So You Want To Switch Blog Platforms

Choose Website Platform Blog

Last week's post about Blogger sparked a very lively conversation in our community. Some commenters are attached to Blogger and have had great success with that platform, while others are ready to make the switch from one platform to another – but don't know how. I was in this position about six months ago: I wanted to move my blog from OnSugar to Blogger, but I had no idea where to start. Much like when I moved from Seattle to New York City, I was afraid of what I would lose in the transition, and how I would find my place in a new community.

Here's the truth of the matter: I lost quite a bit, because I didn't know what I was doing. I was ready to move on from OnSugar, even though they had been incredibly good to to my blog (re-posting my content on FabSugar, BellaSugar, etc.). I knew it was time to see where my blog could go and who I could reach beyond the Sugar community.

I followed OnSugar's instructions for how to “export” my blog (saving it as a .xml file on my desktop), then “imported” said .xml file into my new Blogger set up. This wasn't difficult, but much of my posts' content was lost in translation, including music, galleries of images, and the ability to search into my archives. (What I mean is that if you search for a certain topic on my blogger blog, none of my posts from my days at OnSugar will come up, even though they are in the archives.) I also lost my OnSugar-specific followers, and gaining back those numbers has been a struggle. However, I am glad I made the transition because I feel like I'm now part of a much more accessible community, and my actual traffic numbers continue to grow.

So what's a fashion blogger to do when she (or he, naturally) hears the siren call of a new platform? My advice is to take someone elses advice, don't rush, and read up on your options. A lot of commenters on the above linked post mentioned a really thorough post from Beautifully Invisible, and I highly recommend her series as a guide for how to make the transition.

Since there are so many great sources of information on how to transition between platforms, we decided the best and most helpful thing we could do for you is put them together in one place. (Bear in mind that a couple of these posts are over a year old, so some tweaks may have been made in platforms since their posting.)

“At the end of the day, users need to weigh the pros and cons of controlling their own data and having more backend configuration options with the ease of use and communal spirit of Tumblr. This is a problem I personally still struggle with — which is why I maintain a WordPress blog and a Tumblr account.”
“The key to not losing any beauty sleep (or hair!) while switching blogging platforms is preparation. Don’t jump into anything on a whim. Do your research so you know what to expect, and what steps you need to take in order to make the switch as seamless as possible for you and for your readers.”

“As someone who moved this blog from Blogger to the current self-hosted WordPress location back in April, I’m keenly aware of the problems you can encounter if you switch blogging platforms. As a result, I’d defintely advise starting with WordPress, but if you’re not ready to host your own site (It’s really far more simple than it sounds!), then you’re limited to WordPress.com, which has all the functionality, but doesn’t allow you to display any advertising – a pain if you’re trying to see if something might drive some revenue, for example!”

Here are some other tips to keep in mind if you decide to move your blog:

  • Redirect RSS Feeds so you don't loose subscribers. Feedburner makes this easy in the “Edit Feed Details” category.
  • Post to your Twitter and Facebook status that you've moved (probably more than once).
  • Update your URL on Bloglovin', IFB, your Twitter profile and Facebook fan page.
  • Put your new URL in your email signature.
  • Send out a newsletter announcing the move.
  • Set up a range of exciting posts for your new launch to drive traffic to your new site.

Are you thinking about switching platforms? Have you switched before? If so, leave a helpful tip in the comments!

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About The Author

Ana is a Travel Blogger and Blogging Coach at The City Sidewalks. With her expertise in online marketing, she's able to help other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they can achieve financial freedom to travel the world on their own terms.

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11 Responses

  1. Courtney

    Ooo also don’t forget about Google Friend Connect. When I switched, I stupidly made a new one and then was so sad that I didn’t use it. I have yet to recover numbers wise, but people seem to be reading so I guess it doesn’t matter how they read.

  2. Ashley

    I actually switched from wordpress.org to blogger. Though wordpress gives you much more control, I really needed the community. The switch has been great for my viewership. But it wasn’t easy at all. I lost everything because I didn’t do the research. Shame on me.

    Though everything ended up perfect, I would definitely advise people to do the research first, before they switch. Make a backup of everything and leave no stone unturned. It would be better to lose a few postings in the process than to lose all of them.

  3. Ondo Lady

    I moved from Blogger to WordPress self host this year and the transition was relatively easy. There were a few blips like images and videos not showing up on 15% of my blog posts but that was easy to rectify. All in all an easy process.

  4. jason @ belts and buckles

    The popularity of blog sites changes like the weather, but it’s important that you are happy with your site and its platform, and don’t just jump about when you feel like it in the search for popularity!

  5. taylah

    I only changed my url on blogger and it has been such a drama. I didn’t lose my Google Friend Connect followers but I found they all had to unfollow and refollow in order to keep receiving my updates. My bloglovin account is still not recognising the url change and doesn’t pull any of my new posts from the last 3 months or so. It still tries to connect to the previous blog though it has been deleted. This article would have been so helpful back then!

  6. Bailey

    Like the above quote stated, WordPress.com can be a bit of a pain if you’re wanting to advertise because that’s not allowed. I’ve been thinking about switching to HostGator but I’m scared and confused. Tips, anyone?

  7. GawgusThings

    I thought this post had been written specifically for me, ha, ha!! After reading all these comments though, I’m even more scared about making the move from Blogger to WordPress..

  8. Elodie

    I waited for a long time before creating my blog, to make sure that I was choosing the right platform. I know I made the right decision with blogger, but I am glad to see some solutions exist if I ever want to switch.


  9. Stephanie

    I’ve been on Tumblr since 2009 now and I’ve gained a fair few readers with my stupid ramblings, so when I decided to really go full-on with it (own photos, text, ads, everything) I decided to stay with Tumblr because I knew it. Now I worry the community isn’t what it once was back in 09/10 and feel like I’d be better off on Blogspot. Such a hard decision as to whether I should join another site and hope some people filter through/transition well, or stay on Tumblr and work super hard with sites like Bloglovin’ and such!