Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for WordPress

The key to not losing any beauty sleep (or hair!) while switching blogging platforms is preparation. Don’t jump into anything on a whim. Do your research so you know what to expect, and what steps you need to take in order to make the switch as seamless as possible for you and for your readers.

wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

Image courtesy of ProBlogger

 

Once you’ve gone through the three steps discussed in “Introduction: So You Want To Move From Blogger to WordPress“, you are well on your way. However, before you can dive into the WordPress software, you have to find a home from your blog!

STEP ONE: PICK A HOSTING SERVICE

Most online tutorials will tell you that the first step in switching blogging platforms should be to register a custom domain name.  I disagree.  The hosting service you select will impact the domain registration process, so I suggest deciding on a host first.

Here are a few things to consider:

1.  Do you already own a custom domain name? If so, you may want to consider setting up your hosting account with the same company for convenience sake.

2.  Which hosting options are important to you? Are you looking for unlimited domain hosting?  Unlimited GB hosting space and file transfer?  Do you need email accounts?   What about the option for a free domain name?  Or do you really just want something that will be easy to use, end of story?

wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

I selected BlueHost for my service

 

WordPress.org provides its own list of recommended domains that you can check out.  Personally, I recommend BlueHost for the following reasons:

  • They host your domain for a reasonable price.
  • They include registration of one free domain name for life (this is very useful if you still need a custom domain name!)
  • They offer unlimited hosting space.
  • The back-end administration is easy to use.
  • They provide great customer service if it is needed.
  • Perhaps most importantly – they feature a very simple install of the WordPress software.

I went with BlueHost even though I already had a custom domain registered at GoDaddy.  Once you select the hosting service that is right for you, the next step involves your domain name.

Note: If you decide to go with Host Gator for your hosting service you may to contact them at one point during the moving process in order to successfully redirect your blogger blog to Worpdress.  This is outlined in Step 3 of Part 2.

STEP TWO: REGISTER A CUSTOM DOMAIN NAME

1.  Does your domain name currently end with “blogspot.com” ? If so, in order to make the switch to a self-hosted WordPress blog, you will have to sign up for a custom domain name.   As discussed above, the easiest way to do this is to sign up for your domain name at the same time that you sign up for your hosting service.

The most important thing to remember is that your domain name is a part of your Brand.  When selecting a domain name keep these things in mind:

  • Your Domain Name should generally match your Blog Name
  • If you aren’t happy with your Blog Name, this will be the perfect time to give it a facelift!
  • Avoid choosing a Domain Name that won’t stand the test of time.  The last thing you want to do is constantly switch domain names.

2. What if you already have a custom domain name? It’s great if you already have your own domain name, it just means that you might have a few extra steps to follow in the switch.

  • If you purchased your domain name from the same company that will be hosting your WordPress Blog, you can skip to Step Three.
  • If your Domain Name is registered on a site other than your selected Hosting Service, you will have to redirect your nameservers.  In that case, read on.

This is actually the situation I was in when I switched platforms.  As I mentioned above, I had purchased my domain name (www.beautifully-invisible.com) on GoDaddy, but decided to use BlueHost as my hosting service.   This meant that I had to redirect the domain so that it pointed to BlueHost.

Fortunately, it sounds much more complicated than it is.  In my case:

  • I signed up for BlueHost.
  • They provided the nameserver information that I needed.
  • I logged into GoDaddy, went to “Domains” selected “Set Nameservers” and updated them to the settings below:
wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

Switching GoDaddy Nameservers to point to BlueHost

Simple.  Whichever company you choose for your Hosting Service will provide you with the correct nameservers.  Just one quick update, and you are set.

Now, here is something important to keep in mind:

The standard propagation time for a nameserver update is 24 to 48 hours. This means after 24 hours the domain name should be correctly pointing to your new Hosting Account. In the meantime, if you check out your website address you might get some strange results online. Don’t worry, that is all normal. Just be patient.

STEP THREE: INSTALL WORDPRESS!

This is the step you’ve been waiting for, right?  The good thing about having to wait 24 – 48 hours for your nameservers to propograte (if this applies to you), is that you do not have to wait to install wordpress!

Depending on your hosting situation, this can be done in a number of different ways:

  • Simple Script Install: sites like BlueHost have an autoinstall script that does everything for you with the click of a button (see instructions below).
  • Hosting Company Install: some sites, like GoDaddy, offer a WordPress Hosting plan.  If you sign up for this type of hosting service, they do the install for you themselves.
  • Manual Installation (this should be a last resort): If your hosting service doesn’t provide easy install, you will have to do it manually.  Instructions for WordPress’s famous 5-minute install can be found here.

If you are a Bluehost user, like me, its simple:

  • Login to your Control Panel
  • Click on Simple Scripts under Software/Services
  • wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

  • Fill in the required info and you are done!  Install complete.

It could take a few days for the installation to be completed behind the scenes.  In the meantime, check your email because you will be provided with a WordPress user name and a temporary password.  The best way to know if your site is up and running is to check your “WordPress Admin” address, which will look like this:

http://www.YOURDOMAINNAME/wp-admin

Once you can log in into WordPress’s Admin Panel, you are ready for the fun part – migrating your blog!

STEP FOUR: BACK-UP YOUR BLOGGER BLOG

While you are waiting for your WordPress installation to complete, you will want to complete a few steps that will make the migration easier and more secure.  The first of these is backing up your blogger blog.

Go to your Blogger Dashboard/Settings/Basic and select “Export Blog”

wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

Create a back-up of your Blogger blog.

This will ensure that you have a back-up copy of your blog, just in case.

Now, check to see if you can login to your WordPress Admin Panel!  (or wait.  But I was impatient and did this after every step.)

STEP FIVE: LET YOUR READERS KNOW

This step really could happen earlier, but you will probably want to let your readers know that you will be switching blogging platforms.  This is especially important if you are also changing domain names.

  • Post something on your blog about the move, and let readers know when you will be making the switch.
  • Alert them to any Domain Name changes.
  • If you currently use a custom domain name on Blogger, you will have to switch to the Blogspot Default Domain (see Step 6 below).  Alert your readers of this as well.

STEP SIX: CHANGE TO DEFAULT BLOGSPOT DOMAIN NAME

Regardless of which domain name (custom or blogspot) you are currently using on Blogger, in order to successful import your blog into WordPress, you will have to use the default blogspot domain name.

If you already use the default domain, great.  Move on to Step 7.

If you use a custom domain, go to Settings/Publishing to make the change.

wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

Revert to default blogspot domain name

Now, check to see if you can login to your WordPress Admin Panel!  (I told you I was impatient!)

wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

Image via dorothynelson.com

 

STEP SEVEN: MAKE YOUR BLOGSPOT BLOG UNSEARCHABLE

This step can wait until right before you import your Blogger blog into WordPress.

The reason you need to make your blogspot blog unsearchable is because you do not want your rankings be penalized for duplicate content.  By changing this setting in Blogger, readers will still be able to view your blogspot blog, but it will not come up in search engine crawls.

Go to Settings/Basic to make this change.

wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

Set your Blogger blog as unsearchable

Now, check to see if you can login to your WordPress Admin Panel!  (I know, I know.  Impatient!)

STEP EIGHT: IMPORT YOUR BLOGGER BLOG INTO WORDPRESS

If you are on Step 8, that means you were able to successfully login to your WordPress Admin Panel!

Now is where the real fun begins.

When you first log-in to WordPress you’ll see some test posts and comments.  I deleted those right away because  I wanted to import MY posts and comments immediately.

So I did.

Go to your Dashboard/Tools/Import and click on Blogger.

wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

Import your posts and comments into WordPress with 1-click!

Now, wait.  Depending on how many posts and comments you have – this could take a while.  (Note: if you are using an outside commenting system like Disqus or IntenseDebate in Blogger, this is the step in which you could lose your comments.  I did not lose any, thankfully, but just be aware!)

Read some posts on IFB.  Do some online shopping.  Comment on some blogs you love.

Check your import progress.

Eat some dinner.

Have a martini (it’s OK to have one at this point.  maybe even 2. or 4.).

wordpress blogger to wordpress blog  Part One: So You Want to Leave Blogger for Wordpress

Image via Colonnade Boston Hotel

 

Check back.

Once your import is done, take a look at the results.  Hopefully, everything is there, and in my case, it was!

Mission accomplished.

**********

However, you aren’t done yet.   You still need to do a few more things:

  • You have to make your Blogger content work in your WordPress blog.
  • You have to redirect your Blogger blog to WordPress (note: you will NOT want to delete your old blog.  At least not any time soon).
  • You have to move all your followers and subscribers.
  • You have to add some important plugins.

***************

If you are looking for the other parts of the tutorial, click below!

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                  • Nazish @ Nazish Reads April 30, 2012, 2:26 AM

                    After reading this post and hearing about other bloggers who moved from blogger to wordpress, I was wondering, is it the same or similar when moving from wordpress.com to self hosted wordpress blog? Because I’ve been thinking of doing that for a while. I really want to customize my layout, but I can’t do that, I can only use templates and just change the background.

                    By the way, this is my first time visiting your blog, since I mostly stick to the book blogs, and anime & manga blogs. And I love your header, it’s looks really good.

                    Reply
                  • protik April 8, 2012, 2:35 PM

                    This has been the bible for me when i wanted to move my blog….Have followed it word for word..this is probably the most complete guide out there!!

                    Just wanted to give a big thank you!! The move from blogger to wordpress would not have been as easy if you hadnt written this..

                    Just wanted to bring to notice one small niggle I found…in the permalinks section, we now have to add a small code snippet to override the geographical targetting that blogger is doing..otherwise I was getting an error where each post directs to the homepage only…I found a solution here – http://bloggertowp.org/prevent-blogger-blog-direction-country-specific/?utm_source=Blogger-to-Wordpress&utm_medium=Blogger+To+Wordpress+Migration&utm_campaign=feed

                    Again a big thank you!! I really dont know how i could have migrated if i hadnt seen this post
                    protik latest blog post: The Man from Earth directed by Richard Schenkman

                    Reply
                  • Mads January 17, 2012, 8:26 AM

                    An indispensable guide! Followed it verbatim when moving from Blogger to WP and everything went without a hitch. Thanks!
                    Mads latest blog post: New Year, New You: Hair

                    Reply
                  • Alisha October 23, 2012, 11:57 AM

                    I just love your logo!!!

                    Reply
                  • life/style/flash. January 4, 2012, 5:02 PM

                    I’ve commented on this already but when I started my new blog and wanted to use self-hosted Wordpress from the start I knew exactly where to come!

                    This guide is indispensable, thanks so much!
                    life/style/flash. latest blog post: Day at the Museum

                    Reply
                  • Beauty By LeRenda November 16, 2011, 5:21 PM

                    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!!! OMG, You had the best directions, I’ve seen so far on how to transfer from Blogger to Wordpress. I was able to do this within 10min. I truly appreciate you posting this. I’ve been wondering how I was going to go about moving over. I considered spending money on getting someone else to do it for me but it wasn’t necessary. Your instructions were so detailed and easy to follow. I can’t thank you enough. I’ll be recommending this to everyone I know who wants to switch over. I just subbed as well. :-D

                    Reply
                  • Maryann @ Domestically Speaking October 29, 2011, 1:42 AM

                    THANK YOU THANK YOU for your great tutorial!!! I’m in the beginning process of making the move to wordpress on my own. I already had my own domain and I just purchased bluehost and switched my nameservers.
                    One question for you. I’m going to be purchasing the genesis theme from studiopress along with one of their childs. Is it possible to get that all set up on wordpress before switching it over? I guess I’d like my new wordpress blog to be all pretty before making the switch.
                    Wish me luck… with almost 3000 google friends I’m a bit scared.

                    Thanks for your help!
                    Maryann @ Domestically Speaking latest blog post: Using Chalkboards to stop the fighting

                    Reply
                  • Roving Jay September 28, 2011, 5:09 PM

                    Good detailed post about simplifying the process.

                    I switched from Blogger to WP, and I love my WP blogs, but I also maintain my Blogs on blogger, so that I can maintain a presence on there. It’s just another avenue to capture some random traffic – and divert it over to my self hosted WP blog.
                    Roving Jay latest blog post: Welcome to Turgutreis

                    Reply
                  • Amanne July 25, 2011, 8:05 PM

                    I’ve been trying to follow your tutorial but I have to admit I’m confused! Your tutorial is great and easy to follow however WordPress and/or Blogger do not want to co-operate with me. When I tried to switch my domain on Blogger it informed me that my DNS (no idea what that is) is not set-up properly. It still linked to my new .com though. When I tried to import through WordPress it informed me that:

                    “The page that you have requested cannot be displayed. Another site was requesting access to your Google Account, but sent a malformed request. Please contact the site that you were trying to use when you received this message to inform them of the error. A detailed error message follows:

                    The site “http://urbanbedougirl.com” has not been registered.”

                    HELP PLEASE! Anyone :-/

                    Reply
                  • Meri June 11, 2011, 11:57 AM

                    I’m in the middle of this process- I’m wondering how long it took for you to be able to sign into your wordpress admin? It’s been like 12 hours and I still can’t… wondering if something is wrong!
                    So far, this is the MOST helpful tutorial, I can’t thank you enough!

                    Reply
                  • blahblahbecky.co.uk May 29, 2011, 11:54 AM

                    This guide is actually the best thing EVER!

                    The main reason I’ve put off making the change is because it all sounded so complicated, but you’ve made it so easy!

                    THANK YOU!
                    blahblahbecky.co.uk latest blog post: basic blogger etiquette

                    Reply
                  • doc starr March 28, 2011, 3:10 PM

                    this is an awesome reference and everything worked EXACTLY as you said. YOUR ROCK!!!

                    Reply
                  • Beautifully Invisible March 28, 2011, 3:45 PM

                    I am so happy to hear that! I am glad that the tutorial was useful to you – glad I could help with your move to WP.

                    Reply
                  • Amy @ Journey Mum November 17, 2010, 6:38 AM

                    Thank you. You would think that this information would be more readily available, but it was so hard to find! Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together. Fingers crossed it all works for me!

                    Reply
                  • Beautifully Invisible November 17, 2010, 9:55 PM

                    My pleasure Amy – I am glad it was helpful to you!

                    Reply
                  • Heather Fonseca November 12, 2010, 1:22 AM

                    Oh my gosh that sounds REALLY complicated! I started with my own domain name on wordpress.org, so glad I did otherwise I’d never have the patience to go through all this. That said, GREAT tutorial! If anyone ever wants to know where to look for good advice on this I’ll send them to you.

                    Love,
                    Heather
                    http://heatherfonseca.com/
                    http://heathersdesignblog.com/

                    Reply
                  • Beautifully Invisible November 17, 2010, 9:55 PM

                    It really isn’t THAT complicated, but it’s definitely easier if you just start of with your own domain on wordpress.org without having to change nameservers.

                    Thanks for passing the tutorial on!

                    Reply
                  • Liana November 12, 2010, 12:19 AM

                    wow you must be a mindreader because i have been contemplating switching over but didn’t know everything involved and was afraid of messing up anything….great job! this was so detailed and thorough and most of all, easy to understand….and fun to read (i like the martini part!)
                    when do you think you’ll have the rest of it done? haha, im impatient too! :P

                    Beauty Bag 411

                    Reply
                  • Beautifully Invisible November 17, 2010, 9:54 PM

                    All done :) I hope it is helpful (and the martini part is the most fun!) hehehe

                    Reply
                  • Grit and Glamour November 11, 2010, 4:26 AM

                    Fantastic! I’m removing the other tutorials on this subject from my Build a Better Blog page and adding yours instead!

                    ♥ V
                    http://www.gritandglamour.com
                    twitter: @gritandglamour

                    Reply
                  • Beautifully Invisible November 11, 2010, 3:22 PM

                    Oh wow, thank you so much V! I am so flattered!

                    Glad you think this is worthy… it’s taken me forever to finish! hehehe

                    Reply
                  • Anonymous November 11, 2010, 12:17 AM

                    I LOVE it when you say have a martini, that is a MUST!!! :)

                    XOXO
                    J

                    Reply
                  • Beautifully Invisible November 11, 2010, 3:23 PM

                    Martini’s are ALWAYS required in times of stress :)

                    Reply
                  • Rebecca November 10, 2010, 11:50 PM

                    This is amazingly helpful and easy-to-follow. Thank you so much! Eagerly awaiting the rest of the tutorial :)

                    Reply
                  • Beautifully Invisible November 11, 2010, 3:23 PM

                    Thank you so much!

                    Reply