Migrating from blogspot to a ‘real’ blog

Blogger
I have often said that Blogger is one of the easiest ways to get started for free with a blog. Even if you don’t have an own domain name, you can start with a xyz.blogspot.com. However, there might come a time that you want to move that blog to another location: because you have bought your own domain, because you don’t want to look like an newbie, … I’ve done that a couple of times (I have more than a dozen blogs on Blogger, and am now transfering the ‘serious’ ones to my www.smoothouse.com domain) and these are some tips:

Situation

  • you currently have a Blogger blog on xyz.blogspot.com
  • you want to move all contents and continue blogging (with Blogger) on www.example.com/xyz
  • This is NOT about moving to a WordPress/MoveableType blog on your own domain. That is a whole different story!

Prepare old pages on xyz.blogspot.com

  1. create a placeholder page that you can redirect to:
    www.example.com/xyz/index.html
    Take for instance the page that is currently on xyz.blogspot.com/index.html.
    Remark1: you will probably need an FTP client to do the upload: FileZilla is excellent at unbeatable price (free).
    Remark2: you might have to create the folder /xyz first.
  2. change the Blogger template:
    a) add the following redirect code right after the <head ...> tag:
    [meta http-equiv="refresh" content="2;url=http://www.example.com/xyz/"] (replace [ by < and ] by > – had to to this to avoid problems with my comment page)
    This will redirect both your visitors and the Google spiders to the new location.
    b) add the following text in the page (e.g. just below the description <$BlogDescription$>):
    <p>This blog has now moved to <a href="http://www.example.com/xyz/">www.example.com/xyz</a>!</p>
  3. republish entire blog (and check the home page to see if you are redirected to the new page after 2 seconds)
  4. add new post about the move (can be very short “We have moved” or might include an explanation “Finally have my own domain, …”

Create new pages on www.example.com

  1. in “Settings”/”Publishing”, choose the “Switch to FTP” and give your FTP publishing settings (check your ISP for that):
    FTP Server: ftp.example.com
    Blog URL: http://www.example.com/xyz/
    FTP Path: public_html/xyz/
    Blog Filename: index.html
    FTP Username: myusername
    FTP Password: ********
  2. in “Settings”/”Site Feed”, change the following settings (again, these are just example settings, your own settings depend on your ISP’s configuration):
    Site Feed Server Path: public_html/xyz/
    Site Feed Filename: atom.xml (this will normally be correct)
    Site Feed URL: http://www.example.com/xyz/atom.xml
  3. in “Settings”/”Archiving” change following settings:
    Archive Path: public_html/xyz/archive/
    Archive URL: http://www.example.com/xyz/atom.xml
    Archive Filename: (same as it was, or e.g. old_posts.html)
    (this part was added on Jan 31st, because I had forgotten it in the real post)
  4. change template: remove the <meta ...> and This blog has moved ... lines we added above
  5. do a “Republish Entire Blog”
  6. Voila! You are now ready to continue on your new blog location.

Optional: FeedBurner

  1. if you have a Feedburner feed (which is always a good idea), you have to change the source feed URL. Change it to the same http://www.example.com/xyz/atom.xml you specified above.
  2. Big advantage: all persons subscribed to your feed don’t have to do anything. Eventhough your blog’s location has changed, the feed URL stays the same!

Optional: recover xyz.blogspot.com domain

  1. the moment you started publishing via FTP, your old blogspot domain became available. To prevent someone else from getting it, create a nex Blogger blog and use your old name as publishing target
  2. You can publish a new post about the move. Your old post pages will NOT be overwritten, only the index (‘home’) page of the blog.

Technorati:

6 thoughts on “Migrating from blogspot to a ‘real’ blog”

  1. This doesn’t seem to work when I try, get permission denied to archive.

    Did you encounter any problems moving your blog from blogspot to your domain?

  2. I kind of worked out how to move the blog (and I’ve skinned it.) But how do I ftp to the old altwtf.blogspot.com and mess manually with the index.html page? Any ideas guys?

  3. I have a blogger account hosted at blogspot.com. I have recently changed it over to publish to my website via FTP. When I do this the XML file becomes weird and won’t validate. Here is the message I get:

    This feed does not validate.

    *

    line 1, column 0: Undefined root element: br

    *

    line 2, column 0: XML parsing error: :2:0: junk after document element

    Parse error: parse error, unexpected T_STRING in /home/jaussiet/p …

    In addition, this feed has an issue that may cause problems for some users. We recommend fixing this issue.

    *

    Feeds should not be served with the “text/html” media type
    **************************************

    Any idea why this would happen???

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