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How to migrate Blogger to WordPress Part 1 – Import Blogger content into WordPress

How to migrate Blogger to WordPress Part 1 - Import Blogger content into WordPressIf you have a free blog at Google’s Blogger platform and think it’s time to move it to a more personal place like WordPress, i have done that very recently and want to share the experience. There are lots of blog posts about the same thing, of course, but half of them are outdated and the other half describes only part of the process, and anyway i want to save some tips for myself in one place, just in case. I am sorry i did not made any screenshots in the process :(

What are the goals?

1) Everything is working just fine, nothing gets lost in the move.

2) Google PR and other rankings got to stay as they were.

3) Feed subscriptions and comments are not lost as well.

Feeds and comments are the most simple part of it all, but to keep your PR and stuff you have to keep the same URLs like you had before the move. But you’re moving, your blog will be at a new place and URLs will have to change, obviously – so, what to do? They will have to be mapped 1-on-1 between Blogger and WordPress, which is part of the proper migration process.

Subdomain vs Custom domain

There’s difference between a Blogger blog on subdomain and with a custom domain. Subdomain looks like this – http://chickgeekgames.blogger.com when a custom domain is this – http://chickgeekgames.com

At the time of the move, my blog already had a custom domain for over a year. If yours don’t have one, you’re in for some very hard and tedious work if you intent to keep it that way. I seriously suggest you get a custom domain first.  The domains are sold by Google partners and they have really good help files on the process of registering and setting up a custom domain for Blogger. The only downside is that when you buy a domain, the blog’s address is changed and Google need time to figure out that the site is the same one – during that time you might see a serious drop in PR, but it will get back eventually.

For the lack of simplicity, i assume that everyone using this tutorial are already with their own custom domain and we’re all on the same page here.

Get prepared to move

Most Blogger to WordPress migration guides suggest that the migration should be done at the blog’s final destination, so to speak – to migrate the blog right at where your hosting is. I say they’re all wrong. There’s so many things that can get broken along the way, you would need a lot of time to figure out if you did something wrong and your WordPress broke or if it’s your hosting’s problem and you have nothing to do with it at all, hence unable to fix it. Also you don’t want to find out in the middle of migration that the hosting you’ve got is a lousy one and you have to find a new one – to move before you even moved!

I did it this way, and suggest you do the same – first import Blogger into a local copy of WordPress, set it up, make sure it works, and THEN move it to a hosting.

So, what we’ll need is:

1) A local copy of WordPress, with a theme and stuff

and

2)  Your blog at Blogger with a custom domain set up.

How to setup WordPress locally i wrote here and here.

Keep the same URLs

You have to keep the same URL structure in the WordPress as you had in Blogger, as i already mentioned. So, before anything from Blogger is imported yet, you will have to configure permalink structure in WordPress.

From WordPress dashboard, go to Settings > Permalinks, select Custom structure and paste this:

/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html

Save it. Now you will have the same URL structure as Blogger had.

Import data from Blogger to WordPress

Go to your WordPress’ dashboard, Tools > Import > Blogger.

It will install a plugin that does the importing, activate it and run the importing. It will ask you to authorise it – do that, then choose the blog you’re going to import. It’s a straight way from there, just import everything.

Note that Pages do not get imported this way, to recreate Pages you will have to manually copy-paste them into a new place.

After the import, it will ask you which user to assign those imported blog posts to – there’s probably only one there anyway.

Fix permalinks for imported posts

This step it needed to make URL structure in your new WordPress blog IDENTICAL to that of your old Blogger blog, so that no Google RP is lost.

Open any text editor (that is NOT MS Word), copy-paste this code:

<?php
require_once('wp-load.php');
$res = $wpdb->get_results("SELECT post_id, meta_value FROM $wpdb->postmen WHERE meta_key = 'blogger_permalink'");
$wpdb->print_error();
foreach ($res as $row){
$slug = explode("/",$row->meta_value);
$slug = explode(".",$slug[3]);
$wpdb->query("UPDATE $wpdb->posts SET post_name ='" . $slug[0] . "' WHERE ID = $row->post_id");
$wpdb->print_error();
}
echo "DONE";
?>

And save it like fix.php or something like that.

Now open your browser and go to your local wordpress copy and open this file.

Something like http://localhost/wordpress/fix.php if you used all the defaults. You must see “DONE” after executing the script. It comes from RTCamp http://rtcamp.com/ and if there’s any error, they say you have to email them. If everything is cool, your WordPress links will eventually be the same as in your Blogger.

Congratulations, you must not have a (seemingly) complete local copy of your Blogger blog in a WordPress shell. But there’s still lots of things to do. WordPress and Blogger have a lot of differences, like WordPress posts requiring Featured image that has to be stored locally in the WordPress’ own folder and not on some other hosting. You could have been using MS Live Writer for your Blogger posts, so there could be images used in your blog and stored at Picasa servers because of it, there could be leftover HTML from Blogger that is no longer valid, and images stored at remote servers, and other things. I will tell how to fix those in part 2.

  • Lies Van Herreweghe

    Hi, this has been a great help so far, but I just have a tiny question: where do you save the fix.php file?

    • Elthar

      in the main directory of your wordpress installation, i.e. where wp-config.php and other files are

  • jane

    You solve me problem! Thank you so much

Wordpress website enhanced by true google 404