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Moving Blogger Over to Wordpress: The Good, Bad and the Ugly

So far so good Blokesters. The move over to Wordpress has been pleasant for the most part but not without it’s nuisances either.

Probably the hardest part for me was deciding on what type of theme that I wanted. But once I made the decision there was no holding me back.

Admittedly there’s been a fair amount of work involved with learning my way around the Wordpress dashboard, tweaking and debugging the new theme, choosing which plugins to use and deciding on colour schemes etc. But that goes for anything new, and so far there’s been no major issues.

The Good:

  • Moving from Blogger to Wordpress was relatively painless. I first imported it over to my Wordpress.com  account. Then I exported it as an XML file to my desktop, which I imported back into this blog account. It took me about only 15 minutes to accomplish.
  • I can’t believe how fast Google has indexed this blog. I’m already getting search engine referrals. Amazing! Wordpress really is SEO friendly.
  • Working in Wordpress is a pleasure. The flexibility and ease of use is a powerful combination. The dashboard is clean, without all the annoying graphics that Blogger has… thus making it less cluttered and easier to use.
  • I can now edit comments. I now have trackbacks without having to add third party software. I can add thumbnails to my post excerpts. I can publish my posts at a future date and time. Categories and tags are a breeze and more powerful… and much more.
  • Wordpress is indeed POWERFUL! With the help of PHP it can become a dynamic content management system.
  • Because it is relatively new New Blogger doesn’t feel as matured as Wordpress does. Wordpress is also free from all of the bugs and encumbrances that New Blogger is riddled with.
  • Working in the Blogger editor interface was full of quirks that don’t seem to be an issue in Wordpress. Things like making bullets, blockquotes etc. required a lot of finessing in Blogger. Whereas Wordpress seems to work perfectly. I should also mention that the Wordpress built-in post editor is so much more powerful.
  • I love the fact that I can just upload a plugin to do automatically what used to take me a lot of effort in Blogger. Things like for example making ”Related Posts“. Searching my blog for relevant posts, copying and pasting the links are now done automatically with Wordpress. What a time saver.
  • No more trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear — Wordpress makes things like smart permalinks so easy, as compared to Blogger which required lines and lines of code to hack. In fact, to make Blogger more like Wordpress the entire code had to be hacked either by HTML tricks or javascript, which ended up slowing down the loading of the page and corrupting it’s xhtml compliance. Overall, everything just seems to work better in Wordpress.
  • I am now truly the master of my blogging destiny with my own top domain and Wordpress on my own server. No more limitations and no more Google/Blogger shoving its paranoid agenda down my throat.
  • And of course last but not least: The prime motivation for me leaving Blogger — comments are now on my post page.  No more annoying multiple clicking just to leave a comment. BONUS!

The Bad:

  • Because my new blog host hijacked the DNS I can’t just redirect my old Blogger blog to the custom URL. Accordingly all of my internal links are still pointing to the old blog. So if I want to change it I will have to go through every one of my old posts and manually correct the links. That’s just too much work as far as I’m concerned and so I will probably just live with it (at least for now … anybody up to making a plugin).
  • I think I may have a solution though and I wish I had thought of it earlier. Next time around, before handing over my custom URL to the blog host I would redirect the old Blogger blog to the new custom URL while It was still hosted on Blogger. Then I would import into Wordpress.com like I did before and export it again to my desktop as an XML file.
  • Theoretically at this point I should have all of the blog internal links pointing to the new custom URL. Then it would just be a matter of attaching the URL to the new blog host and importing the XML file, and poof … all of the internal links should work correctly.
  • Hindsight certainly is 20/20. That’s also assuming of course that Wordpress will handle Blogger’s linkage as expected (or should I say hope). It may be worth a try and if it’s successful it will save a lot of unnecessary work. I’m wondering if anyone else has tried this technique? Or I may just try it myself on a test blog. Something else to play with.
  • Also, during the import stage my more popular posts that have tons of comments were truncated at around the 50 comment mark. So I will have to manually add them later.
  • So far the only thing that I’ve really missed from Blogger is the ease to add widget page elements, but there are also plugins that you can get for Wordpress that will do the same thing.

The Ugly:

  • I’ve lost my backlinks. The only way I can fix it is if everyone who has ever linked to me will make the correction.  Hint ;-)

Of course there are techniques that I can use to mitigate some of the more adverse affects of moving such as pagerank, but I will discuss that in another post.

No regrets. No solution is perfect but the benefits of moving over to Wordpress far outweigh the bad.

What are your experiences with moving over to Wordpress? Or perhaps you have a valid excuse reason(s) that’s holding you back from making the move! Let me know.

UPDATE: Read how you can redirect your old blog backlinks at Migrating-Redirecting Blogger to Wordpress: The Complete Guide!

Written December 30th, 2007 by | 343 Comments | Filed under: *Best Tips, Blogging Tips, SEO Tips, Wordpress Tips , , , , , ,

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343 Responses to “Moving Blogger Over to Wordpress: The Good, Bad and the Ugly”

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  1. 1
    Debbie Dolphin Says:

    Backlinks vanished into the Black Hole of Google???
    Google Present Ration (PR) falling???

    Perhaps, these minor issues will be solved soon by the benefits of using WordPress?

    For reasons unknown, my RSS subscriptions have doubled since moving to WordPress which could be a clue as to how insignificant Google’s rating or ranking systems may be?

    Is it possible to strike out the word NOT in the “7 Reasons Why Blogger Users Should NOT Switch to WordPress?

    Might be better to keep adding to the list of 8 great reasons for sailing to WordPress listed in my post and comments at New England Lighthouse Blog has Sailed to the New World of WordPress!

    Other than a few initial bumps like using Firefox NOT Safari, searching for the needle in the Header Code to hide the link in the Header image, and the Permalink issue, I found the WordPress Dashboard very easy to learn and use compared to Blogger.

    Happy New Year,
    Debbie Dolphin

  2. 2
    Kathy Says:

    Hey, Bloke! Looking good! As you know, I’ve hit some stumbling blocks during my move to WordPress, but it has grown on me and I’m so pleased I moved.

    I still have a lot of questions for which I’m not finding answers. And some of them are simple ones. Kinda frustrating. Anyway, glad to see you up and running. I’ve updated my feed.

  3. 3
    Jaffer Says:

    I too am working on a Wordpress project but I am getting frustrated working with the php tags and tryng to figure out how to get the sidebar show different content for the home page and the archive page !

    Do you guys have any resources or websites that you can point me to ?

  4. 4
    Lee Says:

    Since I’m fairly new to blogging, my move to WordPress was probably a lot less painful than your move. I’m learning about different plug-ins and making changes and additions as I go along.

    The biggest issue for me was finding a theme that allowed me to make changes to the header image. I wanted to be able to showcase some of my photography in a way that contributed to my blog. The theme I’ve chose not only does that, but it also allows me to use multiple images which are randomly cycled each time the page is refreshed. I’m thrilled with the results of installing the chosen theme.

    Anyway, today I also added a Blokester button to my sidebar with a link back here. So, even though I wasn’t one of those with a previous link-back, there’s one for you now. :0)

  5. 5
    Jaffer Says:

    I found a wonderful article about displaying different sidebar-contents on different pages:

    Lee, you can always manually edit the theme files in wp-content/themes.

    To change the header image, all you have to do is edit the header.php file !

    If you server allows changing file permissions (to 666), you can even edit your theme within the word press environment

  6. 6
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Hi Debbie. Nice Avatar!

    The reason you are getting more RSS subscriptions is probably because you moved to Wordpress. When you’re on WP you are somehow taken more seriously.

    Heh, the “7 Reasons Why Blogger Users Should NOT Switch to Wordpress” is kind of embarrassing but I have no control over that. It’s a plugin that automatically inserts it. Then again, maybe it’s good to read the flip side of the argument as well.

  7. 7
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Thanks for updating the feed Kathy. I would miss you tremendously over here. By the way, have you noticed that you are already number 6 on the all-time Top Commenters list? Congratulations!

    We’re all learning as we go with Wordpress. But as a community we can grow together and help each other out.

  8. 8
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Jaffer, it sounds to me like you will want to edit the “Single Post” file which you should see in your Theme Editor. I also sent you a link to the Wordpress documentation that should help.

  9. 9
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Hi Lee. Thanks for the Blokester link and welcome to the community!

    Jaffer is right about the header.php file. That is where I modified my header/banner. If you want, let me know and I will write a tutorial explaining how I did it.

  10. 10
    Blog Bloke Says:

    Odd, but it seems that Wordpress gets more spam than Blogger. I’ve already had to remove numerous spam comments from this blog. I would have thought it would be the other way around.

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