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Thursday, 1 September 2016

Blogspot to wordpress: How to migrate your blog from blogspot to wordpress

When I started my Blogging career, I started with BlogSpot, and it’s always a wise idea to start with 0 investment when you are a complete newbie. After, getting used to the basics of Blogging, my next destination was to migrate to WordPress and after migration, I thought of sharing this migrate from BlogSpot to WordPress guide.

BlogSpot to WordPress Migration

We have already covered following topics in the series migrating from BlogSpot to WordPress

    8 reasons why self-hosted blog is better than   free BlogSpot blogs
    How to import your blogger blog posts, comments, and user to WordPress
    Step by step guide to Install self-hosted WordPress blog on Bluehost hosting

Before you migrate from BlogSpot to WordPress, you need two things: Domain name and hosting.

I suggest Bluehost hosting as it offers unlimited hosting with one free domain name. Moreover, it’s officially recommended by WordPress team.

Hosting

    Bluehost (1 free domain name)

Domain name

Domain name can be .com, .info, .org, .net but I will suggest go for .com or .org domain address. Do read

    Tips to select great domain names

There are few things needed to be taken care of while moving from BlogSpot to WordPress

    Traffic: You don’t want to give lots of 404 error pages to your visitors.
    301 perma-redirection : The migration should be 301 perma-redirection or have canonical tag, else you will lose your existing search engine ranking.
    Permalinks: BlogSpot permalink and WordPress permalinks are not the same, and it’s important that you fix permalink after importing everything to WordPress.

Some important things to keep in mind while migrating:

    After migration, don’t delete your BlogSpot blog.
    301 permanent redirection means telling the search engine that your blog is moved to a new website, and all your traffic will automatically redirect to new domain address.

Our goal for BlogSpot to WordPress migration:

    Migrating visitors from BlogSpot to WordPress
    Migrating BlogSpot posts to WordPress
    Migrating BlogSpot Comments to WordPress
    Redirecting users to the post, rather than just homepage of new domain
    Migrate Feedburner feeds
    Migrate BlogSpot Images to WordPress

Step by step process of migrating from Blogspot to WordPress

Step1: Export your BlogSpot blog (Just for precaution)

The method that we are using is straightforward with little manual works. But it works great. The very first step you need to do is exporting your BlogSpot blog. To do this, log into your BlogSpot dashboard, Click on Settings > Other & click on backup content.

Export BlogSpot blog

Click on download blog & it would save your blog in the .xml format. With this, you have taken a complete backup of your BlogSpot blog & now you need to move your blog to WordPress.

Let the game start: Migrating BlogSpot blog to WordPress

If you haven’t installed WordPress, follow this guide & install WordPress on your Bluehost account. Do remember, your domain is not yet pointing to Bluehost, but we can still do everything without changing the nameserver.

This is little technical but very easy with this guide. All you need to do is edit your hosts file to point the domain to your Bluehost hosting I.P. If you are on Mac, you can use free Gas mask app to quickly edit hosts file. If you are on Windows, you can search for guide on editing hosts file in Windows.

Once you have edited the hosts file, you would be able to access your WordPress blog on Bluehost. Do remember, this is only you who can see WordPress blog, for now, for everybody else, they will be accessing BlogSpot blog only. (We will do the switch once we done the migration). This way, your blog will not be down even for a minute.

Few things to do inside your WordPress dashboard:

    Go to plugins & disable all plugins
    Go to posts> You will see Hello World post> Delete that
    Go to Pages> You will see sample Page> Delete that

Once this is done, let’s start migrating all content from BlogSpot to WordPress. Do remember, in this scenario our target is not to lose existing ranking & traffic. So, grab the cup of coffee & follow the steps & within no time, everything will be done.
Using Blogger importer Extended Plugin:

This is a great plugin that migrated all your posts, pages, images, comments & also maintain the formatting of your blog. There are few bugs that I will tell you later, but those are fixable in most of the scenarios. You can search Blogger importer Extended from the dashboard, or you can download directly from here. Once installed & activated the domain, go it’s settings that will bring a screen like this:

Blogger Importer Extended

Click on Ok, let’s go & this will ask for access to your BlogSpot account. Click on Allow & on the next page it will list all the BlogSpot blogs you have in your account.

Save
Select BlogSpot blog to import

This will bring up screen like this, and you need to click on Start Import

Import BlogSpot blog to WordPress

Do notice the checkbox in the above screenshot. Keep it checked as it will preserve the formatting & slugs.

Blog Imported to WordPress

The easy part is done as your content is moved from BlogSpot to WordPress. Now the first thing you would be doing is to link the content to the users. If it’s single authored WordPress blog, you don’t need to do much. But if you have multiple writers, you need to create an id for them which is pretty easy. Refer to the below image:

Associate BlogSpot user to WordPress

Change WordPress permalink to match BlogSpot permalink

BlogSpot WordPress Permalink

On your WordPress dashboard settings> permalinks, change your permalinks to match with BlogSpot permalinks

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html

If you have followed each step carefully, you have successfully migrated from Blogspot to WordPress with 301 permanent redirections. There are few more steps that are required to complete the BlogSpot to WordPress migration.

    Install & activate Smart 404 plugin
    Remove the Cname record & A record from your domain DNS
    Change the Nameserver of domain to point to your hosting
    Disable mobile template from your BlogSpot dashboard

Disable mobile template

Fixing BlogSpot mobile redirect in WordPress:

This is one important thing that will cause an issue on many browsers & popular browser like Opera, UCWeb will show redirect loop error. This is happening due to BlogSpot mobile redirect. To fix this, you need to edit your WordPress .htaccess file & replace default code with the one given below:
# BEGIN WordPress
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^m=1$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /$1? [R=301,L] RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L] RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L] # END WordPress

# Begin Redirection
#Redirect archives
RewriteRule ^([0-9]{4})_([0-9]{1,2})_([0-9]{1,2})_archive.html$ $1/$2/ [L,R=301] #Redirect labels/categories
RewriteRule ^search/label/(.*)$ category/$1/ [L,R=301] RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^m=1$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /$1? [R=301,L] #ATOM Feeds
RewriteRule atom.xml feed/atom/ [L,R=301] RewriteRule feeds/posts/default feed/atom/ [L,R=301] #RSS FEEDS
RewriteRule feeds/posts/default?alt=rss feed/ [L,R=301] RewriteRule rss.xml feed/ [L,R=301] #Comments Feed
RewriteRule /feeds/comments/default comments/feed/ [L,R=301] RewriteRule /feeds/comments/default?alt=rss comments/feed/ [L,R=301] # End Redirection

Once this is done, your blog is successfully migrated to WordPress. After this, ensure that you do the SEO optimization of WordPress else you might lose out the traffic. Submit your sitemap, configure your robots.txt file & so on.

If you have any problem migrating from BlogSpot to WP, or other question feel free to ask questions.

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