How I Converted from Blogger to WordPress
About two weeks ago I decided to take the plunge and move Technically Easy to WordPress. At the time this blog was hosted on Blogger, and I wanted more control over all aspects of my blog.
As I began to learn WordPress, and thought about all that I needed to do I was overwhelmed. I had never attempted moving a Blogger blog to WordPress before so I had no idea what I was in for. Today, however, I realized that it wasn’t complicated or difficult, and can now say Technically Easy is a WordPress blog. This post talks about how I did it.
Before I began to move my blog to WordPress I had a few requirements that I wanted to achieve before and after the conversion. These requirements included the following:
- A well-known and good web host to host Technically Easy. I didn’t want to have to worry about disk space and transfers limits per month.
- Support for problems that may occur. While I didn’t have any problems during the conversion, I wanted to have security knowing that I had some support in case of a problem.
- Creating a development blog for testing. Similar to what I had created for Blogger, I wanted a WordPress blog that I can develop and test out my new WordPress blog before going live.
- The links in search engine results pointing to the new WordPress blog. Most of the traffic to Technically Easy arrives from the search engines, so it was important to ensure the links from the results pages still worked.
As you can see I didn’t have a long list of requirements, but I wanted to ensure that each requirement was satisified before moving completely to WordPress. The next section will outline how each of the above requirements was met.
The Conversion Process
I was anxious and nervous about converting to WordPress, but I realized that eventually I was going to do it. I figured it would be better to convert now than later because I have less posts and comments than I would have later. In the end, however, I realized that the number of posts or comments didn’t affect the conversion.
The first thing I wanted to do was find a good host. I heard about Turnip’s (Turnip of Power) offer where he was offering a T-shirt, 2000 Entrecard credits, and support if you signed up with Bluehost using the link from his blog. On top of that, he would offer his assistance in getting your blog up and running.
What a sweet deal. I get a host and support all in one shot, which satisfied my first two requirements. I made the decision to only use his assistance when I required it. In the end I didn’t need it, but it was nice to know help was there if I did need it. After signing up, I installed WordPress easily on my host. I also wanted a second install of WordPress somewhere else for a development and testing blog.
I wrote a post in the Website Babble Forums where I posted a few questions. Lisa, the website-savy administrator, provided a link to her blog where she outlined the process of installing WordPress on your local machine. The instructions were easy to follow, and I quickly had a development blog up and running on my desktop computer.
Now with the first three requirements met, I began to learn WordPress, and experiment on my local desktop with templates, changes, and plugins. I also imported my Blogger posts and comments to get an idea of what was involved in that process.
During the developement, I allowed visitors to view my WordPress blog. I pointed technicallyeasy.net to the WordPress blog, while www.technicallyeasy.net continued to point to my Blogger blog. This allowed my to manage both blogs in parallel. Eventually I needed to merge the two into one.
When I did merge them, I needed to make sure visitors could still get to my blog from the search engines. Blogger post permalinks are different than WordPress permalinks in that Blogger truncates and drops words from their links. I didn’t want to manually update each post’s permalink, so I needed another solution, which I found.
When I performed a search I came across a blog that had two posts I found very useful:
- Maintain permalinks moving from Blogger to WordPress. This post provides a plugin that will convert the permalinks for your imported Blogger posts to match the original Blogger permalink. This plugin worked like a charm for me.
- Importing Haloscan comments into WordPress 2.3 from Blogger. I had used Haloscan previously with Blogger, but discontinued using it only recently. I had exported my comments to an XML file, but couldn’t import them into Blogger. The plugin provided here allowed me to import my Haloscan comments into WordPress. It didn’t import all comments, but it did get most of them. Most is better than none.
Once the above plugins were used, I had not only satisfied my last requirement, but also imported my comments that I figured I’d never display on my blog again. Now that my blog was setup it was time to go live.
I pointed www.technicallyeasy.net from Blogger to technicallyeasy.net. After a few hours, I checked www.technicallyeasy.net and noticed it was now successfully pointing to technicallyeasy.net and all was good.
As a final test, I opened Google and searched for links to Technically Easy and tried them out. They linked to the correct pages on my WordPress blog, and since then I haven’t missed a beat with traffic. Google is still my largest provider of traffic.
As I thought about what I had done in the past two weeks, I realized that it wasn’t in anyway difficult to do. Being able to find the right help at the right time was very beneficial. I also found that having a domain name originally pointing to my Blogger blog made things much easier when it came to keeping my links working in the search engines.
I am happy on wordPress, and look forward to seeing what I can do. I will not forget about continuing to write posts relating to Blogger, but now I’ll just include WordPress.
Have Your Say
- Have you recently converted from Blogger to WordPress? What was your experience?