Blogger is a blogging platform provided by Google. For people who are newly venturing into this vast world of blogging, Blogger is the first option that comes to their mind. And why not, backed up by Google, it is a complete blogging solution with many features. For example, Google Adsense is already integrated when you start your blog and you can earn money with it. Unlike other platforms, you don’t have to go through the pain of installing Google Adsense manually.
However, when you are considering blogging in the long run and not just as a part-time hobby, consider shifting your blog to some other Content Management System platforms.
There are a few reasons as to why people generally don’t consider Blogger as their most favorite CMS platform.
- Google has complete rights to your blog. They can change anything on your blog and can even delete it, as it has happened in few cases.
- It doesn’t give you many customization features and has several restrictions.
- Blogger is not that much SEO optimized as compared to the WordPress blogs.
There are certain advantages after you have a WordPress site.
1. Content Ownership
When you write a blog post in Blogger, it is stored by Google. And if there is any violation of terms and conditions set up by Google, your blog will be taken down against your will. Many times you won’t even know where is your mistake. Whereas in WordPress, you have full control over the ownership of your content.
2. Plugins for everything.
There is a plugin called Yoast SEO to improve the SEO performance of your WordPress website. Then there are plugins to compress images like TinyPNG and WP Smush. All these features are totally absent in Blogger. You have very few options when it comes to customizing your blog according to your needs.
3. Open Source software.
One great advantage of having a WordPress site is that it is an open-source platform. It is freely available to download. Also, many developers around the globe contribute to its source code and it is updated about 80 times daily. Not only this, it is also very secure and prone to attacks and vulnerabilities.
These reasons are enough for anyone to think that they should migrate their blog from Blogger to WordPress. With WordPress, you have so many features to customize your blog. Millions of WordPress themes for designing your site and WordPress plugins for almost any type of functionality. But it is easier said than done. The foremost concern that comes to us while migrating our blog is the ranking. How will it affect the ranking? Will it be same? Will it go down?
Well, it all boils down to us, how are we going to do it. There are ways through which you can migrate your blog from Blogger to WordPress without losing your current search ranking. It may happen that some of your web pages and content may rank higher and to maintain that rank you need to take care of a few things religiously.
1. Buy a web hosting plan and install WordPress
You already have a nice domain name. The only task left is to buy a reliable WordPress hosting service from a provider. Unlike Blogger, a web hosting company does not own your content. They only store your files on a server. You need to pay some fees for the storage options, domain hosting and the bandwidth they are providing. There are many good hosting providers like Hostgator, Bluehost, GoDaddy and many others. BlueHost, as far as my opinion is concerned, is the best among the lot.
In shared hosting, multiple websites are hosted on a single server whereas, in dedicated hosting or virtual hosting, only your website gets hosted on one server. Dedicated web hosting plans offer better security, reliability, and speed than shared hosting but are a little costly. If your blog is new and you are not a professional then go for a shared hosting plan.
2. Export your blog from Blogger
The first step was pretty easy and you didn’t have to do anything much technical actually. Now starts the main technical aspects of migrating your blog. Don’t fret about it too much as this also is a very easy step. You only need to take care of every step that you are executing and everything will fall into place. First, you need to export your blog’s content.
Login to your Blogger dashboard and take a backup of your blog’s content. Go to “Settings” > ”Other”. Under the “Import and Backup” section, you have to click “Backup Content” button. A popup will emerge where you need to click on “Save to your computer” button. And, the task is done. Your Blogger’s blog content will now be downloaded to your computer in an XML file. Thus, the complete process of exporting your blog content is now completed.
3. Import your blog to WordPress
After exporting your blog’s content, next important task is to import it into your newly created WordPress site. To start importing, Login to your WordPress admin and go to “Tools” > “Import”. On the “Import” page, click on “Blogger”. A popup will come up which will ask for your permission to install the Blogger to WordPress importer. Just click on the install button. WordPress will now be automatically downloaded and will install the Blogger plugin for you. Once the installation gets finished, you have to click on the “Activate Plugin” and “Run Importer” link to continue.
After these steps, Import Blogger screen will appear. On the Import Blogger screen, WordPress will ask you to import the XML file which was downloaded in the previous step. Simply click on the choose file button and upload the XML file which was downloaded. Now click on the Upload File and Import button to continue. WordPress will now finally import your Blogger posts one by one. Finally, this daunting task gets over. After importing you still, need to make sure that you don’t lose in rankings and your visitors land on your new WordPress blog.
4. Assign an author.
After the importing of the blog is completed, you will be redirected to a new page that will ask you to assign an author to your Blogger post. If you are the only user of this website you only need to choose your name. Else select a user from the drop-down menu to attribute all the posts to. Then save the changes.
5. Set up the permalinks for your blog
Permalink is a term used for defining the URL structure of the individual web pages. WordPress has a feature that gives you freedom in defining an SEO friendly URL structure which was absent in Blogger. But here you would want your URL structure to be close to the Blogger URL which was used before. To set up permalinks, go to “Settings” > “Permalinks” and choose month and name as your permalink structure. Many advise not to change the permalinks because all the posts will be moved to a new URL and the old URLs will be turned into 404 pages. It can greatly affect your ranking and blog traffic. To counter this consequence there is something we need to do called “Redirection”.
6. Setting up Redirection
As mentioned earlier, you need to redirect your website so that the users land on exactly on the same page on the new website that they were trying to access the old site. Also, it notifies the search engines that your old blog is now moved to a new location.
To complete this process you need to work on two levels.
- You will redirect the Blogger visitors to your new WordPress blog.
- Once the visitors reach your WordPress site, you will redirect them to the same post they were trying to access to read.
Let’s get started with the first process.
Firstly Login to your Blogger account and go to Blog’s Settings then click on “Template”. On the Template page scroll down to the bottom and click on “Revert to Classic Template” link. By doing this your blog will be switched to the Classic template theme. After switching you will see something written as “Edit Template HTML”. You have to replace everything in the given text area with the following code. Replace the http://www.example.com with your domain name.
Save your template. You have now implemented redirection on your Blogger blog successfully.
Now comes the second process.
Copy and paste the following code in your WordPress theme’s functions.php file or ina site specific plugin.
After pasting the code, this whole redirection process is over. Now when any visitor will go to your Blogger blog, they will be redirected to the same post on your new WordPress blog.
7. Redirect your Feeds
The RSS subscribers of your Blogger blog will never notice the switch that happened from Blogger to WordPress. So again you have to redirect your Blogger feed to your WordPress feed manually. For doing this, first Login to your Blogger account, go to “Settings” > “Other” under the blog dashboard. Under the Site feed section, click on “Add link” next to “Post Feed Redirect” URL. Then you have to enter your new WordPress site’s feed address. Generally, it is http://your-awesome-site/feed/. Replace your-awesome-site with your domain name.
8. Import images from Blogger to the WordPress Media Library.
When the transfer happens from Blogger to WordPress, the WordPress importer download images from your Blogger posts into WordPress Media Library. But many a time all the image files may fail to download at once. Not always, but it may happen. In these cases, you can find and import the images into WordPress. For this process, you need to install a WordPress plugin called “Import External Images”.
The plugin makes local copies of all the linked images in a post and adds them as gallery attachments for a specific post. After activating the plugin go to “Media” > “Import Images”. The plugin will look for and display the external images in your posts. Just click on “Import Images Now” button to import all the images. This plugin imports 50 images at a time for smooth running.
Finally, after going through these 8 technical steps, your Blogger blog will finally be migrated to the WordPress blog. As you can see that this is not a very lengthy process neither a very technical one. All you need is to follow these basic steps religiously.
Migration from Blogger to WordPress is, any day, a wise decision. WordPress gives you much more flexibility in terms of blogging and content creation. If we try to remember the steps we don’t even need to follow any kind of tutorial. In just 8 simple steps your Blogger blog will migrate to WordPress website. Just make sure to keep a few important things in mind.
Buy hosting services from a good hosting provider, preferably Hostgator or Bluehost. Then export your blog content from Blogger. After exporting, import all the blog content to your WordPress website. Assign an author. Most of the times there are not multiple authors. Then set up SEO friendly permalinks for your blog posts. After setting up the permalinks, set up redirection so that your older blog posts don’t redirect to 404 Error page. After that comes the step up redirecting your feeds. And finally import all your images to the WordPress Media Library. Use a plugin for the same.
Lastly, my only piece of advice is, migrate your blog as soon as possible. Not to scare you but you never know when your blog will be the next one to be removed by Google and all the hard work will go to vain.
About the Author:
Naveen is Digital Marketer by Profession, Blogger By Passion and kind by nature. He is working with JoomDev – A Leading Joomla Template and WordPress Themes development company in India. Apart from this, he loves to research and convert new ideas into reality.