Preparing to Move from Blogger to WordPress- Keep Search Engine Traffic

The decision to move from Blogger to WordPress is a bit like moving from an apartment to a house. You don’t just decide today and move in tomorrow. This article series looks at the short and long-term planning it takes for a successful move.

In this last article (part 4) we look at the final steps for a successful migration. The example continues with the migration of my BPWebNews  blog. There are two videos walking you through the plugins I used to keep subscribers and redirect traffic.

Parts in This Series:

Part 1, Get a Custom Domain Name. It's never too late to do this while still on blogspot.
Part 2,  Test Drive WP. Use free WP to experience your future blog neighborhood.
Part 3, Bring Your Readers. Have Blogger forward old url hits to WP blog.
Part 4, It's all about avoiding 'page not found' errors!

image-HotNewsWorld.com

Update to Part 4: Addendum - see newer post for the step that avoids the annoying message by Blogger asking if your readers want to be redirected to the new url.

Step One - Update and Redirect FeedBurner Account

Updated Feedburner details to point to new WP feed - Login your FB account. Go to "Edit Feed Details" tab. You'll see the " Original Feed ... (Feed published on your site)" contains the old blogger feed address ---  make a note of the url - you'll use it in step two. Then replace that feed with your new WP feed. In my case I replaced : http://bpwebnews.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default with  http://bpwebnews.com/feed . Then press and save details.

Added WP plugin to direct all feeds to my account including the wp/feed. Without the plugin anyone using the native  WP feed is not given a chance to go via Feedburner. The native feed look like the first image. The redirection is shown in second image.(clicks image to enlarge)

Before: After the plugin:

Step One Notes:


Step Two - Basic Redirection for Feeds and Posts

Video #1 - Using the Redirection Plugin for Blogger Migration

Video Notes:

  • Shows an old blogspot post redirected to correct WP post. The same technique can be used to redirect old default blogspot feed to the WP feed. Current subscribers who did a browser RSS would have the old feed. Also Feedburner was giving them the old feed, so we need to redirect those subscribers!
  • points out the difference in how WP and Blogger use the post title to create the url.
    old---  http://bpwebnews.blogspot.com/2010/08/moving-to-wordpress-loaded-question.html
    WP --- http://bpwebnews.com/2010/08/moving-to-wordpress-a-loaded-question.html
    Notice  WP has extra "a" in the name. So even if you got the new domain correctly from Blogger you'd still get a"404- page not found"  error. The plugin solves that problem.
  • Plugin used:  Redirection By John Godley. Monitors 404 errors and manages your 301 redirects.

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Video #2 - Using the Permalink Finder Plugin for Blogger Migration

Video Notes:

  • Plugin used: Permalink Finder By Keith P. Graham - video shows how it relates to redirection plugin.
  • Mentions a step 3 to permanently avoid Blogger on old search engine results, but unfortunately there's a new version of the plugin and it's not working. I'll followup with a post on this aspect. Update to Part 4: see Addendum - newer post for the step that eliminates Blogger asking readers if they want to be redirected on old search engine hits.

Step Three - Fix internal links that point to blogspot

If you used a custom domain name throughout most of your stay on Blogspot, then this step may not be necessary. I added the simple plugin to handle internal links but you have to be VERY careful that you key the correct domain names!  Backup your blog before you do this step... Here's a snapshot of the form: (click to enlarge)

Step Notes:


Summary

As I said in the previous segment this series is for the those who want to learn by doing. Or if you used an inexperienced friend or freelancer, these videos can help clean up the mess. Oh, also helps if you decided overnight in a huff an puff to chuck Blogger and import from new WP using that nifty tool.

If you need any help in planning your move or just want to outsource the techie part, then try our Migration services at Word Press Blog Experts. Naturally I'll answer any questions about this series. Do take a minute to leave your experience with migration planning. I look forward to and appreciate your comments! Even if you're a freelancer, I like to keep track of the competition...

Comments

  1. Really nice tips and this is nice because the process of migration has been described elaborately . Once I used Blogger but Now I use WordPress . WordPress is more search engine friendly and is generally optimised quickly than Blogger . Blogger is easy to operate and easy to learn to newbie. However , I appreciate you for the way you tried to make people aware about the process so easily.

    • Hello Som! I’m encouraged by your feedback! Thank your for joining the discussion and giving your insights.

  2. Regarding the Blogger vs WordPress discussion in the comments.

    I personally find that hosting a site on blogger.com gives far more flexibility than on wordpress.com, certainly in terms of the amount of access you get to update the page’s code. WordPress.com hosted sites are really limited in that respect.

    However, if you are self-hosting then WordPress has the benefit of far more support and plug-ins (and, obviously, completely open source code), which presumably is why it is now the standard one people use.

    I don’t see why Blogger is seen as bad software, though. You can do more or less the same with it as WordPress.

    • Welcome Richard.
      I agree with your points about the free WP.com — for anyone who wants to monetize their blog, it’s basically a good jumping ground for moving to self-hosted after you learn the basics. As for your last statement, ‘can do more or less the same as WP” — it takes a lot more technical knowledge to many of those things (like SEO) which can detract from your blogging focus. Even changing your template can be a chore, at least calling out those technical ‘mental blocks’.

  3. I have seen people cursing blogger up in the comments there!! I completely reject what Bryan said!! Traffic is common to all and blogger does not specifically target with other bloggers. It depends how well you had optimized your site for SEO. I do accept that WP blogs, especially those run thesis theme are perfectly optimized for SEO. I would say for a newbie to learn blogging, blogger would be the best choice because it’s free!!! Lol:) By the way, once the newbie becomes a pro, I suggest he/she shift to WP and I guarantee that this post would perfectly help bloggers to shift from blogger to WP. I have bookmarked this post so that it will be helpful when I make the shift later this year!!!

    • Hello Mukund! Thanks for chiming into the discussion. Always good to hear from you. We’ve had good results with the Scribe Seo tool for fine-tuning each blog post. Read Ishan’s <a href="http://bloggingwithsuccess.net/scribe-review"software review.

      Thanks for your guarantee on the series— that takes some pressure off.. Lol:) Be sure to follow my BPWebNews where I will chronicle post-migration housekeeping!

  4. Thanks I recently switched to WordPress and all this information is useful and applicable.

    • Edwin, I’m so glad you said that! I was hoping some WP readers might find it useful. I’ve noticed many WP blogs using the default permalink which does little for SEO. Thanks for taking the time and let us know how it works out for you…

  5. I’ve never used blogger – but I almost did when I started my site. After doing research I quickly found that WP is the way to go. The information seems to be great Ishan. It’s really not applicable to me – but the presentation was great – easy to follow and thorough.

    • Hello Jk Allen,
      Glad to hear your feedback on the presentation of this material! I appreciate your commenting even though you can’t use the info. But feel free to tweet and share with friends who might! Thanks
      (just remember as I told Bryan above, Ishan is the prettier one..)
      “Note to self:” I guess I need to publish more often on BWS as Ishan advised in Real Bloggers Publish lol)

  6. This is crazy useful. Ive bookmarked this for when I move my dog blog from Posterous to WordPress.

    • Hi Dino, and thank you for the enthusiastic comment! Remember this post addresses the move from Blogspot, however WP does have an import tool for Posterous email-posts/logs. Similar to blogspot you must NOT DELETE your current blog (just turn off search engines) since existing images and videos remain on Posterous.

  7. I do not blog on Blogger.com, However, among the articles i’ve read on blogger to WP migration, this one is much easier to follow.

    • Hello Eddie, didn’t recognize you without your avatar! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave such a nice compliment.

  8. Ishan, great post, but to be honest – my web traffic sucked when I was at Blogger. For one, I didn’t really know how to do it right. For another thing. I’ve noticed that Blogger really only tends to attract other bloggers who use Blogspot. I think it’s because they make their commenting system so complicated. When I began self-hosting WordPress, my traffic spiked. What do you think?

    • Hello Bryan, I’m Shirley (aka SBA)
      I don’t mind being mistakened for Ishan, after all, he is prettier!
      Blogger has some nice features for subscribing to other blogs on your dashboard and the Blogger navigation bar (which I always ‘removed’) allows you to ‘find’ other blogspot blogs. So yes if you didn’t promote and if your topic focused on Blogger then you’d naturally attract that audience. We also got more traffic after going to WP. Appreciate your comments.

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