Moving your blog off Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site

I have a client who absolutely loves WordPress, but one of her long-time blogs has been hosted at Blogger since the dawn of time. Luckily, thanks to some persistence and a handy WordPress plugin, she’s now happily blogging with WordPress.

Step 1: Set up and configure WordPress
First thing to do is get yourself a self-hosted WordPress install. Many hosts these days even offer easy “one-click” installs of WordPress through their control panels. Otherwise check out the WordPress docs for help getting started.

If you need hosting recommendations shoot me an email or leave a comment. I’d be glad to recommend some of my favorites.

Step 2: Import your Blogger content
Once you’ve got WordPress installed and hooked into your database, it’s time to import your old Blogger content. Log into the WordPress admin panel and go to “Tools->Import->Blogger.” Follow the onscreen directions to complete this step.

Double check the imported posts and pages to make sure that all your content is there. Pay special attention to images in posts.

Step 3: Install plugins
Now, we all know you’ve developed a huge following on your blog, at least, that’s what you tell your friends. You don’t want all your incoming links to go dark once you move off Blogger, ideally you’d like them to point to the same posts on your new WordPress site. The solution here is to use a nifty plugin called “wp-maintain-blogger-permalinks.” Following the directions at the link below will make this happen:

http://justinsomnia.org/2006/10/maintain-permalinks-moving-from-blogger-to-wordpress/

Now, if you don’t want to mess around with your .htaccess file to go “.html-less.” You can simply append “.html” to the end of your permalink structure. In WordPress go to “Settings->Permalinks” and check the “Custom Structure” radio button. Modify this structure by removing the trailing “slash” and adding “.html” to the end. Don’t forget to save your changes!

Step 4: Update the DNS settings for your custom domain
It took me a while to find out how to update the DNS settings for a custom domain bought through the Blogger interface. It’s actually pretty easy. Just go to the following URL:

http://www.google.com/a/cpanel/yourdomainhere.com/

Log in to Google Apps using your Blogger ID and password. Then navigate to “Domain Settings ->Domain Names” and click on the “Advanced DNS settings” link.

Step 5: Get your custom domain transferred to a new registrar

You can certainly leave your domain hosted with Google’s affiliate registrar, but if you are hosting other domains elsewhere, it may make sense to consolidate your resources. To initiate the transfer process, you’ll need to obtain your domain’s authorization code from Google’s affiliate registrar.

If you’d like to transfer your domain to another domain registrar, you’ll need your domain’s authorization code. To obtain your authorization code, sign in to the DNS console of your domain host. Instructions vary by domain host.

https://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=112049

Your domain will either be registered at ENOM or GoDaddy through Google. The Google Apps. panel will tell you where your domain is registered. You’ll need to contact the registrar directly to obtain the transfer authorization code. ENOM can be contacted at GoogleClients@enom.com or by phone at 425-974-4623. Although you may need to pester them to get a response.

Good luck and let me know if you have any advice I may have overlooked!

2 thoughts on “Moving your blog off Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site

  1. Thanks for the great article & especially the tip for how to maintain permalinks. That is especially important for me as I plan the blogger –> wordpress switch. I have decided that I want to set up a new WP design that will very closely track the existing look and feel and navigation of our blog. While the existing design is not perfect, I don’t want to alienate users, no one likes too much change; and I also don’t want to lose our long-tail links to our posts.

    What I’m having trouble getting my hands around is how I set up the files in the background. Today, the blog name is registered through GoDaddy but we use Google Blogger’s free hosting. If I set up hosting for WP through GoDaddy, how do I do this while maintaining the current blog? and the same address? Is there a way I can “tweak” everything on WP in a file before I do the ultimate import?

    Any advice or direction you can share is helpful, thank you in advance.

    • Hey There, the instructions I posted should allow you to maintain your permalinks (“long-tail” links). Following the instructions in the post above will help you do what you want.

      Once you’ve purchased your hosting with GoDaddy, you should be able to install WordPress and access it at a temporary URL or IP address so you can import your blogger content and configure your permalinks.

      If you do all the set up properly, once you update your DNS settings, your post permalinks should all resolve to your imported content just as they have been doing on Blogger.

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