Just because I changed platform doesn’t mean I plan to stop posting a couple of small tips and tricks every now and then. So here’s a list of things I’ve found out during the whole operation and a couple of gotchas.
- Get a webspace if you don’t have one already
- If you’re planning a move over several days and haven’t redirected your syndication feed to feedburner, consider doing so asap, then invite your subscribers to ensure they get your news through the redirected feed. It’s more convenient for your users to resub on your present site (especially since wordpress doesn’t just generate one but four main feeds)
- Install your WordPress package following the instructions given. It takes about a minute to do so.
- Go to WordPress.com and register a username there. You’ll get an API key in your e-mail, keep that one saved somewhere.
- Now on your new blog, go into Plugins and activate Akismet. You’ll need the aforementionned API key for that.
- Templates time. You’ll probably want something of your own rather than the two stock layouts. Picking the right one and then personalizing it may take some time.
- If you’re not at ease with php or want to start up quicker, restrict your templates search to widget-ready templates.
- To install any templates or plugins, simply FTP them to your wp-config/templates or wp-config/plugins directories
- Once you have made your choice, ensure you have read / write access to your template’s directory if you plan to make any changes. If you’re on a Linux box, set the file attributes to 666 for that.
- Customize your template as you see fit
- If you’re using feedburner, burn a new feed for your site as a placeholder, and install the feedburner plugin using that new feed. Also burn a comments feed if you want.
Additional Preparation Steps
These are of course entirely optional:
- Claim your new blog on technorati
- Prepare whatever web stats counter you’ll be using (but keep in mind that some of them will only allow you to set the “legacy” count from your old blog at creation, not afterwards)
- Claim your new blog on Google’s webmaster tools (you may also want to set up a sitemap plugin then submit your sitemap there).
- Consider installing a backup plugin
- Import your blogroll. There’s several ways to do that. If you had been using a Google Reader-generated one, simply copy / paste the code, if not there are a couple of ways to automate it in theBlogroll setup
- Recreate whatever you had in terms of sidebars on your blogger site
- Under the Manage tab in your WordPress management bar, you’ll find the Import option. Go there, select import from Blogger, pass your credentials and off you go. Importing 139 posts and 250 comments took about a minute, no additional work required
- Now an important step. Your Blogger labels have been converted to Categories. Categories and tags are different levels of organization, and while you have a tag cloud widget, there’s no Categories cloud available. Decide how you want to organize post labelling. What I did: I restricted Categories to a relatively small set of broad umbrella terms covering my posts, and will have only one or of them per posts. Tags will be more specific but with several per post where appropriate.
- Now here’s an important Gotcha. There’s an option to convert Categories to Tags in your Import menu. However, it won’t import any Categories to a Tag bearing the same name. So if you just recreated a Tag matching a Category to try things out before importing, you’ll now have to manually tag every post fitting that one. That precaution taken, do convert if you wish to do so
- We’re almost done now. If you were using Feedburner, change the settings to your previous feedname both in Feedurner and in the Feedburner plugin, and delete the temporary placeholder feeds you were using. If you plan to use any Feedflare enhancements on your posts (like the digg it! and stuff I have below mine), there’s a bit of code to paste into your templates.
- If you’re using a web counter which allows you to set your legacy count, install these now
- Last thing to do: make a farewell post on your old blog and redirect people to the new one, and there you are.
From there, I suggest considering setting up a separate development blog so you can continue fiddling around with the templates and stuff. The list may seem long but it’s really just a checklist, you could be up and running within 5 minutes if you don’t care about customization. Welcome to WordPress.
And now only your imagination is the limit.