Since I got the chance to be given a free web host and host my own WordPress blog, I was jumping up and down with joy. I would finally get to have my own self-hosted WordPress blog and have full control over the way that I want to with my own blog!
Requirements Needed Before Moving from Blogger to WordPress
If you want to really make that move from Blogger to WordPress, you need to prepare for the following first:
- At least one backup of your Blogger blog. You might want to have two or more copies of the backup, just in case. Backup in blogger is done using Export Tool, and here’s How to Export an Existing Blog.
- A web host. Chances are you need to pay one to host your blog. There are those free services that are almost unreliable: they put your blog offline after getting a good traffic. Paid services are almost always a better way to host your blog. I use 1and1 to host my own freelance blog — if you are interested, you can sign up for an account with them).
- (optional) Own domain. Although your web host can give you their own subdomain, it is always better to have your own domain. Many paid web host services also offer free domain registration on their packages. Would you like readers to access a site named s12345.samplehost.com or the one with the name www.theladyprogrammer.com?
- (optional) A WordPress theme. You can use those default Kubrick and Classic themes that come with each WordPress installation or you can dress it up with a theme to make your blog look interesting. There are various WordPress theme reviews on this blog and you might want to choose from one of these. Make the decision early because there are many plugins that require theme modifications.
- (optional) A recent post announcing your move. If you have a huge reader base, it is often wise to post this announcement.
Step by Step Instructions on Moving Blogger to WordPress
Once that you have everything above prepared, you can now proceed with the step-by-step instructions I had outlined below:
Preparing your WordPress Blog
1. Get into your webhost’s Cpanel and install WordPress. Most web hosting services provide autoinstaller scripts like Fantastico which show wizard-type interfaces that are very easy to follow. If for some reason you really need to do a manual installation, there’s more on this WordPress.org’s documentation on Installing WordPress.
2. Upgrade your blog to the most recent version of WordPress, if you see the message below. Click “Please update now” just beside “WordPress 2.7.1 is available!” to start the upgrade process. This helps avoid security issues associated with WordPress blogs.
3. Clean up all the sample data in your new WordPress installation. Those sample data are: a post, a page, an approved comment and some blogroll links. You cannot remove “Uncategorized” category, so leave it as is.
Sample data generated after installing WordPress
Sample blogroll links generated after installing WordPress
4. Set your WordPress blog’s Privacy Settings by going to Settings > Privacy, then select “I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors”. This setting is just temporary: it is to prevent duplicate content penalty in search engines, so your blog visitors from search engines can still easily visit your blog.
Importing the WordPress Blog
1. Go to Tools > Import then click Blogger to initiate the import from your Blogger blog. Click the Authorize and Grant Access when Google Access Request appears.
2. You will be asked to choose which blog to import posts and comments from. Click the Import button to start the process. This will take a while, depending on the length of your blog. If the import is done, the Import button changes to Set Author. Click Set Author.
3. The next screen asks you to map the Blogger author to the WordPress author. This step is essential especially if you have a multi-authored blog. Since I am the only author of my Blogger blog, I just have to simply click Save Changes.
4. If the import is successful, you should be able to view all your posts and comments.
That’s it for Part 1 of HowTo: Move From Blogger to WordPress. Next week, we’ll continue this tutorial and Part 2 will talk about setting up the permalinks, setting up the blog’s appearance, setting up the custom domain and the rest of this comprehensive guide so watch out for it. If you don’t want to miss part 2, make sure you subscribe to JaypeeOnline’s RSS feed.