How to move from Wordpress to Blogger (Blogspot): reasons why + DIY Guide

Thursday, 9 January 2020

I moved my blog from Wordpress to Blogger in early 2019 and I could not be happier. That’s right, you read that correctly – Wordpress to Blogger – a total defiance of what is commonly preached by most bloggers these days.

I moved my blog from Wordpress to Blogger (aka Blogspot, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll just refer to it as Blogger throughout the rest of this article) in early 2019 and I could not be happier. That’s right, you read that correctly – Wordpress to Blogger – in total defiance of what is commonly preached by most bloggers these days.

Blog header, a photo of a laptop with mobile smartphone and a cup of coffee

How to move from Wordpress to Blogger (Blogspot): reasons why + DIY Guide

    This post is not a Wordpress versus Blogger comparison. I am not highlighting the advantages of one platform over the other; there is already an abundance of available literature in the web about it. I wrote this post purely for writers who would like to move their blogs from Wordpress to Blogger.

    The Facts 

    But before I proceed, let’s first breakdown several facts about blogging platforms, the similarities of Blogger and Wordpress, and the factors that eventually helped me decide which platform to use.

    Black and white photo of a laptop keyboard

    Let’s get to the facts first:

    1. No matter what blogging platform you use, your content is yours. It is not true that when you use Blogger (or any other free platform), your content is not yours. Proof to this is the fact that you can download your content and move it from one platform to another – from Blogger to Wordpress to Wordpress (dot) com or to any other content management system of your choice. It may not be easy to do so, you may need additional tools and a lot of hard work to be able to move your content around, but it is still doable.

    2. No blogging platform is perfect. The perfect blogging tool does not exist but you can find one that is ideal and best suits your needs.

    No matter what blogging tool you choose to use, there will be limitations: downtimes that will happen especially during updates, functions that may work in one platform but may not work in another, and even the by which a platform will allow you to edit its html core code.

    Photo of a laptop with monitor showing a blog post in draft mode

    3. You can lose your content in any platform. Yes, whether you are in Blogger, Wordpress, Squarespace, or Weebly, there is always the possibility of you losing your content whether through hacking (not applicable to Blogger, a big plus) or violation of terms and conditions (applies to all platforms and hosting providers). 

    To dispel myths, Blogger (or Google) does not take down blogs out of whim. You may have unknowingly violated a guideline or installed a malicious code in your blog that was why your blog was closed. However, it can also happen to you when you are in Wordpress. Add to that the fact that your site may be hacked if you are lax in security and in updates. The ultimate way to protect  

    4. Your choice of platform does not dictate whether you are professional or not, it is dictated by how dedicated you are to your craft. For some people, being tech-savvy applies to being professional. You can be tach-savvy but churn out shabby content. At all times, it’s the type and quality of content that you put out that will dictate whether you are professional or not.

    5. All platforms or blogging software are free to use. Most blogging platforms also offer free hosting. In Wordpress though, you have to install the free software in a hosting server (which you have to pay for) in order for you to be able to use it.  

    6. You need to invest time and money to be successful in blogging. Even if you are using a free platform with free hosting, in most situations, you need to al least invest in your own domain name so that you exude an air of professionalism. For Blogger users, invest in a domain name and a good theme. 

    7. There is no wrong choice in whatever blogging platform you decide to use. Your decision will depend on your goals, the functionalities that you need, and even the aesthetics of your blog.

    Similarities between Wordpress and Blogger

    I have moved my blog through several blogging platforms. I started with Blogger, then moved my content to Wordpress (dot) com, then I moved it over to Wordpress. I stayed with Wordpress for two years before I finally decided to move my blog to its first home – Blogger. I am not an expert but I can confidently say that I know the basic differences of each platform as well as the advantages of one over the other.

    Photo of a notebook and pen with a laptop in the background

    However, for the purpose of conciseness, I would like to focus on the similarities that I have observed between Wordpress and Blogger.

    1. Easy-to-use. Wordpress and Blogger offer straightforward interface that lets users easily write, upload photos, and publish their content.

    2. Flexibility. Both platforms give users the freedom to tweak the code of the website to add functionalities and customizations that website owners need.

    3. Robustness. Both platforms are powerful content management systems that come with great publishing features out-of-the-box. What’s more, both platforms are optimized for easy search engine indexing as well as social media sharing.

    4. Monetization. In addition to affiliate marketing and sponsored content, Wordpress and Blogger allows content creators to run ads in their websites should they decide to go that road in terms of monetization.  

    Why I chose Blogger over Wordpress

    Scrabble tiles with the word "blog" spelled

    I was in Wordpress for two years. However, I chose to move back to Blogger because I saw in it all the basic features that I need for publishing and maintaining my blog. The following are the factors that eventually triggered me to make the switch:

    1. Cost. Wordpress is a free-to-use software but you have to install it to a hosting server to be able to use it. You have to pay for hosting and the cost can get really high depending on the package that you will buy. In Blogger, hosting is totally free.

    It also comes with free secure socket layer (SSL), the one that adds “https” right before your web address. In Wordpress, you buy an SSL certificate separately although I know there are available SSL certificates for free online.

    2. Maintenance. You have to regularly update your plugins or else you run a security risk if your plugins are outdated.

    3. Downtimes. This is what discouraged me the most. Two months after moving my blog from Wordpress (dot) com to Wordpress, my blog already kept going down not matter how I ask my host for help. It kept happening every hour for an entire weekend. 

    Being new to all that self-hosted thing and with not much technical knowledge, I was in panic and distress that I almost moved my blog back to Wordpress (dot) com. Add to that the fact that my host was almost at a point of not giving me technical support and instead was asking me to upgrade my plan.

    A photo of two pencils, pins, three paper clips, and magnets in bright colors

    4. Wrong assumptions. I thought that moving my blog was the answer to all my goals i.e. huge traffic and easy monetization. Turns out that it was not the case. In the end, I was able to get Google Adsense approval and was able to increase my traffic while on Blogger. 

    I am not correlating Adsense approval and traffic improvement to Blogger. My only point is that I was wrong in hastily assuming that if I go to Wordpress, I would instantly get Adsense approval and huge traffic. As a matter of fact, most of the time, traffic and monetization could not be correlated to the platform that you are using (except Wordpress (dot) com which cannot be monetized via Adsense unless you get a Business Plan). All of it will all boil down to good search engine optimization (SEO) practices and diligently promoting your content.

    Black and white photo of a laptop, a notebook, a smartphone, and a pen

    Again, this is not to convince you about which platform is better. This is just to point out my learnings and the factors that helped me decide on which platform to finally use. 

    If you are in Wordpress and are perfectly happy with it, then you should stay right there. If you are in Blogger and are satisfied with it, but thinking of moving to Wordpress because people are convincing you that it is the only blogging platform out there that works, I hope you that you would think things over very well before making a hasty decision. 

    In the end, ask yourself what your blogging goals are and which platform can help you achieve your goals. Again, because of the flexibility of both systems and the availability of resources online (as well as programmers for hire), you can find a way to tweak your blog based on your needs – whether it’s a shop, an informational website, a business site, or a simple blog.

    Step by step guide on how to move from Wordpress to Blogger

    Here are the things that you will need to be able to move from Wordpress to Blogger:

    1. A Blogger account
    2. Your Wordpress content back-up file (in xml format)
    3. Wordpress to Blogger file conversion online tool
    4. SEO checklist

    Photo of a laptop with screen showing a Wordpress blog post in draft. There is a notebook with pen on the left side and a cup of coffee and mobile phone on the right side

    Downloading your Wordpress content:

    1. Log-in to your Wordpress dashboard and create a back-up of your content.

    2. Once you have downloaded your content, you need to convert it to a file that Blogger can read and upload

    The tool that I used for Wordpress to Blogger file conversion is this: There is another online tool available but I have not tried it:

    3. Once you have converted your file, go to Blogger dashboard, click "Settings," click "Other," then finally, click "Import Content," and upload your xml file.

    4. When you have finally uploaded your file to Blogger, the posts will appear as draft. From here on, everything is manual. This is where a lot of patience and hard work is involved. You have to go through each post and fix the alignment of paragraphs.

    If your photos are embedded in a third-party host (i.e. Flickr and Imgur), then there is no problem because the links will just be carried over to Blogger and your photos will appear in their respective articles. However, if you have uploaded your photos directly in the Wordpress gallery, then these will not be carried over to your posts. You will have to manually add all photos to your posts. Don’t forget to add ALT text to your photos to optimize them for search engines.

    While you are going through each post, take the opportunity to edit the permalink URL structure and search description to include your focus keyword. This will ensure that your posts are optimized for search engines.

    5. Now, for SEO. You have to ensure that all of your links are working fine so that the move will have as little impact to your search engine rankings as possible. I will also assume that you have a custom domain since you were previously a Wordpress user. Map that domain name to your Blogger blog. If you are not comfortable doing that, you may ask your domain registrar to help you out, similar to what I did.

    6. Under settings, fill out your blog’s meta description, robots.txt, robots header tags, ads.txt (if your blog is monetized), and custom redirects. For the custom redirects, you will have to do a permanent redirect for each of your post because your URL structure will change once you move from one blogging platform to another. Custom redirects is also crucial so you don't lose out your search rankings.

    7. At this point, you are already done. You might just want to make some tweaks like adding in-content ads, custom logo, a theme that you like, and so on.

    Photo of a laptop, a smartphone, and an external drive

    That’s it. You have successfully moved your blog from Wordpress to Blogger.  The steps are actually fairly simple and not too technical. However, hard work comes when you have to manually go through each post and do audit – both for layout and SEO – as well as do custom permanent redirects. In the end, just be patient and be mindful of the little things that need to be done.

    Quick SEO tips for bloggers on Blogspot

    By the way, here are some quick yet extremely helpful SEO tips for bloggers using Blogspot. These are fairly easy to remember and quick to apply. Once you get the hang of it, these will flow naturally out of you when writing your articles.

    1. Use appropriate keywords when writing your blog post. Spread it in the title, opening paragraph, headings (H1 and H2), body of the post, and closing paragraph. Do not overdo keyword distribution within your post because it will not look nice and search engines will hate you for it.
    2. Optimize images. This will ensure that your blog posts load fast. I usually reduce my images to around 80 KB using online tools (Image Resizer and Kraken). I also ensure that I add ALT text in my photos using rich and detailed descriptions of the photos.
    3. Edit your permalink structure to include your keyword. As much as possible, shorten your permalink to around five (5) words and ensure that it is a phrase that makes sense.
    4. Add a search description to your post. I use the first paragraph of my post for my search description.

    If you have questions, please feel free to post them in the comment section below.


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