Migrating from Blogger to WordPress platform can be both fun and painful. You have blogged for months or even years under the Blogger platform and have come to love the whole thing. You may also been enjoying a fair traffic and gotten used to the audience there; but you just needed to move for reasons you feel you cannot avoid.
You would have to forfeit the fun and to some extent lose your readers there. In some cases there is even the fear of dropping in your page rank and having to fix broken links because of the change in permalinks. Sometimes too, there is anxiety over what you are going to see in WordPress. You are not a PHP expert; and you are also not an HTML geek. How are you sure you would do better in WordPress than you did in Blogger?
So there are a lot of issues to resolve and there are fears to take care of before migrating from Blogger to WordPress. You must be able to give yourself some kind of assurance before taking the bold step into the wordpress blogging future. Failure to resolve these fears and anxiety could give you more trouble in the future if eventually any of the afore-mentioned troubles crops up later after you have moved.
Why migrating from Blogger to WordPress?
There several reasons bloggers advance for migrating from Blogger to WordPress platform. While believe these excuses are genuine, others think a lot of people are over praising wordpress. However, here are a few reasons while bloggers migrate from Blogger to WordPress amongst others:
1.Ease of use:
It is believed that WordPress is easier to use because of the availability of plugins which can help do whatever you wish to do, without you having to do anyform of coding yourself. The work you should have done are already taken care of by the plugin developers.
There is also this belief that WordPress is better optimized than Blogger platform. So any who wants to get a better SEO experience and higher page rank would consider migrating from Blogger to WordPress.
It is also said that WordPress presents you with more visual appealing and better SEO templates to work with. Their arguments most times is that a lot of developers are constantly making research and coming up with better templates for WordPress; and that the existing ones are also upgraded to meet the modern trends in blogging.
Having seen some of the reasons they present for wanting to migrate, our concern now is the see what should be done before migrating from Blogger to WordPress. Remember we talked about some fears and anxiety earlier? If you still remember, it means you have been following me with a tuned attention. If you can’t remember, at this stage, it would be wise to back to the beginning of the post and understand what we are really talking about so you don’t get lost entirely.
What you need before migrating from Blogger to WordPress
Before ever you move your blog, make sure the following issues are taken care of, so as to make your move a less eventful and with less headache:
i. Domain name:
It would be a dead mistake on your part if after settling everything you suddenly realize there is no domain name for your blog. Or would you be contemplating moving from a free domain to another free domain? Instead of doing that, it would be better to remain where you are. We all know the importance attached to custom domains – their URLs look more professional. So you can get a new domain name for less than $12 from either Godaddy, namecheap, lovingdomain, whois, 007names, etc. It is the name your blog is going to bear; so get it ready.
ii. Hosting account:
now that you have bought a new domain name, you also need to get a hosting account because your blog is actually going to be hosted on an independent hosting company, though wordpress provides you the software to use. Without a good host, you are nowhere. So you must choose your host wisely. There are a lot of hosting companies out there such as Hostgator, UCVhost, Bluehost, Namecheap, Godaddy, etc. Go through their packages and choose whichever you think is good for you.
iii. Note your permalinks:
Take note of your permalinks structure. If possible, write down the URL of all your posts and save them in your computer hard drive because you might need them later on. You don’t want to make the same mistake I made when I migrated from Blogger to WordPress and had to manually fix my broken links because some of my URLs used Blooger permalinks while other used their custom permalinks. So after migrating, there was the problem of having to unify them. If I had written them down, it would have been easier to take care of.
iv. Choose your plugins:
Either you go to the WordPress to download those important plugins you would need immediately you migrate, or you have to write down their URLs so it would be easier to download them as soon as your blog is up I the WordPress platform. If things are not organized from the outset, you might find yourself becoming desperate to get a lot of things done at the same time, thereby making mistakes along the line.
You may need to get your Blogger importer plugin, Broken links checker, Permalinks, SEO and other important plugins ready. Once they are ready, things would be easier for you. Getting them ready also ensures it is the right once that you actually have. Most times, because you are new to WordPress, you could get wrong or similar plugins that actually don’t perform exactly the same functions as the ones you have in mind.
v. Inform your subscribers:
Don’t ever make the mistake of not carrying your blog subscribers along. It is not easy to start with an entirely new subscriber base. O, those your faithful subscribers must be told before hand that you would be migrating from Blogger to WordPress platform. This is important because they may have to re-subscribe the moment you create a new RSS feed for your blog. Your blog is likely to have a new look after you adopt one of the available templates there. So if your subscribers are aware of the expected changes, it would be easier to go along with you. If they wake up one day to see a new blog template under wordpress, with a new domain name and the RSS feed of the former no longer work, everyone would desert you.
vi. Change your TTL:
TTL simply stands for “Time To Live”. It is the capability of DNS servers to cache DNS records. When you are prepared to transfer your domain, you need to go to your host account and set the TTL time to several minutes instead of several hours so that your website would be down for long while the DNS record is being propagated. The moment you move your DNS record to face your new domain host, it means your old data at Blogger might not be visible until your WordPress new host is able to propagate the record. Within those periods of blackout, you may be losing traffic. To ensure you do not lose so much traffic therefore, you need to adjust your TTL.
Taking the pain to get the right things done before migrating from Blogger to WordPress would ensure a smooth migration. Make sure therefore that you have a domain name, hosting account, note your old permalinks, choose your plugins, inform your subscribers and change your TTL. When all has been done, then you are likely to enjoy a smooth sail without any form of hitches.
Are there things I forgot to mention? Please let us know of those other vital things I omitted. We want to learn from you as well. Your contributions are highly valuable. Please go to the comment box below and make your contributions.