How To Choose a Developer for Your Blogger to WordPress Transfer

Many bloggers started out on Blogger and have built up tremendous content and followers over the past years. However recent glitches with Blogger (such as the fiasco where Blogger was down a few months ago) as well as desires to take their blogs to the next “level” have caused many former Blogger bloggers to migrate to WordPress. For smaller blogs or for people who have some technical experience, transferring from Blogger to WordPress can be handled by a few simple steps. However for larger blogs with more content, more followers, and more Google juice, many bloggers are more comfortable hiring an experienced developer to handle their Blogger to WordPress transfer.

Developer Blogger to WordPress transfer services usually include:

  • Transfer of posts & pages
  • Transfer of comments
  • Transfer of any widgets/sidebar items
  • Set-up & fixing of permalinks
  • Redirecting your domain name or Blogger blog to your new site
  • Updating Feedburner

Optional items that typically incur an additional cost include:

  • Installation of WordPress on your new server
  • Installation or design of themes or templates
  • Hosting packages for your site

Once you start looking for someone to do your transfer, you come across many different options. Creative Patience offers blog transfer services starting at $75, with the price scaling with the size of the blog that’s being transferred. However there are other developers that offer transfer services for as little as $30. For someone on a budget, the $30 may seem appealing, but it’s important to consider a few important factors.

1. What is the developer’s background/experience?
Someone who has a background in php, CSS, HTML, etc. will be able to handle any potential glitches or hiccups easier than someone who doesn’t have any coding experience. If the transfer goes perfectly, this may not be an issue. But if you’re looking to integrate similar themes or adjust functionality – this will be critical.

2. Is the developer experienced in transferring blogs of your size?
One blog transfer is not the same as another. Larger blogs with lots of comments, or medium sized blogs that have used a commenting system, or a number of any other potential complications means that each transfer can have its unique set of issues. Just because someone has transferred their own blog, does NOT mean they can transfer yours. Developers with more experience have a few tricks up their sleeve to handle these types of blogs and any potential problems that could come up. There are many developers who will charge you a low price, but do not have the knowledge or the experience, to handle these types of situations. Choosing the “low-priced” option could actually hurt your blog.

For example, we recently worked with a client who was being told that in order to transfer their blog, they would lose a significant portion of their 2000 posts and their 80,000 comments. Other developers recommended deleting older posts, which would mean that blog would lose any Google juice associated with those posts. We worked through the weekend and ultimately, Creative Patience was able to move over 97% of their original content and comments – a far cry from having to delete 2 years worth of posts and comments. This is something that happens quite frequently in the blog transfer world. Don’t let a developer convince you to delete your hard work (ie. your blog content) because they don’t have the skill set to handle your blog transfer.

As another example, we had a blogger who came to us asking for a quote for her very large blog. We provided a quote based on the amount of time it would take to properly transfer a blog of her size and she opted to go with a cheaper option. 10 days later, she was on the boards asking for help because her blog transfer wasn’t going smoothly and she had lost most of her comments.

These are the types of situations that require a developer with more than your average experience – not only to successfully complete the transfer, but also to provide the client with the peace of mind that things will be resolved. Part of a developer’s job is to give the client confidence in their skill and ability, so that if there are any questions or problems, the client will ask them and feel confident that they will get a knowledgeable response. In no situation, should a client be pleading for help online because the developer dropped the ball.

Remember – you get what you pay for.

3. Does the developer offer technical support?
Once a blog is transferred to WordPress, oftentimes the blogger can have questions about how to implement certain things on their blog. Many bloggers like to look around and see what’s under the hood, so-to-speak, which can mean they accidentally “break” their blog. This is something that frequently happens just because the blogger is on a new platform and isn’t related to the actual transfer process. Does the developer offer technical support if you “break” something?

4. Does the developer have happy clients?
Creative Patience believes that our happy clients are our best proof of service. We consistently strive to ensure that our clients are confident and satisfied with the services they’ve received. We strongly suggest that you ask for client referrals from bloggers of similar size to get a true assessment of the experience.

As a company that strives to make the transfer process as smooth and worry-free as possible for the clients, we’d also like to offer these few gentle reminders.

  • Many of you make your living off your blog. We make our living by providing our design and web services. We’re happy to help bloggers become familiar with WordPress and do a little bit of hand-holding at the beginning of the process. We love sharing our knowledge and helping others learn. But as a service provider, our time and knowledge is money – please respect that.
  • Be aware that after transferring from one blog platform to another, certain SEO best practices should be implemented. This service is typically NOT included in the blog transfer process – which only covers content transfer and initial set-up.
  • If something breaks – it might be you. Oftentimes when people learn a new blogging platform, small or large errors can accidentally occur. If something isn’t working, don’t assume it was your developer – especially if everything was working when the project was completed. You can certainly check with your developer to see if a mistake might have been made, but be open to the possibility that while you were “exploring”, you might have deleted a “;” or forgotten to close a tag which could break your blog.

I also have a word for our fellow developers out there.

  • We all know how much time a blog transfer can take. The price you set for your transfer determines the price with which you value your time, and I guarantee you, your time is worth more than $10/hour. According to PayScale, a web developer with 1-4 years experience averages ~$20/hour, and that’s on the low side IMO. Your time is money.
  • Don’t take the heat for doing something wrong when you’ve actually done everything right. After implementing a transfer, there are times when legitimate errors can occur that are beyond your control. There are some clients who might jump out on the boards and start saying that “The transfer went well, but they broke my site.” Don’t accept blame for something you didn’t do wrong. For example, the comment feed URL for WordPress is different than the comment feed URL for Blogger, which means Google will show crawl errors if it has indexed a comments feed. The only solution is time – time waiting for Google to re-index the entire site which doesn’t happen overnight (even if you’ve submitted a sitemap.) You can’t control it. It can’t be fixed. Don’t take the heat – even if your client tries to convince you that you broke their site.
  • Keep it professional. In the mommy blogging world, there are many nice women that you will have the opportunity to work with. But remember, this is still your job, and no matter how nice they seem, things should be handled and dealt with in a professional manner. See the first bullet – your time is money.

This is quite a lot of information, but we’re putting it out there in the hopes that it can help both bloggers and developers work together to create smooth (and happy) blog transfers.

7 Comments to “How To Choose a Developer for Your Blogger to WordPress Transfer”

  1. Sadie says:

    Great post. :) Very informative. The person who switched my blog over only charged $35 and did an amazing job – she was very informative, helpful, and most of all PATIENT… I’m like the customer-zilla with all of my questions! lol

    • Creative Patience says:

      That’s great! Patience is definitely another important trait to look for in a developer, since most clients do have lots of questions. Glad you found someone that took good care of your transfer. :)

  2. I’m reading and learning as much as I can.

    Very interesting post.

  3. Josh says:

    perfect post. Good to read.

    The WordPress default importer gets failed some times when we have to migrate larger blogs as in your example 2000 posts. Still you lost 3% which is about 60 posts and 8k comments, isn’t it a big sacrifice.

    To counter the issue, we have developed our own custom importer, which has been tested on 150+ blogs so far. The largest blog we successfully migrated was with 5000 posts and 58000 comments.
    refer http://bloggertowp.org/we-can-move-blogs-with-5000-posts-from-blogger-to-wordpress/

    Cheers!

    • Creative Patience says:

      It’s good to see that there are other developers who are aware and are working on solutions for this. I’m sure you’ve had to put in a fair amount of time troubleshooting the little oddities that come with this line of work. It’s great that you were able to successfully migrate over a blog with as many as 58,000 comments. As a fellow developer, I can appreciate the success.

      In our example, the “3% loss” was based on over 80,000 comments. As you’ve probably already learned, the larger the blog, the more likely to run into more complications. We agree, that was too much of a sacrifice, which is why just as yourselves, we’ve continued to improve upon the process to ensure that future bloggers don’t have to experience the same.

      We’re glad that the Creative Patience blog can be a forum for both bloggers and web developers to share their thoughts and experiences. Thank you for sharing about your success and we wish you luck in your business endeavors.

  4. Josh says:

    Hi.

    Good to see your optimism and dedication to improve the process. :)

    The Blogger to WordPress migration is by and large dependent on blogger. So, while migration we do face troubles some-times.

    Wish you luck.

    Cheers!

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