Blogger is undoubtedly the most popular free blogging platform. Usage stats are scanty but there are hundreds of millions of Blogger blogs. Only Google knows the true number and they aren’t telling.
But, a quick examination of Blogger’s features and one comes to terms with why the service is so popular.
The fact that it’s free makes it a big deal for the large majority of bloggers just starting out.
It’s also quick to set up and has an easy learning curve. In a few minutes, you can be up and running without any need to take a crash course in coding.
If you don’t fancy using the blogspot.com domain, you can always configure Blogger to use your own custom domain…and Google doesn’t charge for that either. Google also provides a fairly good amount of hosting space at no charge. Images are stored in Google Photos where you have up to 15 gigs of storage space shared with Gmail and Google Drive. Photos under 16 megapixels don’t count towards this quota.
Blogger also allows quick integration with other Google products such as Adsense for monetization, Analytics and Webmaster Tools. You can also blog from your mobile phone via an Android or iPhone app.
So, with so many features, why would anyone want to migrate to self-hosted WordPress?
Well, despite all the free goodies, Blogger is restrictive for serious bloggers. And, by serious, I mean anyone who wants the freedom to change the entire look and feel of their blog.
For one, you can only modify the template so much. And, to do that requires you to look at code which isn’t most people’s kettle of fish.
The variety in templates is also limited. There aren’t as many developers designing Blogger templates as there are WordPress developers.
And, the biggest advantage WordPress has over Blogger is that there is literally a plugin to do just about anything. Simple things in WordPress, like adding a Whatsapp Share button, can be a nightmare in Blogger or long-winded instructions at best.
It is for these reasons and more that many bloggers running successful blogs eventually migrate to self-hosted WordPress.
A bit of Housekeeping
Despite the fact that WordPress comes with a one-click option that allows you to upload blog posts and comments, migrating from Blogger to WordPress is a more detailed process that isnג€™t simply about content transfer. The following are some sticky points you want to deal with carefully:
- Articles on your Blogspot blog could be enjoying high rankings. Transferring the posts to WordPress using the one-click option will change the URLs and lead to a loss of organic search traffic.
- Readers who have subscribed to your Blogger RSS Feed may be lost forever if they fail to manually update their feeds to your WordPress RSS Feed.
Importing Blogger Posts and Comments
The first thing you need to do is to import your entire Blogger blog into WordPress. Log into Blogger and download a backup of your Blog.
1. Navigate to Settings ->Other, click ‘Back up content’ and save the .XML file on your computer.
2. Next, in your WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to Tools -> Import. Select the Blogger option and within a few minutes all your posts and comments in Blogger will be viewable in WordPress.
Creating a Permanent 301 Redirect
The next thing you need to do is to create a permanent 301 redirect so that Blogger redirects all traffic to WordPress. This takes care of our two sticky points above.
There are two ways to do this. The more technical method involves editing the Funtions.php file. However, it is much easier and faster to use a purpose-built plugin.
1. In the Plugins section in the left-hand menu of your WordPress dashboard, click Add New and in the search bar, type ‘Blogger to WordPress Redirection’. You will get a number of options which all do the same thing. A few good plugins include Blogger to WordPress and Blogger 2 WordPress. For purposes of the instructions that follow, I am using the Blogger to WordPress plugin.
2. Install and activate the plugin.
3. In the Tools menu, you will notice a new sub-menu named Blogger To WordPress Redirection.
4. In the plugin page, click Start configuration. This will generate a code that you will insert into your Blogger template to complete the redirect.
5. Click Get Code against the name of the Blogger blog you are importing into WordPress and copy the code.
6. Next, log into Blogger and in the left-hand menu, click Template and then Edit HTML.
7. Paste the code at the top of the HTML code window frame.
8. Click Save in Blogger and go back to WordPress to test the redirection. Navigate back to the Blogger to WordPress plugin area and click Verify Configuration.