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How to move from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site

So you want to move your blog from Blogger to WordPress?

That’s music to my ears! I promise you, this is a decision you will not regret!

There are many reasons why people choose to move from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress website. WordPress has better options when it comes to design and functionality, including the ability to integrate an online shop. It’s also better for SEO (search engine optimisation) than Blogger, and through WordPress, you have access to free plugins to help improve your SEO such as Yoast.

But one of the main reasons people choose to move to a self-hosted WordPress website is control. When your blog runs on Blogger, you don’t actually own your blog; Blogger (or more precisely, Google) owns it. One day, Blogger might just randomly shut down, or they might delete your account, and then you would lose everything.

With WordPress, you have the ability to choose exactly where you want your website to be hosted, and you also have complete access to your files just in case anything goes wrong.

In this blog post, I will show you how to migrate your blog from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress website.

Please note: This post is not sponsored or a collaboration, but it does contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase after clicking one of the links in this post I may make a commission off this sale at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products and services that I use and love myself.

This post was last updated on 30th May 2018. 


Contents

As this is a long post, jam-packed with useful information, here are some links to help you navigate your way through:

1 | Choose a suitable hosting package

The first step in the Blogger to WordPress migration process is to purchase hosting. You won’t have needed to purchase hosting for your Blogger blog because hosting is a part of the Blogger package.

While it is possible to find free hosting online, I really don’t recommend it. Trust me; I used a free host when I first started out, and it was great until they completely deleted my website for no reason!

This is why I recommend paying for hosting, and more specifically I recommend Namecheap. I have used Namecheap for many years and I’ve always been impressed with their prices, their uptime and their customer service.

Namecheap have a hosting package specifically designed for self-hosted WordPress websites called EasyWP (you can find out more here).

However, I recommend you choose a shared hosting package, and specifically the Stellar package (previously known as Value). This is what I use to host my websites because:

  1. It works out better value for money than EasyWP
  2. You get more disk space
  3. You can host up to three websites on one package (great if you own multiple websites, like me!)

If you do choose the shared hosting option, visit Namecheap’s shared hosting page:

Namecheap shared hosting options | HollyPryce.com

Note: The prices of the hosting packages often change.

Then, for the package you have selected, choose whether you would like to pay monthly or yearly (yearly works out cheaper in the long run) and whether you would like to be hosted by a datacenter in the UK or one in the USA. It is more expensive to be hosted by a datacenter in the UK, but Namecheap advises choosing a datacenter that is “closer to your potential audience”.

Then click Add to Cart.

2 | Choose a domain

After adding your hosting package to your cart, the next step is to choose a domain.

Namecheap choose domain | HollyPryce.com

If you don’t already own your own domain, go ahead and click Purchase a domain.

However, you might already own your own domain that you have been using with your Blogger blog, and you might want to continue using it on your new WordPress site.

So if you do own a domain and you purchased it with Namecheap, click Use a domain I own with Namecheap. Selecting this option will prompt you to log in to your existing Namecheap account and select a domain that you already own. Then you will be able to head to the checkout and just pay for your hosting package.

If you own a domain but that domain is registered with someone else rather than Namecheap, click Use a domain I own from another registrar. Selecting this option will prompt you to enter the name of the domain (including the extension i.e. .com, .co.uk, .info, etc) that you own elsewhere.

You can also choose to transfer an existing that you own from your current registrar to Namecheap so that your hosting and domain is all in one place. If you would like to do this, click Transfer my existing domain to Namecheap and then on the next page enter the domain you wish to transfer. You will then be given instructions to help you with the process of moving registrars.

For the purpose of this tutorial, let’s pretend you don’t already own a domain.

After clicking “Purchase a new domain” enter the name of the domain you want to purchase including the extension (i.e. .com, .co.uk, .info, etc).

Namecheap new domain | HollyPryce.com

You will need to make sure that the domain you want to purchase is already available. In order to check its availability (and its price), you can search for it here.

Namecheap Domain Name Search | HollyPryce.com

If the domain is available then you will see the option to purchase it. However, it isn’t available then it will probably say “Make Offer” next to it (i.e. you will have to make an offer to the owner of the domain if you want to buy it). If this is the case, you may want to choose a different extension or a completely different domain name.

Once you’ve chosen a domain, enter it into the New Domain Name box and choose the number of years you would like to register it for. Then click Add New Domain to Cart and then Continue.

Namecheap domain in cart | HollyPryce.com

On the next page, you will be able to view your basket and see exactly what you are about to purchase.

There are a few details to note here.

First, you’ll notice that a small charge has been added on for the ICANN fee; a mandatory fee for each domain that is registered, renewed or transferred.

Second, you’ll see that something called WhoIsGuard has been enabled. When you buy a domain, you must provide personal information about yourself, including your address, your phone number and your email address. This information is readily available to anyone online, but WhoIsGuard will protect this information so that it can’t be accessed by every man and his dog!

You normally have to pay for WhoIsGuard, but the good news is, as of May 2018, Namecheap now give WhoIsGuard to all of their customers for free forever! That will save you some money! Unfortunately, it is not available for the majority of regional domains, such as .co.uk.

The final thing to note before you check out is the promo code box on the right-hand side. Namecheap have a page full of promo codes that might save you a little bit of money, so it’s worth checking this out before you make your purchase. If you find a suitable code, copy and paste into the promo box and then click Apply.

Namecheap cart | HollyPryce.com

When you are ready to proceed, click Confirm Order. Then you will be prompted to log in to or set up a Namecheap account.

Set up a Namecheap account | HollyPryce.com

Eventually, you will end up on the checkout page where you will need to enter your payment details and pay for your hosting and domain.

Once you’ve paid, that’s it! You are now the proud owner of a hosting and domain. Now, keep an eye on your emails as you will be receiving lots of emails from Namecheap with important information in that’s required for the next step.

3 | Install WordPress

After you have purchased your hosting (and domain if you needed to purchase one), you should receive a welcome email from Namecheap. This will include lots of important details including your cPanel log in details.

cPanel is a web host control panel that gives you access to manage various aspects of your website. And fortunately, it’s included within your Namecheap hosting package.

The cPanel details within your email will include the URL of your cPanel account, a username and a password.

Start by opening the cPanel URL (usually something like http://YOUR-URL/cpanel) in a new tab or window. Then log in using the username and password provided in the email.

cPanel log in | HollyPryce.com

Once you log in you will see the cPanel interface. It’s worth taking some time to look around this as there’s a lot of features. It can be a little overwhelming at first.

To install WordPress we are going to use Softaculous; a script library that allows you to quickly and easily install a variety of scripts, including WordPress.

In cPanel you should be able a section called “Softaculous Apps Installer” which looks a little something like this:

Softaculous in cPanel | HollyPryce.com

Within this section, you should see the WordPress icon. Click on this to begin setting up WordPress.

On the next page, click Install Now. This will take you to another page where you can begin filling in all your WordPress account details.

WordPress in Softaculous | HollyPryce.com

Firstly, choose your protocol. Unless you have purchased an SSL certificate, just leave this as it is (http://).

Then choose the domain that you want to install WordPress on. If you only own one domain, you will only have one domain to choose from!

Next, you need to decide whether or not you want to put your WordPress installation in a directory (i.e. a folder within your website files). It isn’t necessary to use a directory, but I usually do. A WordPress directory is usually called “wordpress” or “wp”. So in this box, just type in the name of the directory/folder you want to create and put your installation in.

If you do choose to use a directory then you will need to do a little extra work after you have installed WordPress to make sure your URL is http://YOUR-URL/ rather than http://YOUR-URL/YOUR-WORDPRESS-DIRECTORY. You can find out how to do this using this tutorial.

Then choose a name for your website, and give it a description. Don’t worry too much about what you put here, you can always change this at a later date in the settings section of your WordPress admin area.

WordPress in Softaculous | HollyPryce.com

Next, enter a username, password an email for your WordPress account. You will need your username and password to log into your WordPress admin area, so don’t forget them!

Then choose your language.

WordPress in Softaculous | HollyPryce.com

You can choose a theme from here if you wish, but once you have installed WordPress and logged in to your account you will be able to choose from a larger variety of themes. If you don’t choose a theme here, your WordPress installation will be set up with the latest default WordPress theme, which is currently called Twenty Seventeen.

Finally, click Install to finish the process. WordPress should now be installed on your website!

WordPress in Softaculous | HollyPryce.com

4 | Log in to your WordPress admin area

Now you have installed WordPress, you need to log in to your WordPress admin area. In order to access the admin area, you will need to go to the login page, which has a URL that looks something like this:

http://YOUR-URL/wp-login.php

Make sure you replace “YOUR-URL” with your URL.

If you installed WordPress in a directory, you will need to go a slightly different URL to log in:

http://YOUR-URL/YOUR-WORDPRESS-DIRECTORY/wp-login.php

Just replace “YOUR-WORDPRESS-DIRECTORY” with the name you chose for your WordPress directory. So if you called your directory “wordpress” you’d replace this with “wordpress”.

Every time you need to log in to WordPress, use this URL. You should now see a login page that looks like this:

WordPress log in | HollyPryce.com

Enter the username and password that you chose for your WordPress account when setting it up via Softaculous, and click Log In to be taken to your WordPress admin dashboard.

You’re going to be spending a lot of time in this admin area, so feel free to explore and gain a better understanding of how WordPress works.

Throughout the rest of this tutorial, we are going to be accessing pages and features using the menu on the left-hand side of the screen (highlighted below). Don’t worry; this will all become second nature to you very quickly!

WordPress menu | HollyPryce.com

Important reminder: If you have used a directory, make sure you read and follow the instructions in this article to update your URL.

5 | Export your Blogger blog content

Now your new WordPress website is set up, it’s time to export the content from your Blogger blog.

To do this, log in to Blogger and go to Settings then Other. On this page, click on Back up content, then when prompted, click Save to your computer.

Blogger back up content | HollyPryce.com

This will start a download of an XML file that contains all of the content of your Blogger blog. Make sure you know where this has been saved on your computer because you’re going to need it in a minute.

6 | Import your Blogger blog content into WordPress

Once your XML file has finished downloading, head back to your WordPress admin area. Hover over Tools then click Import.

On this page, look for the Blogger option and click Install Now.

Blogger import in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

This will begin the installation of a free WordPress plugin called Blogger Importer. When this has finished installing, the Install Now button will change to say Run Importer. Click on this.

On the Import Blogger page, click on Choose file and select the XML file that you downloaded from your Blogger account. Then click Upload file and import.

Import Blogger | HollyPryce.com

Once this file has finished uploading you will be prompted to assign an author to the imported posts. You can either create a new user to assign your posts to, or you can choose an existing user. Then click Submit.

Blogger assign authors in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

Now go to Posts in your WordPress admin area to and hopefully you should see a list of all the posts you have imported from Blogger.

Posts in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

Click on one of the posts to check if all the content is there as expected. Fingers crossed that it is!

Next, you need to update your permalinks. A permalink is the URL of any post or page on a website, and in WordPress, you have the option to update the format of these.

To update your permalinks, go to Settings and then Permalinks.

Now, normally I would recommend that you update your permalinks to simply show your post name. However, as you are importing content from Blogger, it is best practice to make your permalinks look as similar as the permalinks on Blogger.

So, as the permalinks on Blogger include the year, the month and the post name, I recommend you choose the Month and name option.

Permalinks in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

Once you have selected this, click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

8 | Set up redirects

The next stage in the Blogger migration process is setting up redirects. We want to redirect your visitors from your Blogger blog to your WordPress website.

I personally think the easiest way to set up these redirects is using a plugin. I recommend a plugin called Blogger to WordPress. The only downside of this plugin is that you must leave it activated at all times or else the redirects won’t work.

To install this plugin go into your WordPress admin area and click on Plugins then Add New. Then in the top right-hand corner, we’re going to type “Blogger to WordPress” in the search bar. This should come up with a plugin that looks like this:

Blogger to WordPress plugin | HollyPryce.com

Click Install Now and then Activate when prompted to.

Once the plugin has been installed and activate, go to Tools and then Blogger to WordPress Redirection.

Blogger to WordPress plugin | HollyPryce.com

To begin, click Start Configuration. This will detect which Blogger account who have imported content from.

Blogger to WordPress plugin | HollyPryce.com

This will then produce a list of the Blogger blogs that you have imported content from. Hopefully, the list will be correct! Click Get Code next to the blog you want to set up redirects for.

Blogger to WordPress plugin | HollyPryce.com

This will show you a piece of code which you will need to copy:

Blogger to WordPress plugin | HollyPryce.com

Now, go into your Blogger account and click on Theme on the left-hand side of the screen.

If you are using the upgraded version of Blogger themes you will need revert to classic themes. To do this, scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the Revert to classic themes dropdown. Then click on Revert to classic theme.

Revert to classic theme in Blogger | HollyPryce.com

Once you have reverted to classic themes, you should see an Edit Theme HTML box. You will need to copy and paste the code you generated back on WordPress into this box, like so:

Edit theme HTML in Blogger | HollyPryce.com

Then click Save theme.

Now, return to WordPress and on the Blogger to WordPress Redirection page and click Verify Configuration.

Blogger to WordPress plugin | HollyPryce.com

Your redirects should now be set up. Now if someone visits your Blogger blog they will be redirected to your new WordPress blog. Also, if they try to visit one of your blog posts using their Blogger URL, they will be taken to that blog post on your WordPress site.

Remember to leave this plugin activated!

9 | Redirect feeds

Ok, so you’ve redirected visitors of your Blogger site to your WordPress one. Great. But this doesn’t redirect RSS feeds.

To do redirect your RSS feeds, go back into your Blogger account and go to Settings then Other.

Under the Site feed title, there is an option called Post Feed Redirect URL. Click Add next to this.

Redirect feeds in Blogger | HollyPryce.com

In this box, you will need to type in the URL of your WordPress site. This is usually http://YOUR-DOMAIN/feed.

Redirect feeds in Blogger | HollyPryce.com

Then click the orange Save settings button in the top right-hand corner. Done!

10 | Start using WordPress!

Good news! You’re now set up and ready to go! Now you can start building your WordPress website.

As I say, it may take some time to get familiar with the WordPress set up but stick with it; I’m sure you won’t regret the switch.

If you are looking for some more tutorials on using WordPress, be sure to check out the WordPress section of my blog.

Need some help?

Hopefully this tutorial will give you the confidence to make the move from Blogger to WordPress. But if you would rather someone else do the hard work for you, then I can help! I offer a Blogger to WordPress migration service. Take a look at my services page for more information.


Want a free checklist to help you out?

I have created a checklist for you to help you with the migration process, and you can find it in my freebies library. To access my freebies library and join my community just fill in the form below. Find out more information about my community right here.


Good luck with your migration! And welcome to WordPress!

How to move from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site | HollyPryce.com


Comments

  1. Mira Steward says:

    Wow, sounds easy! (no). Thanks for ponderous work you’ve done. Agree with you, moving to WordPress is the reasonable decision. I would recommend CMS2CMS service to save time and effort

    • Holly Pryce says:

      Haha it is actually one of the easier migrations to carry out.

      I’ve not heard of CMS2CMS before. I do offer Blogger to WordPress migration services if anyone wants to hand off the stress to someone else. 😊

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