blogger content.

6. Import Blogger blog content to WordPress.

NOTE: any comments received in Blogger after this time will NOT be moved over to the new site.

7. At this point, the geekiness gets extreme. We use the Migration checklist below to:

  • add htaccess redirects to WP,
  • fix all blogger permalinks,
  • change all pages’ permalinks,
  • add 301 redirects to Blogger
  • and more.

Once we’ve done our jobs – this takes 4 – 6 hours – we have a complete site without any broken links.

8. Review your new temporary site, with content. Make any corrections.

9. Switch the URL so its live. Wait 4-12 hours for url to propogate. In this time, users will see the old or new site randomly.

10. Once 12 hours has passed, you can begin posting again. Everyone sees the new site.

Quality Checks

  • You may want to check random links.
  • Follow each link in the sidebar.
  • Check social media icons and links to be sure they work.
  • Check the feed, and newsletter links to be sure they’re still delivering as well.
  • Check old posts to be sure images are loading.
  • Check pages as well as posts.
  • Check contact pages and author profile pages.

Next Steps

I recommend using this big transition as an opportunity for some publicity!

  • Have a ‘housewarming’ party! Give away prizes to newsletter/feed subscribers that are different than regular readers – make sure all entries are subscribing to the new URL.
  • Host parties on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and anywhere else that your readers congregate. Get them to re-subscribe or re-bookmark your site if they haven’t already.
  • Offer a free e-book in exchange for their time and effort.

Enjoy your new site. And remember that any new software no matter how “easy” someone else thinks it is – always comes with a learning curve!

If you’d like to see a particular topic explained or a new tutorial let me know!

Developers – here’s our Blogger to WP Migration Checklist, including the scripts that we use and the order that we do it in.