Blogger How-To

Move from Blogger to WordPress – The Ultimate Guide

Move from Blogger to WordPress Ultimate Guide
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Introduction – Transfer Your Blog from Blogger to WordPress

If you’re reading this page chances are you already know why you should be using self-hosted WordPress, it’s differences and benefits, and you’re already thinking of moving over to WordPress. A transition from Blogger to WordPress is not difficult, but many other resources on the internet leave out many crucial steps, and honestly, most are simply outdated.

That’s why we created this detailed step by step tutorial for moving from Blogger to WordPress.

We’ve already done this for hundreds of clients and have decided to record and publish the exact detailed steps to this process. Don’t let the length of the post deter you, the process of exporting from Blogger to WordPress is not difficult. However, if you’re still not comfortable, we can do this for you with our guided transfer service, and will usually move your blog from Blogger to WordPress for free.

Feel free to also join and help build our new Facebook Group Blogger to WordPress, created with the intention of building a community of bloggers supporting bloggers in moving to self-hosted WordPress.

Table of Contents

  1. Get a Domain Name
  2. Get a Hosting Account for Your Self-hosted WordPress Blog
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Change to Temporary Domain Name
  5. Prepare for Your Blogger to WordPress Import
  6. Import Blogger to WordPress
  7. Fix Categories and Tags
  8. Themes, Menus, and Widgets
  9. Take Your Blog Live – Redirecting Visitors to Your New Blog
  10. What’s Next?

Before You Start

Before I start in on the details, there are some aspects about moving from Blogger to WordPress which are unavoidable and are just part of the deal. At some point you are going to transfer your blog to WordPress and you will have to deal with these, so there’s no point in putting it off any longer.
Here’s what you should be aware of (what we’ve learned after 400+ Blogger to WordPress transfers)

  • You cannot bring your theme/template over when you import content from Blogger to WordPress. You will have to get a new one and your new blog will look somewhat different depending on the theme you choose.
  • Blogger uses labels, WordPress uses Categories and Tags. This process of importing Blogger to WordPress will transfer all your labels as Tags and all blog posts will be categorized as “Uncategorized”. This is an issue if you’ve structured your Blogger menu based on labels. Not to worry though, we will show you a way to convert tags to categories so you can structure your menu the same way.
  • If you’re not using the default Blogger comment system, your comments may not all import. This is an issue especially if you’re using Google+ comments. Sorry, but there’s no fix for this. Thank google for that! IntenseDebate comments will convert about 90% to 95% of all your comments in most cases.
  • Some blog posts may lose some or all formatting. For the most part it usually works fine, but we have seen it happen.
  • Meta descriptions (search description) will not be exported/imported. If you’ve been using these on your posts or pages, you’ll have to manually cut and paste them after you finish this entire Move from Blogger to WordPress guide. You can add them in WordPress using a plugin like Yoast.
  • During the Blogger to WordPress setup your Blogger blog will stay live. When you are ready to take your new WordPress blog live, there may be a few minutes to a couple of hours of downtime where the site is not available. There’s a small chance some of your followers or viewers (and maybe even yourself) may be unable to see your site for up to 48 hours. (This is not a Blogger issue, it happens anytime you change DNS servers and depends on the site visitor’s ISP).
  • And lastly, all illustrations and steps we show for the Blogger to WordPress import are based on using SiteGround hosting and NameCheap domain registrar. Partly because we’re part of their affiliate program, but mostly because they are the best and easiest to use and both have incredible customer support. Here’s our review of SiteGround, if you’re interested.
  • Lastly, everything you do here you do at your own risk. We are not responsible if something goes wrong and you lose all your data during the import from Blogger to WordPress. We will show you along the way how to back everything up, but still, anything that happens is on you. Clear?
Blogger to WordPress Flow Chart
Blogger to WordPress Flow Chart

Ok, let’s get started…

1. Get a Domain Name

If you already have your own domain name for your blog you can skip down to Section 2 below.

If you don’t yet have your own domain name (this is a new blog or website, OR you’re still using a myblog.wordpress.com, myblog.blogspot.com, or myblog.wix.com, etc), then you’ll need to purchase your own unique domain name before you can start the Blogger to WordPress transfer.

Two Choices

You have two choices for purchasing your own domain name. You can buy it through your hosting company when you sign up for your hosting account or you can buy it from a separate domain name provider. We recommend you buy your domain name from a separate provider for two main reasons:

  1. They’re usually cheaper upfront (unless the hosting provider has a special deal going), and on renewals.
  2. If you decide to change hosting providers in the future, you won’t need to also transfer your domain name. You simply log into the domain name provider and point your domain to the new hosting company’s DNS servers.

If you decide to purchase your domain name separately, then we recommend NameCheap as our pick for best choice. They usually have the best prices, the lowest yearly renewals, excellent support, and a very easy to use interface.

If you decide to use NameCheap you can follow these instructions for purchasing your domain name:

1.1 Go to NameCheap

Signing up is pretty easy and you can use the button below to get there:

1.2 Choose a domain name

Enter you preferred domain name into the search bar and hit the search button to see if your preferred domain name is available.

NameCheap Signup Step 1

If it’s available, add it to the Cart then you can proceed to the checkout. If your preferred domain name is not available, try another search until you find one is right for your blog.

1.3 Adding Options

Before checkout you’ll be asked about adding a whole lot of extra add ons. You don’t need any of these to set up your domain, but we do recommend the WhoisGuard add-on (usually free for the first year with NameCheap) as this protects your personal information (name, address, phone number, etc) from being shown if someone does a whois lookup on your domain name. All the other options such as premium DNS, or SSL certificate (SSL certificate comes with hosting company) are NOT required.

NameCheap Signup Step 2

1.4 Fill in your details

This is all pretty self-explanatory, just complete the form with your personal details and your payment information. That’s it! You’re ready for step 2 below.

2. Get a Hosting Account for Your Self-hosted WordPress Blog

As far as choosing the host you want to use, you are free to pick any host you want. We highly recommend using SiteGround for many reasons, one of them being that they are officially recommended by WordPress themselves.

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.

2.1 Go to SiteGround

Signing up should be pretty easy, to start off with, you can use the button below and get a 60% discount:

2.2 Choose a hosting plan

SiteGround has 3 different plans available, we recommend the GrowBig package as you will not have to worry about outgrowing your blog as your visitors increase. Another feature is the high level of caching, which means much better loading speeds if you have many pictures on your blog. You can always upgrade or downgrade to a different plan any time you want!

siteground hosting plans

2.3 Enter your domain

You will now be asked to register a domain name. If you already have a domain name you wish to use, select the “I already have a domain”. Then put in your domain name in the box and click proceed.

If you don’t have a domain name, you can purchase it with your hosting plan if you want, or from a separate domain name provider as we described in Section 1 above.

siteground signup step 2

2.4 Fill in your details

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 you have the option to select a different one by clicking the small button next to. (We recommend leaving it as is).

Period: The standard period is 12 months, you can also register for longer but 12 months is perfectly fine if you are not sure WordPress is for you. With SiteGround you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee. We do not recommend selecting the 1-month trial, as it has a $12 setup-fee which is not returned should you want a refund.

Extra Services: You do not need any of the offered extra services. The essential features that are included in all plans are more than enough to keep your site fast and secure!

siteground signup step 3

Once you’re done, you can check-out and pay!

 

3. Install WordPress

Now that you’ve got your hosting set-up, the first thing you need to do before importing your Blogger content to WordPress is to install WordPress. It’s actually quite easy thanks to SiteGround.

Once you’ve signed up you can start the setup wizard, click on Launch Setup Wizard

SiteGround Launch setup wizard

 

Next, check off Don’t need help now and select Confirm.

siteground setup wizard settings

 

Now check the box to confirm you agree with SiteGround’s Terms of Service, and click on Complete Setup.

siteground setup wizard confirm

 

You’ll now be at your “My Accounts” page and your page should look like the image below. Go ahead and click cPanel.

siteground cpanel button

 

When the cPanel dashboard loads, click the WordPress AutoInstaller.

siteground cpanel autoinstaller wordpress

 

When the Softaculous WordPress installer screen loads, click on Install.

softaculous install wordpress

 

Now you need to fill in some details about your WordPress blog. For now leave the protocol as “http://”, we’ll change it later to “https://” when we add the SSL certificate, if you want. Your domain should be pre-selected if you only have one domain. If you have more than one, select the domain you want the WordPress installation on. Leave the In Directory blank. Now fill in the Site Name and Site Description for your blog. These should be exactly the same as your previous Blogger blog, if at all possible, for SEO purposes.

softaculous wordpress install settings

 

Now scroll down the page. You will be given an Admin Username and Admin Password. You can leave it as it is, but I would highly recommend you change the username to the same name as your current Blogger blog. The reason is, all your imported and new posts will be published by default by this user (unless you create a new admin user before you import your Blogger blog) and will be shown publicly. Whatever you choose, please make sure to write down or record your username and password. If you forget it, you won’t be able to get into your WordPress admin screen. How to recover it is not included in this article.

Now enter your normal email address for the Admin Email. The default shown will not work unless you setup a mail server, and not covered in this article.

Now click on Install.

softaculous wordpress install more settings

 

This will only take a minute or two, and DO NOT navigate away from the page.

softaculous wordpress installing

 

Once the 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.

softaculous wordpress install complete

 

4. Change to Temporary Domain Name

If your Blogger blog is using a free blogspot domain, for example “myawesomeblog.blogspot.com” then you can skip this step. You still need to make sure your domain name is pointing to your hosts DNS servers or you won’t be able to access your site. If you purchased your domain with the hosting company, then this will have been done automatically. If you purchased your domain separately, say through NameCheap, then you will need to point the domain to the hosting company’s name servers. Until you do this, you won’t be able to access your site (unless you really want to use a temporary domain as described below, but there’s no need). You can jump to Step 9.1 to do this, and then continue on with Step 5.

If you are already using your own domain, for example “www.myawesomeblog.com”, then you need to do this step to be able to access your new self-hosted WordPress blog. This change is temporary and a necessary part of the Blogger to WordPress import and you will reverse it when you’re ready to take your new WordPress blog live.

So, let’s go…

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.

siteground account settings page

siteground access site by IP

 

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 hosting company you choose, or if you have a dedicated IP)

Now click on the Go to cPanel button.

siteground my accounts page

 

Click Proceed if you get this message:

siteground access cpanel securely proceed

 

Now you’re in your cPanel, scroll down to Databases, then click on phpMyAdmin.

siteground select phpMyAdmin

 

In phpMyAdmin, expand out the database tree. It should look something like myblog1_wp456.

phpmyadmin page

 

Find and click on wpql_options.

myphpadmin 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.

phpmyadmin options siteurl and home

 

Now replace the domain in the box with the temporary domain you copied earlier, then click Go. Do the exact same for both siteurl and home.

phpmyadmin url update

 

Your table should be updated to look similar to this:

phpmyadmin confirm url settings

 

You can now access your new WordPress site by using the same URL you used above. There won’t be much to see as there are no posts or pages, but the default WordPress twenty-seventeen theme will be loaded and a nice picture with your blog title and tag line displayed.

wordpress twenty seventeen home page

 

5. Prepare for Your Blogger to WordPress Import

Now it’s time to log in to your WordPress dashboard and prepare your new blog for importing from your Blogger blog.
The proper way to access your WordPress admin area is to add /wp-login.php to the end of your domain. If you’ve setup a temporary domain as in Step 4 above, then use the temporary domain name. So for example, you will enter either this myawesomeblog.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 WordPress login window.

wordpress admin login page

 

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 steps to recover, use the myPhpAdmin method. Once you’ve logged in successfully you’ll be in your WordPress Dashboard.

wordpress admin dashboard

 

Now go in and clean up any default posts included by the autoinstaller. Click on Posts (left column on the Dashboard), and then click on Trash under any posts in the list.

wordpress delete default posts

 

Now scroll down to and click on Settings > Permalinks.

wordpress settings permalinks

 

Here you need to match your WordPress permalink URL’s with your Blogger permalink URL’s. Not doing this could be bad for SEO, so it’s highly recommended to match them up. The Blogger permalink URL format is always the same, so you can copy and paste this:
/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html  –  into the Custom Structure box and click Save Changes.

wordpress permalink structure to match blogger

 

To import your Blogger content into WordPress, you’ll need to use a free plugin called Blogger Importer Extended. There is a built-in Blogger Import plugin with WordPress, but for importing an entire blog it probably won’t work, plus it doesn’t carry over important slug structure which is bad for SEO. This is explained a bit more in the Alternate Import Method at the end of Step 6. Now install the plugin. Go to Plugins > Add New.

wordpress plugins add new

 

In the search window type in blogger importer extended, and you should see the plugin appear at the top of the list. Click Install.

wordpress blogger importer extended install now

 

The button will change to Activate, so go ahead and click it.

wordpress plugin blogger importer extended activate

 

You will likely end up on the Installed Plugins page after activation, so click Start! under the plugin name and you will be taken to the plugin page to start the import.

wordpress blogger importer extended start import

 

6. Import Blogger to WordPress

If Step 5 all went to plan, then you should be on the Importer plugin page with a button that says Ok, let’s go! When you’re ready to start importing from Blogger to WordPress, click it!

blogger importer extended start import

 

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 plugin screen and you’ll be asked to choose a blog to import. Some people have more than one, so choose the correct one if you do.

blogger importer extended select blog to import

 

On the next screen leave the boxes checked and click Start Import.

import blogger to wordpress

 

Depending on the size of your blog 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 screen saying the “The Importer has stopped unexpectedly!”, this is normal, especially when it gets to the images. Don’t panic, it will restart itself. Make sure not to navigate away from this page while the import is happening.

importing blogger to wordpress

 

At the end of the import you may asked to assign the imported posts to a user. You should only have one user up to now, so leave the default selection or choose the user who you want as the author of all the posts and click Assign authors.

blogger import assign author

All of your content has now been imported from Blogger to WordPress.

Note: At the time of writing this article, there is a known bug in the Blogger Importer Extended plugin (though it’s still your best option). For some reason, if your post slug ends in the letter h, t, m, or l, the letter will be stripped from the slug. This will affect redirection later on and could cost you some Google PageRank love. The issue is described a bit better in the WordPress support forum for the plugin, as well as a solution. Here’s the link: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/characters-stripped-from-slug/

Alternate Import Method
It is possible, because of how the plugin works, it may not work on the day you decide to do your import. If you can’t wait, there’s another way but you will likely need your host’s help to do it, plus an extra step to make sure you maintain your SEO.
I won’t go into detail so here’s a summary;
First, log into your Blogger account, go to Settings > Other and then export or backup your blog as an .xml file and save it to your computer.
If you have a very small blog with only a few pictures you can try the built-in WordPress Blogger Import tool. You can find it in Tools > Import. If it’s not installed go ahead and install it and follow the steps to upload your xml file and do the import.
If the importer appears to be stuck, or you don’t get some kind of success message, then it’s likely the server timed out. You’ll have to reload the page, upload the file again and start over (it actually continues from where it left off).
Eventually, all your content will be imported and you’ll get a success message. However, if your blog has a decent amount of images you may have to do this many, many, many, painful times!
So, save yourself the hassle and let your host do it for you. They will do it via SSH, which bypasses the php limits.
If you signed up with SiteGround, they will do this for you for free! Just log in, go to the support page, and request a site transfer. They’ll ask for your Blogger and WordPress login details, and the xml file. They will then email you when it’s done! Simple.
The issue with using this method is the importer will not match your new slug/permalink to the Blogger slug.
Blogger has a 39 character limit for slugs and also omits a, as, the, and so on. WordPress doesn’t. Not matching slugs will hurt your page rank. The good news is there’s a plugin to fix this and you can find the details at https://justinsomnia.org.

 

7. Fix Categories and Tags

You’ve now completed importing all your content from Blogger to WordPress. You should now have all your posts, pages, images, comments, and labels. You can check these in the Dashboard under Posts, Comments, and Media.

I mentioned in the disclaimer at the beginning of this post, when you import from Blogger to WordPress, your labels in Blogger will be imported and converted to tags. Many Blogger users use the /search/label/keyword method to create menu items to show a group of posts with that label. While it’s possible to do this in WordPress, it’s not the preferred method. This is best done using categories and is a smarter way to organize your posts.

These steps are optional, I’ve added them here to make you life easier and I hope it does.

7.1 Convert Tags to Categories

During the import from Blogger to WordPress, all your posts would have been put into the “Uncategorized” category and I’ll show you here how to fix this and turn your preferred labels (tags in WordPress) into categories. If you want, you can do this manually by opening each post and adding them to your selected category and removing them from “Uncategorized”. However, if you’ve just imported hundreds of posts this isn’t going to be practical.

Here’s the easy way…

By now you already know how to add plugins, so go to your Plugins > Add New and add a plugin called Categories to Tags Converter. Yes, it hasn’t been updated in a while, but it still works.

wordpress plugin categories to tags converter

 

After activation you’ll find the plugin in the Tools > Import. Go ahead and click Run Importer.

wordpress run plugin categories and tags converter

 

After the page loads click on the top button Tags to Categories.  Now select all the tags you want to convert to a category.

wordpress convert tags to categories

 

Scroll down to the bottom and click Convert Tags to Categories.

wordpress convert tags to categories start

 

7.2 Add Tags Back to Posts

What the plugin has done is taken the tags you’ve chosen, removed them from the posts that contain them, created a new category based on that tag, and moved that post into that category. If a post had more than one tag you chose for conversion, then that post would now be in multiple categories.

If you would like to add those tags back into the posts, you can easily do this by following these steps:
1 – Add them as new tags in Posts > Tags
2 – Go into Posts and click on All Categories and select one of your categories you recently converted, and click Filter.

Posts Category Filter

Posts Select Category and Filter

 

3 – Check the box next to Title to select all the posts. Click on Bulk Actions and choose Edit, then hit Apply.

Posts Bulk Edit

Posts Bulk Edit Apply

 

4 – Start typing the tag into the Tags box, then select the one you want to add. Then click Update to apply the change.

Posts Bulk Edit Add Tags

 

5 – Repeat this for the other categories you recently converted and want added back as tags.

Tip: The number of posts listed is usually defaulted to 20. If you have more than this in a category, you’ll have to perform the above steps on posts on page 2, page 3, and so on. You can change the number of posts shown on a page by clicking on Screen Options at the top, and changing the Number of items per page to something higher. You can use 100, 200, or more, as required to get all the posts in a category to display on one page. Just note however, the page will take longer to load, so you should change this back to something smaller when you finished.

Posts Change Number of Items per Page

 

7.3 Remove Posts from the “Uncategorized” Category

After you imported from Blogger to WordPress and ran the Categories to Tags Converter plugin, you will have posts still listed in the “Uncategorized” category. Follow these steps to remove them.

a. If all of your posts are in at least two categories…

In other words, they’re in “Uncategorized” AND some other category, do this:
1 – Go to Settings > Writing and change the Default Post Category to anything other than “Uncategorized”.
2 – Go to Posts > Categories and delete the “Uncategorized” category. This will remove that category from all your posts.
3 – If you want, you can now re-create the “Uncategorized” category and again make it the default in the settings.

 b. If all of your posts are not in at least two categories…

In other words, some of your posts are ONLY in one category, “Uncategorized”, and you want to keep them that way, then do the steps below. If you don’t want any “Uncategorized” posts you can do a bulk edit by manually selecting those posts in the list and add those posts to another category, then do the steps above when all posts are in at least two categories.
To be clear, these steps will remove “Uncategorized” from posts with more than one category (where one category is “Uncategorized”) and leave posts with only one category, “Uncategorized”, as is.
1 – Go to Posts > Categories and create a new, temporary category. Let’s call it “Temp”.
2 – Go to Settings > Writing and change the Default Post Category to “Temp”.
3 – Go to Posts and manually select (check box) all posts in only the “Uncategorized” category.
4 – Click on Bulk Actions and choose Edit, then hit Apply.
5 – In the Categories box check off your new category “Temp”, and then click Update.
6 – Go to Posts > Categories and delete the “Uncategorized” category.
7 – Now, create the “Uncategorized” category again.
8 – Go to Settings > Writing and change the Default Post Category back to “Uncategorized”.
9 – Go to Posts and click on All Categories and select “Temp”, and click Filter.
10 – Select ALL posts (only “Temp” posts should be showing), click on Bulk Actions and choose Edit, then hit Apply.
11 – In the Categories box check off “Uncategorized”, and then click Update.
12 – Finally! go to Posts > Categories and delete the “Temp” category.

UPDATE: You should be able to skip the steps above that have been crossed out. They’re no longer necessary as WordPress will automatically assign the default category to posts that only have one category at the time you delete the category.

8 – Themes, Menus, and Widgets

At this point in the Blogger to WordPress process you will have a fully functional WordPress blog with all your content imported from your Blogger blog. Now you need to make it look nice by adding a different theme (if you want), create a menu, and add some widgets. I will only go over the basics in this section as every theme has different options, and menu and widget areas. If you’re looking for some premium themes I highly recommend Elegant Themes as a top choice. Elegant’s themes are full of options that you don’t always find in other so-called premium themes making them highly customizable.

If you’re looking for more in-depth details on how to customize your blog, create and edit menus, and set-up widgets you can try Elegant Themes or WP Beginner. They can go into much more detail than I will here. But I will still give you the basics here to get you started.

8.1 Add a Theme

Go to Appearance > Themes.

wordpress appearance themes

 

Your active theme is highlighted. The default theme that comes with WordPress is Twenty Seventeen and this should be active by default. Click on Add New.

wordpress themes add new

 

Here you can search through the free themes available in the WordPress repository or you can upload your own. Which ever way you choose, the steps are pretty self-explanatory. Simply install, and then activate it. If you’ve purchased a premium theme, then upload the theme and activate it. The theme you purchased would be in .zip format. Keep it as a zip file for the upload, WordPress will take care of the rest.

wordpress add themes upload theme

 

After you’ve installed your theme now you can start customizing the look of your blog.

 

8.2 Customizing Your Blog’s Look

Again, every theme has different options, but go to Appearance > Customize and you will see all the theme’s customization options. This will include everything from adding logos, to front page layouts, menu’s widgets, footers, header styles, fonts, colours, etc.

In the customize screen as you make changes you will see a live preview, so you can see the effect of any change you make. If you would like to keep the change, click the Publish button at the top of the screen. Note though, if you’re making a change in the customize screen that is not visible on the current page, you won’t be able to see the change. Just navigate to the page you want to make changes to and you will then be able to see the live preview.

Customize Theme

 

8.3 Create a Menu for Your WordPress Blog

Some themes will create a default menu for you showing all your pages or post categories. You can control how your menu looks and what it contains. Head to Appearance > Menus and click Create Menu. If your theme already created one then you won’t see this option, just “Save Menu”.

All menus items are drag and drop and the order shown in the Menu Structure is the order the menu items will appear on the page. If your theme supports drop down menus, you can create this by indenting a menu item by dragging it slightly to the right. The menu item above it then becomes the parent.

You can add pages, post categories, individual posts, tags, or even external URL links to your menu.

WordPress Menu Instructions

 

Make sure to save your menu before you navigate away from the page if you’ve made any changes. You can also make as many menus as you want. However they won’t be visible until you actually assign them to a location. Depending on your 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.

 

8.4 WordPress Widgets

Every theme will have different widget locations built-in, go to Appearance > Widgets.  The most common is the sidebar widget location, but premium themes generally have several locations available. This is a drag and drop operation and all you need to do is select an available widget on the left and drag it into a widget location on the right. You can usually put multiple widgets in a single widget location, and the order of the widgets in the widget location will be how they display on your site. Most widgets are configurable, so once you drag a widget over, it will expand so you can configure it.

WordPress Widget Setup

 

You can also add/edit widgets from the live preview (under Appearance > Customize), however not all widget locations may be shown in this view.

Tip: Instead of deleting widgets you’ve already configured but no longer want to use, you can drag them to the Inactive Widgets area of the page. This way, if you change your mind and want to use the widget again, you don’t need to re-configure a new one, simply drag it back!

Feel free to customize your blog until you’re happy enough to take it live. Remember, you can continue to tweak areas and settings even after you go live, so you don’t have to wait until it’s perfect.

 

9 – Take Your Blog Live – Redirecting Visitors to Your New Blog

The last step in importing Blogger to WordPress is to set up redirects so visitors land on your new blog and not your old one. It’s also important to ensure Google knows where you went, you don’t want to lose your google ranking or any link juice you may have built up.
Let’s go…

9.1 Update Your 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.

namecheap manage domain

 

Look for the Name Servers section and open the option to change it.

namecheap name servers

 

Select Custom DNS.

namecheap name servers 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:

siteground name servers

 

Enter the two addresses exactly as shown, no spaces or extra characters and save it.

namecheap name servers enter new and confirm

 

Once you do this your old site will no longer be visible. But now no one can get to your new site because you initially changed it to a temporary domain. So let’s fix that.

9.2 Change Your 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 name. So, http://myawesomeblog.com, or whatever your domain name is, and Save your settings.

wordpress update settings url

 

You will now get booted out of WordPress, so log back in. Since you’ve now changed your address in WordPress, the new login URL will now be myawesomeblog.com/wp-login.php, not the temporary address you were using before.

Note:
Once you change a DNS server to point to a different host, it takes some time for the changes to propagate through the internet. In some cases, up to 72 hours. In many cases, it’s just a few minutes and up to 4 hours. This depends a lot on your ISP, and in some cases your own browser. If after making the change you cannot get to your site or the login page, trying clearing your browser cache and restarting your internet router. If it still doesn’t work then it’s likely your ISP has a slow refresh rate on their DNS cache and you’ll have to wait. If you don’t want to wait, you can bypass your ISP’s DNS and just use a public one. Here’s a good article that explains how to change to using a public DNS server. And google’s version here.

 

9.3 Activate Your SSL Certificate

This step is optional but recommended, and if you’ve purchased your hosting plan from SiteGround you’ll get a free SSL certificate. Google does consider https as a ranking factor and you should definitely consider activating it. Plus, many browsers warn users of non-secure sites which could turn off some users, reducing your site traffic.

Head back to your SiteGround account and go into your cPanel again. Scroll down the page to the Security section and click on Let’s Encrypt.

siteground cpanel security lets encrypt

 

If not already installed, install the SSL certificate and wait for it to complete. Once it’s complete, turn on HTTPS Enforce. If a warning screen pops up, click OK. That’s it.

siteground cpanel ssl https enforce

 

9.4 Fix Broken Internal 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 URLs above, you also unintentionally broke all internal links within your blog. This is because you setup your blog on a temporary domain address, so internal links to photos or other posts, would still be using the temporary domain. So let’s go ahead and fix these.

Install a plugin called Search & Replace. After activation it will be in Tools > Search & Replace.

Search and Replace Plugin

 

The first step is to create a back-up of your Database just in case things go bad. 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.

Search and Replace Backup

 

Now go to the Search & Replace tab. You’re going to 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://myawesomeblog.com, or what ever your temporary and actual domains are. Check Select all tables, and make sure Dry Run is also checked. Now click Do Search & Replace.

Search and Replace Dry Run

 

That was only a test to make sure you’re searching for and replacing the correct terms. Once completed you will have a chance to view the results which is basically a listing of all the links found. 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.

Search and Replace Save Changes

All your links should now be fixed, so feel free to deactivate and delete the plugin.

9.5 Redirect Blogger to WordPress

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 in importing Blogger to WordPress is to redirect your old Blogger blog posts to your new WordPress blog posts. You’ll use a plugin called Blogger 301 Redirect. This is a brilliant tool that helps maintain your page rank with google since you’ve now changed to a custom domain name. It will redirect any traffic from old url links to your posts by doing a one to one mapping of all posts.

Go ahead and install the plugin and activate it.

wordpress blogger 301 redirect plugin install

 

Now head over to your Blogger account and log in if you’re not already. When in, click on Theme.

blogger dashboard theme setting

 

First make a backup of your theme and download it just in case. Now click on Edit HTML.

blogger theme 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. Select from the second window if you were using the Classic template.

blogger 301 redirect copy code

 

Now delete all the current text in the HTML window, and Paste the text you just copied from the Blogger 301 Redirect plugin. Now Save Theme.

blogger theme edit html paste code and save

 

Back on the Theme settings page under mobile, Click on the gear icon.

blogger mobile theme setting

 

Make sure No. is selected and then Save, if required.

blogger theme mobile confirm no show

9.6 Manual Redirects After Importing Blogger to WordPress

The permalink for pages in Blogger are structured differently from the permalinks in WordPress, so these need to be manually redirected as the Blogger to WordPress import does not handle this. You’ll likely have to do the manual redirects for your “About Me” or “Contact Me” pages, as well as any search/label/keyword menu item links you had created.

Note: You’ll have to do this step regardless of whether you were using a blogspot domain or a custom domain.

Install and Activate the Redirection plugin.

Redirection Plugin

Navigate to Tools > Redirection to get to the plugin page.

Manual Redirection Home

 

Now add the URL of the old page under Source URL, and the URL of the new page under Target URL. For example, http://myawesomeblog.blogspot.com/p/aboutme  OR  http://myawesomeblog.com/p/aboutme as the Source URL, and https://myawesomeblog.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.

Manual Redirection URLs

 

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, you need to have the Blogger 301 Redirect plugin installed and setup properly for this work.

Manual Redirection URLs done

 

You need to repeat this step (add redirects) for all pages and search/label/ menu items you had in your Blogger blog.

 

9.7 Redirect Your Blogger Feed

You now want to redirect your blog feed so your current followers will still get notifications of new posts. In your Blogger home page click on Other.

 

blogger settings other

 

Under Post Feed Redirect URL, add your domain name followed by /feed. So it will look similar to this: https://myawesomeblog.com/feed and Save.

blogger settings other post feed redirect

 

Your last and final step to complete your Blogger to WordPress transfer is to tell search engines to stop indexing your old blog. This helps to prevent what google refers to as duplicate content. Contrary to popular belief, Google does not penalize duplicate content, they just attribute the content to the original source, so search traffic will always be pointed to original site.

In your Blogger account, go to Settings > Basic > Privacy.

Blogger edit search engine visibility

 

Select No to the question Let search engines find your blog? Then click Save changes.

Blogger turn off search engine visibility

 

Congratulations! 

You’ve successfully completed the Blogger to WordPress transition! I know 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 some time until the search engines have had some time to properly crawl your new site. 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 as critical and you could probably delete it. However, I would suggest you keep it live for a time to make sure everything is working fine. Six months should be OK.

 

10 – What’s Next?

We’ll soon be publishing a series of articles to cover this, for now you’ll have to use google! But in summary you’ll want to set 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 and sitemap), some security plugin such as Wordfence, and backup tool such as UpdraftPlus. You can also try create your own custom email address for your new blog, very professional!

If you want to learn more about using WordPress an excellent resource is WP101.com. For a small yearly subscription you will get access to some of the best WordPress tutorials and videos on the internet. They are regularly releasing new content and constantly updating the existing ones to keep up with changes.

Please share this post! I’ve seen many tutorials on this topic recently and so many are out-of-date or simply don’t cover the necessary details required for a proper import of Blogger to WordPress.

 

Please feel free to comment or ask questions below. Also join our Blogger to WordPress Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/bloggertowordpress and learn from or support the blogging community.

Thank you!

 

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.

9 Comments

  1. Wonderful website you have here but I was wanting to know if
    you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the
    same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part of community where
    I can get opinions from other experienced
    individuals that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks!

  2. Super informative post, lots of thanks!
    What is your opinion on the automated website migration, I mean using special migration services (e.g. cms2cms)? I’m going to move my Blogger over to WordPress, but do not want to face all that technical issues. Thanks for your ideas in advance!

    1. We haven’t used the cms2cms service before, but I do know they don’t preserve blogger style permalinks so you can expect a massive traffic/pagerank decrease if you don’t fix this issue after you use their service. Plus the reviews on the plugin aren’t very reassuring! If you don’t want to face all the technical issues we will do blogger to wordpress migration for for a small fee. Visit our contact us page and send us your contact details and we’ll be in touch.

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