I’m happy to announce that our blog is now powered by WordPress. When I started this blog I knew very little about blogging, so I chose Blogspot because some of my friends were using it. But I quickly realized it was full of bugs! You can’t even put a picture in the upper left corner and start a new line normally, it automatically adds a blank line before. Sometimes it also adds blank lines between paragraphs, so you have two lines instead of one. Even in html mode, you have very little control on the layout of your posts. The publishing function sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. The error messages are a real mess, for instance it says that it can’t publish your post, but the post has already been published. Or it says it can’t publish a picture and the picture really doesn’t appear, but you find it has successfully been uploaded on the FTP. I could go on like this for a long time.
So Blogger really sucks. I wouldn’t mind if it was a free service provided by a bunch of students, but Blogger belongs to Google, so we are entitled to expect something much better. Anyway, I packed everything, the posts, the pictures and the comments, and I went to WordPress. Not surprisingly, I found that many people had done the same. For some of them the process had been easy, for some others it was much more difficult. For me it was not easy at all.
I’m going to be a little technical here, so you may skip this paragraph and jump to the conclusion. It is indeed very easy to import a blog from Blogger to WordPress, but only if you have a blospot address (myblog.blogspot.com) and a wordpress address (myblog.wordpress.com). If you host your blog on your own server, things get complicated, or at least they did in my case. As I kept getting error messages each time I tried to import my blog via WordPress, I finally switched the hosting in Blogger to a blogpsot.com address, and I also created an account in WordPress to have a wordpress.com address. I could eventually import my blog into WordPress, but then I had to re-export it as an xml file so that I could use it with the version of WordPress on my own server. I hope things are easier for you if you migrate your blog from Blogger to WordPress, but if you have trouble importing it, now you know what you have to do.
It was far from over, though. I still had to redirect my old links. Blogger uses an index.html file in the blog folder, so I made a 301 redirect in my root htaccess file, and I also specified that index.php should be the only index taken into account (DirectoryIndex index.php is the line to insert in your htaccess file). I then changed the format of the permalinks in WordPress, because the default option is not search engine-friendly. If you do that, you must make chmod 777 on your htaccess file, then chmod back to 644. My permalinks had all changed format (but for the better), so I also had to use redirections in my htaccess file, for every single URL. Fortunately, there was not too many of them. Finally I updated my sitemap and the robots.txt file, to avoid any duplicate content.
So it took me a lot of time this week-end, almost the whole week end to be honest. My “geek years” are far behind me now, so I don’t find much satisfaction in toying around like this, but I hope it was worth it.
Welcome to our new blog!