Help me move my blog from Blogger to WordPress.
February 4, 2013 7:35 AM   Subscribe

Should I try to move my custom-domain blog from Blogger to WordPress using the WordPress "import blog" feature, or is it worth hiring a professional to be sure I don't mess it up? Also, WordPress template questions.

I understand there's a feature on WordPress that will allow me to import my blog from Blogger. Does anyone have experience using this feature? If it's relatively foolproof, I'd like to use it and save my money. On the other hand, if I did hire a professional to move my blog, how would I go about finding such a professional and about how much should I expect it to cost?

Details:
— I have a custom domain name.
— The blog has about 15 posts and fewer than 5 pages, so it's not currently a huge blog.
— I'm planning on using the WordPress.com hosting platform, not the self-hosting on WordPress.org (at least for now).

WordPress template questions:
(1) I don't mind paying for a premium theme, but I can't really experiment with the theme "preview." How do I go about deciding what theme to buy when I can't experiment with them?
(2) I can't play around with the template layout until my blog is already transferred, at which point I'll have traffic coming. (Right?) I don't want my readers to see my in-progress layout but I can't think of how to avoid/minimize this besides doing the Blogger/WordPress switch in the middle of the night. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just did this, but am new to Wordpress, so apologies is this explanation is unclear.

My understanding is that the plug-in used will import entries, categories, and tags, but not necessarily formatting or templates. However, you can actually set up your new, WP template without your entries, and then when you import your Blogger entries, they'll be automatically set up in that template.

So basically, I set everything up template-wise in WP, imported the Blogger entries, and then pointed my domain to the new site. So far it looks pretty good, and AFAIK there wasn't an awkward "excuse our mess" period.
posted by spunweb at 7:52 AM on February 4, 2013


I have done this, unless you are doing something complex it should not be a big deal. The good news is that you can try the import before you move your domain over to WordPress, if that makes sense? So I think the steps would be

- import your blog to WordPress
- - mess with themes/templates until you get what you want (be wary of this taking too long since you'll have the same entries at multiple domains, yours and WordPress, for a little bit and from an SEO perspective this is suboptimal)
- find a theme you like, alter it to fit whatever you need
- move the domain over

Until you point the domain to WordPress, people typing in yourdomain.com will go to the Blogger content and no one will really know about the WordPress content so while it's technically live it's not really going to be getting traffic (and WP may have a way to have your content be private, I don't know much about WP.com but I've used self-hosted WP.org for a while)

Basically what spunweb says.
posted by jessamyn at 8:01 AM on February 4, 2013


Importing a blog (particularly with that small a content base) is a snap - it's as straightforward as exporting it and importing it. You could post to Metafilter Jobs if you are really unsure as there are a ton on people around here who develop using Wordpress and could do this in no time.

(1) I don't mind paying for a premium theme, but I can't really experiment with the theme "preview." How do I go about deciding what theme to buy when I can't experiment with them?

Often theme sites will have links to live websites using that theme. This will give you an indication as to how the theme operates, but most themes are universally customizable and thus it can be tough to tell how the base vs. custom with widgets and graphic design looks.

(2) I can't play around with the template layout until my blog is already transferred, at which point I'll have traffic coming. (Right?) I don't want my readers to see my in-progress layout but I can't think of how to avoid/minimize this besides doing the Blogger/WordPress switch in the middle of the night. Any thoughts?

A tip would be to only transfer your domain after you've finished the site. There are a number of plugins you can install to essentially only show you the site if you're logged in and to show a generic "coming soon" type page to outsiders.

When you first sign up for Wordpress, you'll get a thegirl.wordpress.com URL you can use until your site is ready to go - then point the domain you own to it and you're done.

Really, unless you are talking about major customization, I'd be willing to give you a hand - MeMail me if you're interested.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 8:43 AM on February 4, 2013


I just did this a couple weeks ago. I sort of messed it up, and I wish I had done some things differently -- but I had over 400 entries. Even if things don't import perfectly, you can just fix 15 entries by hand.

I would set up the new blog at the new, wordpress domain, and then set up the redirect from the blogger site to the new site. Even if you've never set up a website before (I hadn't), it should be pretty simple.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:37 PM on February 4, 2013


Thanks everyone for your very helpful answers! I'm planning to make the switch from Blogger to WordPress in the next month. I'll import my blog using the standard WordPress "import blog" feature, and then redirect the domain after I've set up the new WordPress layout. I'll look for a way to make the entire WordPress blog private and not indexed by Google while I'm setting up the layout, because like Jessamyn says, I don't want to have the same content at multiple domains and screw anything up search engine-wise.

I'll check back and let you know how the switch goes. Thanks again!
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston at 9:53 AM on February 16, 2013


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