How To Move Your Blog From Blogger To WordPress

– Step by Step Guide 2018


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by and FirstSiteGuide team (Last updated: June 07, 2018)

Blogger is a well-known and straightforward content management system. When a person decides to start a blog, the chances are that Blogger will be among the first choices to go with. There is nothing wrong or strange with that decision. The platform is owned & run by Google, it takes you just a few clicks to set up the basics, and don’t forget the fact that it is completely free. Although this guide will teach you how to transfer the entire thing to the self-hosted WordPress which we prefer, don’t feel bad about choosing Blogger for your early beginnings.

But if you have already open this guide, the chances are that you want to move away from Blogger. Maybe you want to get more serious about blogging, and the free platform simply is not good enough. Maybe you want more customization options or you simply found out that it’s hard to make money by running a blog on Blogger. Whatever reason you have, we welcome it. Yes, Blogger is a cute platform that’s perfect for complete beginners, but now that you have outgrown it, you should consider switching to WordPress. Why?

  • Having a self-hosted WordPress site gets you in charge. You will own the site, domain, and the entire content. There are practically no limits, and you can get what you want from your blog
  • WordPress counts tens of thousands free & premium themes and plugins you can use
  • Self-hosted WordPress site is completely customizable (when you release the curtains, you will get access to the entirely new world of backend)
  • When you self-host with a renowned hosting company, you will have unlimited storage, bandwidth, and support

Since we dedicated an entire article to the comparison of Blogger and WordPress, we won’t go into much more details on the two content management systems. Let’s get on point and start with how to move your blog from Blogger to WordPress.

How To Move Your Blog From Blogger To WordPress

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So, have you made your final decision to move the blog? No, don’t overthink that now! We welcome your decision – starting a self-hosted WordPress site was a smart choice and you will end up having more perks than you might have thought.

Since you have invested so much time into Blogger, it would be a shame to just forget about it. While there’s no point in transferring a couple of posts and images, the chances are that you have devoted months if not even years before realizing the benefits of WordPress. Don’t worry; if you stick with us, we will show you how to transfer your blog from Blogger to WordPress in no time.

What should & will be transferred?

Before we start, it would be nice to know a few details.

In a perfect world, you would go to one blog, click a button to export it, and it would magically appear on your self-hosted website. While it is still not possible, we at First Site Guide offer a substitution for the magic. Let us move your Blogger site to a self-hosted WordPress.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to transfer the entire site as it looks on Blogger. The style of your blog (theme, extensions, fonts, colors, widgets, etc.) will have to be added separately. You can only transfer the data:

  • Posts & Pages
  • Comments
  • Categories
  • Media
  • Permalinks
  • Feed
  • Authors
  • Traffic

Let’s start the transfer

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Alright, we are all set to go. While it definitely takes some time to perform each step correctly, moving your blog from Blogger to WordPress is not that hard even if you’re a complete beginner. Do not rush and do not skip steps.

1. Choose the best WordPress hosting

Since you are moving to a self-hosted WordPress, the first step would be finding a WordPress hosting company that will take care of your files. You will need to install WordPress on that host, and you will have to trust the company. You are starting a serious blog now, so you should not take this for granted.

There are dozens of hosting companies that are providing WordPress hosting services. Also, there are hundreds (if not more) websites that compare them. But before you hit the search button on Google or other search engines of your choice to start reading all the reviews, we should warn you that many sites & reviews are paid for. So, you will end up reading fake reviews and bogus opinions on a hosting company that paid to get listed as the best one.

To help you with that, we have thoroughly tested hosting companies and found the best one. If you want to start your self-hosted WordPress journey the right way, host your site with Bluehost – the perfect solution for your new blog.

If this is your first time registering for a hosting account, we strongly suggest going through our detailed tutorial on how to start a blog which will show you how to open a Bluehost account step by step.

2. Install WordPress

Congratulations! You have joined a family of millions of happy bloggers who trust their sites to Bluehost. You will soon realize it was a clever choice. Now that your account is ready, you can move on and install WordPress.

Did we mention that Bluehost loves WordPress users? Because of that, you get to install WordPress in just a few clicks of the mouse button:

  1. Log in to your Bluehost cPanel account
  2. Please go to the Website section
  3. Select Install WordPress
  4. Click the Install button
  5. Choose the domain name to install it to (in the field next to it, you can enter a subfolder such as ‘blog’ or leave it blank if you want the site’s main page to be the blog)
  6. Now click “advanced options” if you want to change the email address, username, and password for the new WordPress installation
  7. Read through the license and service agreements and check the boxes if you agree with everything (you have to agree in order to continue)
  8. Click the Install Now button

This is definitely the easiest way of installing WordPress. If you’re just trying to move the blog as soon as possible, we recommend that option. But if you would like to learn more and install the WordPress manually, don’t forget to check our guide on how to install WordPress. It will take more time, but it will teach you how to install the most popular content management system in any occasion.

3. Export your blog from Blogger

This is it. It is finally time to export the data from your (let’s call it old) blog that you have started on Blogger. You will need to take all the data from it and store into a file. Don’t worry; you won’t have to create files manually or copy the data. There is actually a button you will need to click and everything will be done in a jiffy:

Overview Stats

  1. Log in to your Blogger account
  2. Go to Settings -> Other which will open the settings page
  3. On top of the page, find “Import & back up” section
  4. Find and click the “Back up Content” button
  5. A pop-up window will appear. Click “Save on your computer” button.

After clicking the button, Blogger will start downloading the XML file that contains all the important data from your blog. Depending on how much content you have, the file may be smaller or larger. You will end up having a file named blog with the date of export. For example: “blog-05-06-2018.xml”.

Locate the file (you can copy it to your desktop so you can find it more easily) and you are officially done with the export. This part wasn’t that scary, right?

4. Import the data to WordPress

If you haven’t skipped steps of this guide, you already have a hosting account and a WordPress site ready to be set up. Let’s import the data from Blogger to WordPress:

Dashboard

  1. Log in to your WordPress website
  2. Go to Tools -> Import
  3. Find Blogger on the list (it should be the first option, on top of the list)
  4. Click “Install now” link and wait for a few seconds for WordPress to finish installing the plugin

After the installation is complete, WordPress will show you a notification if the tool was installed successfully. The same notification will have the link to run the importer. Alternatively, you can click the link to Run Importer from the same spot where you found the install link.

Import

  1. Click “Run Importer” link
  2. On the new page, click “Choose File” button
  3. Search for the XML file you downloaded in the previous step (desktop or any other folder where you left it)
  4. If necessary (depending on the size of the file, your internet connection speed, and your host) wait for a few seconds until the file loads
  5. Click on “Upload file and import” button when possible

Again, depending on the various aspects, this might take a few seconds, so please be patient. When the import is complete, WordPress will show you a new page where you will need to assign the author to the imported posts. Let us show you how to do that in the next step.

4.1. Help, the file is too big to upload!

Usually, WordPress puts a limitation on the maximum file size you can upload. The limit might differ, but you can always manually increase if it necessary. If your exported file was simply too large, you will need to change the maximum upload size for WordPress. If you want to check your current upload limit, please go to Media -> Add New and find the information on the bottom of the screen.

Alright, let’s change that limit so you can import the blog without problems:

  1. Login to your Bluehost Control Panel
  2. Open the File Manager
  3. Chose to go to the Web Root and click Go
  4. Scroll in the right-hand panel and find file php.ini -> right-click it
  5. Select Code Edit in the pop-up menu
  6. Click Edit at the bottom of the pop-up
  7. Use the keyboard shortcut to open the find pop-up window
  8. Windows and Linux: Ctrl + f
  9. Mac: Command (⌘) + f
  10. Type upload_max_filesize in the search field and hit enter
  11. This will highlight upload_max_filesize = 50M. Change 50M to the size you need. For example 128M
  12. Open the find pop-up, again and in the Search text field type post_max_size and press enter
  13. Highlighted will be post_max_size = 50M. This will need to be changed to the same number as what was put in for upload_max_filesize

Click Save changes

5. Assign an author

If you have had a lot of posts on your Blogger blog, it might be difficult to recognize them without changing authors. That’s especially true if you are importing the blog to a WordPress site that was already running. To help you with that, WordPress lets you reassign the author of the imported item to an existing user of the site.

WordPress will show a list of existing authors you can assign the content to.

If it’s a new site, you will probably have just one user that you created during the installation of the content management system. So, you can select the name for the list, and the content that you are importing will be automatically assigned to that user.

Import

But if you would like to separate the content from the new one that you are going to add later on, you can also create a new user directly from this page. In that case, you can write the name of a new user. Its user role will be set to subscriber and password will be randomly generated. You can change the user details later on.

After deciding whom to assign the content to, click the “Submit” button and you are all done.

6. Setting up permalinks

The content is successfully imported, and you are one more step closer to having your entire Blogger blog added to your new self-hosted WordPress site. Permalinks are URLs that WordPress uses when organizing posts & pages.
Each post, page, media file, etc. have to have a unique permalink (the address) to work properly. Permalinks might have a huge impact on your site and SEO (search engine optimization). And while you can set them up as you wish when starting a new site, we would suggest a different approach when importing a site from Blogger.

Blogger uses month & name to distinguish permalinks. So, if you go to any of your Blogger posts, you will see that it looks something like this: https://demoblog.blogspot. com/2018/05/this-is-post-title.html

In order to keep things in order, we suggest changing the permalink structure in WordPress to resemble that one in Blogger as much as possible:

Setting up permalinks

  1. Go to Settings -> Permalinks
  2. Choose “Month and Name” option
  3. Scroll down and click “Save changes” button

7. Redirect the old content to the new one

Here comes a very important part. If you have been running your Blogger blog for awhile, you must have had some impact on search engines. We also believe that you have been sharing new posts via social media, and have acquired some regular visits to the site. The worst thing that can happen if you move your blog is to neglect the old site and visitors that are still stopping by to the old address.

Blogger is Google’s child, so links to your Blogger blog are important for the SEO. Even if you stop posting on the platform, the old links will still matter Google and other search engines.

Instead of losing all those visitors that decide to stop by the old blog, you should redirect them to the new self-hosted WordPress site you have just set up.

In order to make this work, you will need to set up the redirections both on your Blogger and WordPress site.

7.1. Redirect from Blogger

Themes

  1. Log in to your Blogger account
  2. Navigate to Themes
  3. Scroll all the way down and click on “Revert to classic themes”

Blogger will warn you about losing some of the features by reverting to classic themes. Since you are moving to self-hosted WordPress, you should not worry about this. By reverting, you will enable the option that will allow you to make the redirection possible.

As soon as you confirm that you want to revert to classic themes, Blogger will show you a new settings page. On the page, scroll down to “Edit Theme HTML” section where you get to see the code that powers up your current Blogger themes.

  • Select the entire code in the Edit Theme HTML
  • Delete the code that you have selected
  • Copy and paste the following:
    
    <html>
    <head>
    <title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>
    
    
    <script>
    <MainOrArchivePage>
    window.location.href="http://example.com/";
    </MainOrArchivePage>
    <Blogger>
    <ItemPage>
    window.location.href="http://example.com/?blogger=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>"
    </ItemPage>
    </Blogger>
    </script>
    
    
    <MainPage>
    <link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/" />
    </MainPage>
    
    
    <Blogger>
    <ItemPage>
    <link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/?blogger=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>"
    />
    </ItemPage>
    </Blogger>
    </head>
    
    
    <body>
    <MainOrArchivePage>
    <h1><a href="http://example.com/"><$BlogTitle$></a></h1>
    </MainOrArchivePage>
    <Blogger>
    <ItemPage>
    <h1><a
    href="http://example.com/?blogger=<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>"><$BlogItemTitle$></a></h1>
    <$BlogItemBody$>
    </ItemPage>
    </Blogger>
    </body>
    </html>
    
    
  • Go through the code, and replace “http://example.com/” with the URL of your new domain. Check this twice because even the slightest typo will render the redirection useless
  • Click “Save theme” button.

If you already know how to install and use WordPress plugins, there is a nice plugin called Blogger to WordPress that will help you with this redirection part. If you install the plugin, it will help you generate the exact same code we showed you above and it will use your URL automatically so you don’t have to worry about messing up:

  • Install and activate the plugin
  • Go to Tools -> Blogger to WordPress Redirection
  • Click on Start Configuration button to generate code for your Blogger blog
  • You should see the name of your Blogger blog if you have imported it correctly
  • Click on “Get Code” button
  • Log in to your Blogger account
  • Navigate to Themes
  • Scroll all the way down and click on “Revert to classic themes”
  • Select the entire code in the Edit Theme HTML and delete it
  • Paste the code you have copied from the plugin

7.2. Redirect to your new WordPress blog

  • Paste the code you have copied from the plugin
  • Log in to your WordPress site
  • Navigate to Appearance -> Editor which will open the theme editor
  • On the right side menu, find “Theme Function” (functions.php file) which is usually on top of the list
  • Click on the file to start editing it. The code will load into the main window
  • Copy and paste the following code on the bottom of the file:
    function blogger_query_vars_filter($vars) {
    $vars[] = "blogger";
    return $vars;
    }
    
    add_filter('query_vars', 'blogger_query_vars_filter');
    
    function blogger_template_redirect() {
    global $wp_query;
    $blogger = $wp_query - > query_vars['blogger'];
    if (isset($blogger)) {
    wp_redirect(get_wordpress_url($blogger), 301);
    exit;
    }
    
    }
    add_action('template_redirect', 'blogger_template_redirect');
    
    function get_wordpress_url($blogger) {
    if (preg_match('@^(?:https?://)?([^/]+)(.*)@i', $blogger, $url_parts)) {
    $query = new WP_Query(
    array("meta_key" = > "blogger_permalink", "meta_value" = > $url_parts[2]
    ) )
    ;
    if ($query - > have_posts()) {
    $query - > the_post();
    $url = get_permalink();
    }
    wp_reset_postdata();
    }
    return $url ? $url : home_url();
    }
    
    
  • Click “Update file” button on the bottom of the page

You do not need to change anything in this code. As soon as you click the “Update file” button, your current theme will get instructed to redirect users from Blogger to the exact post you previously imported into your new WordPress site.

Important note: If you decide to change the WordPress theme, you will have to repeat this step and copy the code to a Theme Functions file of the new theme.

7.3 Redirect Feeds

Unfortunately, we are still not done with the redirection part. We understand your pain; there are not many people in this world who love to go through time-consuming setups, but you will have to find that inner peace and focus for a few more minutes. Don’t forget that you are doing this to improve your blog.

If you have had RSS subscribers, they will not be able to tell that the migration happened. So, in order not to lose their trust, you will have to make another redirection and tell your Blogger blog that you have a new RSS feed.

Luckily, there’s no coding involved:

Other Settings

  • Go to your Blogger blog
  • Navigate to Settings -> Other
  • Find “Site Feed” section
  • Next to the “Post Feed Redirect URL”, click the “Add” link
  • Type in https://yoursite.com/feed/ and don’t forget to change the name of your site

Do not forget to save settings by clicking the button on the top-right corner of the page

This is it! The redirections are finally over and both the posts and RSS feed are linking back to your self-hosted WordPress site.

It’s time for testing

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If you have followed the steps, you have also successfully migrated your blog from Blogger to WordPress. Congratulations! Just to make sure that everything went smoothly, we suggest that you do some tests.

Go to any of your old Blogger posts and try to reload them. If everything was ok, you should now be redirected to the corresponding WordPress post! You can repeat the test and try opening a few more posts to make sure there are no any problems. If you are not being redirected automatically, go back to the Redirect section and make sure you did everything correctly:

  • Check if you have copied the entire code
  • Check if you replaced the URL of your site in all the places and if you have you edited the right functions.php file.
  • If you are using an RSS reader, you can also test the RSS feed for redirections by clicking on the link to one of your posts. It should now lead to the WordPress site.

What about my images?

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Usually, WordPress will automatically import the images to the WordPress Media Library. If you had images in a post, it will automatically appear in the same post on your new WordPress site. But don’t take it for granted. Sometimes, the Importer might miss importing some of your images, or the imported images might not be linked correctly.

If that is the case with your new blog, you can still resolve the issue quite quickly.

Before you start to panic, check your Media Library:

Media Library

  1. Go to Media -> Library
  2. Check if your old images are visible here
  3. If the images are there, check if their link to the host instead of blogger.com. Click on the image and check the URL field to see if it’s pointing back to Blogger or your new domain

Missing images

If the Importer missed uploading images, you can still quickly get them on your new WordPress blog. You will have to install a plugin that will take care of that.

We don’t usually recommend outdated plugins, but this one is still great for the job.

  1. Go to Plugins -> Add New
  2. Search for “Import external attachments”
  3. Install and activate the plugin
  4. Go to Media -> Import attachments

If there are any images that the Importer hasn’t imported yet, the plugin will link them on the page. All you have to do here is to click “Import attachments now” button. The plugin can import 50 images at the time, so allow some time until all the images get added to the library.

Wrong image URLs

Sometimes, users might have their images imported to the Media Library without problems. But, in order for the images to show correctly, they have to point to the right address. In some cases, although the images are on your new host, your post and pages might still try to load the old ones (that are found on your old Blogger blog).

Velvet Blues Updated Urls

  • Go to Plugins -> Add New
  • Search for “Velvet Blues Update URLs
  • Install and activate the plugin
  • Go to Tools-> Update URLs to configure plugin’s settings

On the settings page, you should enter your old URL (for example https://yourblog.blogspot.com/) and the new URL (for example https://yournewsite.com/). You can leave the rest of the settings checked by default. Double check the URLs and other settings, and click “Update URLs now” button.

The plugin will then search for all instances of your old URL and switch them to the new one. You will be done in a minute, and all the URLs will be updated to the right one.

What to do next?

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Your blog has finally been completely moved from Blogger to WordPress. Hopefully, you have checked it and everything works fine from the first take. If not, we suggest going through the steps one more time to see if you missed something. The whole migration process is not very demanding, but it definitely takes time and patience to complete.

If everything went smoothly for you, here’s what you could do next:

  • Keep your old blog on Blogger live. Don’t delete it as the redirection won’t work
  • Check the imported posts for errors. Sometimes, formatting of a post might get messed up so you will have to remove unnecessary spaces or broken links
  • Start exploring WordPress and learn more about it
  • Search for a WordPress theme that will represent your blog. Don’t forget to edit the Theme Functions file if you change the theme
  • Check some of the best plugins you can install


Frequently Asked Questions

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Can I delete my Blogger blog after moving to WordPress?

Yes, you can delete your old blog but that’s not something we would recommend. If you delete your old blog, the redirections that you have done will not work and you might lose visitors. Because Google and other search engines would still have your old URLs indexed, there will be people who will stumble on your old posts. If you delete the old blog, those people would see a non-existent page and you will lose them instead of redirecting them to the new blog.

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What will happen if I change the URL structure?

Changing permalink structure is up to you. You can change the structure to anything you want, but to keep the best out of SEO and to keep visitors coming to your new site, it’s strongly suggested that you keep the permalink structure as close to the one on Blogger as possible.

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I changed my WordPress theme and now the redirection doesn’t work. What to do?

Since the code need to be added to the Theme Functions file (function.php), each time that you activate a new WordPress theme, you will have to copy the code back to the theme’s function.php. Each theme comes with its own functions.php file so you have to copy the code one more time.

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Can I still use my old domain name after the transfer?

Unfortunately, that not possible. If you were using the free domain on Blogger (for example https://yourblogname.blogspot.com), you can’t use the same domain for the new WordPress blog. But if you had been using a custom domain name that you had to register separately (for example https://yournewsite.com) you can point the domain to your new blog without problems.

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Will posts that I write in WordPress be visible on Blogger and vice versa?

No. If you continue on writing new posts in WordPress, the entries will only be visible on your new WordPress site. Two sites are not connected; you have just transferred everything from Blogger to WordPress but the two sites are still something completely different. Also, if you log back into Blogger and write a post there, it will not be visible on WordPress unless you export it once again.

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My labels became categories and not tags. How to switch them?

Sometimes, your Blogger labels may convert to categories, and not tags as you might want. If you want to make the switch, there’s a plugin that will solve your problem in a second. Go to Tools -> Import and select Categories and Tags Converter. Install it, activate and run the plugin. The converter will show you a list of categories you can convert. Select those you want to convert and click “Convert” button.

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Can you help me transfer my blog from Blogger to WordPress?

Yes, we can. Actually, we can do the entire migration for you! Please see more details about our Blogger to WordPress service.

Conclusion

Moving a blog from Blogger to WordPress is not that hard even if you’re a complete beginner. But as you can see from this lengthy guide, it definitely takes time to complete each step. It can become annoying but don’t give up.