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I have spent the last day and a half helping my younger brother move his blog from Blogger to self hosted wordpress. I have decided to share my experience in case it can be of help to anyone else trying to do the same thing.
Why did we do this? Well when my brother started blogging years ago he went with Blogger because it was free and easy to use. Lately however, some of his posts have been picked up by some larger sites which have generated a lot of traffic. He has decided that he wants to make the transition from hobby blogging to professional blogging. The first step was getting a more professional site. (AKA a self hosted WordPress site)
Now I am not a programmer, and the only thing I know about coding is to leave it alone or face screwing up your site. So why was I in charge of transferring his site from blogger to wordpress? Well, My brother is across the country putting in crazy hours with a summer job (installing security systems) and doesn’t have time to make this much needed move.
Sure he could have hired someone to do it for him, but have you seen how much the professionals charge???
I am sure they are worth every penny (we just don’t have that kind of money available.) Which left me. I really had no idea how to do it when I started. I love to use technology, but sometimes I feel as if I am all thumbs. Programming and coding turn me green. However, I really wanted to help my brother.
Setting up a new wordpress website with hosting through Siteground was a cinch. (I had already done that for my site and my husband’s site in the past) I love working with Siteground (their customer and tech support is 24/7 and awesome as is there service.). So now I had a site set up, I just needed to learn ow to transfer his old site to this new one.
I first went to one of my favorite FB groups for bloggers called the Inspired Bloggers Network (which is an awesome resource! I highly recommend it.) and asked if what I was about to do was even possible. The answer I got was of course you just have to import the old blog to the new one and then do a 301 redirect.
Now I was armed with the knowledge of what to do. I just didn’t know how to do it.
So I went to google. I found out that wordpress has a built in plugin as it were (found in the tools section on the admin part of wordpress sites) that will import the content from pretty much any major blogging platform to the new wordpress site. I was sooo excited. Maybe this would be easier than I thought it would be!
Sadly when I went to use the tool it wasn’t working properly. I would choose the blogger importer. and then click to authorize blogger to import at which point I would get a this page cannot be found error. I spent way too much time with my hosts patient tech to no avail. I was soo frustrated I was about to cry. Arrrg! This was supposed to be the easy part.
What was worse, when I went back to google every post I read told me to just use that plugin. I tried to do a manual ftp transfer but my brain simply count figure out how (even with instructions sent by that nice tech support guy.)
Finally I went to wordpress.org and searched their support forum to see if anyone else had had the same problem. The answer was yes. It was on this forum that I learned that where the blogger importer plug in found in the wordpress admin tools works most of the time, occasionally it doesn’t. If you are one of the few it doesn’t work for, and you are getting that error that I was from the Blogger Importer plugin there is a new plugin available called Blogger Importer Extended which will work.
I downloaded the plugin and it worked perfect. In less than 10 minutes All the posts, comments, likes etc were now transferred to the new website I had set up for my brother!!! I felt like doing a happy dance.
With the website set up, the content transferred and the Domain DNS changed (so that it was now connected to the new site) it was now time to set up a 301 redirect from his old site to the new one. This is important because we wanted to make sure that all my brother’s old social media links would still work. We also didn’t want to loose any of his Google SEO or traffic (coming from those larger sites that had been featuring his posts).
I’m not going to lie, this is the part that really had me sweating. Doing a 301 redirect would require working with coding and if I messed up it wouldn’t be pretty.
I went back to google once more. Unfortunately I soon realized I was in way over my head. All the instructions I saw were way to complicated and different than the last. I decided to check Youtube to see if there was a video tutorial that would help.
BINGO!! I found this awesome video that walked me though step by step. It actually goes through all the steps beginning at setting up hosting, buying a domain, setting up a wp site, and transferring content (which I had already done) so the part I needed to walk through doing a 301 redirect wasn’t until the 42 minute mark in the video. However at that point the video was very helpful and I had no more hiccups.
I am feeling soo accomplished. It may have taken me hours to do what it would have taken a programmer 10 minutes, but I DID IT!!!
Have you accomplished something today that you want to share?!? I would love to hear about it!