As mentioned in Part 1, I’m going to continue sharing my experience of moving from Blogger to self-hosting WordPress. For those who directly came into Part 2, I strongly suggest that you read Part 1 first.
Let us continue Part 2.
Login to HostGator cPanel and look for an icon that says ‘Fantastico De Luxe’ under Software/Services. Click the icon (refer image below).
You will then be brought to the page below. Click > WordPress > New Installation.
After clicking New Installation, a new page came out that needs you to enter some details. Fill up those details accordingly and click the > Install WordPress button (refer image below).
That’s it! You’ve successfully installed WordPress. To see how your new blog looks like on WordPress, simply go to http://YourCustomDomain. It will look something like the image below which obviously the blog is yet to have any real content except the default WordPress post of “Hello world!” and one WordPress default comment.
Now, let’s go into your WordPress admin site by going to http://YourCustomDomain/wp-admin. On the login page, enter the username and password that you’ve registered on the Fantastico De Luxe page previously. Next, you will come to your WordPress admin dashboard. Delete the default post and comment (refer image below).
Change Your WordPress Theme
There are a lot of WordPress themes available, either free or you can purchase premium themes from developers. Computer How To Guide is using a free theme from TechMaish.
To install a theme, just go to > Appearance > Themes.
Click on the ‘Install Themes’ tab and directly upload the theme that you prefer. You can also search for themes from the WordPress Themes directory. After upload the theme that you like, click > Install Now.
Next, activate the theme and that’s it, you are done installing your preferred theme. Due to each WordPress theme has their own ways to tweak the design, I’m not going to talk further about WordPress theme here, you can play around with your theme settings by going to your WordPress admin site > Dashboard > Appearance.
Move Your Content From Blogger to WordPress
You have 2 options here. Either you Import your content via Blogger Importer Plugin or WordPress Importer Plugin. I initially started using Blogger Importer Plugin which I’m going to show to you with screenshots below.
At the left hand side of your WordPress admin site, look for > Tools > Import.
On the next following page, click > Blogger (as shown in the screenshot below). Follow the easy instructions to install the Blogger Importer Plugin, activate and run the plugin.
After that, you will see a page asking you to authorize WordPress to access your Blogger account so that content in your Blogger account could be imported. Click the ‘Authorize’ button.
Now, please take note. I MET WITH A PROBLEM HERE! Not knowing why, I was not able to go through the authorization. The page below came out to me after I clicked the authorize button above. Apparently, the authorization had failed!
Remember I said that you have 2 options to move your content from Blogger to WordPress? Since Blogger Importer had failed, I went for WordPress Importer instead! But before that, login to your Blogger account, go to > Settings > Basic > Export blog (refer image below).
Your Blogger blog will be exported or backed-up in an XML file after clicking > Export blog. Next use this Converter Tool and browse the XML file you’ve exported from Blogger just now and click the ‘Convert’ button (refer image below).
The purpose of this step was to convert the Blogger exported XML file into a WordPress exported file so that we could use the WordPress Importer. Basically, this Converter Tool has made the Blogger exported file into a file as if it was exported from a WordPress blog. After clicking the ‘Convert’ button, the file is still an XML file (.xml). Search for that converted file and RENAME THE EXTENSION AS A .wxr FILE (manually change .xml into .wxr).
Next, go back to your WordPress admin site > Tools > Import > WordPress (as shown in the image below). Follow the easy instructions to install the WordPress Importer Plugin, activate and run the plugin.
On the next page, just browse the .WXR just now and click the ‘Upload file and import’ button (refer image below).
Depends on how many post and comments from your Blogger blog, the time needed for this upload varies. After the upload had completed, the next thing you’ll know is that your WordPress blog is now already filled with content from your Blogger blog. Problem solved!
Redirect Blogger to WordPress
Now you’ve finally moved all your content from Blogger to WordPress. The next thing you would have to do is to redirect all the links so that you won’t lose your traffic. This is very important as visitors who click on an old Blogger link/URL will be able to reach to your new domain.
To do this, you will have to change your WordPress permalinks structure so that they match your Blogger URL. Go to your WordPress admin dashboard, click on > Settings > Permalinks.
On the Permalink Settings page, select ‘Custom Structure’ and type this : /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html in the empty box and click Save Changes (refer image below).
The Plugins Needed
The plugins below are very important and MUST be installed.
- Permalink Finder
- Blogger 301 Redirect
Permalink Finder Plugin
Blogger has a 39 character limit for its URL, if your post title is longer than this limit, Blogger will shorten the URL. WordPress does not have this kind of limit and that is why you will notice the difference in Blogger permalinks and WordPress permalinks (with custom structure applied). To solve this URL shorten problem, use Permalink Finder plugin. Download the Permalink Finder ZIP file from the link above. DO NOT UNZIP the file, upload it using > Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Upload. That’s it, no further settings needed for this plugin.
Blogger 301 Redirect Plugin
This plugin is used for one-to-one mapping of post after migration from Blogger blog to self-hosted WordPress blog without showing the annoying “You’re about to be redirected” page to your readers.
To solve this problem and make your readers skip the annoying redirecting page, use Blogger 301 Redirect plugin.
Go to > Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Search. Type “Blogger 301 Redirect” to search (refer image below).
It should be the first one on the list and is developed by Sudipto Pratap Mahato. Click > Install Now.
Activate the plugin. Go to > Dashboard > Settings > Plugins > Blogger 301 Redirect. Check the 3 boxes as shown in the image below, click > Save Changes. Next, you have to copy the template provided in the box and paste it into your Blogger.
Go to your Blogger account > Design > Edit HTML (refer image below).
At the bottom of this page, click > Revert to Classic Template (refer image below).
You will then come to a page which looks like the one below. IMPORTANT : Copy the HTML code inside the box and save it in notepad just in case something went wrong, you will still have a back up copy.
After you’ve saved the HTML code above as a notepad file, you can now go ahead and delete everything in the HTML box and paste the code from Blogger 301 Redirect plugin. Next, click > SAVE TEMPLATE CHANGES.
After saving your template changes above, you can now check your old blog post, they will all be redirected to the new WordPress blog and most importantly, without the annoying redirecting page!
Before I go talk about installing the Redirect plugin. I would like you to first update your RSS details. Since you are now on WordPress and all your redirects are in placed, updating your RSS details will enable your existing subscribers to receive your new updates and post as well as allowing new subscribers to subscribe your RSS feed. I’m using Feedburner, so I can only talk about Feedburner here.
If you are also using Feedburner for your RSS feeds, login to your Feedburner account and select the blog you would like to change, click > Edit Feed Details (refer image below).
On the next page, update the feed to your new domain name. The default WordPress feed URL is http://www.YourDomain.com/feed, type this into the Original Feed box and click > Save Feed Details (refer image below).
The next step is to insert this original feed into your WordPress theme. If your theme does not have an area for you to insert RSS feed, please install this plugin : FD Feedburner.
Alright, we have done updating RSS feed. Now back to installing the Redirect Plugin. I’m sure your Blogger blog has some subscribers right? Your Google reader won’t automatically fetch your new blog post without you accomplishing this step. You have to install the Redirect plugin to redirect your existing blog subscribers.
Go to Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Upload and install Redirect plugin. Remember to activate it. Next, go to the plugin and enter your Feedburner settings. The Source URL should be your Blogger Feed URL which is in the format of : http://yourBloggerblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default, while the Target URL should be your Feedburner URL. After entered all the details, click the ‘Add Redirection’ button (refer image below).
That’s it! Congratulations! Your Blogger to WordPress transition is now completed!
What To Do with your Blogger?
You must keep it. But in order not to let search engines penalized you for duplicated content, YOU MUST NOT LET SEARCH ENGINES FOUND YOUR BLOG.
To do this, login to your Blogger account > Settings > Basic (refer image below).
Scroll to the middle of this page and select “No” on Let search engines find your blog? (refer image below).
Your have now instructed search engines not to crawl your Blogger blog hence, there won’t be any problem with duplicated content.
Another reason you should keep your Blogger blog is that all your old links are still showing in all the search engines. It is better to redirect your potential visitors rather than them getting an error message.
Also, if you hosted all your images on Blogger and you deleted your Blogger blog, all your images will be disappeared. WordPress does not import your images, it only links to them.
Conclusion : Keep your Blogger blog.
Alright, Part 2 has come to an end. I hope my experience in moving from Blogger to WordPress in Part 1 and Part 2 were helpful to you. I think I have covered everything you need to know regarding the transition, do let me know if I have missed out anything.
For those who are looking for some help in moving from Blogger to WordPress can always leave a comment here, I will try my very best to troubleshoot the problem for you.
As for now, I really have to say : Goodbye Blogger, Hello WordPress.