Successfully Forwarding Blogger to WordPress

A little while back we transitioned from Blogger to a self hosted WordPress solution. We did this for a variety of reasons, not least of which was SEO. But that’s for another post. What I want to talk about is how we forwarded Blogger to WordPress. I had to wade through a lot of blogs to find out a good way of doing this. Most of the entries about this process are dated to last summer, some account for Blogger 2.0, some don’t. Some account for SEO, some don’t. Some have good, well explained code, most don’t. One thing that really irked me is that none mention the new redirect window that Blogger uses.

Initially we wanted to just forward everything that went through blogspot to the new blog address, but we immediately realized that blogger won’t allow you to forward to a folder. This means that blogger absolutely will not allow you to forward to libertyinteractivemarketing.com/blog. However, they will allow you to forward to blog.libertyinteractivemarketing.com. I find this ridiculous because google gives more weight to the former example, but I digress. So we made the subdomain, and then 301 redirected from the subdomain to libertyinteractivemarketing.com/blog. So there are two redirects happening, one when you come to our Blogger (using their Custom Domain), and another when you hit the subdomain. This should be fine because no matter what, Google should take into account the final redirect as being the correct one.

The problem ended up being that there are still links on Google and the other search engines referencing our Blogger blog. We also realized that the Blogger custom domain thing made it so any hits to our blogger blog were faced with this:


bloggerredirect

This is why we can't have nice things

What we wanted

We decided we wanted the blog to remain in existence but only as a forwarding tool and we wanted to NOINDEX it so that Google wouldn’t penalize us for duplicated content. We also wanted each link for a specific Blogger post on the search engine (and in the blog itself) to forward to that same post on our new WordPress. And finally, we wanted the main Blogger page to forward to our new WordPress installation. We wanted to do this using SEO best practices, but as you’ll find, blogger makes this insanely difficult.

How We Did It

Setup Redirects

First off, you are going to want to be working in your Blogger template editor, which can be found by going to the Layout tab, and then clicking on Edit HTML.

To Redirect the front page of the blog, you cannot use any 301 good stuff. You must use HTTP refresh simply because if you try to use Blogger’s forwarding you’ll have to see that screen above asking permission to redirect. I think that’s bull poo, but so far I have no good solution to this. Put this in between your head tags.

<meta content='6;url=http://yournewblog.wordpress.com/' http-equiv='refresh'/>

Display Message to Users


Blogger Redirect Message

You might want to theme this like your new blog's colors, perhaps not so spammy?

To make it so the user isn’t surprised when they are suddenly sent to the new page, a message is highly recommended. Put this right after your first body tag. Remember to swap out the information in there with yours.

<div style='position: absolute; top: 30px; left: 30px; border: solid 2px #333; color: #000; background-color: yellow; padding: 5px; width: 400px; z-index: 5; font-family: Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: large;'>
<p><strong>My blog has moved!</strong></p>
<p>You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit<br/> <a href='http://yournewblog.wordpress.com/'> <strong>http://yournewblog.wordpress.com</strong></a> <br/> and update your bookmarks.</p>
</div>

Avoid Duplicate Content Penalties

We NoIndexed the blog itself, which was easy enough. Just throw the following code in between your head tags.

<meta name="ROBOTS" content="NOINDEX"/>

Forward Individual Posts

In order to make every post forward correctly you have to use very specific code. This code specifically assumes you are using SEO best practice and organizing your posts only by page title. That means www.yourblog.com/post-title. If you’re not, I recommend you head over to Procrastiblog as his solution takes into account the Blogger timestamp.

Look for this code in the Blogger Template:

<b:section class='main' id='main' showaddelement='no'>

Enter the following right after you find the above code. Make sure to replace “YOUR_BLOG_URL_HERE” with your new blog address.

<b:widget id='Redirector' locked='true' title='Blog Posts' type='Blog'>
<b:includable id='main'>
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
<b:loop values='data:posts' var='post'>
<div id='redirectorTitle' style='visibility:hidden'><data:post.title/></div>
<script type='text/javascript'>
var new_domain = 'YOUR_BLOG_URL_HERE'
 
function utf8_uri_encode( str ) {
  var high_code = new RegExp(/[\u0080-\uffff]+/);;
  new_str = str;;
  while( m = high_code.exec( new_str ) ) {
    new_str = new_str.replace(m,encodeURIComponent(m));;
  }
  return new_str;;
}
 
var title = document.getElementById('redirectorTitle').innerHTML;;
// [INCOMPLETE] Keep percent signs that aren't part of an octet?
title = title.replace(/&lt;[^&gt;]*?&gt;/g,'');; // remove tags
title = title.replace(/&amp;.+?;/g,'');; // remove entities
title = utf8_uri_encode(title);; // handle UTF-8 characters
title = title.toLowerCase();;
title = title.replace(/[^%a-z0-9 _-]/g,'');; // remove punctuation
title = title.replace(/\s+/g,'-');; // turn spaces into hyphens
title = title.replace(/-+/g, '-');; // collapse runs of hyphens
title = title.replace(/^-+/g,'');; // remove prefixed hyphens
title = title.replace(/-+$/g,'');; // remove suffixed hyphens
var timestamp = '<data:post.timestamp/>';
timestamp = timestamp.split('/');
timestamp = timestamp[2]+'/'+timestamp[0]+'/'+timestamp[1];
var new_page = new_domain + '/' + title + '/';;
document.location.href = new_page;
</script>
</b:loop>
</b:if>
</b:includable>
</b:widget>

Examples of how this worked for us:

Front page message and HTTP refresh redirect:
http://libertyinteractive.blogspot.com

Forwarded Post
http://libertyinteractive.blogspot.com/2008/03/functionality-before-optimization-web.html

In Conclusion

While insanely useful, especially for established blogs, one unfortunate thing is that if you had only published on yoursite.blogspot.com and you have many people linking to you, you will not be able to pass on link juice. Your page rank may suffer as a result. While you’ll be able to get your users where you want them to (post by post) and therefore improve bounce rates, you wont get the page rank benefits. Make sure to remove and noindex your old blog from Google using Google webmaster tools and next time either use a custom domain or don’t use a hosted solution. Even Typepad suffers from this.

Thanks to: Procrastiblog, and Laffers.net, as they have by far the most up to date and working examples of this stuff. They just needed a little more.

Liberty Tsighis

Liberty Tsighis is the owner of Liberty Interactive Marketing, a Los Angeles digital marketing agency. She specializes in digital marketing strategy and content marketing. Foodie from birth, wine lover and family addict you can find her on , Twitter and Instagram.

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74 Responses to “Successfully Forwarding Blogger to WordPress”

  1. Farr Design » So you’re thinking about switching to Wordpress, huh? Says:

    […] Successfully forwarding Blogger to WordPress […]

  2. Faith Foster Says:

    i host 5 of my blogs on Blogspot and it is really good for beginners. but if you want something with more features, nothing beats wordpress:’`

  3. lilrayosun Says:

    Hey, I just tried this and it works! I had to change ‘Redirector’ to ‘Blog2’ as Joelle suggested, and it works like a charm, in the blink of an eye, seamless! Thank you!

  4. Shawn Says:

    So the redirection is great. Just to let anybody know is that if you bought a custom domain from blogger you can do a 301 forwarding through go daddy where they host the domain, but cannot be transferred.

    However I did check my old domain name on http://www.webrankinfo.com/english/tools/server-header.php and it says a 200, still cannot figure out if the 301 is in effect, any ideas.

  5. 2011 NFL Draft Says:

    F-I-N-A-L-L-Y!

    THANK you soooo much JOELLE and LIBERTY INTERACTIVE!!!!!!

  6. Knedlikova Says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!

    Worked a charm for me EXCEPT for those posts that had letters with symbols on e.g. É ê č etc.

    For these I get Error 404.

    Tried renaming on both sides, but still getting the error.

    Any hints…?

  7. penny auction Says:

    nice information!

  8. Meghan @JaMonkey Says:

    Thank you so much. this is the only tutorial that actual showed me what I was looking for! You rock

  9. Shan @ Last Shreds Of Sanity Says:

    I am not a fan of the yellow box or any redirect page. I have a template for my old Blogger blog that does an auto-redirect to my WP site seamlessly. Is there any way to incorporate your code into that template?

    A;so, I tried using this plugin (even though I would rather have hard coding instead of more plugins) http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-blogger-to-wordpress-301-redirector/faq/ but it does not do the one to one post redirect even though I called Hostgator and asked them to whitelist the HTTP protocol error. HostGator says there is NO ERROR. OY. I had the same issue of no 1 to 1 redirect with the Blogger To WordPress Redirection plugin.

    I don’t know what to do. I have been on WP for a while, but I am trying to improve mt SEO/Traffic/Bounce Rates by fixing all of my 404’s once and for all.

    Clearly, it’s not working out for me. LOL

    Help?

  10. Darshan Beloshe Says:

    Lovely post! It helps me a lot.. Thanks

  11. Mike Verbruggen Says:

    Thank you for your wonderfull work.

  12. My blog Says:

    My blog…

    […]Successfully Forwarding Blogger to WordPress | Optimization Conversation | Liberty Interactive Marketing[…]…

  13. LA Lady Says:

    Thanks for this! Even 5 years later it helped.

  14. Caitlin Says:

    Appreciating the hard work you put into your website and in
    depth information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material.
    Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  15. Angie Vinez Says:

    Oh my gosh. You have saved me hours of frustration!! Thank you *so* much for your post! This is fantastic. 🙂

  16. Stephani Rondinelli Says:

    Hi! Have you any idea if they generate any plugins to assist in Website seo?I’m working to get my weblog to rank well for a few focused keyword phrases but I’m notseeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Kudos!

  17. Liberty Tsighis Says:

    Hi Stephani,

    Try the SEO plugins by Yoast or All-in-One SEO plugins. Thanks for your comment.

  18. DenisSaful Says:

    Thanks for your sharing! Very in depth and well-written article. Just wanted to add there are a number of online converters that are floating around the Web (CMS2CMS, for example). I made use of it and don’t regret about that. The migration to WordPress was accurate and trouble-free. I followed this tutorial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Elf02SGc02E and managed to convert by myself . Hopefully, it will help somebody to save huge time and effort.

  19. Liberty Tsighis Says:

    Thanks DenisSaful for the comment and insight.

  20. a Says:

    Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

  21. Jamal Says:

    Hiya! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to
    make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone.
    I’m trying to fnd a template or plugin that might be able tto resolve this issue.
    If you have any recommendations, please share.

    Appreciate it!

  22. Windy Says:

    Valuable information. Lucky me I discovered your website by accident, and I’m shocked why this coincidence did not
    came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

  23. Supreme Search SEO Says:

    I have read so many articles or reviews about
    the blogger lovers however this article is actually a fastidious post, keep it up.

  24. Liberty Tsighis Says:

    Hi Jamal, thanks for your comment – yes – see our post on making your Website Mobile in 10 Minutes. Best of luck!

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