Our blog needed a new design for a while now and the way to get there was to move to a new platform. Blogger was too limiting in design options and templates so there was no other option but to move.
Now, anyone who tells you that moving from one blogging platform to another is easy is lying to you. It’s a mess and there are almost no shortcuts. From some reason, the different platforms never reached an agreement on the url schemes. This means your links are bound to break if you don’t do something about it and your SEO will be hurt as well. I’m not even talking about links for archives and categories.
Images represent another set of issues:
- Moving the images from one hosting to another
- Formatting of the images often breaks
- WordPress requires you to specify a featured image for every blog post
New Blog Setup
- We are using a template called Hurray that comes with a nice and clean design, lots of configuration options and widgets and a decent price tag. If you the new design, you can learn more here .
- WPEngine for hosting – if you haven’t tried it yet, you should. It’s a bit pricy but there is really no comparison.
- Shareaholic for social sharing buttons
- Disqus for comments
- BlogPad Pro app for writing posts from my iPad
- We used Blogger Importer provided by WordPress to move the content
- For the links to the posts, we followed the instructions provided in this post. More specifically, you have to set a specific permalink settings and then run a small php script they give in the post.
- For the links to archives we are using a plugin called Redirection which also includes a 404 monitor and allows you to turn 404 errors into 301 redirects.
- Image hosting – I tried two plugins but it seems most of the images are still hosted in blogger / google. I don’t see this as a big enough problem to do the migration manually.
- Featured image – no way around doing that manually.
- Moving disqus for comments was pretty straight forward.
- Shareaholic immediately showed the right share counters as soon as we went live. They are using the APIs provided by FB, Twitter and Linkedin directly so you don’t have to migrate any data.
- Mailing list – MailChimp for WordPress Lite plugin. This is not their official plugin but it is better in my opinion.
- WP Google Authorship plugin – makes the author picture come up in search results and improves SEO. Blogger has that out of the box but WP requires a plugin.