How to Move Your Blog to WordPress
There are a lot of blogging platforms out there. As your blog grows, the one you’ve chosen may no longer fit your needs. In fact, it might be time for an upgrade to a bigger, more flexible solution such as WordPress.
Fortunately, you can easily move your blog to WordPress from several other platforms, including Blogger, LiveJournal, and even Tumblr. All you need is the right hosting provider, a fresh WordPress installation, and the help of a few plugins. You’ll even be able to preserve your search rankings and traffic.
In this article, we’ll walk you through how to move your blog to WordPress from another platform. Let’s get to it!
Step 1: Choose Your Hosting Provider
If your current blogging platform is ‘hosted’ (meaning that you don’t have to pay for your own web hosting), you’ll need to choose a hosting provider and plan for your new WordPress site. We recommend opting for a managed WordPress hosting plan:
Managed WordPress hosting providers handle WordPress maintenance tasks, such as updates, for you. This takes some of the work of managing your site off your plate. You can check out our plans to learn more.
Step 2: Install WordPress
If you choose a managed WordPress hosting plan, your provider may offer a one-click WordPress install option.
In the event that you choose a different kind of hosting plan, or your provider doesn’t offer that option, you can still install WordPress with minimal hassle. To do this, start by downloading WordPress and unzipping the file:
You’ll then need to create a new database for your site, set up your wp-config file, and upload your WordPress installation to your hosting provider’s server. Then all that’s left is to run the install script, and your WordPress site will be ready to go.
Step 3: Export Your Blog from Your Current Platform
If you’re moving to WordPress from Blogger, you’ll need to export a file containing all of your blog’s information. In your Blogger account, navigate to Settings > Other and select Back up Content under the Import and back up section. Then click on Save to Computer in the pop-up window:
LiveJournal and Tumblr users do not need to export content. If you’re using one of those platforms, you’ll need to complete extra steps during the import process instead.
Step 4: Import Your Blog to WordPress
Now, you’ll need to import your blog’s content to your WordPress site. In your WordPress admin dashboard, head over to the sidebar and select Tools > Import:
Here, you should be able to find the importer for the platform you’re moving from. Click on Install Now under your old platform’s name, and wait for the importer to finish installing. Once it’s finished, select Run Importer:
On the next screen, you’ll see steps for importing your content from your old platform. These will vary based on which blogging tool you’ve been using. Follow the steps and fill in any required fields, and then wait for the import process to finish.
Step 5: Set Up Your Default Permalink Structure, Theme, and Plugins
Next, you’ll want to set a few things up to make your new WordPress blog look nice and run smoothly. To get started, head over to Settings > Permalinks in the sidebar of your WordPress dashboard:
Here, you can change the default permalink structure for all the new posts you’ll create in WordPress. You can choose a structure that matches that of the content you just imported, to maintain consistency across your posts:
Step 6: Redirect from Your Old Platform to WordPress
Redirecting your old blog to your new WordPress site is crucial. This will help readers find your new blog, and give your pages a leg up when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you’re moving from Blogger or Tumblr, this process involves adding some code to your old blog’s theme. Blogger users can easily generate this code with the Blogger to WordPress plugin:
Copy the code, and then go to your Blogger site. Navigate to Themes and click on Edit HTML, then delete all the code there and paste in the code from the plugin instead. Click on Save Theme when you’re done.
If you’re a Tumblr user, you’ll need to go your Tumblr dashboard and navigate to Edit Appearance > Edit Theme > Edit HTML. Under the <head> tag, paste this code:
<meta name=”description” content=”this is a legacy blog page, and will redirect to the same post on my new blog”>
var new_slug = window.location.pathname;
var new_root = “http://your-new-url.com”;
var new_url = new_root + new_slug;
Then, under the <body> tag, add this code:
window.location = new_url;
After that, you’ll need to install the Redirection plugin on your WordPress site:
Navigate to Tools > Redirection and enter “.*/post/\d+/(.*)” as the Source URL, and “/$1” as the Target URL. Check the Regular Expression box, and click on Add Redirection. You’ll need to have selected the Post Name permalink structure in Step 5 for this to work.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to redirect from your LiveJournal posts to your WordPress site. You’ll need to alert your followers about the new site manually, via the old blog, your email list, or social media.
Step 7: Ensure That Your Images and Other Content Migrated Successfully
While WordPress importers are generally successful when it comes to moving all of your content over from your old blog, it’s still wise to check and make sure everything transferred correctly. Images in particular sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
Therefore, give your posts a quick skim for any missing images. If you find any issues, look for the missing images in your Media Library. It’s possible that they were added there, and you can easily insert them back into your posts:
You’ll also want to visit your old blog and check at least a few posts, to make sure that your redirects are working. Simply click on an old blog post and see if it takes you to the new WordPress post. If not, you’ll want to double check the redirection code for any errors.
WordPress Migration Checklist
If you’re migrating your blog from another hosting provider, instead of from a hosted platform such as Blogger, LiveJournal, or Tumblr, we have a useful checklist that can help. To summarize, you’ll want to:
- Configure your domain and Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) credentials.
- Create a backup of your current site, and update WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
- Export your wp-content file and database from your previous host.
- Transfer your wp-content and database files to your new hosting account.
- Preview your site, and synchronize it if necessary.
- Configure your Domain Name System (DNS), and launch your site.
Finally, you can prepare your site for its relaunch on WordPress with The Ultimate Pre-Launch Guide for WordPress Sites. In that guide, you’ll find checklists for content, design, marketing, security, and more.
Migrate Your Blog With WP Engine
The first step for successfully moving your blog to WordPress is choosing the right hosting provider. By selecting a managed WordPress hosting plan, you’ll ensure that your blog has the support it needs for continued success on your new platform.
At WP Engine, we not only provide superb WordPress hosting, but we also share tools and resources to help you take your blog to new heights. Check out our plans today!