A few years back, there were already millions of blogs in existence, and everyone was looking to create an online space of their own. Hundreds of different apps let you create a blog, but two of the most prominent were undoubtedly Blogger and WordPress.
The popular web builders, although serving the same purpose, came with their own set of advantages.
Blogger launched in 1999 as a blog publishing service and quickly gained traction. It offered beginners a free registration and a subdomain where they could build their own website. You could choose from a few designs and several functionalities so your focus can remain on content publishing and promotion. After a massive success in the first few years, Blogger was acquired by Google in 2003.
About the same time, in May 2003, the world saw the first release of WordPress. The new blogging tool had a lot going for it — it was an open-source platform, meaning it held limitless possibilities for customization and upgrades. WordPress heavily relied on versatility, giving users more control to change both the visual outlook and the functional feel of their blog.
Both platforms were completely free of charge, but something still people moved from one to the other. But why? And is it easy to do so?
Today we’re going to discuss why and how to move from Blogger to WordPress.
Why move from Blogger to WordPress?
The main reason why people gradually preferred to transfer from Blogger to WordPress is how the two apps evolved.
Even though Blogger got a few years’ headstart, the tool developers did little to improve it over the years. Google helped patch up a few things, but the project never really took off under their helm.
In contrast, WordPress quickly outgrew the label of a “simple blogging application.” The CMS relied on a plugin architecture, which could transform your website into practically anything — an ecommerce shop, a podcast, or a gaming community. Startups and growing businesses also saw WordPress as a suitable partner for their online needs.
The change was inevitable.
How to move from Blogger to WordPress?
Migrating your data from Blogger to WordPress is not necessarily a complex process, but there are a few key aspects to it. Most of the time, you already have a blog with a lot of posts and comments, and you don’t want to lose the SEO juice from them.
Here are a few steps you shouldn’t miss:
1. Find a good WordPress host
Almost every hosting provider nowadays can offer WordPress as part of their service, but you need to be looking for something more than a standard software installation. Automatic updates, security optimizations, and daily backups are complimentary services that every great WP host should offer.
Avid supporters of the WordPress project, Scala Hosting offers streamlined services on both shared hosting and VPS servers. What separates this host from the crowd is the set of unique tools for cloud VPS solutions. You’ve got:
- SPanel — an all-in-one hosting management tool
- SShield — enterprise-grade website security
- SWordPress Manager — better WordPress safety and easy operation
2. Install WP
Once you have a trustworthy provider, it’s time to install WordPress.
Many operators will gladly assist with this task, but even if they don’t, the process is quite straightforward. You just open the auto-installer tool that comes with your control panel and follow the steps from the setup wizard. You just need to choose a password, installation folder, and a template — the installer will do the rest.
3. Export Blogger site
The next step is logging into your account with Blogger.
Once inside the dashboard, you need to go to Settings and then click on the Other menu. There lie the options for import and export of Blogger data. Once you hit the Back Up Content button, the system will prompt you to save everything on your computer. Your data is now saved in an XML file.
4. Import to WP
Time to go back to your WordPress installation. From the WordPress dashboard, go to Tools and then Import. In this section, you will see a Blogger option and Install Now under it.
This will install a Blogger Importer tool to your WP. Running it will take the XML file from your computer and move it to the WordPress installation.
Note: If you get an error that the file is too big, check the maximum file upload limits with your host.
5. Set Up your Permalinks
Permalinks are basically your URL structure. Needless to say, you need to keep the URLs as similar as possible to your old blog so you don’t lose any SEO juice.
To do that, head on to Settings -> Permalinks and click on the Custom Structure option. Adding the following code in the box will make your WP URLs as close as the ones from Blogger:
If there are cases where you can’t make the URL match the original, you can fix that by adding custom code in your theme’s functions.php file.
6. Set Up Redirects
This is your most important step when you transfer from Blogger to WordPress. Without proper redirects, your users will get a ton of 404 pages, and you will lose valuable SEO traffic.
So, how to overcome this?
Start by installing the Blogger to WordPress Redirection plugin. Once configured, you will see an option Get Code next to your Blogger URL. This will generate a snippet that is used for user redirection.
Go ahead and log in back to Blogger. In the Theme menu, you will see an Edit HTML option under your template. You can delete the whole code there (if you don’t intend to keep it) and paste the snippet you got from the WordPress redirection plugin.
From the same menu, you can click on the cog icon for Settings and click the option “Show desktop theme on mobile devices,” so your mobile users are also properly redirected.
7. Move Other Content
The last step is to move any additional content from your old Blogger site — pages, widgets, or feeds if you have any.
For Pages, the procedure is pretty much manual. You have to open each article, copy its content, create a similar post in WordPress, and paste the text there.
For widgets, you can go to the Appearance -> Widgets menu and add the ones you like to your sidebar.
For the RSS feeds, you need to go to Blogger -> Settings -> Other and click the option next to the Post Feed Redirect URL. The WordPress feed you need to put there should look something like this:
Scala Hosting Data Transfer
Moving any website from one host to another can often be time-consuming and unnecessarily complicated. Scala Hosting is one of the providers that can happily lift that burden off your shoulders and help you move your data completely free of charge. Whether you are moving from Blogger or any hosted CMS — the Scala team is 24/7 available to make the transfer.
This checklist should be more than enough to help you safely move from Blogger to WordPress without losing any SEO traffic. The steps are pretty straightforward, even for the novice user, and you wouldn’t need any coding knowledge to execute them properly. Still, if you have the right WordPress host by your side, you can opt-in for their expert assistance.
Q: How do I transfer my domain from Blogger to WordPress?
A: Typically, Blogger gives its users the option to use a free subdomain. You page will look something like: http://yoursitename.blogger.com
Still, you can use your own domain, and when you move to WordPress, you would need to redirect that too. To point it, simply go to where your domain is registered and change its DNS settings to the nameservers provided by your new host. There is a short propagation time of up to 24-48 hours, after which your domain will open the content on your new location.
Q: Which is better — Blogger or WordPress?
A: WordPress has proven to be the most versatile and user-friendly way to make fully functional websites. The open-source architecture offers limitless customization options, and the CMS often gets updated with new handy features and perks.
Blogger is getting quite outdated by today’s standards, but if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to put up a simple blog — you can check out this Google product.
Q: Is WordPress blog free?
A: There are two options to build a website using WordPress — free and commercial. The free software on WordPress.org is supported by any Linux host and can be installed with a few clicks. In comparison, you can opt-in for a hosted solution on WordPress.com. The platform is offered by the WP developers from Automattic and comes with their dedicated support and servicing.