Blogger is a great place to launch your blog. It’s free and simple to use, but we find that bloggers quickly realize the limitations of this platform and decide to move to self-hosted WordPress. The number one reason we recommend moving to WordPress from Blogger is that on Blogger, you don’t own your website. If Google decided to shut down Blogger, they could, and there’s nothing you could do about it—terrifying, right?!
Moving your site to WordPress will guarantee that you have total control of your blog and 100% ownership! Sounds a lot better, doesn’t it. WordPress has so many more features, plugins, widgets, and themes (that’s just the beginning) that will help you make your site one of kind.
This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through moving your blog from Blogger to WordPress. Make sure you read until the end because the last step is MAJOR, and gives you some tips on how to not lose out on old traffic!
1. Get Started
First thing’s first! You’ll need to find a WordPress hosting company, and we highly recommend Bluehost. It’s the host that both Jess and I personally use, and also the one that hosts this site! If you’re just getting started, Bluehost throws in a free domain. If you already have a domain, that’s fine too, you’ll be able to transfer it if you like.
2. Install WordPress
Installing WordPress might sound scary, but we promise it’s super simple! We have a great tutorial here that walks you through the steps to get your hosting set up properly and shows you EXACTLY how to install WordPress on your own so you don’t have to pay anyone else to do it for you! Once your hosting is set up and you’ve installed WordPress, we’ll move onto transferring your content!
3. Export Content from Blogger
Pat yourself on the back! You’ve already done so much! Now we’ll need to export your content from Blogger. Like a lot of other blogging platforms, Blogger has limited transferring capabilities, and depending on how much or what type of content you have on your site, all content may not transfer. For anything that doesn’t transfer with the migration tool, you can simply copy and paste it.
To export your content, login to your Blogger account and navigate to Settings. Before you do anything, make sure your HTTPS Redirect is set to No. We noticed that we were unable to transfer images (in a later step) if they were encrypted.
Now, click on Other, which is also located under Settings. Under Import & Back Up, click the Back Up Content button.
It’ll open up a popup, click the Save to your computer button.
Your file will be downloaded as an XML file, so locate it and put it somewhere you can easily find it for the next step.
4. Import to WordPress
Okay, next comes the good stuff, getting your Blogger content into your new WordPress site!
Login to the backend of WordPress and navigate to Tools > Import. On this page, you’ll see a list of different platforms, hit Install Now under Blogger. Once it’s installed, click Run Importer.
A new page will open that prompts you to choose a file for upload. Select your file and then hit Upload file and import.
If everything looks fine with your file, WordPress will then prompt you to select some settings. Select an author from the dropdown or create a new one. Typically we recommend just using the one that’s already in there! Check the box to import attachments. Disclaimer—sometimes this doesn’t work. When we tested it, we found that it worked on some attachments, but not all.
Hit submit and wait while your content starts importing! When it’s complete, you’ll see a success message at the bottom.
5. Troubleshooting Images
Unfortunately, the importer does not do a good job of pulling your images over from Blogger. We found that it worked on some images, but the majority were left as broken images—oh no! Thankfully there’s a fix for this.
Install and activate the plugin called Import External Images. Go to Media > Import Images.
We selected all files, hit Save, and then hit Import Images Now button. If you read the copy above the button, you’ll see that it only imports 50 posts at a time, so once those 50 are done, hit Refresh and then Import Images Now button until all of them have been imported.
6. Fix Permalinks
The default permalink structure for WordPress is different than that of Blogger. So, if someone clicks on a Pin that was linked to your old Blogger site, it will take them to a 404 error page because the links are different. You don’t want to miss out on that traffic, so we need to fix it. Thankfully there’s an easy way to do this in WordPress!
Navigate to Settings > Permalinks. From here you’ll see a bunch of different options, and you want to find the one that’s closest to your old permalink structure. For Blogger, the Month and Name option is the closest. So, click on that! You’ll notice that when you click on one, it populates the custom permalink area with the new information.
We just need to make one more change here to fit your old permalink structure. If you look at the permalinks on your old Blogger site, it might look something like this.
So, in the custom permalink area, all we need to do is remove the last ‘/’ and add ‘.html’ to the end of our permalink structure so that any old links will link properly to the new site.
Hit Save Changes.
Congrats! You did it!
Sign up for one of our WordPress webinars by clicking here or the graphic above! Whether you need help starting from square one, or are looking to customize your site and take it to the next level, we think you’ll find them super helpful!