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Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

June 25th, 2009 by Madeleine

Our comments feed died a few weeks ago. Not only does our recent comments widget no longer work but we get no notification of new comments so if people leave comments on old topics we have no idea. It is extremely annoying and it means we cannot properly manage our blog; if someone left something defamatory on our site we wouldn’t know unless we happened to stumble over it; the recent comments widget enabled visitors to see other people’s interactions with our blog at a glance, we have noticed a drop in comments since it has been down.

Repeated attempts to get some help from Blogger, some indication of when this will be fixed have been unsatisfactory. As such, I am now seriously contemplating moving MandM from Blogger to WordPress.

However, I am concerned with the effect on our backlinks, particularly the deep links. Will these still work if we shift the blog? Are there any other issues? When we moved to our own domain last year we lost all our Technorati rank and had to contact everyone who linked to us and ask them to update their links some of them took a lot of hassling and a few we’ve given up on. If you have every moved blog platforms, particularly if you have moved from Blogger to WordPress, please let us know what we may be in for.

Alternatively, if you have any idea how we can fix our comments feed that would be my first preference. The feed stopped on 25 May. I had made no changes to the site around that time. Prior to this it would occasionally stop for a few days and then restart and it has been doing that on and off since December.

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33 responses so far ↓

  • Hey guys, moving from Blogger to WordPress is trivial in my own experience—depending on just how much you care about various aspects of the blog. In my case, I coincided switching to WordPress with setting up my own domain on Thinking Matters, so I simply treated the new domain as an entirely new blog which happened to have an archive of all the posts from my old blog as well. So I just set up a 301 redirect from my blogger site to my TM site, and didn't worry about permalinks and so on. No doubt I lost plenty of link juice and PageRank and whatnot doing that, but I don't really care about that.

    In your case, since you are not going to be changing your domain name, your major concern will be with ensuring that WordPress uses the same permalink structure as Blogger. Since you can set the permalink structure fairly flexibly in WordPress's control panel, this shouldn't be an issue—but if it is, I'm sure there would be a plugin for WordPress to resolve this automatically for you.

    To be honest, I'd strongly encourage you to switch over to WordPress, or another professional CMS, even if you can get your comment feed working again. Using Blogger for hosting your blog is just amateurish, and really limits your options very badly both in terms of extensibility and in terms of support (as you've experienced).

    Regards,
    Bnonn

    Recent blog post: Everything you perceive is unreliable

  • I agree with Mr Tennant.

    Test it on the test one I set up for you.. there is no need to migrate everything until you are happy with it.

    Then, if there are issues you can get them resolved without breaking your current setup, and when its done, its just a case of flicking the domain name over and "poof", all done.

    I'm (churchweb.co.nz) happy to offer hosting for free for yourselves, and my assistance in getting everything running..

    I'm also happy to offer cheap hosting to anyone else who is running a blog along the same lines.

    I have a server in the TCL data centre in hamilton, which is fully redundant.

    as I say, import it to the test site, set it up how you like, get a few of us to try and break it for you.. and then see how you feel about it. Unfortunately its one of those things you wont really be able to get your head around until you've done it.

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • Exporting posts and comments can be a problem. There are a couple of blogger backup utilities that will export both, but it's the import side that tends to be tricky. Because you have your own domain, you've minimized some damage at least.

    Our comments feed died some time back, and I couldn't get it working. Finally, dumped out all the code and found a different add-in for recent comments and that seemed to fix it, although why it died was never obvious even with a fair amount of debugging.

    Recent blog post: No Refunds

  • To begin with I chose Blogger as we set MandM up mostly for Matt to use so he had an outlet for his thoughts. He is not tech savvy and Blogger is easier to use than WordPress and I have not found it too difficult to customise.

    However, this situation with the comments feed is untenable. It has gone on for far too long and every day it continues is a problem. Our traffic and comments have dropped and you can almost pin-point those drops to the comment feed. I noticed a big jump when I first installed the recent comments widget and a now a big drop since it died due to the feed. Numbers matter to me.

    I am worried that permalinks, link juice and pagerank is at stake too. I am less sold on WordPress than you are Bnonn, as you know I still have issues with it that I don't have with Blogger and I am above average in my tech knowledge for a lay person. Still, I know everyone raves about WordPress and like I said, we cannot live with no comment feed and no comment notifications beyond those JS Kit sends us from the comments threads we are active in.

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • Thanks very much – I will start testing it and seeing what happens and see if I can find some good plugins.

    I don't think we pay for hosting currently though, just the domain. Does WordPress require you to host your own?

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • I kept thinking I had fixed our comment feed on the previous times it died as I would go in and mess with things and uninstall and reinstall and try new things and then it would start working so I thought I had fixed it. Now I'm wondering if it was just randomly stopping and starting and I had nothing to do with it as none of those tricks have worked this time.

    Nevertheless, which add-in did you try?

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • Huh, I'm seriously considering moving over to WordPress too. Highly recommend you do MandM.

    Recent blog post: It's a Dog's Life

  • There are almost 3 years worth of blog posts here, a lot of them had an awfully huge amount of work and research put into them and they pull in traffic all the time. If all the links to those existing posts then not only does our traffic take a hit but people cannot find the work that put so much effort into.

    I really want to find a workaround to that.

    There is also the issue that I have been using WordPress for a few months now for other blogs and I still hate it – I guess that will pass.

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • With wordpress there are 2 options, hosting @ wordpress (dont know if your domain works there) or providing your own hosting.

    The plus side of hosting at wordpress is you dont have to maintain wordpress yourself, the downside of hosting it yourself is that you do (or, I do in reality :P)

    I suspect you can just point your domain at wordpress.com and do it that way. I personally prefer to host it myself, as it means I have control over everything.. and I am a control freak 😛

    (update.. you can use your own domain at wp.com: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2006/10/24/domain-mapping-registration/)

    I just did a bit of a search and the general consensus appears to be that if you can, using your own hosting + wordpress is best, unless you are a complete technophobe, in which case use wordpress.com

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • Hi Madeleine.

    If you keep your 'new' blog on the same domain (www.mandm.org.nz) you won't lose your Technorati ranking even if the links to individual articles are broken as Technorati only measures links to your domain, not to specific articles.

    I successfully moved from Blogger to Squarespace recently, both with a custom domain, so kept my technorati points. (http://www.squarespace.com/?associateTag=gavinknight gives me credit if you want to try it out)

    Squarespace is brilliant, but not the cheapest. I went for it as it seems to be much more user friendly than Blogger or WordPress, and is actually a broad functionality website hosting tool, with blogs being only one form of websites you can run on it. Squarespace, like Blogger and WordPress, allows you to edit the source CSS, but I can't be bothered with that, and find Squarespace provides much more user friendly ways to do the things I want to do. Squarespace also has powerful import/export features (including from Blogger) to get your content into Squarespace when you start, and out again if you ever decide to leave.

    On my move to Squarespace many of the links within my posts 'broke' and I've manually fixed those few articles I know (from my stats counter) get regular hits. I don't know if moving to WordPress will give you fewer broken links.

    There's a free hosted version of WordPress at WordPress.com which offers a paid option to add your custom domain. My understanding is that is pretty feature rich, but doesn't allow all the add-ins you can put on a WordPress site you host yourself. The self hosted WordPress system can be downloaded from WordPress.org. I see from the comments you already have offers for free hosting, which is brilliant as that can cost you some money in it's own right.

    Gavin

    Recent blog post: Do You Maintain Balance in Your Life?

  • As long as the posts move, they wont get lost 🙂

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • What do you hate about WordPress (aside from the fact that I broke the align-left and align-right functions in the custom theme you're using)? Are you maybe just expecting it to behave like Blogger…?

  • I think this is partially the problem..

    All the plugins and so forth that Madeleine has worked for so long to get right, will no longer exist, and she'll have to find ones that replace functionality.

    In saying that, having used both blogger and WP, I find WP plugins to be alot better. Also, if you know a coder or 2, you can get custom ones made…

    Its a lot of work, but once it is done.. its done.

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • the posts themselves won't get lost if you import them to WordPress from Blogger … and if a link to a post is broken you can always find it again by search … but that will be too much for some readers and they'll give up when they get the broken url

    the challenge I had in moving my blog from Blogger to Squarespace is that Squarespace constructs the URL differently from how it is/was constructed by Blogger

    eg http://www.gavinknight.com/2009/05/expanded-bible-initial-thoughts.html in Blogger became http://www.gavinknight.com/blog/2009/5/1/the-expanded-bible-initial-thoughts.html in Squarespace

    for my most popular posts I manually created a redirect in Squarepace pointing the old Blogger style URL at the equivalent new Squarepace style URL (note, I haven't done that for the example above!) … but I don't have time to do this for the 100s of posts I've written over the last couple years, and given most of them are no longer relevant I don't see the point in cluttering my redirects list

    maybe WordPress has an automated or configuration way around this?

    Recent blog post: Do You Maintain Balance in Your Life?

  • going to squarespace isnt like moving to wordpress though.

    In wordpress you can set the permalinks to reflect blogger… the options are:

    Default http://mandm.churchweb.co.nz/?p=123
    Day and name http://mandm.churchweb.co.nz/2009/06/25/sample-post/
    Month and name http://mandm.churchweb.co.nz/2009/06/sample-post/
    Numeric http://mandm.churchweb.co.nz/archives/123
    Custom Structure

    (ie, month and name is the same as they are using here..)

    (in fact I set it to that on the test site already :P)

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • cool, that would solve it

    must look to see if Squarespace has a similar function (although I'll probably stay with the new URLs it would be nice to know there is the option there if I need/want it)

    Recent blog post: Do You Maintain Balance in Your Life?

  • Madelaine, also for me your comments feeds works and I can see read all the comments on G.Reader adding from
    http://js-kit.com/rss/mandm.org.nz

  • Bnonn it is probably just that I know how Blogger works and how to get past its occaisional glitches which means I just have to get as familiar with WordPress and then I'll be fine.

    There are those glitches in the TMA site you mention – not just the align function but also line breaks not working.

    I do like that you can go in to blogger and tweak your page colours just by clicking boxes and you can automatically preview, on the very same page, the changes.

    I like the size of the box you type your posts in, I find the WordPress one far too small to be able to see what I am doing in.

    I like Blogger's preview page – it loads faster and is far more accurate visually to what you will actually get than WordPress.

    I like the accessibility of the html code and the ease of tweaking things in Blogger.

    Still I like that in WordPress I will be able to deal to our monster label list and reduce it to sub categories. I know WordPress's functionality is better and I will finally be able to have an event calendar. Of course we will also get notification of new comments too.

    I am on holiday – we have a lot on – but this is as much time as any that I'll have available to do this so I think we should.

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • The JS Kit comments feed does work (it, of course, is not powered by Blogger). However, it only emails us notifications for comment threads we are active in, and of those, only the ones we became active in since installing JS Kit. So for any posts we have not personally commented in (and of course all old, pre-JS Kit posts we did comment in) we receive no notifications regarding new comments at all.

    Further, the recent comments widget will not work off the JS Kit feed. Unless anyone knows of one that will? I'd like to get this site back fully functional asap as moving to WordPress will take some time.

    Recent blog post: Issues to Consider in Moving from Blogger to WordPress?

  • The ability to easily tweak the colours in Blogger and play around with them in a visual editor that updates automatically in front of you means that when you install a theme that has the bones you like – structure, layout and so on, it is a piece of cake to then fiddle with your own colours and make it your own.

    It is also extremely easy to insert things into the layout. Again, if you download a new theme and want to insert a picture into the space the theme designed made for paid advertisements you just go into layout, click the box and delete it or change it – extremely user friendly.

    Most people I know who use WordPress say that customising it in this way is much harder so its better to just find a theme that is close to what you want and live with it.

    This was the original template for this site: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_vstR4q94fu8/SGWQXO_VjxI/AAAAAAAABPI/p1rivHK2Lbg/s1600-h/Grease.png. Being able to mess with it very easily saved me hours of mucking around to get the tones of the colours how I wanted them – I experimented with so many different colour combinations and shades of beige and brown. It was also easy to mess around with the bits of the page I didn't like. Am I wrong in thinking that WordPress is much less user friendly in this sense?

  • That is a relief. I am well aware of tutorials on how to move the posts and the bulk of the site with ease. I just don't want people's existing links to our specific blog posts to break.

  • Maybe I should check the JS Kit settings and see if I can get notification for all comments.

    You raise a good point, I was wondering this afternoon if I could use the JS Kit comment feed for the recent comments widget and bypass the lack of functionality of bloggers feed.

    I'll give it a try though I still think we should make the move to WordPress but sorting the notifications and the recent comments widget right now would be great.

    Recent blog post: Michael Jackson Dead

  • Why emails you notifications for comments threads you are active in? This is not right, seems me an issues. I'd used the js-kit comments and emails me all the comments. You can to seek the the comments by G.Reader, but now the js-kit feed redirect to http://www.mandm.org.nz/ (comments for post and all comments).
    About the Recent comment widget I don't know wich you was used, there are a few. Try to add a gadget Feed whit the feed URL http://js-kit.com/rss/mandm.org.nz (no more than 5 comments for this) or someone else with this URL feed, not the Blogger feed for comments.

  • I am experimenting with various different recent comment scripts as you can probably see in my side-bar. JS Kit's own recent comments script is very ugly and I am sure will be as difficult to customise as their comments form so I am not keen on that.

    The blogger feeds widget looks the cleanest but it doesn't display the title of the post the comment is on.

    I am about to try a JSON script and the Feedburner option – but that means coding the html so I will try all those options last.

    I have gone to JS Kit and checked the box to receive email notification of all comments (it was unchecked) so I should receive notification from now on.

    I am not sure how to "check the error on the feed comment of js-kit" can you tell me how to check this?

    Thanks 🙂

    Recent blog post: Michael Jackson Dead

  • Resize the widget:

    <div class="js-kit-top" site="http://www.mandm.org.nz&quot; title="MandM" count="25" skin="silver" style="width: 375px"></div><script src="//js-kit.com/top.js"></script>

    375px is too big for this sidebar. Can swich the skin?
    The Feed gadget for Blogger only shown up the url post when mouseover, yeap.
    So, works json whit Blogger feed!? Good news!
    About the error, earlier (not now), when one clicks on the links All comments or Comments for this post they redirect to http://www.mandm.org.nz not to the suscribe page.
    Take a break 🙂

    Recent blog post: I've now tried 3 different…

  • Please check the error on the feed comment of js-kit, it's redirect to your own blog, that's a sympthom. The widget based on json -script- work with a feed comments and is very customizable.
    What about Feedurner? And seeking the commnents by Reader?
    About to move or not to WP, as you wish… But I honesty thing that the issues whit the comment feed could be fixed.

  • I've now tried 3 different JSON scripts. They each work with the dead
    blogger feed, none work with the JS Kit feed.
    I now need to try the trickier ones but I am going to take a break first.
    _____

  • Resize the widget:
    <div class="js-kit-top" site="http://www.mandm.org.nz&quot; title="MandM" count="25" skin="silver" style="width: 375px"></div><script src="//
    js-kit.com/top.js"></script>
    375px is too big for this sidebar. Can swich the skin?
    The Feed gadget for Blogger only shown up the url post when mouseover, yeap.
    So, works json whit Blogger feed!?
    About the error, earlier (not now), when one clicks on the links All
    comments or Comments for this post they redirect to
    http://www.mandm.org.nznot to the suscribe page.
    (The form don't post my reply, there is a hard loop "Loading…")

  • Madelaine, the single post upload is very slow. Transfering data from js-kit.com… The team of js-kit is colaborative, chat about these issues. Khris (CEO & dev) notice his email in support.
    Best wishes

  • Well something has worked, because there are recent comments showing now!

    Recent blog post: Slowing things down… yes, even more (and a rant)

  • Run from blogger. Have you checked whether or not blogger has a plugin for 301 redirects?

    Recent blog post: Thanksgiving

  • The blogger comments feed just came back to life!

    Nevertheless we are on the road to WordPress. The new site is half done, just waiting for Geoff to help me unlock the style sheet and other files so I can write over them and fiddle with our new theme (the two FTP programs I keep trying to use to unlock them keep timing out for some reason).

    While we are still stuck with WordPress I will restore the old recent comments widget which was much better than this one reading off the jskit feed.

    If anyone has any knowledge as to how I can import all the comments to the new WordPress site from the js-kit comments feed that would be great! I have imported all the blogger comments feed ones but of course there have been a lot of comments left since the blogger feed died and WordPress's import feature appears to be importing from the blogger feeds only. We really, really, really do not want to lose two months worth of comments – in fact Matt is on the verge of refusing to agree to the move to WordPress if that is the cost.

    Recent blog post: Fisking Ian Hassall: The Arbitrary Ethical Reasoning on the Smacking Referendum