When it comes to free blogging platforms, Blogger and WordPress are by far the two most popular. Both of them allow for a certain degree of flexibility, but that offered by WordPress is far greater. For that reason, a lot of your more ardent bloggers (perhaps yourself included), once they feel the limitations of Blogger from having used it for a while, begin to look for greener pastures in terms of flexibility and control. There are essentially two ways to make this kind of switch. One is to simply start over completely with a new blog. The other, slightly more technical option is to transport your blog entirely. Either way, you’re going to have to learn to use WordPress, so let’s take a quick look at the basics.
Setting Up Your WordPress Blog
If you’ve decided to transport your entire blog, you can just skip this step. If you’re starting fresh, the first thing to do is install the software itself on your web server. Most web hosting control panels offer one-click installation, but in the event that yours does not, you will have to install the files manually. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, and if you need any help with it, you can contact your web hosting company’s technical support department. Once you’ve got the WordPress software installed, you’re ready to proceed to the next step, which is to customize the overall look and feel of your blog. You can even give a try to Bloggers Passion Free WordPress Installation Service.
Picking a Theme
Since one of the reasons you’re switching to WordPress is likely to gain more control over the look and feel of your blog, you’re going to be happy to know that the process for doing so is very similar to what you’ve experienced before. After the software is installed, you’ll be able to log into a control panel where you’ll be able to customize individual elements of your blog’s appearance or select from pre-defined themes available within the software itself. A third option would be to purchase one of the WordPress templates, which are available. These offer a great, easy way to give your blog a look that is unique and professional at the same time.
Again, even after you port over all the posts you’ve created already, you’ll need to know how to create new ones. Fortunately, the process here is just as similar to Blogger as the one we just talked about. Of course, there are a lot more things you can do with your posts in WordPress, but for now, suffice it to say that all you really have to do is click “add new” from your admin panel and then fill in the blanks. If you’d like to, you can also categorize your posts in WordPress, and we strongly recommend that you take the time to do that.
Registering a Domain Name
Technically, with this step, we’re going to be going backwards a bit. Before you can transfer a blog to WordPress (or start a new one) you need to register a domain name if you haven’t already. Since blogger gives you the option to either use one of their generic names or your own custom one, you may have registered one already. If you haven’t, it’s a really simple process to do so, and it’s quite inexpensive. Once you’ve completed that step, you need to download your entire blog to your hard drive from your blogger control panel as a backup before we begin the actual transfer process.
Actually Importing Your Blog
Now, the time has come to actually import your blog. Fortunately, you can do so directly from the WordPress control panel. Once you log in, click on, “tools.” Then, click on “Import,” then click on, “Blogger.” You will need to install the Blogger Importer Plugin, but WordPress will prompt you to do so. Once that installation is complete, it’s time to return to your WordPress control panel. Now, you’ll be able to import the content of your blog automatically. Once that process has been completed, you can even click on “Set Authors” to identify members of your blogging team if necessary.
Redirecting Your Users
The final step is to set things up so that when people visit your blog, they will automatically be routed to your new location. This isn’t hard, either. It’s called a 301 redirection. First, open the SEO Blogger to WordPress plugin. Enter your WordPress URL, and copy the code with which you are supplied. Back on your Blogger dashboard, select “revert to classic template.” Paste the code into the text area and click “save template.” That’s all there is to it! There are also lots of other plugins available to WordPress users that will not have been available to you before, and we highly recommend that you avail yourself of them. One of them even automatically optimizes your blog for SEO purposes.
This Guest post is contributed by Olga Ionel who is writer at ThemeFuse.com
Image Credit: blog.crazyegg.com