3 Ways of moving from Blogger and issues involved

By | Tuesday, Dec 4, 2007

Since a lot of bloggers not are satisfied with Bloggers service or behavior lately, (read: Blogger sucks more than ever not allowing extern blog links) I thought that I would write some of your options to move your blog from Blogger.com. It’s really not that difficult.

You do have a lot of options if you want to move from Blogger.com. I’ll only mention some of them here, the ones that I’ve found being the most common ones.

I’ll start to mention that the first issue seem to be when bloggers want to export over their old blog posts to a new blog platform and keep their ranking.

The second issue seem to be that we bloggers love to edit our blog templates (WP themes), giving them a more personal touch. Even though there are a lot of free templates for all the different blog platforms, it doesn’t seem to be enough. We always want to customize after our own style, don’t we?

The third issue seem to be that we always want everything for free. Totally free. We want ALL the features and flashy things we can get, that truly takes a lot of time and effort to develop, but we still want it for free, right? Aren’t we a greedy bunch? *giggles*

3 Examples of places to move your blog

I’ll only suggest three of the most popular other blog alternatives, simply because there are so many. These ones are the alternatives that I would choose between if I were you.

  • WordPress.org (free software, costs for webserver / host / domain)
  • WordPress.com or Blogsome.com (both free)
  • Typepad.com (not free)

My recommendation is the first alternative since it always gives you total control over your blog (including own template designs) and what’s happening to it. You do not longer have to deal with limitations or annoying changes from a free hosted blog.

NOTE: WordPress.com is not quite the same as an own WordPress installation on your own Webhotel account and domain. Even though you can have an own domain when you’re using WordPress.com too.

Read about the differences here:
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

Don’t be afraid – it really isn’t that complicated! There are many Blogger-bloggers that have made the move and are THRILLED over it and all the opportunities it opens up.

To move from Blogger.com to WordPress

For the blogger not interested in the “technical” stuff:

Ask the webhost you choose if they can help move your blog, since many of them actually do and often for free.

You really don’t need to have any more skills than you have when you’re handling Blogger.

Can it be any easier?

For the blogger eager to learn:

The WordPress blog software is totally free, but it demands that you get a Webhost account and an own domain name. Several of the Webhost’s offer domain name included in the fee for the webspace.

WordPress.org has excellent information pages of how to install WordPress manually. After that you can set up your system for using the InstantUpgrade Plugin, making it even more easy with the upgrades to come. (Update: in the new WordPress version this is included and no need of the plugin any longer).

Or choose a webhost where you can do the upgrades through their ControlPanel and the Fantastico Scripts install help (just some clicks), but then you may have to wait for every upgrade, since it’s not prepared in the speed WordPress spits out useful upgrades with new lovely features.

From the WordPress version 2.0.2 there is a nifty import tool in the administration panel to import your Blogger posts and comments. I’m not sure about the status with Haloscan comments.

It can’t handle the images uploaded to Blogger, it might show them at first, but Blogger won’t allow that you’re “hotlinking” to them, so you need to change the path to the images in your imported posts in WordPress. You’ll find the path to them if you login to picasaweb.google.com.

Main reason for choosing your own domain & WordPress installation is that you get total freedom with your blog to do whatever you want. When writing this, WordPress has 1261 free plugins giving you all kind of extra features for your blog and more is being added every day!

Not to mention the ready made WP Themes (templates) that is being made all the time, at least as many as for Blogger. There are many sites out there offering WP Themes free or paid, but be sure it’s a trusted site. (That goes for Blogger templates too!)

Be sure to choose a WP Theme ready for Widgets, which means that you can switch between those themes with just one click! No more editing to move your sidebar changes to the new theme or templates like in Blogger, it follows within the widgets which you can move easily by drag-and-drop.

Cost: Webhost (with free domain for ever).

I highly recommend those webhosts:

Dreamhost with unlimited diskspace and bandwidth at $8.95/month OR BlueHost for $6.95/month, because they cover every need. 300 GB space, unlimited domains, unlimited addons, unlimited subdomains, 3000 GB transfer/month, 50 MSQL databases, 2500 email, Fantastico Scripts and a lot more!

Don’t forget to tick the box: “Add BlueHost Domain Privacy FREE.” – or order it from support. It means that you’re name and address details are kept private.

They’re both well known and even WordPress.org is recommending them. I’ve even been thinking of moving Lifecruiser over to them.

There really are much information about WordPress to get, Lorelle.wordpress.com is one of the sites where I recommend to start.

Some technical help in the move:

Search for a plugin that helps you to maintain permalinks moving from Blogger to WordPress.

Or do it manually yourself before the import:
Login to your WordPress. Select Options -> Permalinks.
Select Custom and type this line in the box:
/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html. (This is to imitate your old Blogger posts look).

My personal recommendations is to not keep the Blogger permalink structure if you don’t care about some missing intern links. Start over with a better one, like this one I have here at Lifecruiser (/archive/%postname%/), which is more easily read both by humans and the search engines.

To move a Blogger.com blog to WordPress.com or Blogsome.com

First I want to say that you really can’t compare those two, even though both of them are relaying on WordPress blog software. WordPress.com feels a lot more professional and reliable in my opinion.

I don’t like when I see in the Blogsome forum that forum posts is being unanswered and that one of them asks why the blog is deleted – and there is no answer.

Only reasons for me to mention Blogsome.com is that:

  1. They allow you to edit the themes HTML, which WordPress.com doesn’t – for the moment. I shouldn’t be surprised if they change that. They have already opened up and giving you access to the CSS for a low fee of $15/year. You can do a lot of theme changes with CSS.
  2. You’re allowed to place ads in the themes at Blogsome which you aren’t in WordPress.com – yet. They mention something about allowing it later.

Don’t know how to transfer your old posts from Blogger to WordPress.com?

Don’t worry, there is a nifty Import tool in WordPress.com blogs too that let’s you import posts, comments, categories from Blogger (and other). Just go to your Admin panel and choose Manage -> Import and follow the instructions.

It can’t handle the images uploaded to Blogger, it might show them at first, but Blogger won’t allow that you’re “hotlinking” to them, so you need to change the path to the images in your imported posts in WordPress. You’ll find the path to them if you login to picasaweb.google.com.

Read some of the WordPress.com nice features here.

I really love WordPress.com’s answer on this question in the FAQ:

“Is everything being backed up?

Absolutely. If a very large meteor were to hit all of the WordPress.com servers and destroy them beyond repair, all of your data would still be safe and we could have your blog online within a couple of days. (After the meteor situation dies down.)

You can also download a backup/export of your blog, posts, comments, etc by going to your dashboard and clicking Manage then Export.”

Blogger backup routine is very strange and I’d even call it risky. It also have happened that Blogger blogs have been deleted without any warning. Are you doing regular backups of your Blogger blog and feel comfortable with the routine?

Recommendation: Even if you don’t intend to move from Blogger to WordPress.com, do this import to WordPress.com as a backup of your posts and comments of your Blogger blog. Besides that, you’ll never know, maybe you change your mind later?

NOTE: If you have a very big blog, with very much content you might need to have a paid upgrade. A 1 Gigabyte upgrade costs $20 for 12 months.

It’s not expensive, you probably buy candy for a lot more than that a year, so why not blog space?

To move to Typepad.com

They say that this option is for the really serious blogger, not only because it isn’t free, but that it’s not so easy to handle. I haven’t tested it myself for a very long time, the only thing I know is that I didn’t like it when I started this blog.

Maybe you think different, so check it out, they have a free trial for 14 days.

Cost: From $4.95 per month.

To keep your Google rank

Don’t delete your Blogger blog, to keep your Google rank you need to do a redirection from it to the corresponding place in your new blog. Google will remember your blog (keeping it in the cache) and continue to visit it even if you’ve deleted it. It might still think that you have duplicated content.

To just take your Blogger blog site out of Google’s index and then allow Google to index your new site isn’t enough to keep your well earned ranking, but then again what is the rank really worth?

There have been so many discussions about the Google rank and what it really is worth. Not much, but in some cases yes. It’s all up to you to decide how important you think it is for you and your intentions with your blog.

For a personal blog without ads or other intentions to earn money with your blog, you don’t have to bother. You can become popular or even famous without a high Google rank :-)

Sources: Hundreds (?) of blogs plus my own thoughts mixed.

UPDATE WITH TIPS FROM LEANNE:

Don’t forget about WordPress for Dummies, for newbies who want to really learn the in’s and out’s of WordPress.

Also, when you do move, grab up Google Sitemap Generator plugin and run it – this will cause Google to reindex the URL’s of pages already cached, and within just a few weeks you carry your rank with you!

I’ll personally try to move my Mom’s Blogger blog to WordPress, so stay tuned and I’ll tell you how it all went!

UPDATE:
Chris over at Zero Commute have done a video of when he started to Migrate Classic Blogger To WordPress. He’s in the middle of a move.

NEW: Wolfbernz is now offering you a free WordPress blog over at Blogdumps.net with even more space than the free version of WordPress.com and he also is allowing ads. Head over and check it out!

I also recommend you to read Blog Heralds excellent and fully covering article: Blogger sucks. Wanna move to WordPress?.

Captain ♥WP Lifecruiser

48 thoughts on “3 Ways of moving from Blogger and issues involved

  1. Mar

    I will need a hard copy of this post for my next trip (instead of a book!). Thanks for taking the time to explain the whole procedure, Captain. I will wait to hear the reports. Mainly because I am not willing to pay to blog, only to buy widgets for my own fun :wink:

    Mar’s last blog post..tuesday trilogy

  2. Twisted Cinderella

    Thanks for the info. I have just migrated to wordpress.com, wordpress.org was a bit complicated for me, right now. But I am going to be paying my yearly fee soon, so that I can learn how to play with my template.

    Twisted Cinderella’s last blog post..Tackle It Tuesday

  3. Leanne

    Don’t forget about WordPress for Dummies, for newbies who want to really learn the in’s and out’s of WordPress.

    Also, when you do move, grab up Google Sitemap Generator plugin and run it – this will cause Google to reindex the URL’s of pages already cached, and within just a few weeks you carry your rank with you!

    Leanne’s last blog post..Cat Portrait Pencil Drawing

  4. Gattina

    Of course I want everything free ! That’s economical thinking and not being stingy ! If I can get something for free why should I pay ?? I found on Mar’s blog a thing called “linkme-up” in which all non Bloogle Gloggers can leave their link and it’s very easy for me to follow them up. I also got Haloscan and will install it tomorrow morning and I will do this on all my blogs.
    You really did a great work to explain so nicely to everybody. But for the moment I stay with Blogger I just start to learn some htmls and it is far to early for me to change now ! Maybe later !

  5. isabella mori

    i moved from blogger to wordpress about 18 months ago, and never looked back. yes, getting the right wordpress theme is a hassle, but it’s worth it. the moving itself is as easy as pie.

    the problem with a free platform is that you’re at the whim of whoever owns the platform. the $4-10 a month you’re paying for a host is one of the best investments in your sanity you can ever make. i’ve personally experienced what can happen when a blog is threatened because of some free blogging host’s policy (or whim). it’s not pretty.

    just do the math: how much time do you spend blogging? is protecting your blog worth $4-10 a month?

    isabella mori’s last blog post..the best of the lists

  6. Secret Agent Mama

    I am so happy you wrote about this. I moved from Blogger a while back now, and I’m soooooooo happy I did. WP ROCKS MY SOCKS!

    Secret Agent Mama’s last blog post..Heads or Tails

  7. Vixen

    I hate the comment link thing. A lot of people I visit are on blogger and I can’t put my link in there! Also, thanks for the wordpress for dummies link, I can use that.

    Vixen’s last blog post..Heads Or Tails – HEADS Three

  8. Lifecruiser Post author

    @Gattina: I know of that “LinkMeUp” thing, or “the ultimate blogroll” that it says on her blog right now. I tried it out a long time ago, but I think it’s a ugly solution. Especially when it’s temporarily down… (like now when I visited her blog).

    I like to keep my blog as free and independent from other sources as possible, so I won’t risk that anything is “down” and not showing properly.

    I guess it’s the technician in me that hates to see “second” (poor) solutions…. *giggles*

    When it comes to the HTML stuff, you can learn HTML as much as you want in your own WordPress too and in a more proper way.

    But I respect the free aspect as long as one is satisfied.

  9. Natalie

    Great advice! I have a new blog on my own domain using wordpress…I just have to start using it more so I can soon “abandon” my blogger blog…or you know, just phase it out over time.

    Natalie’s last blog post..It’s Like Pulling Teeth!!!

  10. Penelope Anne

    :grin: Thanks for the information…hubby is getting me my own domain for Christmas, so I’ll be upgrading.

    Penelope Anne’s last blog post..The Great Mouse Hunt Continues & Heads or Tails #3

  11. A.

    Oh dear, I don’t think I have the energy right now. I know it’s probably the right thing to do, sometime….

    A.’s last blog post..The missing girls

  12. Chris

    I think I’m going to set up an account with HostMonster, I’ve been scouring, and seen several good reviews about them.

    Just what I need going into the holidays, a blog move on my to-do list!

    Chris’s last blog post..Five Ways To Lose Blog Readership

  13. Snoskred

    Hi there..

    Wow, what a unique and gorgeous theme you have going on here. :)

    You left a comment on my blog asking if the offer I have of $5 per month hosting is still available. The answer is yes, all people have to do is contact me via the contact form on my site and let me know they’re interested and any questions they might have.

    Basically it is up to the individual how much assistance we give them. If they feel comfortable with it we can just create them a wordpress blog and give them an FTP login so they can upload all their own stuff like templates etc, and import their own blogger blog which is quite a simple thing to do – of course the photos is another thing entirely.

    If people aren’t comfortable with FTP and/or wordpress we can set it all up for them right down to installing the template and sorting the settings for all the plugins including importing the blogger blog and including the photos because we do have a way of doing it – and then just hand them the keys to their new blog.

    Payment can be done per month via paypal, or people can pay a few months in advance if they prefer. ;)

    I hope that answers all the questions. ;)

    Cheers,
    Snoskred

    Snoskred’s last blog post..Tuesday 4th December – Song For Today

  14. Mom Knows Everything

    Very informative! I’m thinking about going from blogger to my own domain after Christmas.

    Mom Knows Everything’s last blog post..7 MORE FACTS ABOUT ME

  15. Wolfbernz

    What a great post. There has been many times lately that someone adds their blog to my blog directory and I go take a look at the blog. I want to leave a comment and I can’t unless I use a google account or some kind of nickname. I wasn’t to sure what was going on until I started reading your posts…Great job!
    It is very kind of you to lay this all out for everyone and be so helpful.

    All the Best
    Wolfbernz

  16. RennyBA

    You are really doing a great work here Captain. Very informative and educating and even readable post on why and how to do it. It’s a perfect example on how we can keep the blogsphere fair and free if people chose right and work for a free blogphere.

    I have very much the same experience as you and as I’ve said before, my migration from Blogger to WP went on smooth. I also have kept my Blogger blog (redirected to my new one) and the Technorati rank on my new one went soon from rather low to even higher within a couple of month.

    Keep up the good work Captain.

    RennyBA’s last blog post..Brussels Fish Market

  17. ROTUS

    Thanks for the infomative post. There may be a mass migration away from Blogger if this keeps up.

    ROTUS’s last blog post..Welcome!

  18. ROTUS

    hoh ho ho ho ho! I just linked some lucky person’s blog to your site.

    ROTUS’s last blog post..$50 Blog Challlenge Mired In Controversy

  19. Misty Dawn

    This is a totally fantastic and extremely helpful post!!! I have bookmarked this post so I can return to it when I am ready to ‘move’ my blog. Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to write this post – I am extremely grateful!

    Misty Dawn’s last blog post..Heads Or Tails Tuesday *Three*

  20. laketrees

    hi Captain..
    I have just set up my blogspot blog to accept backlinks to wordpress blogs etc…..you can sign on at my blog if you follow the instructions at the link that I have provided in my last post :)

    laketrees’s last blog post..Using OpenID for Blogger Comments. | Blogger | Freedom | « phydeaux3

  21. Kathy

    I’m a Blogger user and want to move to WordPress. I have to admit I’m completely overwhelmed at the thought of doing this. I don’t even know if I do wordpress.com or wordpress.org.

    If anyone can throw me a bone and answer that, I’d be extremely grateful.

    I used to have a blogspot address.
    I recently bought my own domain name http://www.junkdrawerblog.com and used Blogger’s Custom Domain tool to redirect to it.

    Now what? I believe I need to sign up for a host, then install wordpress locally (com or org?), then do the Blogger import. Am I on the right track? thank you.

  22. Lifecruiser Post author

    @Laketrees:

    It really doesn’t matter what I choose – I tried two options now at your blog.

    First comment: Any OpenID

    Second comment: WordPress

    - it still goes to my Blogger profile!

    Even if it did go to my WordPress.com account, it doesn’t help me at all.

    I want it to point to my actual blog at http://www.lifecruiser.com, because I don’t want my visitors to be forced to click more than one time to come to my blog.

    This is a tiresome procedure.

    It’s possible that their intention is to change this later (I doubt), but in that case they have started with this too early, before they’ve done so it functions properly with all functions. Not good!

  23. Lifecruiser Post author

    To clear things up further:

    WordPress.com = the free version, like Blogger (go there and have a look, even sign up, it’s free, so test it!)

    WordPress.org = where you can get free WordPress blog software to install after you’ve paid a webhost account. Many webhosts offer this WP install through them too.

    Kathy, you need to decide if you want the free WordPress.com alternative or the paid one at a webhost. I recommend the paid one.

    Then you have to decide which webhost you prefer, see the alternatives in my post. You should tell them that you already have an own domain name so they can “point to it”.

    If you choose the free WordPress.com alternative and want to keep your own domain name, you have to have the domain mapping feature which costs $10 per year.

    Let me know if you have more questions. I have to go to bed now, it’s late in the night over here :-)

  24. Andrée

    This is really an outstanding post! I have to star this in Google Reader. I knew they had done some stuff on Blogger but I had no idea the extent of what they had done. You have taught me more in this post (and the one below) than I learned about blogging in a long long time. thank you.

    Andrée’s last blog post..Heads or Tails: Mark: Make Your Mark

  25. peppylady

    I thought of taking my blog over to wordpress.

    peppylady’s last blog post..Head or Tail (Three) + Tackle It Tuesday

  26. Vic Grace

    Very informative blog. I noticed something had changed but was not sure what with the comments on blogspot.

    Thanks for leaving a comment with your address at my blog anyway.

    This could mean a loss of readers I would think, enough to consider moving.

  27. Claudia a/k/a Happy Nutritionist

    This is helpful stuff, I may do the migration thing to WordPress after the holidays, I tried, and just couldn’t get the hang of it, need some time to really focus in, and will refer back to your helpful information.

  28. chase

    Moving your blog from Blogger to WordPress or any kind of blogging platform is made easier nowadays especially when you transfer to wordpress.Though I am already in wordpress I am still thankful that you shared this information!

    chase’s last blog post..Born To Shine

  29. Gattina

    I just tried to install Halloscan and fortunately it didn’t work. Looking for help on the forum I saw a lot of Blogger people who had the same intention had done it and ALL their comments had disappeared. So they went back to Blogger comments. I decided to work with “Link me” as Mar does the days I don’t put Mr. Linky. Yesterday this “Link me” thing had really worked very fine ! I have to put it now on all my blogs. It’s probably a good idea for those who don’t want to switch to another provider.

  30. Lifecruiser Post author

    I tried two options now at your blog Mar.

    First comment try: Any OpenID = Gives me a error page full with error details.
    Second comment: WordPress(.com!)
    Worked, it sent me to login to my WordPress.com blog – but I don’t have my main blog on WordPress.com
    Third try: Any OpenId again, still a full error page.

    I thought that maybe this any OpenID might be an alternative to set up your extern link address, but it wasn’t. Now.
    I want it to point to my actual blog at lifecruiser.com of course, because I don’t want my visitors to be forced to click more than one time to come to my blog.

    Yesterday when trying this in laketrees blog, it went straight to my Blogger profile, because (I guess) Firefox had kept me logged in at Blogger since I were forced to leave my Blogger id on some ones blog not allowing other than Blogger id to comment.
    This is a tiresome procedure. phew. Will we be forced to login and out of different blog platforms to comment?
    There is bloggers that have several blogs at Blogger, but also blogs at both Blogger and WordPress.com and maybe even also an own domain address. I wonder how these will manage this?
    It’s possible that their intention is to change this later, but in that case they have implemented this too early, before they got all functions in it. No good.

  31. Lifecruiser Post author

    Besides that: they haven’t gone out with proper information BEFORE the change, just implemented it. That’s not very professional.

  32. Lifecruiser Post author

    AND: Why are the links going to the Bloggers PROFILE even if the blogger only have one blog? I don’t want to click twice to come to the persons blog.

  33. Gattina

    Last update ! Mar found the solution ! there is now “Blogger in Draft” and with that everybody can comment you have the choice. I changed already. Have a look !

  34. Kathy

    Thank you for the follow-up. It sounds like WP.org is the way for me to go. Still dreading the move, but this information helps me get started.

  35. Kuanyin

    Whew! All of this technical jargon and comments makes my head spin! :shock: I’m on overwhelm with my health issues and barely able to blog without taking into account all of this info. You’ve done an excellent job Lifecruiser on laying this whole thing out! Now if I could just find a magical genie to do it all for me so I could relax! :roll: :lol:

    Kuanyin’s last blog post..The Gift Giving Mystery

  36. Shoshana

    Lifecruiser, this is really helpful, and I appreciate that you put this information here.

    Shoshana’s last blog post..Instead of Working

  37. claudie

    Bravo! You did a super job here my captain! I’m very impresse!
    I’m glad to have my own domain with the help of Pierre and hope people will finally understand that we aren’t on the net to be the victims of a marketing war!

    claudie’s last blog post..My name is Tiger!

  38. Lifecruiser Post author

    SORRY FOR ANY PROBLEMS YOU MAY HAVE HAD TO COMMENT HERE THE LAST DAY. IT WAS CONNECTED TO THE “BAD BEHAVIOR” PLUGIN, WHICH PREVENT SPAM.

    IT MIGHT BE FIXED NOW. I’LL HAVE TO TEST SOME MORE :-)

  39. Kat's Krackerbox

    Thanks for the info! I need to get that book “WordPress for Dummies”. Wonderful advice. I used to have a blogger.com blog and it was okay for beginners but then I realized that I couldn’t do much with it so I went to WordPress.com and I really like it.

    Kat’s Krackerbox’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen # 19 – Things I need to do today

  40. SwordGirl

    Excellent post Captain! :mrgreen:

    SwordGirl’s last blog post..oh night divine…

  41. Chris

    I’ll help you test out the comments. I have also posted a video of how easy it is to make the move from Blogger to WordPress, if anybody’s having second thoughts.

    Chris’s last blog post..Migrating Classic Blogger To WordPress (Video)

  42. Dunn

    I just moved my blog from blogger custom domain to selfhosted wp. Had imported the post, eveything is set up already. The homepage looks fine. But when i clicked the individual post that I imported from blogger, it viewed with the old blogger layout instead of the new wp theme. Does anyone know how to fix this? Even the transfer dept from my hosting company (which i paid to do the transfer for me and they’re the one who caused this problem) dont know how to solve this. Please help!

    Dunn’s last blog post..After Ice Rain in South China

  43. Link

    @Dunn: The only thing I could think of when I read your comment was that maybe your post links were still re-directing to the old blogger site. Hope that helps.

    Link’s last blog post..Quick Tips For Traveling Cheap

  44. Dunn

    The problem is fixed already. You can check my last blog post for details. Thank’s for kind response. :)

    Dunn’s last blog post..My Interesting Files problem fixed!

  45. Blogger Widgets

    Why do you feel that blogger sucks.? Blogger is much easier to use for newbie bloggers and bloggers like me are always trying to develop some new widget for blogger.It is true that blogger is not so programmable as WordPress but there is still some scope for the same

    Blogger Widgetss last blog post..Blog Tanslation Widget for Blogger / Blogspot

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