One of the most important things I did as a blogger was switching my blog from the Blogger platform to self-hosted WordPress. One thing that always surprises people is that I was able to do this on my own. In spite of what some people believe, it’s actually not that difficult to switch your blog from blogger to wordpress all on your own! I know almost nothing about coding or website set-up and I got through it just fine! I started this blog back in 2015 on Blogger and stayed there for almost 3 years. Last February I finally made the jump to self-hosted wordpress and I never looked back!
There were many factors that went into my decision to finally switching, but the big ones are…
- WordPress lets me do so many things that Blogger never did! I can optimize my posts with SEO, create better social sharing options and fully customize my site to my liking!
- WordPress is the main site choice of bloggers everywhere and switching lets me network and troubleshoot with others bloggers.
- I now own my entire site and all of my content. Even better, I have complete control over it and that freedom is amazing!
I have been using self-hosted WordPress for over a year now, and it has been amazing! Everything about WordPress is so much better than Blogger, so if you haven’t made the switch yet, here are all the steps you need to take!
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1. Set up your new hosting site
In order to be self-hosted, you have to have a host! The first step here is purchase a hosting plan and luckily, there are some great options that don’t break the bank!
I did a ton of research about what host to use before switching to WordPress. After everything, I chose Siteground as my host. I had heard amazingthings about Siteground in several blogging Facebook groups, including that they have the best customer service. They also have a bunch of packages available for your different traffic and storage needs. And, they’re offering their packages for 60% off regular price, so it’s the perfect time to sign up!
Start by following this link to Siteground, then scroll down just a little to see the options. If you’re a new/small blogger, the StartUp package will probably be perfect for you. It covers up to 10,000 hits per month, and offers 10GB of web space(which is a more than enough for your needs trust me). As you grow your blog, you can always upgrade later. I will mention that one perk of picking a bigger package now is you lock in that discounted price for up to 36 months. If you upgrade later, you would pay full price.
If you think you need a bit more storage or are migrating multiple websites, the GrowBig or GoGeek packages are probably a better fit. Both allow for more monthly visitors (GrowBig up to 25,000; GoGeek up to 100,000) and have double and triple the web storage of the StartUp plan. The upgraded plans also include some sweet perks – both come with Priority Support and a SG Optimiser solution that makes site load time much faster which helps with SEO and user experience.
Once you know which option who want its time to click the “Get Started” button. Then, you are taken to the next page. Make sure “Get a new hosting account” is selected at the top. If you had custom domain on Blogger, be sure to click “I already have a domain” and put in your domain. If you don’t already have a custom domain , select “Register a New Domain.”
Select your hosting package and choose the the amount of months you want to pay for now. You can select 1, 12, 24, or 36 months…I did 12 so I could lock in the 60% off for a full year, but I honestly wish I had picked the 36 month plan to lock in my low price for longer!
At the bottom are a couple of extras you can add on. In my experience, most are unnecessary, but you might want the domain privacy option. This add-on just makes sure your personal information as the owner of your domain isn’t listed in online search directories. It isn’t REALLY necessary (I didn’t get it) but, if you blog anonymously or are very private, you might want it for your own peace of mind.
Put in your payment information at the bottom of that order page, and you’re done! You now have a self-hosted website and its time for the trickier parts!
2. Install WordPress.
Now it’s time for us install WordPress on the site. Unlike blogger where the platform is your blog, wordpress is just the software that makes your site function as a blog. In this step, you’ll be enabling wordpress on your site to make it into a blog.
Start by clicking “My Accounts” at the top of your Siteground page, then click “cPanel” under your site’s address. After that select the WordPress icon (circled in the picture above) on your cPanel page. When you click that, you are taken to a page that gives you the ins and outs of wordpress and all you have to do is click “Install Now” on that page. Next, you input your blog info and login info, and that’s it! You have created yourWordPress blog!
But…your website’s url is still linked to your Blogger page. If you just registered got your domain through Siteground, skip the next step, but if you already had a domain on Blogger it’s time to tell that domain where your blog is moving..
3. Change your domain’s DNS to Siteground’s DNS settings.
Don’t freak out over the technical jargon. I’m not a big fan of dealing with things like DNS settings, but this is super easy I promise!
When you set up Siteground, you received an email that listed two different nameserver sites that are associated with your Siteground-hosted site. All you have to do is copy and paste those in the account where your domain is registered.
Now, every Blogger site is going to have a different domain registrar. My domain settings were available through google domains, but it’s different for everyone. If you bought and registered it yourself, you obviously know where it’s located. If you did it through Blogger, check through your emails from Blogger that came through when your domain was renewed each year. These emails tell you where your domain is registered, and you can contact your registration company to get your login info if you forgot it.
Once you know your login info, click into your DNS information(it may be called nameserver). Copy and paste the two siteground nameserver addresses into the top two spots and save. And you’re done! Your domain is now officially linked to your self-hosted WordPress blog!
Next problem to tackle: your content isn’t on your site(yet). Let’s fix that in the next step.
Note: it can take up to 72 hours for everything to update and go through. Be patient with the updating. I promise it will all go through in the end.
4. Time to Back up your Blogger content before the move
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP UNLESS YOU LIKE STARTING FROM SCRATCH. If, in the case of a doomsday scenario, the transfer doesn’t go through correctly, I don’t want to be responsible for your blog disappearing. TI consider this step a type of insurance against any problems.
Okay, so its time to head back to your Blogger account, click on “Settings,” then “Other.” There should be a button at the top that says “Back up Content”…click it. It will download a .xml file that contains all of your posts, comments, and other content that you will need to import to WordPress.
Your next step is to backup your site’s theme. You will actuallyelete this and add a different code later so save this on your computer until you are sure you aren’t going back to blogger. To do this, click “Theme,” “Edit HTML,” and then copy and paste the code you see into a simple text document.
5. A Few more steps in Blogger
If you have your own domain on Blogger, it’s time to remove it. Go to “Settings,” then “Basic,” and hit the X next to the domain name. Then click “OK” in the pop-up box. This removes any confusion about if your site will send you to Blogger or WordPress.
On that same page, go to “Privacy” and click no in both prompt boxes. Now, Google won’t be confused about where to go to find your blog.
Stay under Settings and head to the “Other” section to alter your feed. Blogger and WordPress links are formatted differently, so your Blogger feed, which sends your content to Feedly and Bloglovin’, has to change to import the WordPress feed each time you create a new post on your brand new WordPress site. Just change this box to “http://www.yoursite.com/feed” instead of what’s there.
Now, you can still access your blog on Blogger by typing in the old yourblog.blogspot.com web address. Now, try typing in www.yourblog.com/wp-admin to see if things are updated enough to sign in and move to the next steps. If you get a log-in screen you’re good to do! It took maybe 15 minutes for my site to be ready so if it’s not ready just yet, take a snack break and come back to it.
6. Prep WordPress for your Blog Posts
When you first log-in to WordPress, your dashboard is the first page to great you. Get acquainted with it because this is your new blog creation home!
To see your site in its current state, click on your blog name at the top page and then click “Visit Site”. If you registered through Siteground, tyour site will have some random default posts, don’t worry about those we are going to delete them.
To delete those posts click “Posts” on the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard, click the checkbox next to each of the posts, select“Bulk Actions,” then Delete.
Time for a little housekeeping in WordPress. Go to “Settings,” “General,” and put in “www” before your URL two address fields. We want to be sure your website address sends people to the right place.
7. Import all your Blogger posts
Now, the fun part…it’s time to bring all your amazing Blogger posts into WordPress! This part is super easy so don’t worry about it!
On left sidebar, click “Tools,” then “Import.” On the next page click the “Install Now”link under Blogger at the very top.
Now its time to upload that .xml file you downloaded back in Step 4. This file is how you bring all your great Blogger posts to your new WordPress site.
Click “Choose File” and find that .xml file, and then click “Upload File and Import.”
After this is done uploading, all your old posts should be on WordPress! Nice and easy, right? Now, its time to make the link structure compatible with your old posts.
8. Fix the link structure on your WordPress posts
WordPress is different from Blogger in many ways, one of which is how it formats its post links. Because of this, your posts are all across the Internet with the old structure. Because of that, we need to stick with the old structure. Luckily, it’s easy to change it back to the Blogger format!
In your WordPress dashboard, go to “Settings,” then click “Permalinks.” A screen like the one below will load. Click “Custom Structure” and copy and paste this:
Don’t forget to save!
You also need to change the length of your links. WordPress will let you have as many words as are in your post title to be in the url. In contrast, Blogger limits itso this is another case where we need to default to what Blogger does so the urls tfrom your existing posts still link to them correctly. To do this, I use a plugin–Time to install your first WordPress plugin!
Go to this link and scroll down to the part of the page like what you see above. Below number 2, right click the link and click “download linked file”. Don’t just click download because you will need a zipped file for the next few steps, and with many computers the file can automatically unzip.
Now, head back to your WordPress dashboard, select Plugins on the left side, and select“Add New.”
At the top of the next page, click “Upload Plugin” and select the zipped file you downloaded.
Once it uploads, just click “Activate Plugin.”
Now, go to Tools on the left-hand side of the dashboard, and you will now see a link that says “Maintain Blogger Permalinks.” Click it.
Then, click the button that pops up, and your links are good to go! This is WAY easier than inputting code back in Blogger!
9. Redirect your Blogger site to your new one
Now, its time for our second Plugin. This one will redirect your old Blogger site to your WordPress one. This is SUPER important if you purchased your own custom domain when you signed up for Siteground, but you still need to do this if you already owned your domain.
You’re going to find the plugin a different way this time. Still start by clicking “Plugins” and click “Add New.” This time, use the search bar to search for “Blogger 301 redirect” . Fine the one that looks like the top left above and click “Install Now” then click “Activate” once it has finished installing.
Next, go back to “Settings”, and “Blogger 301 Redirect” should be in the menu. Click it, and the screen below will pop up with two sets of code.
Once you select this, there are three things the plugin asks you to do. You already did steps 2 and 3, and you can just follow the instructions on your page to set the time zone and come back. Now, go down the page, don’t click any of the options, and copy the code from method 1.
Now, you have to go back to Blogger to paste this code into your Theme. Go to Theme on the left side of your Blogger account, click “edit html,” delete everything in the box(remember you already backed it up just in case) and paste the Method 1 html.
If you go to the yourblog.blogspot.com site, it should redirect you to your brandnew wordpress site!
10. Change your categories to tags
When you imported everything from Blogger, it made all the labels on your Blogger blog into categories. WordPress give you two ways to label your posts now: categories and tags. Think of Categories as those umbrella topics. You only need a few of them. Tags then let you create more specific subtopics in your categories. For example, if you are a lifestyle blogger, you might want categories on your blog for “fashion” and tags for “dresses,” “shoes,” “accessories,” etc.
If your blog is like mine, your posts had so many labels in Blogger. But unlike those labels, we dont want a bunch of categories in WordPress because it can slow site speed and make things look abit cluttered. Luckily, you don’t have to do this manually because there’s a plug in!
Go to “Plugins,” “Add New,” and search for “tag converter” find the plugin below and install/activate just like we did before. Youcan then find the plugin under tools >> import, select the “Categories to Tags Converter.”
Here you see all of your categories and just pick the ones that need to be switched to tags and then click them! If you decide later that you really need that tag to be a category instead, you can just do the reverse by going to “Tags to Categories” at the top of the page.
11. Set up a Theme on WordPress
This was my favorite part of the switch from Blogger to WordPress because it finally let me create the look I wanted from my site! There are an endless number of options for themes for your blog. I personally opted for a theme from MyThemeShop and I absolutely love it! I have the Feminine theme and think it is absolutely perfect.
To install a theme, go back to WordPress, click “Appearance” on the left side, and then “Themes.” Now, “Upload Theme,” upload the zipped file you downloaded…and Boom, you have theme!
Now, you have a beautful new wordpress blog! I told you it wouldn’t be too difficult! All said and done, I think my migration took me about 2 hours. It was a bit time consuming, but it was SOOOOO WORTH IT!!! If you haven’t made the switch from Blogger to WordPress this is the time!
From one Misguided Millennial to the world, enjoy your new self-hosted WordPress blog!