Moving from Blogger to WordPress, Part 2

Part 1 is here.

This is one of those posts that you start writing and the more you write, the more you end up going in a direction you didn’t anticipate. And then you get all introspective and you wonder if people are going to start yelling, GOOD GRIEF! JUST TELL ME HOW TO MOVE FROM BLOGGER TO WORDPRESS ALREADY!

But hey, I’m gonna go with it because I’m thinking a little introspection at this juncture is probably not such a bad thing because honestly? It might just make the issue of moving from Blogger to WordPress totally a moot point. And then think of all the grief I will have spared you if that happens. :)

Being on Blogger or WordPress doesn’t make a blogger successful. After all, there are successful bloggers on all blogging platforms. What makes a blogger successful is one who enjoys what they’re doing and does what works for them. But more on that at the end…

Moving from Blogger to WordPress seamlessly is…

Complicated. It’s doable of course, but let’s face it, if it was just a matter of importing your posts and being done, we wouldn’t hear the horror stories. It’s a multi-step process that requires consideration of several factors. I’ll do my best to spell it all out.

If done improperly, a move from Blogger to WordPress often results in at least one or more of the following:

  1. Loss of followers.
  2. Disrupted feed.
  3. Broken links.
  4. Decrease in traffic.
  5. Lower search engine ranking.

For many bloggers (especially newer ones), many of the above things would not be debilitating at all. For others though (particularly those who have been blogging a while), they might be. So, be thoughtful about what the best plan of action is for you.

The good news? You can move from Blogger to WordPress without experiencing any of those things.

If and how you make the move from Blogger to WordPress depends on several things

As I mentioned in Part 1, my goal for this series is to throw out some questions — like a decision tree — which will help you determine what is right for you and your blog. Because there are so many things to consider before moving from Blogger to WordPress and because everyone has a different situation, I expect everyone to come to their own conclusion. Some will choose to stay with Blogger. Some will choose to move to WordPress. Some will opt for the free-to-low-cost migration solution while others will opt to pay someone to do it for them.
Here are the main things to consider:

  1. Your blog’s purpose.
  2. The age of your blog.
  3. The size of your following.
  4. The amount of content you have created thus far.
  5. Your blog’s financial status.

What I’m not going to tell you

I want to be clear upfront that this series will be slightly different from others I’ve done on this site. This series will not be a step-by-step tutorial which you can follow and by the end you will have successfully moved yourself from Blogger to WordPress. This will be more of a “If your blog is _____, then I would do _____.” Why not a step-by-step? For several reasons:

  1. There are many moving parts in a complete Blogger to WordPress migration. It would be difficult to account for every possible scenario people may encounter along the way. Did you ever wonder why you hear so many varied responses when people move? One tells you they did it themselves with nary a hiccup. Another tells you they lost all their followers and it was a total nightmare. The reason people have such different experiences is because everyone has and handles variables differently.
  2. There is too much at stake for me. A proper migration from Blogger to WordPress requires a fair amount of back-end code tweaking. I do not want to be held responsible if your blog blows up. :)
  3. In the same vein, I simply can’t offer support for the many questions that will most certainly arise.
  4. Frankly, I don’t have the expertise. I have not done enough Blogger to WordPress migrations to make me comfortable explaining it thoroughly to you.

But have no fear, I am confident that by the end of this series, you will (a) have a good idea of whether or not you should make the move and (b) if so, the best tools and resources I know of to help you do so successfully.

Let’s cut to the chase…

Reasons I would skip this series altogether and stay on Blogger:

  1. If my budget was extremely tight and I didn’t have $10 per month to spend on a self-hosted WordPress blog.
  2. If I didn’t have on hand (or couldn’t come up with) a chunk of money (between $25 to $150) to hire someone to bail me out if my move from Blogger to WordPress didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped and I need outside help.
  3. If I wanted to keep my blog personal (as a creative outlet or to keep up with the grandparents, for example) and don’t have any intention of making money from it.
  4. If I was making money, but was satisfied with what I was making and had no desire to try to increase that amount.
  5. If I did not have some extra time in my schedule to devote to learning a new system (i.e. WordPress).
  6. If all I need is the basics and want to keep things simple.

Reasons I would consider a move from Blogger to WordPress:

  1. If I wanted to try to make a good part-time income or more from my blogging efforts.
  2. If my blog has grown and I would like it to continue to grow.
  3. If I have seriously considered making a move to WordPress in the past. (If you have thought about it previously, chances are you’ll think about it again. It is definitely better to do it sooner rather than later.)
  4. If I’ve found myself wishing I could do XYZ with my Blogger blog but I can’t.
  5. If I felt as though I am “outgrowing” my Blogger blog.

Either way, this is an EXCELLENT time to reexamine your blog’s purpose. Here’s why:

The questions above will hopefully get you thinking about your blog, why you’re blogging, what your goals are and whether or not you want to continue doing what you’re doing. (If they don’t, you might also want to revisit the questions I asked in How to Find Your Passion and How to Decide What to Blog About: 8 Tips.) The bottom line is, any time you’re contemplating changing course and/or shelling out some money (however little), I think it’s wise to ponder your trajectory.

And that doesn’t really but I’ll act like it does bring me to my ill-fitting, introspective sidenote which I will leave you with…

Note what you dread

This concept has revolutionized my blogging. Nothing has helped me define more clearly where I want to go.

As I’ve mentioned before, if there’s one thing I excel at, it’s comparing myself to others. But nothing will kill your blog (or you) quicker. I’ll speak for myself, but when I compare myself to others, I start trying to do things like others do them. Slowly, my blog is no longer “me” but a flimsy shadow of someone else. And then I’m miserable, never satisfied and just all-around frustrated.

So I began to take note of the things I dread. I ask myself:

  • When it comes to blogging, what do I hate doing?
  • What do I find boring?
  • What do I feel like I should do only because so-and-so told me to?
  • What part of blogging do I wish would just go away?

Maybe I’m just a glass-is-half-empty type, but I typically don’t have a hard time coming up with what I dread. For some reason, once I do, it makes it much easier to see what I enjoy. And if I’m doing what I enjoy, it’s hard to not feel successful.

Read Moving from Blogger to WordPress, Part 3.

Other posts in this series

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Comments

  1. says

    They both are the best for blogging but on some point blogger wins the race as it has easy to use interface and much more features than the WordPress.

  2. says

    I’m finding this series to be extremely helpful. I’ve been blogging for a few months and just began focusing on growing my blog to earn money. I know I need to move and wish I had just started with WordPress now. I guess my biggest question that I haven’t seen asked or answered is how does the move help your blog grow more than a blogger blog?

    • Amy says

      Hi Bonny, I wouldn’t say it helps you grow your blog (there are plenty of large Blogger blogs), but it just gives you more functionality and flexibility so as your blog grows, there tend to be fewer growing pains. Also, a big plus is that you own your blog if you self-host vs. Google owning your blog on Blogger.

  3. says

    Okay. I know I need to switch, but what scares me the most is the time commitment for two things: (1) learning wordpress. I’ve figured out how to do a lot of thing on blogger that “can’t be done.” I’ve learned to tweak a lot of code and can write just a bit. How much time should I expect to invest in learning wordpress? (2) Re-creating my template. Know any great designers that are actually accepting new projects? I just DO NOT have the time right now.

    • Amy says

      I know a lot is said about the learning curve and it’s true there is some stuff to learn, but there are a lot of similarities too. :) And it sounds like you’re a quick learner so I think you’d figure it out without too much effort. As for designers, check this list. I don’t know all of them but browsing through some portfolios might get you started! Hope it helps!

  4. says

    Amy, I’m starting up a new self-hosted blog following your step-by-step guide. I’ve been using Blogger up to this point and one thing I’m confused about is how do I see my stats? Page views and site views, etc. On Blogger it’s right there on the dashboard. Now I don’t know if I should be looking for these stats with Bluehost or with WordPress. I don’t see anything about it on the dashboard. Please can you help me find it?

  5. says

    Ok, I’ve been thinking about moving to WP for a while now… however, I absolutely LOVE the blogspot price tag. FREE is my favorite number! But there are some things I can’t do on Blogger that I would love to be able to do. The main one being (and please let me know if this is even possible on WordPress…) I want to be able to blog about several different topics but not have several blogs. I just want one main page with several RSS feeds to different topics. There are some out there I’ve seen and I’m pretty sure they’re WordPress. I would just like my readers to be able to subscribe to the feeds they are interested in. Not that I have many readers yet but the ones that do visit my blog are bogged down with several subjects on one feed. Does that make sense?

    Also, when I do make the switch, is it better to just link readers to my new WP site and start that blog from scratch or is it really better to move all my content? If so, is there a way to do it without readers even realizing that there’s been a change other than the layout and design?

    Amy, I am absolutely loving your articles. I’m so glad I found you!

  6. says

    I’m enjoying your articles from a developer’s perspective so hope you don’t mind a comment from someone who is very experienced in this process. The figure you quoted for help? If you can find someone to help with a transition of this nature for $25-150; you’ve found the wrong person. It is a complicated move and if it’s done correctly most of the problems you cite are not problems. The problem is in having it done incorrectly and therein lies the reason for the fear and the horror stories. I admit…I have a web business and I’ve seen a lot of people use a friend or someone they found online without either credentials or phone contact so I know this because I’m too often brought into the process to rescue a blog that has blown up during the process.

    It’s not that hard if you know what you’re doing…but if you don’t…uh oh. You know…I joke but sometimes think it should be true…if you come to me to bail you out after making a mistake…I’ll charge double! Fixing a bad move is harder than doing it from the beginning; trust me, I know.

    That being said I’ve done a lot of these moves. I have a food blog, have made a name in the food blog community and a large number of my client base today is comprised of food bloggers. To a person…they do not regret the change. To a person…they have seen their blog grow by leaps and bounds. So I encourage it wholeheartedly; in my opinion…despite a couple of bloggers doing OK on Blogger…there is quite simply no comparison between the capabilities of the two platforms and your capacity for growth.

    Just my two cents! Again, nice series.

  7. says

    I’m about to start the process, and I have someone doing it for me. I’m scared, but I know it’s time. Thanks for these posts, and I’m actually glad to hear that you’re not doing a step-by-step because I might just want to wait until you were done with the series!

  8. says

    This could not be any more of a perfectly timed post for me. I just paid someone for hosting & transferring my blog to WP.org tonight. Glad to read that I fit into your “ready to move to WP” category. Thanks for the tips!
    What’s your favorite WP plug-ins? I’d also love to hear what should I avoid?

Trackbacks

  1. […] out there that will give  you step-by-step instructions. Here are a couple very detailed posts: Moving from blogger to wordpress- Part 2 (could help you decide whether or not you should switch) Moving from blogger to wordpress- Part 3 […]

  2. […] blogging platforms and the pros and cons of Blogger and WordPress (Part 1). Then we talked about reasons I would stay on Blogger and reasons I would move to WordPress (Part 2). In this post, I’ll give some options for making the move (if you decide switching is right […]