Q&A: Blogspot Blog Domain to WordPress Custom Domain

November 20, 2009

I was just asked by a colleague about an acquaintence of his who wants to move her blog from a something.blogspot.com URL (Blogger/Blogspot subdomain) to her own domain, and in the process move over to WordPress… without losing traffic.  Currently she gets a good deal of traffic, all to her pages which are indexed under the Blogspot subdomain URL.

If you have experience with this please weigh in!!!

My reply:

I don’t really know for sure here as I’ve never done this, but I would probably go about it like this:

1) First, switch from the blogspot subdomain to the “custom domain” feature.  Its in the settings > publishing tab.  There may be a small fee for this, my guess is its like $10 or something very small.

2) Confirm that this is working, and that its sending 301 redirects for the old blogspot pages to the same URLs (minus the change in domains) on the new domain.

3) Wait for Google to reindex everything… probably a few weeks.

4) Export everything and import into a new WordPress install (on a testing domain or temp URL).  When doing this, ensure the test domain is blocking search engines.  There is probably a handy plugin or too to import from Blogger to WordPress.

5) Configure the URLs in WordPress to match the same formatting as the old Blogger blog, and make sure it works right.

6) Launch the new WordPress blog by repointing the domain from Blogger to the new server hosting the WordPress blog.

7) Go back into Blogger and add a little post saying the blog moved… everyone for each individual post should be redirected anyways but I’d still do this anyhow.  Link to the new full domain URL.  Make sure to keep paying Blogger to keep that custom domain feature intact b/c that is what is keeping the 301 redirects from the old pages with the Blogspot URLs to the new URLs on the new WordPress blog hosted on a new domain and server.

When complete, I don’t think you’ll keep 100% of the “juice” or traffic here, but I think you’ll keep 90% of it, plus you’ll gain by having your own domain name and more features and capabilities with WordPress.  If you don’t mind a little effort to make the switch, I think its worthwhile.

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10 Responses to “Q&A: Blogspot Blog Domain to WordPress Custom Domain”


  1. Jon, great post. What about trying to start a rival blog, same sort of topic but slightly different. Write posts on both, but with different content, link to new blog post from old blog and try to get new blog traffic as high as old blog? Might take a bit longer but then essentially you are using the old blog with the traffic as an accelerant to rocket new blog up to the top?

    • jonpayne Says:

      Thanks Matt. I’m not in love with that idea though. You are lucky to get 10% of the people who visit Page A to click a link to Page B. I think it you did this – or just put up the new blog with a bunch of links saying “we’ve moved” – I think in that case you’d have good success in getting the regular readers and subscribers to move over, but you’d really lose a lot of search juice by doing that. With a link from Page A (old domain) to Page B (new domain) you get a fraction of the “search juice” that you get when doing a 301 redirect, which in theory is 100% but in practice I’d say is 80-90%.


  2. Thanks for the posts, guys. I’m considering doing this with my free blogspot blog. Here’s the thing: I already registered a custom domain 2 years ago and have had it pointed to my blogspot blog since that time. I imagine that’s plenty of time for the 301 redirects to get set. However, when I look at my stats, only the blogspot domain shows up. I never see results for readers landing on the domain name. I’m assuming that’s because the new domain is simply pointing the traffic to the blogspot domain. This leads me to think that it’s the blogspot site that its retaining all the search engine juice for itself. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • jonpayne Says:

      Stacey – That’s exactly right… you basically just have it set up backwards. Currently your domain is redirecting to your blogspot URL, and you need to set it up the other way around in following the above steps, then give that time to kick in.


  3. Thanks, Jon. That’s very helpful.

  4. Jose Says:

    Too bad! The platform I’m currently using (i.ph) doesn’t provide the same level of control as blogger does. I think we can use a custom domain, but I don’t know if it will 301 redirect every posts.

    I’m just waiting for cross domain support of canonical tags.

  5. Robert Says:

    Jon, I’ve had some experience with this and I’m not sure that my way is the best but it’s worked relatively well. Going through this process is always a pain and I don’t think there’s a way to keep 100% of the linkjuice that the old blogger subdomain has.

    This is the basic process I use and it’s pretty similar to what you outlined above:

    1. Set up the new domain with WP on it (but keep indexing off).

    2. Import the Blogger blog to the new WP blog (there’s an option within the WP control panel under “Tools”, you don’t need to even download anything.

    3. Clean up the formatting of the new WP posts. This can be a real pain for blogs with a ton of posts because WP unfortunately picks up a lot of funky Blogger style tags.

    You also have to make sure that the images transferred properly and that they’re being linked to their new locations on your domain, and not still pointing to where they were hosted on Blogger. Ditto for video embeds; sometimes Blogger uses its own player to embed video so you have to make sure they’re pointing to Youtube or wherever, instead of back to the old blog.

    4. Write a post on the Blogger blog that the site is moving and people should update their bookmarks/RSS feeds.

    4. Once the new blog is set up, you can do a 302 redirect from Blogger to the new domain (using JavaScript – http://underscorebleach.net/jotsheet/2006/05/move-blogger-to-wordpress).

    5. Turn indexing back on in WP. Use the Sitemap generator plugin to create a sitemap for the new domain and submit it to Google/Bing webmaster tools.

    6. Transfer the RSS feed.. this is easier if you’re using FeedBurner but you’ll probably lose some subscribers in the process.

    6. I leave the 302 up and running for a few weeks while the new blog gets indexed. During this time you should be reminding people to subscribe to the new feed and update their bookmarks. I also email any bloggers or sites with inbound links to the Blogspot domain and ask them to update their links to the new domain.

    7. After it’s indexed and working properly, I shut off the 302 redirect, write a post on Blogger that the domain has moved, and add a “NoIndex” META to the template header in blogger so you can avoid dupe content issues.

    It’s not a perfect solution and you’ll still get people showing up at the old blog but it’s probably better in the long-run to be on your own domain. Maybe someday Blogger will allow for 301 redirects but until then…

  6. lola Says:

    hi,

    okay so im in the midst of transferring my blog from blogger to wordpress.
    and b/c funds are low, im doing it all myself.

    so ive searched the internet far and wide on how do this without loosing any traffic/google index/etc.

    and though everyone very generally says something similar, i still would love any type of help from a professional or someone who know what they’re doing. and you all seem to know what you’re doing.

    question…

    I just changed the name of my site from: myname.blogspot.com to http://www.myname.com… how long do you think it’ll take for google to reindex everything, and do i really have to wait until they do to start the work on my wordpress blog? though my information still shows as blogspot in google search, all the postings are showing up as ww.myname.com/thepostingname within the blog… so couldnt i import them now?

  7. lola Says:

    as far as retaining your links/permalinks do you guys think its better to:

    1. insert this code:
    /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html
    in the custom permalink area, then use a wordpress redirection plugin to clean everything up… (like: http://urbangiraffe.com/plugins/redirection/, or http://hellosam.net/project/blogger-redirector, or one of the ones on wordpress.

    -OR-

    2. just choose month and name from the wordpress option, then use a plugin wp-maintain-blogger-permalinks-1.1 WordPress plugin, that this blog has: http://justinsomnia.org/2006/10/maintain-permalinks-moving-from-blogger-to-wordpress/.

    -OR-

    combine both.. meaning customize with this /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html, then also use a plugin for redirection and use the permalink plugin from number 2

    what do you guys think?

    thanks so much 🙂


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