I am thinking for quite some time to move Quick Online Tips to my own webhosting and domain name. The problem is that it is not so easy to move a website from Blogspot / Blogger to my own web hosting.
I had earlier bought the domain name www.QuickOnlineTips.com from GoDaddy.com- a very popular domain name registrar. Webhosting is served by Dreamhost. I now have a huge 1 Terabyte bandwidth and can also host unlimited domains and subdomains.
Here are the issues…
Which Blogging Platform?
I plan to keep blogger as the blog publishing software. Why? I can republish by FTP the whole blog to my own web hosting in a few minutes. Hopefully the comments will stick to the posts. I found several excellent articles on moving from Blogspot to Blogger FTP hosted custom domains.
Why not wordpress? – I can opt for WordPress too. WordPress has a good post on importing from Blogger. And this script helps you import your comments too. But I find the Blogger platform very flexible and I am used to modifying it very well as I like.
Url Issues – Pagerank, Search Traffic & Sandbox
The url will change from http://pchere.blogspot.com/abcd to http://www.quickonlinetips.com/abcd. A 301 redirect is the most efficient and Search Engine Friendly method for webpage redirection. It is simple to implement and preserves your search engine rankings for that particular page. Matt Cutt recommends you put a 301 (permanent) redirect on every page. But…”I believe Googlebot sees the 301 and puts the destination url back in the queue, so it gets crawled a little later. I have heard some reports of people having issues with doing a 301 from olddomain.com to newdomain.com.”
Another big problem is I might end up in the Google Sandbox. Google brings in a lot of traffic as this site now has a page rank of 6 and some popular pages PR7. How can I survive the Google Sandbox?
What about the Blogger / Blogspot blog?
I intend to keep this blog running for some while with a notice on top that the links will soon change? Later I will fix up the template, Keeping only a list of some popular posts where backlinks may be comming. An instruction to redirect by changing the url domain name.
Remembering all the time that the moment you export the blog, the blogspot subdomain is released to the public, so you immediately reclaim it. A new account will have no posts, so all is lost. So you take back the subdomain using the same blog and republish and once you have fixed the template and other stuff, you again switch back to FTP. But the problem is sometimes errors occurs and you lose control of the blogger blog. Well I am still testing with some test blogs on how it will work seamlessly.
Can these posts redirect be done automatically in some way? I will not delete any of the posts since they will turn up 404 otherwise. All posts will simply show the same index page which will show the blog has moved. I am still wondering about my pagerank and if google penalizes me for this.
What about the backlinks?
Hundreds of sites link back to this blog? I guess moving out to a new domain name will remove the page rank advantage (unless blogger gives me a 301 redirect). Then starts the long process to see who links back at Technorati, Google, Yahoo, MSN and check my statistics for incomming links and request sites linking back to update their links and I guess the backlinks will develop again over time and the PR will come back. But I am not sure how many webmasters might take the task of updating the links. Although it will spoil a years work, in the long run it should prove beneficial.
What about the site feed?
Some of my initial readers who subscribed to the atom feed will have to change the url to the feedburner feed. The feedburner feed readers would not have to change their settings since I will simply change the target feed for the feedburner feed. I am glad I set up a single feed and changed the autodiscovery settings earlier. Now that works for me.
Advantage to move to my own domain and hosting?
I am in full control of my website. The blogger navbar can be removed if I publish by FTP. The site gets more credibility of being a genuine blog and will attract serious readers and bigger advertisers. I can run my own scripts, forums, wikis and other tools easily.
If you check the Blogger Vote for a Feature, you will find an option “I want to use a custom domain name with my Blog*Spot blog.” So maybe they have this feature in the works. After all Google runs Blogger. If they allow an official way to do it, they will take care of the page rank and search engine visitors too. They just need to enable an option to set a 301 redirect on blogspot subdomains, as an option or by a support request.
Am I doing the right thing to shifting from Blogspot? I risk to loose search engine traffic and page rank severly by SEO terms. What are your suggestions for doing this task smoothly?
Update: We finally moved from Blogger to WordPress