Moving from Blogger to WordPress – everybody’s doing it. Well, not everyone but certainly a lot of bloggers!
It took me a little while to decide to finally move over to WP, as I’d heard it was pretty time consuming and confusing, but my experience has been much better than I expected! I think the key to it is to be patient and not expect everything to be fully operational straight away.
I recently blogged about a few of the reasons why I made the switch, but today I want to share with you some tips that I wish I’d have had when I was making the move.
My tips on how to move from Blogger to WordPress
Utilise your hosting company!
Whether you are only just changing to a custom domain, or you are moving one over from Blogger, your hosting company should be able to answer (most) of the questions you might have about the move. They can also do some of the more technical bits for you (e.g. redirecting your old blog to your new one).
I found TSO Host to be fantastically helpful through the whole process, so if you’re looking to change hosting providers/move away from a Blogspot URL, I definitely recommend giving them a go. No question was too stupid for them, and they really made the information they gave me easy to understand.
Well, duh. But listen – sometimes I like to take shortcuts to get things done quicker, and migrating a site should not be the time to take shortcuts. Read any instructions clearly, and Google as much as you possibly can to get answers!
Here’s the main article I used for any bits that I needed to set up manually – How to switch from Blogger to WordPress without losing Google rankings.
Become best friends with plugins
WordPress plugins are arguably the greatest thing ever about WordPress. When importing your content from Blogger, I definitely recommend using WordPress’ own import plugin as this will move over everything you need to including images. It also imports over tags and categories from Blogger, but you’ll need to do some tidying up with these (or use this plugin to convert Blogger categories to WordPress tags).
Note that the import tool doesn’t copy over pages – so you’ll need to set these up manually. The old URLs that will likely return an error due to Blogger’s stupid ‘/p/’ format will eventually no longer be indexed, so you don’t need to worry too much about those.
One of the key settings you’ll need to change is setting your permalink structure on WordPress to Blogger’s, so that when your old posts are redirected, they maintain the same structure and do not return an error. This is pretty easy to set up – go to your WordPress dashboard > Settings > Permalinks > Select Custom Permalinks and add ‘/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html’ without the quotations into the field box, then Update.
Run a broken link check
Once everything is set up and your redirect is in place, you should run a broken link check to see if any internal links (or links left in comments) are returning 404 errors. If they are, you will need to update or remove these links.
For internal links, I simply updated them by searching my blog for the post and copying and pasting the new link in. For links returning 404’s, I generally removed them. Another fab thing about WordPress is that you can edit comments, so if a blogger leaves a link which is incorrect/no longer live, you can simply edit or remove it. Result.
Optimise key posts
I moved over around 350 blog posts, and found that the meta titles and descriptions did not move over with the posts. Although kind of annoying, I realised that it wasn’t crucially important that every single post was fully optimised. Instead, I decided to focus on those that I want to rank well (i.e. tips posts, reviews, recipes instead of Monthly Faves and Life update type posts).
One of the very first plugins you should install for SEO optimising is Yoast SEO. It allows you to manually change your meta titles and descriptions, as well as providing a really helpful ‘traffic light system’ for how well you have optimised a post. It includes tips on how to improve things, too.
So there we have it, just a few tips to help you out when you jump the Blogger ship. I’m a few weeks into the move now, and don’t regret it for a second – I only wish I’d done it sooner!
If you have any questions about moving to WordPress, or have your own posts all about making the change, then pop a comment down below :).