Finally moved this blog from blogger to WordPress yesterday. 🙂
Here is how it was basically done :
1. Since the domain avp-blogs.com is a custom domain through Google Apps, first step was to make sure it stayed the same after move and be online the whole time during the move process. For this, a temporary WordPress blog was setup on local machine (running XAMPP) and all the posts from old blogger blog were imported to this WordPress blog. This is through Tools > Import option in the WordPress dashboard of local WordPress blog and selecting “Blogger’ to import the posts.
2. The posts and tags after being imported to local WordPress blog were exported in WordPress format. Again, WordPress dashboard, then Tools > Export.
3. Setup a shared hosting account with Hostgator and installed WordPress. The exported WordPress local blog which contained all the posts was imported to this new hosted WordPress blog. (Dashboard : Tools > Import and selecting “WordPress”)
4. Finally, DNS changes were done from the domain registrar end to make sure that avp-blogs.com pointed to new shiny WordPress blog. Changes were completed quickly (about 5 hours to point to new blog) though I was expecting 24-48 hours for them to take effect.
Some useful online resources that were referred to during this whole process :
http://devilsworkshop.org/moving-from-blogger-to-wordpress-maintaining-permalinks-traffic-seo/ [ For overall move process]
http://devcha.com/2010/01/php-fsockopen-unable-to-connect-ssl.html [Helped in fixing an SSL error while trying to connect from local WordPress blog to Google accounts for importing blogger content]
Some other things :
Also once the blogger content was imported to new WordPress blog, the labels from blogger were showing up as WordPress categories. So the plugin Categories To Tag Converter was used to convert these categories to tags. Then this tags were grouped under newly created categories.
Edited the hosts file located at C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts (or /etc/hosts in Linux) to temporarily trick the local computer in resolving the domain name to new blog while making changes to new blog. Suppose the new blog is hosted on server whose IP address is 184.108.40.206 while old one is at 220.127.116.11, and the domain name is yourblog.com, then edit the hosts file and save it so that it looks like this :
This comes in handy when making changes to new blog (like installing a theme, installing plugins and so on) before the DNS changes are done from the domain registrar end to point to the new blog.
To sum it up :
1. Setup a local WordPress blog.
2. Import content from existing Blogger blog to this local WordPress blog.
3. Setup a hosting account and install WordPress for the new blog.
4. Import the contents of local WordPress blog to this new hosted WordPress blog.
5. Finally, make DNS changes from the domain end to point to new WordPress blog once everything is verified.
6. Experience the awesomeness of WordPress.