Moving from Blogger to WordPress

For more than four years now I’ve been running this blog with Blogger. Today I’ve finished the bulk of the work involved in moving to WordPress. It might be a few days before all the loose ends are tied up.

The limitations of Blogger:

Blogger isn’t a bad blog tool, but it’s simply not advanced enough to run a large, optimized website. I was using Blogger with a custom template to publish via SFTP to It worked alright, this setup was missing key features:

  • Categories. I wanted categories, and Blogger couldn’t do that for me.
  • On-site installation. I couldn’t run Blogger with PHP and mySQL on my own server for maximum control.
  • Content management. Blogger can’t be used to manage an entire website unless the entire website is just blog posts. This forced me to use a combination of Dreamweaver and custom templates with Blogger, and it was always a pain to update content.

The advantages of WordPress

Besides Blogger not doing enough, WordPress gives me more stuff I want:

  • Content management. WordPress can be used to run an entire website including pages that are not necessarily blog posts.
  • Permalink control.
  • Plugins. WordPress has lots of plugins that appear to be quite useful. I’m already using the All-in-one Search Engine Optimization Pack plugin to fix what I view as deficiencies in WordPress page titles, etc.
  • More options in templates. Yuep, I’m a programmer. I like options. Give me enough rope to hang myself and I’ll see how long I can hold my breath.

Moving from Blogger to WordPress is a pain

At least it was for me. Here were my major problems:

  • Existing site with a boatload of individual pages that aren’t part of a CMS.
  • Blog posts on blogger with no titles. I had over 240 blog entries on Blogger. For whatever reason, be it templates or whatever, I never had the option of adding titles to my posts.
  • Blogger posts were published to website with SFTP, not a Blogspot page. WordPress offers no import function for Blogger entries that aren’t on Blogspot.
  • Blogger posts were only archived by month, not individual post.

What I did

  • Uploaded WordPress to my server in a test subdirectory so as not to disturb my existing site while doing the stuff.
  • Switched Blogger to post on Blogspot.
  • Tried to import. This bombed. As it turns out, WordPress imports by post. So it imported one huge post for each month because I still had Blogger set to archive by month only.
  • After much gnashing of teeth, wondering why my 240 posts imported to just under 50, I deleted my WordPress tables and started over. This time, I had Blogger post individual posts to Blogspot instead of only archiving by month. This worked.
  • Spent a day going through four years of blog posts to 1. Give them titles, 2. categorize them, and 3. Delete really embarrassing ones.
  • Manually “imported” my various non-blog pages (and I’m still not done) into WordPress.
  • Edited the .htaccess WordPress made to add a ton of redirects, so people coming to old page URLs would get forwarded to the new locations. Still not done with this — I need to forward all the old monthly archive pages to the new WordPress monthly archive pages. Oh fun!

So far, so good.

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