Moving from Wordpress to Blogger: The Good, Bad, the Ugly, and How I Did It
Some of you may be asking — why on earth would anyone want to switch from Wordpress to Blogger? Well I have a very good reason, so please bear with me.
Recently my Wordpress blog was taken offline by my host provider leaving me without a blog to write from. The circumstances were strange to say the least and if you want more details you can read about it here. But that’s not my reason for writing this post.
I had no choice but to revert back to my old Blogger blog while they are apparently working on it. But before I get into the nitty and gritty of how I moved my Wordpress blog back over to Blogger, there are a few things that have stood out for me amongst all of the much-touted fixes and improvements published by Blogger.
So if you just want to read about the technical issues of moving your Wordpress blog over to Blogger then you can jump to the blog tips below.
Otherwise please continue reading…
Nice! Blogger can now schedule posts. Finally, one of the most glaring omissions from Blogger has been implemented. This was one of the reasons why I left Blogger in the first place and I’m glad to see they’ve caught up to Wordpress in this respect.
They now have an import/export feature for merging other Blogger blogs. I have used this myself and although it’s a great feature they still have some work to do to make it better. You can read more about it below.
They’ve added more “widgets” simplifying things like adding a blog roll with the “Blog List” widget, but it still has a long way to catch up to the hundreds, if not thousands of Wordpress plugins that are available.
Another nice feature that they’ve added is Autosave in the post editor, and although it didn’t save me the other day when my computer crashed it’s a much-needed improvement.
Lastly, and probably the most intriguing new thing for me is it’s much-touted Google Weblogs, but we shall have to wait and see how this will pan out. Fooled ya
Yes, they now have an import feature but it doesn’t check for duplicate content. Neither does it have a global delete button, so if you have duplicate posts you have to delete each one at a time. What a nuisance! In my case it didn’t look like the import feature had worked so I hit the button a second time.
Another annoyance is it can only import Blogger blogs so you can forget about trying to easily move your Wordpress posts over.
There’s still no undo feature in the post editor. Nuff said.
I’m really concerned about what damage might be caused to my reputation, traffic, brand, pagerank, (not counting the personal embarrassment either) by flipping back and forth from blog to blog. Poor Google must be having shiz fit right about now.
Blogger still succumbs to those really annoying Google server errors that occasionally pop up. I’ve also noticed that Blogger will just stop working occasionally for no apparent reason, and you will have to go for a walk and hope that it’s back online again when you return.
The Blogger code is still wrapped up into just one file called a blog template. So when your blog gets more sophisticated the code can get a little longish making it confusing to work in.
Wordpress separates the “template” into smaller components making up what it calls a theme. By separating the code into smaller components, it makes it easier to work in (such as if you just want to make CSS changes you need only to load up the stylesheet).
The only drawback is if you forget where that little snippet of code is that you want to change, you will have to search each individual file until you find it. But that’s a small price to pay in my opinion for working in a more organized environment like Wordpress.
Blogger still keeps the comments section in a separate https file that doesn’t reside on the post page, making it more inconvenient for commenters to leave a message.
I’m still finding the post editor harder to work in than Wordpress. It has annoying bugaboos that need fixing and the environment is a little more cluttered and smaller than I like to work in.
Wordpress allows me to adjust the size of the editing section to suit my needs. It also seems to have less bugs and quirks than Blogger, and with the addition of plugins I can turn it into a virtual printing press.
It’s really quite easy. Basically all you need to do is follow my instructions in reverse. If you are a Custom Domain user (like you should be) all that’s required is to change your DNS settings in your domain host back to Google and cut the umbilical chord from the blog host provider.
In my case all I that had to do was remove the Wordpress host’s “Name Server” like so:
Unfortunately because there is no import feature for Wordpress posts you are stuck with doing it manually which can be a daunting task if there are a lot. Neither does Blogger have an .htaccess file for redirects.
Nevertheless there are some alternatives such as python scripts to help with the import, but I haven’t tested these methods myself so please use at your own risk.
The Bottom Line:
Although Blogger has made some headway into catching up to Wordpress it still has a long way to go. It has a lot of bugs that still need ironing out, lacks basic functionality of Wordpress, plugins that extend it’s power, and a general feeling of maturity that Wordpress has.
So even though Blogger is still behind in the blog platform arena, at least it is headed in the right direction.
Will I stay with Blogger? Probably not. There are just too many advantages that Wordpress has over Blogger. But more especially, if you want to run a professional blog then Wordpress is the only way to go.
But if you are a personal blogger and you are willing to wait, don’t want the hassle of moving or having to pay for a blog host, then by all means stay with Blogger. It still has some holes and quirks to fix, but at least they’re working on it.
Whatever your reason might be for moving back to Blogger (either because you prefer it over Wordpress, or like in my case I was forced to) … now you know.