Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Moving Blogger Blog to GoDaddy Domain using FTP Publishing
BLOGGER TO GODADDY FTP Publishing: Instructions
Ok, I just took the nasty step of switching over my blogs (5 of them) from blogger hosting where my url was:
and moving it to my own domain I have a web site at:
so now the new url looks like:
The reasons I did it require some explanation.
Originally I was hosting my blogs at blogspot. I decided, wow, I'm really into this blogging thing. I had posted 196 posts at my thaipulse.blogspot.com blog and my girlfriend had put 130 at her trythaifood.blogspot.com blog. I had another 150 posts at 2 of my other blogs there.
I thought - wow, this is serious. I need to move these things OFF Blogger and get them to their own domain for better monetization down the road - and more control over everything. Also, if I ever wanted to sell the blogs - much easier if hosted at my own domain, difficult if at Blogger because you don't own anything.
The next step I chose - and I should have eliminated this step - was to move them to Blogger's "Custom Domain" choice in Settings tab and Publishing link of Blogger's program to manage your blogs.
So, I moved them. All 5 of them.
This was a rather insidious process as I had to do some domain name switching and it was all hocus pocus really. The site stayed hosted at Blogger. I only bought the domain name and told Blogger to tell the DNS that I was hosting my blogs at my site - when actually they were all on-site at Blogger as they always were. Someone could now find my site by going to my subdomain on the domain I owned (example: http://trythaifood.thaipulse.com).
Hosting at their Custom Domains solution seems ok at first glance, until you want to look at getting a sitemap for your domain and also when you start considering that all those links pointing to the blogspot domain - like trythaifood.blogspot.com - everyone that linked to there wouldn't change their links because they still work. So, even though the proper domain name for her site was trythaifood.thaipulse.com - the search engine sees links to trythaifood.blogspot.com and thinks that site is still valid too.
I then created a sitemap for two of my sites listing out every html
file I had in one huge list - realizing only later that an xml or txt
sitemap cannot be added to your Custom Domain at Blogger because you
don't have access to the root level domain to drop a file in there! When I tried to do a sitemap for the sites and place it in my directory at trythaifood.thaipulse.com - it wasn't found... Apparently Google's webmaster tools can't read the directory because it's virtual. If that makes sense.
I then added the ATOM feed as my site map as some of you might know - we can do this for our blogs - no need to make a huge sitemap of every single file. Just copy the link url to your ATOM FEED from your blog's home page - and you can paste that in as your sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools. For instance, mine was: http://thaipulse.blogspot.com/atom.xml
However, that solves next to nothing as it only gives Google your last 10 posts at your blog. The other 186 of mine - were not registered by using the feed as the sitemap! BLAST IT!
To me, having a valid sitemap is everything. It means Google KNOWS which pages to index, so there's no excuse for not indexing them. I really like to have one as it makes me feel better about the whole Google spider process even though I still don't trust it.
I then decided - I'm going to move everything to my domain - physically put them there in subdomains and use the FTP function Google has to publish all my posts by FTP to my domain.
This way - nothing resides on Google (photos do I believe), but pages - that count for the search engines reside on my domain in my subfolder where they should be.
Moving to FTP takes some skill - not for the process which is fairly easy, but for the after-effects because now you are stuck with a classic template - of which there are about 15 maybe, but you don't have the easy widget functionality to put Google Adsense and all the other cool widgets all over your blog. It's cut and paste into the code time -and if you're NOT competent with code - don't move to FTP publishing - please.
So, moving on...
I killed the previous DNS magic that told people my site was hosted at my domain when really it was at Blogger and I moved all my blogs by FTP to my domain.
Now I have a valid sitemap for each blog - and all pages are listed. In the end I know this was the right move.
I've yet to move this blogsimply.blogspot.com blog though!
Ok, steps for moving to FTP from Blogger to Godaddy.
1. Create subdomains at Godaddy by logging into your hosting account. Choose Domain management. Choose OPEN control panel.
2. Choose Settings tab.
3. Choose Domain management. Create subdomains for each blog you want to put at that domain. For me- I had a whole site hosted at www.thaipulse.com so I put my blogs in these subdomains:
don't list out the whole url - just add a subdomain like "trythaifood"
4. Exit out of there because you're done. Nothing else to do in Godaddy because by default they point your subdomain to a folder on your path - they create the folder for you on your ftp path.
5. Login to Blogger's dashboard.
6. In the Template Tab go to HTML settings. Check the box for expand widget templates. Copy all of the template with Control and C and then paste that into a Notepad file and save it someplace with the name: blog-name-code-backup.txt.
Do that for each blog all at once so you don't forget and skip that. You'll lose the way your blog was originally if you don't save this complete template.
After you copy and save each template's code - scroll to the bottom of the page and choose "CLASSIC TEMPLATE".
This will change your template to a boring classic template - but you can pick from 14 other boring ones that are better than this one later.
7. Go back to your blog's SETTINGS tab, and Publishing link. If you need to set blog readers to "anybody" or "Everbody" then do so or FTP publishing won't work.
8. Choose FTP publishing.
9. Fill out the FTP publishing form carefully.
10. Your godaddy FTP server is just your domain name.
thaipulse.com was mine, don't put anything else - just this format.
Blog URL is the full name: http://trythaifood.thaipulse.com
FTP path: for this one I went through heck to find it. Support gave me the wrong information so it was trial and error to find out what it was. NOW I GOT IT! NOW YOU HAVE IT TOO! If you have Windows hosting at Godaddy that is... If you have LINUX - you'll need to guess what your FTP path is - and maybe it's same as this one is for Windows - I hope so for you....
format is like this: /yourusernameforyourhostingaccount/subdomain/
if your username is billybob and your subdomain is trythaifood then it looks like this:
The other things - leave as they are - you will have to enter your hosting username and password at the bottom of the page.
When you hit submit on that page you'll see that settings saved successfully and it asks you to republish your blog.
From now on - any changes you make to anything - you need to republish the entire blog for changes to go into effect.
As you republish - watch...
It lists every one of your URLS in a nice list for you.
This is a bonus - because you want to highlight and copy all of those urls into a text file - Notepad - and save it as Sitemap.txt.
Make sure when you save the list there are no spaces before your first url or your last url - and, when you save the file - don't choose regular txt, choose save as UTF-8 which will make it a valid sitemap file for Google's Webmaster tools. The file still appears with the .txt extension, but the coding is a bit different - and valid for a sitemap file in Google's eyes.
Hopefully you have an FTP program. I use FireFTP which is a plugin for FireFox and it's quite cool.
It logs me into my domain and then I physically type my subdomain into the window address box at the top right like this:
when I do that the directory for trythaifood pops up -and I can upload my sitemap to it.
If I don't do that step - there is NO FOLDER FOR MY SUBDOMAIN available where the other folders are for my whole site!
Is that crazy?
Yes, but it's true, so you MUST type it in at the top or not be able to get there - and you NEED to get there to drop your sitemap into it.
Verify your sitemap in Google Webmaster tools and you're good to go.
For me the whole process once I figured out the FTP path took about 40 minutes for 5 blogs. Not bad.
However, to now make my blogs acceptable the eye after choosing all manners of classic templates and losing lots of formatting will take about 4 days to rectify.
You can go back to Blogger Dashboard, choose a blog's TEMPLATE settings and change to another classic template. To me the ROUNDERS one's look the best of all of them, but, up to you.
I"m not that concerned with formatting for now since I have what I wanted, SITEMAPS!
Good luck to you!
Hope this helps you - as I searched all OVER THE PLACE for a help file going FTP from Blogger to Godaddy and couldn't find squat. That, and an incorrect support answer from Godaddy made the experience my own private hell for 2 hours, but now you can learn from my mistakes.
Now, GO DO IT!