How to Set 301 Redirects when Moving To a WordPress Site from Blogger
So you’ve had your old website up and running for a while, a year maybe or two. And now you decided it was time to move on to a WordPress installation, or want to move to better quality content. You would obviously want to do so without losing the link juice from the previous website. You may also want to retain some of the content from the older site. How do we do it in a way that eliminates possibilities of 404 Page Not Found errors?
A bit of background (for those looking to read just the solution, skip this section)
We encountered a similar situation a while back when we had to migrate a blog from Blogger to WordPress. We’ll use that as the case study here. The old blog was hosted on Blogger (for those unfamiliar with Blogger, it provides near zero control over the site code). The new blog was a WordPress self-hosted site.
The content on the old site was outdated, not updated in more than 2 years, and most of it was irrelevant to the company’s current operations. The catch – the old site had considerable traffic to it. Obviously no one wanted to lose that traffic, so it had to be redirected to the new site.
Most of the search results focused on 1-to-1 permalink migrations, content migration to handle 404 Page Not Found errors or a move which involved a change in domain name. None of which were helpful in a scenario where the blog content had to be changed considerably, and the domain name had to remain the same.
Steps to follow if you want to move from an old content, old Blogger site to a new content, new host, WordPress site
- You have the access credentials to the old Blogger site – that includes the Gmail ID to which it is linked and the corresponding password
- Your new WordPress site is already hosted with a service provider like HostGator or Bluehost, and you have the access credentials to that as well.
Step 1: Locate the .htaccess file on the server where your site is hosted.
- In case of WordPress installation on HostGator, the .htaccess file can be found in the root folder.
- If .htaccess is missing, you can create it in a text editor and upload it to the root folder. Read here how to create a .htaccess file for WordPress.
Step 2: Add the following code to create redirects from the old Blogger site to new WordPress site
- To redirect all pages of old site to new site –
- Redirect 301 / /newsite.com
- To redirect only certain pages (in case you want to retain visitors to high traffic links, also called juicy links, from the old blog) –
- Redirect 301 /old.html /new.html
Option 2 (the easier alternative if you are short of time or have limited technology resources):
Step 1: Login to your WordPress dashboard of new site
Step 2: Go to Plugins -> Add New. In the Search box, search for “Simple 301 Redirects”.
Step 3: Download and Activate Plugin
Step 4: On the WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings -> 301 Redirects. Add all pages for which you want to apply 301 redirects. And you’re done!
Note: It is advisable not to redirect all old links to the home page of the new site.
(Featured Image Source: Creative Commons under a CC BY 2.0 license)