Migrating from blogspot to a ’real’ blog

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 transferring the ‘serious’ ones to my www.smoothouse.com domain) and these are some tips:


Prepare old pages on xyz.blogspot.com

  1. create a placeholder page that you can redirect to:
    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/<br /> Archive URL: http://www.example.com/xyz/atom.xml<br /> 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.


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