Transfer Your Blog from Blogger to WordPress Without Losing PageRank
Chances are you already know why you should be using a self-hosted WordPress blog (WordPress.org), it’s differences and benefits, and you’re looking to migrate from Blogger to WordPress. To transition a Blogger site (also known as blogspot site) to a WordPress blog is not difficult, but many other resources leave out crucial steps.
That’s why we created this detailed step by step tutorial for moving from Blogger to WordPress.
We’ve moved blogs from Blogger to WordPress for hundreds of clients without losing PageRank, without losing any traffic, and decided to record and publish the exact steps here. Don’t let the length of the post deter you, the process to export your content from Blogger to WordPress is not difficult.
Table of Contents
- Get a Domain Name
- Get a Web Hosting Account for Your Self-hosted WordPress Blog
- Install WordPress
- Change to Temporary Domain Name
- Prepare for Your Blogger to WordPress Import
- Import Blogger to WordPress
- Themes, Menus, and Widgets
- Take Your Blog Live – Redirecting Visitors to Your New Blog
- What’s Next?
Let’s get started…
Already have your own domain for your WordPress blog? Then skip down to Section 2 below.
If you don’t have your own domain name (this is a WordPress blog or WordPress site, OR you’re still using a example.blogspot.com domain), then you’ll need to purchase a domain before you can move your blog from Blogger to WordPress.
There’s two choices for purchasing a domain. You can buy it through your web hosting company when signing up for your web hosting account or you can buy it from a separate domain registrar. We recommend you buy your domain from a separate registrar for two reasons:
- They’re usually cheaper upfront and on renewals.
- If you decide to change WordPress hosting providers in the future, you won’t need to also transfer your domain. You only need to update your DNS servers.
If you decide to purchase your domain name separately, then we highly recommend NameCheap. They’re reasonably priced, have excellent customer support and a very easy to use interface.
If you decide to use NameCheap you can follow these instructions for purchasing your domain.
Signing up is pretty easy. Click the button below to get started:
Enter you preferred domain into the search bar and hit the search button and take a look to see if your preferred domain is available.
If it’s available, add it to the Cart and proceed to checkout. If your preferred domain is not available, try another search until you find one just right for your blog.
At checkout you can ignore most of the add-ons except for WhoisGuard (free with NameCheap), this protects your personal information from being publicly available. All the other options are NOT required.
Now complete the form with your personal details and payment information. That’s it! You’re ready for Step 2 below.
As far as choosing a host for WordPress, you are free to pick any host you want. We recommend using SiteGround for many reasons, one of them being that they are officially recommended by WordPress.
To read our full review on why we recommend them, please click here.
If you decide to use SiteGround you can follow the steps below for signing up for your self-hosted WordPress hosting account.
Signing up is easy, click the button below to get started:
SiteGround has 3 different plans available, and we recommend the GrowBig package so you won’t have to worry about upgrading any time soon, plus there’s some other premium features in this plan. You can always upgrade or downgrade to a different plan any time you want.
You will now be asked to register a domain name. If you already have a domain you wish to use, select the “I already have a domain” then type the domain in the box and click proceed.
If you don’t have a domain, you can purchase it with your WordPress hosting or regular web hosting plan if you want, or from a separate domain provider as we described in Step 1 above.
Next up, fill in your personal details. This should be pretty self-explanatory up until these points:
Hosting Services: The Data Center will automatically be selected based on your location, but if you want a different Data Center location you have the option to do so by clicking the small button next to it. (We recommend leaving it as is unless you know your target audience is going to be in a different location).
Period: The standard period is 12 months, you can also register for longer which can save you money on renewals.
Extra Services: You do not need any of these, so uncheck them all.
Now check-out and pay!
Now that you’ve got your WordPress hosting set-up, to get started the first thing you need to do before importing content from Blogger to WordPress is to install an instance of self-hosted WordPress. Click on “Launch Setup Wizard”.
Next, check off “Don’t need help now” and select “Confirm”.
Now check the box to confirm you agree with SiteGround’s Terms of Service, and click on “Complete Setup”.
You’ll now be at your “My Accounts” page and your page should look like the image below. Click on the red cPanel button.
When the cPanel dashboard loads, click on WordPress in the AutoInstallers section.
When the Softaculous WordPress installer screen loads, click on “Install” to install WordPress.
WordPress will now you need to fill in some details about your new WordPress blog. For now leave the protocol as “http://”, we’ll change it later to “https://” when we add the SSL certificate. Select the domain you want to install WordPress on. Leave the “In Directory” field blank. Now fill in the “Site Name” and “Site Description” for your blog. These should be exactly the same as your previous Blogger blog for SEO purposes.
Scroll down the page. You will be given an “Admin Username” and “Admin Password”. Change the username to the same name as your current Blogger blog. The reason you need to create this is, all of your imported blogger posts and new posts will be published by default by this user in WordPress (unless you create a new admin user before you import your blog from Blogger to WordPress) and will be shown publicly. Whatever you choose, please write down/record your username and password. If you forget it, you won’t be able to get into your self-hosted WordPress site admin screen easily.
Enter a working email address for the WordPress “Admin Email”. The default shown will not work unless you setup a mail service.
Now click on “Install” to install WordPress.
This will only take a minute or two, and DO NOT navigate away from the page.
When the WordPress installation is complete you’ll see a “Congratulations…” message telling you WordPress was successfully installed. Yay!
Now you can click on the “My Accounts” tab and go to the next step.
If your Blogger blog is using a free blogspot domain, like “example.blogspot.com” then you can skip this step in the Blogger to WordPress import. You still need to ensure your domain is pointing to your WordPress host’s DNS servers or you won’t be able to access your new site. If you purchased your domain with the web hosting company, then this should have been done automatically. If you purchased your domain separately, say through NameCheap, then you will need to point the domain to the web hosting company’s name servers. Until you do this, you won’t be able to access your new site (unless you really want to use a temporary domain for your WordPress site as described below, but there’s no need). You can jump to Step 8.1 to do this, and then continue on with Step 5.
If you are already using your own domain on your Blogger blog, for example “www.example.com”, following this step will allow you to access your new self-hosted WordPress blog during setup without losing traffic to your existing Blogger site. This change is temporary and a necessary part of the Blogger to WordPress site migration and you will reverse it in the WordPress settings when you’re ready to take your new WordPress blog live.
From your “My Accounts” page in SiteGround, click on the “Information & Settings” tab, then right-click on the “Access Site” by IP button, and select “Copy Link Address” from the context menu.
Open up a text editor or word document, and paste the link. It should have the form http://xx.xxx.xxx.xxx/~abcdefgh (this may differ by the web hosting company you choose, or if you have a dedicated IP)
Now click on the Go to “cPanel” button.
Click “Proceed” if you get this message:
Now you’re in your cPanel, scroll down to “Databases”, then click on “phpMyAdmin”.
In phpMyAdmin, expand out the WordPress database tree. It should look something like “myblog1_wp456”.
Find and click on “wpql_options”.
On the table on the right, the top two entries in the option_name column will be “siteurl” and “home”. You’re going to update these with the temporary domain you copied earlier. Click on the “Edit” link on the left of the table.
Now replace the domain in the box with the temporary domain you copied earlier, then click Go. Do the exact same for “home”.
Your table should be updated to look similar to this:
You can now access your new self-hosted WordPress site by using the same URL you used above. There won’t be much to see as there are no blog entries or pages, but the default WordPress theme will be loaded and shown.
Before we get started, log in to your WordPress dashboard and prepare your new blog for importing your current blog from Blogger to WordPress.
The proper way to access your new WordPress site admin area is to add “/wp-login.php” to the end of your domain. Note that in WordPress, “/wp-admin” should also work. If you’ve setup a temporary domain as in Step 4 above, then use the temporary domain. For example, you will enter either this “example.com/wp-login.php” OR this “xx.xxx.xxx.xxx/~abcdefgh/wp-login.php” into your web browser’s address bar. You should now see your new WordPress site login window.
Login with the Admin Username and Admin Password you created in Step 3. If you forgot these, or didn’t write them down, you can try following these official WordPress steps to recover, use the myPhpAdmin method. Once you’ve logged in successfully you’ll be in your new WordPress Dashboard.
Clean up any default WordPress content included by the AutoInstaller. Click on “Posts” (left column on the Dashboard), and then click on “Trash” under any entries in the list.
Scroll down and go to Settings > Permalinks.
Here you need to create and match your new WordPress site permalink structure with your Blogger blog permalink URL structure. Not doing this will be bad for SEO and confuse search engines, so it’s highly recommended to match them on WordPress. The Blogger permalink structure is always the same, so you can copy and paste this:
/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html – into the “Custom Structure” box and click “Save Changes”.
To import your content from Blogger to WordPress, you can use a WordPress plugin called Blogger Importer Extended. (UPDATE: Blogger Importer Extended used to be a free, but it was taken over by the folks at pipdig themes and now they limit it to importing only a handful of content from your site, making it virtually useless. This is still the easiest solution to import from Blogger to WordPress compared to using the xml file method especially since it maintains the blogger url structure on your site, but you’ll need to pay to use it if your blogspot or blogger blog has more than 20 posts. Shame on you pipdig!). The built-in Blogger Import tool that is in the WordPress dashboard works, kinda, but can be problematic for a larger site or blogger blog. WordPress uses the exported xml file from Blogger for the import. This method is explained a bit more in the Alternate Import Method at the end of Step 6 on this site below. If you prefer to go the alternate method and use the xml file instead, then skip these next few steps and jump straight to the alternate method. Go to Plugins > Add New.
In the search window type in blogger importer extended, and you should see the plugins appear, with BIE at the top of the list. Click Install.
The button will change to Activate, so go ahead and click it to activate the plugin.
You will likely end up on the Installed Plugins page on your site after activation (if not go to Tools > Import), and click Start! under the plugin name and you will be taken to the plugin page to start the import.
You should now be on the Importer plugin page on WordPress with a button that says Ok, let’s go! When you’re ready to start importing your blog from Blogger to WordPress, click it!
The next step will ask you to log in to your Blogger account and goes through google’s verification process. Once completed, you’ll be back at the WordPress plugin screen on your site and you’ll be asked to choose a site or blog to import. Some people have more than one site, so choose the correct one if you do.
On the next WordPress screen leave the boxes checked and click Start Import.
Depending on the size of your blog or site the import could take up to an hour or two. Because of the way the plugin works, you will likely get a notice on the WordPress screen saying the “The Importer has stopped unexpectedly!”, this is normal and your site hasn’t crashed. Don’t panic, it will restart itself. Do not to navigate away from the site / page while the import is happening.
At the end of the site import you may asked to assign the imported Blogger content to a WordPress user. You should only have one user up to now, so leave the default selection or choose the user who you want as the WordPress author of all the content on the site and click Assign authors.
Your Blogger content is now imported from Blogger to WordPress.
Now, in the Blogger to WordPress process you have a functional WordPress blog or site with your content imported from your Blogger blog to WordPress. Now you’ll want your site looking more appealing by adding a different WordPress theme, create a menu, and add widgets. I will only cover the basics here as every WordPress theme has different options, menu and widget areas. Want premium themes? Check out the list here on our WordPress Tools and Resources page on our site.
7.1 Add a Theme
Go to Appearance > Themes.
The active WordPress theme on your site is highlighted. The default WordPress theme that comes with WordPress will be the latest Twenty “something” (Twenty Twenty at the time of this update) and is active by default. Click on Add New.
Here you can search the free WordPress themes available in the WordPress repository or you can upload your own to your site. Which ever you choose, the steps are self-explanatory. Simply install, and activate it. If you purchased a premium WordPress theme, then upload the theme and activate it. The theme you purchased is in .zip format. Upload the zip file, WordPress will take care of the rest.
After you’ve installed your theme now you can start customizing your blog.
7.2 Customizing Your Blog
Every WordPress theme has different options. Go to Appearance > Customize and to see the theme’s customization options. This will include everything from adding logos to your site, to front page layouts, menus, widgets, footers, header styles, fonts, colors, etc.
The WordPress customize window will update as you make changes, so you can see the effect of any changes on the site. If you would like to keep the site change, click the Publish button at the top.
7.3 Create a Menu for Your WordPress Site
Menus are not imported in the Blogger to WordPress import, you’ll need to create one for your site. Some WordPress themes will create a default menu for showing your pages or post categories. You can control how your site menu looks and its contents. Go to “Appearance > Menus” on your site and click Create Menu. If your theme already created one you won’t see this option, just Save Menu.
Menu items are drag and drop and the order shown in the Menu Structure is the order menu items will appear on the site. You can create drop-down menus by indenting a menu item by dragging it slightly to the right. The menu item above it then becomes the parent.
WordPress lets you add pages, post categories, individual posts, tags, and external URL links to your menu for your site.
Do save your site menu before you navigate away from the page if you’ve made changes. You can also make as many menus as you want. However they won’t be visible until you assign them to a location. Depending on your WordPress theme you could have one or more menu locations. On the menu page click on the Manage Locations tab and select a menu you created or saved to a particular location as defined by your theme.
7.4 WordPress Widgets
Widgets are another blogger element that are not carried over in the Blogger to WordPress import. Every theme will have different widget locations built-in, go to Appearance > Widgets. The most common is the sidebar widget area, but premium themes generally have more available. This is a drag and drop operation, select an available widget on the left and drag it into a widget location on the right. You can put multiple widgets in a single widget area. The order of the widgets in the widget location will be how they display on your site. Most widgets are configurable and after dragging a widget over, it will expand so you can configure it.
You can also add/edit widgets from the Customizer (under Appearance > Customize).
Feel free to customize your blog until you’re happy enough to take it live. Remember, you can continue to make changes even after the entire Blogger to WordPress migration and you go live, so no need to wait until it’s perfect before going live.
The last step in importing is setting up the Blogger to WordPress redirection so visitors land on your WordPress blog and not your old Blogger blog. It’s also important to ensure Google knows where you went, you don’t want to lose your google ranking.
8.1 Update DNS Server
If you didn’t use the temporary domain in moving your blog from Blogger to WordPress (from Step 4), then you can skip this step.
Log into your domain registrar, I’m showing NameCheap’s dashboard, your registrar might be different, but the steps will be similar.
Go to your domains and click on Manage.
Look for the Name Servers section and open the option to change it.
Select Custom DNS.
Enter the DNS server information you got from your host. This would have been in an email or it will be in your cPanel. Here’s where to find it on SiteGround:
Enter the two addresses exactly as shown, no spaces or extra characters and save it.
Once you do this your old Blogger blog will no longer be live. But now no one can get to your new site because you initially changed it to a temporary domain. Let’s fix that.
8.2 Change WordPress Site URLs
If you didn’t use a temporary domain for the setup of Blogger to WordPress (Step 4) then you don’t need to do this step.
Head back to your WordPress dashboard and go to Settings > General and update the WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) to your actual domain. So, http://example.com, or whatever your domain is, and Save your settings.
You will be booted out of your WordPress site, so log back in. Since you’ve now changed your address in the WordPress dashboard, the new login URL will now be “example.com/wp-login.php”, not the temporary address from before.
8.3 Activate SSL Certificate
This step is highly recommended, and if you’ve purchased your WordPress hosting from SiteGround you’ll get a free SSL certificate. Google considers https as a ranking factor so you should definitely have it. Plus, many browsers warn users of non-secure sites which could turn off some users, reducing your site traffic.
Back in your SiteGround account, go into your cPanel again. Scroll down to the Security section and click on Let’s Encrypt.
If not already installed, install the SSL certificate and wait for it to complete. When complete, turn on HTTPS Enforce. If a warning screen pops up, click OK. That’s it.
8.4 Fix Broken Links
If you didn’t use a temporary domain for the setup from Blogger to WordPress (Step 4) then you don’t need to do this step.
When you changed your WordPress site URLs above, you unintentionally broke all internal links within your blog. Because you setup your blog on a temporary domain address, internal links to photos or other posts were using the temporary domain. Let’s fix these.
Install a plugin called Search & Replace. After activation go to Tools > Search & Replace to find it.
The first step is to back up content from your database just in case things go bad. There’s no “Back up content” button, but you back up content through the SQL file. So click on Create SQL File. Once the file is created a message will show it’s been created. Click the Download SQL File button.
Now go to the Search & Replace tab. Search for all temporary domain references and replace with your new domain. If you’ve activated SSL, remember to include the https in the domain. To be clear, you’re searching for http://xx.xxx.xxx.xxx/~abcdefgh and replacing with https://example.com, or what ever your temporary and actual domains are. Check Select all tables, and take a look to see that Dry Run is also checked. Now click Do Search & Replace.
That was only a test to take a look to see you’re searching for and replacing the correct terms. Once completed you will have a chance to view the results. If nothing was found, make sure you typed in the temporary domain EXACTLY how you created it. Once you’ve reviewed it, uncheck the Dry Run box, and then select Save changes to Database. Now click on Do Search & Replace.
Your links should now be fixed, so feel free to deactivate and delete the plugin.
8.5 Blogger to WordPress Redirection – Post URL’s
Note: this step is only required if your blog was on a blogspot.com domain (OR, you were already using a custom domain and are moving to a new custom domain). If you were already using a custom domain, you don’t need to do this step IF you setup permalinks as instructed in this article and used the Blogger Importer Extended plugin.
The next step is the Blogger to WordPress redirection so your Blogger blog posts on blogger.com get redirected to your WordPress blog posts. Before starting it might be good to back up content from your blog. You can do this from your Blogger dashboard under Settings, click on Other. There you will see the Back Up Content button. Click this to back up content, then save to your computer. You’ll use a WordPress redirection plugin called Blogger 301 Redirect, a tool to help maintain your page rank with google since you now have a custom domain name. It will redirect any traffic from old Blogger url links to existing Blogger posts to your WordPress posts by mapping all posts.
Go ahead and install the plugin and activate it.
Head over to your Blogger account at blogger.com and log in if you’re not already. In your Blogger dashboard click on Theme.
Make a backup of your theme and download it and save to your computer. Now click on Edit HTML.
Go to your WordPress dashboard and in the Blogger 301 Redirect plugin screen, select and copy all the text in the first window if you were using the new Blogger template on blogger.com. Select from the second window if you were using the Classic template on blogger.com.
Back in your Blogger dashboard, delete all the current text in the HTML window, and Paste the text you copied from the Blogger 301 Redirect plugin. Now Save Theme.
Back on the Theme settings page in the Blogger dashboard under mobile, Click on the gear icon.
Make sure No is selected and then Save, if required.
That’s it for the bulk Blogger to WordPress redirection, next is the manual redirect for non-post items, like pages.
8.6 Blogger to WordPress Redirection – Non-post URL’s
The permalink for pages in Blogger are structured differently from the permalinks in WordPress. So the Blogger to WordPress redirection in the previous step won’t work for pages. You’ll likely have to do manual redirects for any pages, as well as any search/label/keyword menu item links you had created. We’ll do this with another WordPress redirection plugin.
Note: Do this step even if you were using a blogspot domain name or a custom domain name.
Install and Activate the Redirection plugin.
Go to Tools > Redirection to get to the plugin page.
Now add the URL of the Blogger page under Source URL, and the URL of the new page under Target URL. For example, http://example.blogspot.com/p/aboutme OR http://example.com/p/aboutme as the Source URL, and https://example.com/about-me as the Target URL. The plugin will add it as a default 301 redirect which is what you want. Click on Add Redirect.
You will notice after you add the redirect the plugin will strip the first part of the URL, this is normal and the redirect will still work. If you were using a blogspot.com domain previously, the Blogger 301 Redirect plugin needs to be installed and setup properly for this work.
You need to repeat this step (add redirects) for all pages and search/label/ menu items you had in your Blogger blog to ensure the Blogger to WordPress redirection happens for all non-post urls.
8.7 Redirect Your Blogger Feed
The last step in the Blogger to WordPress redirection is the blog feed. You need to redirect your blog feed so current followers still get notifications of new posts you publish on your new WordPress site. On blogger.com in your Blogger dashboard click on Other.
Next to Post Feed Redirect URL, add your domain name followed by “/feed”. So it will look similar to this: https://example.com/feed and save.
After you’ve updated the Post Feed Redirect URL and checked that it saved correctly, your final step to complete your Blogger to WordPress redirection and migration is to tell search engines to stop indexing your old Blogger blog. This helps with SEO by avoiding a possible duplicate content issue.
In your Blogger account at blogger.com, go to Settings > Basic > Privacy.
Select No to the question Let search engines find your blog? Then Save changes.
You’ve successfully completed the Blogger to WordPress transition! You’re probably thinking; Can I delete my Blogger blog now? The answer is No. The code you entered from the Blogger 301 Redirect plugin needs to stay in place for the Blogger to WordPress redirection plugin to work. I would recommend keeping it live for up to 2 years if your had a few years worth of posts.
If you were using a custom domain for sometime then it’s not critical and you can delete it. However, I would suggest keeping it for some time to make sure everything is working.
You’ll want to look at setting up your Google Analytics, add a property to / or update your Google Search Console and submit a new sitemap. Install some helpful plugins such as Yoast (for SEO), a security plugin like Wordfence, and backup tool like UpdraftPlus. You can also try to create your own custom email address for your new blog.
Want to learn more about using your new WordPress site? An excellent resource is WP101.com. You will get access to some of the best WordPress tutorials and videos on the internet. They regularly release new content and update existing ones to keep up with changes.
Please share this post! Many tutorials on this topic are out-of-date or don’t cover the necessary details required for a proper import of Blogger to WordPress.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this page are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.