How are you all? I have only been away from the blogging world for about 2 weeks but it is crazy how much I have missed writing and the lovely blogging community.
As you can probably tell, I have a new blog. One of my blogging goals for 2016 was to go self hosted and finally after months of putting it off, I have finally done it.
There is still a lot of tweaking that needs to be done before I am completely happy with my new blog but I am already being able to get things looking and working better than I ever could on Blogger. After over a year just making do with Blogger, I am so happy I took the step to go self hosted, Word Press has so much more to offer in terms of customisation and plug ins. It has only been a few days but I am already in love with Word Press and I don’t care who knows it.
If you are thinking of making the move from Blogger to self hosted Word Press, here is how I did it using TSO Host..
Back up Blogger blog
Before you do anything else, back up your Blogger blog. I really can’t stress this enough, if something goes wrong during the migration process (which it might) if you have backed up your blog then none of your content/pictures/comments will be lost forever – every bloggers worsed nightmare, right? Backing up your blog takes a grand total of 2 minutes and is definitely worth every second. I followed this easy to follow guide to help me back up my blog.
Register with TSO and pay for hosting
There are lots of different websites you can use to host your blog, I went for TSO as I have heard lots of good things and the monthly hosting fee is really cheap. Setting up an account is easy, just go to tsohost.com , click on Cloud Web Hosting and select your hosting package. I went for the standard package for £2.99 per month, it includes every thing a blogger needs and free website migration is part of the package. Registering all your details is easy and doesn’t take much time at all.
Set up your website on TSO control panel
Before your blog can be migrated from Bloger to WordPress there are few things you need to do. Once your account has been registered, TSO will send you an email detailing what you need to do next. Once you have signed into your control panel you will need to add your website domain, install the WordPress application and set up your custom email account and mailbox (if you don’t already have one). This is all very straightforward as the Control Panel is really user friendly and easy to understand, there are loads of great guides on the TSO knowledge base if you get stuck .
Request a migration
Once you have done all the above you can now send TSO a request to move your blog from Blogger to the new hosting platform. Simply click ‘free website migration’ in the basic management tools section of your control panel. You will be asked to fill in some details about your current blog and provide the TSO team with your log in details – very embarrassing for me as my password is pretty stupid. Once you have sent your migration request it is time to play the waiting game. TSO aim to complete all migrations within 3 working days, I requested mine on the Thursday and it was completed by the Sunday night.
The migration process
It is likely you have very high security settings on your Google account, these settings will not like someone else trying to sign into your account from a random location and laptop. Make sure you regularly check your email during the migration process so you can send the team any security access codes they may need. I got a random text with a code from Google on Sunday, it was only when I checked my email I realised the guy migrating my blog couldn’t do anything until I sent it to him so he could get in to my account. I found the migration process very stressful as I had stupidly changed the name servers beforehand, this meant my domain was redirecting to WordPress from the Thursday and none of my content was there until the Sunday night when the migration was done. Sorry to anyone who visited my blog over those few days and wondered what was going on!
TSO can only move posts, comments and photos over from Blogger, any html you have on there or anything you have in your sidebar will be lost so make sure you save it or know how to retrieve it from your backed up blog. Unfortunately for me, lots of my photos didn’t survive the move and the formatting in the majority of my posts has been messed up. I am now going to have to spend a lot of time going back through all my old posts, adding the pictures back in and fixing the general layout. This is a bit annoying but I guess it could be worse, at least all my posts and comments made it over in one piece.
Once the migration is complete TSO will send you instructions on how to preview your new site before it is permanently moved over on to the new platform. If you are happy with it you then need to change the nameservers in the control panel of wherever you purchased your domain name (if you set up a new domain with TSO you don’t need to worry about this). I was silly though and I changed my nameservers with GoDaddy before the migration, here is the guide I followed, so I did not have to do this step as my blog was already redirecting to WordPress. The nameservers you need will be in the first set up email you received when you registered with TSO,
Start blogging with WordPress
Now all that is done you can finally start to explore your new blog, yay. Once your blog has been moved you will get an email with all your login details for your WordPress dashboard. I have used WordPress in a previous job so I have a general understanding of how things work over here but I still have A LOT to learn, if you are a newbie here is a great beginners guide. I have installed a theme, a few essential plugins and set up my new mailing list. There is still a lot to do, especially with all the old posts to fix, but I am loving using WordPress and if you have spent a long time having your creativity restricted by Blogger, I am sure you will love it too.
So that’s it! It is nowhere near as stressful as you may think, especially with TSO sorting out the most complicated bit for you. If going self hosted is something you have been mulling over for a while I say just go for it. Yes things might look a bit wonky once they come out the other end but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed in time. I hope this post comes in useful if and when you do decide to take this big step in your blogging journey, good luck!
Have you gone self hosted, how did you find the process? If you are thinking about moving to WordPress, has this post encouraged you to go for it? I would love to know what you think of my new blog, any honest feedback would be really appreciated as I feel there is still a lot to WordPress that I am yet to discover.
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* After my recent blog move from Blogger to Word Press, some of my posts have been left looking a bit strange. I am working my way through everything and sorting out the formatting, hopefully it won’t take me too long! If you come across a post with strange looking formatting please let me know as I might have missed it. Thank you 🙂 *