This post will explain how to migrate your FTP based Blogger account to a WordPress based blog. It will keep your Google rankings, keep your permalinks and get it all done with minimum downtime.

EDIT 8th February 2010: Since writing this, WordPress has amended it’s import ability so it is no longer necessary to migrate your Blog from Blogger to a temporary wordpress.com blog before bringing it into your own FTP based site. See the comment(s) from Damian Hospital below the main post.

I found many posts around the net about the best way to migrate from Blogger to WordPress. However, many are out of date or overly complicated and many others didn’t work with FTP which is what I was after (you will use FTP if you use Blogger to post to your own  domain e.g. www.benfrain.com/ rather than www.benfrain.blogspot.com).

1. If you have the ability to back up your site – do it first. You’ll be happy you did if it all goes wrong.

2. Log in to your blogger account. Goto Settings >> Publishing and then choose ‘Switch to: •  blogspot.com (Blogger’s free hosting service)’. Enter the word verification and ‘Save Settings’

3. Head over to www.wordpress.com and set up a new online WordPress account. Once you are set up (you’ll have to verify by email etc):

4. From the WordPress interface, browse to Tools > Import and choose ‘Blogger’. Now follow this wizard through, let the blog be authenticated and click import to bring your posts into the WordPress blog. Note: once this is complete you can switch Blogger back to FTP publishing if you wish but it isn’t necessary.

5. Once all the posts and comments are in, from the WordPress interface choose Tools > Export and click the ‘Download Export File’ – save this somewhere safe e.g. to your desktop. You can now close your WordPress.com hosted WordPress blog. WordPress doesn’t let you delete online WordPress accounts you make with them so make sure you delete all the posts you just imported or they may show up in two place through search engines etc.  ALl references to the WordPress interface from now on will relate to the one you install on your own domain…

6. Use an FTP client (e.g. Filezilla) and delete the existing blog directory. However DO NOT delete the ‘uploaded images’ directory or you will lose all your pics when you import. Instead, download this folder to the desktop first then delete the direcory e.g. www.benfrain.com/uploaded images/ got downloaded and then www.benfrain.com/ got deleted.

7. Install WordPress on your domain. If you have installatron or similar set up by your host it is very easy, if not, you’ll have to download and install the full package. The key however is to set your WordPress blog up in the same directory you used to use for Blogger. Therefore, my new WordPress blog  was also www.benfrain.com/

8. Upload the ‘uploaded images’ to the new ‘notepad’ directory that WordPress made on install. For example, my blog was at www.benfrain.com/ so I uploaded the ‘uploaded images’ folder from my desktop into that directory using Filezilla – NOTE: do not rename the ‘uploaded images’ directory!

9. Log in to your new FTP installed WordPress blog e.g. www.yourdomain.com/blog/wp-admin/ and choose Tools >> Import. Choose ‘WordPress’ and browse to the file you saved to your desktop and click ‘Import’. When prompted to import images, do so. You should now see all your posts and images but the permalinks (the actual url’s the postings have) are all different…

10. We now need to correct all the URL’s that WordPress uses for posts so that we retain existing links from Google etc. To do this, head over to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ and search and download ‘Maintain Blogger Permalinks‘ by Justin Watt. Add the Plugin by choosing Plugins >> Add new from the WordPress interface, browse to the downloaded Zip file and install and Activate the plugin.

11. Still in WordPress, choose Settings >> Permalinks and click the Radio Button for ‘Custom Structure’ and enter the following in the box ‘/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html’ (the bit inside the apostrophes) – and click ‘save changes’ this will ensure posts follow the same naming convention as Blogger.

12. Now choose Tools >> Maintain Blogger Permalinks and click the ‘Maintain Blogger Permalinks’ button. This will now rename all your existing posts to be the same format as they were in your Blogger FTP blog, preserving the page rank and links to those posts that already exist.

That’s it! WordPress is a great app and amending the template (if indeed you did amend it) is as simple, if not simpler, than it is in Blogger and the wealth of plugins and ease of use it superb.

I’d love to know how anyone gets on with this, let me know…

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