How to Move Blogger to WordPress and Self-Hosted Under AWS
After two-week-struggling on the issue with BlogSpot (couldn’t modify, save, backup, restore theme…), I decided to move this blogger from BlogSpot to WordPress. The whole process is easier than I thought. The cost of self-hosted under AWS is very low on AWS free tier account: $0.51 on AWS Route 53 ($0.01 on Route 53 DNS-queries since the blogger’s traffics are less than 1 million queries + $0.50 Route 53 HostedZone) plus domain name registration.
Here are the steps on moving the blogger to WordPress and host it under AWS:
- Launch WordPress website on AWS EC2
- Export the blogger from BlogSpot then import the blogger’s content into WordPress
- Associate WordPress website to AWS Route 53
- Setup redirect from BlogSpot to WordPress website
Step 1: Launch WordPress website on AWS EC2
Please follow the steps in AWS tutorial on launching WordPress website on AWS EC2 to setup WordPress powered by BitNami except step 2 – f in the tutorial. In step 2 – f, select Create New Key Pair or choose the existing key pair if you already setup the key pair in your account instead of Proceed without a Key Pair. Download the Key Pair before clicking Launch Instances.
With the Key we can telnet into EC2 for any advanced setup in the future (e.g. check on file structure, ftp images, setup S3 bucket for backup, cloudFront setup.) After you complete all the steps in the tutorial, then go to Security Groups on EC2. There is security group for WordPress, choose this group then select Edit Inbound Rules under Actions. Add your PC’s IP into SSH setup for telnet:
After this step, the WordPress on EC2 should already have the useful plugins such as Akismet Anti-Spam, All in One SEO and JetPack.
Step 2: Export/import Blogger’s content
a. Export blogger’s content : Go to Blogger’s Settings >> Other, under Import & Backup section, click Back up Content button. The content will be downloaded in XML file.
b. Import the blogger’s content: Login WordPress admin, then go to Tools>>Import. Click Blogger then follow the screen instruction to install the Blogger to WordPress importer. After it is completed, click Activate Plugin and Run Importer link to continue. Then Choose file to upload the output XML file from the export step.
Step 3: Associate WordPress website to AWS Route 53
Please follow the steps in Associate WordPress website to AWS Route 53 to register or transfer domain name. It’s time to setup Akismet Anti-Spam, All in One SEO, JetPack and other tools to manage the website. Please follow their manuals to setup.
Step 4: Redirect the traffic
Before redirect the traffic from the blogger to AWS, you need to setup permalinks ( URL structure of individual pages) in WordPress similar to the blogger. Go to Settings>>Permalinks screen and choose Month and Name.
Login WordPress admin, then go to Plugins>>Add New to install Blogger To WordPress Redirection. This plugin will give you the code that you need to paste into Blogger to implement the redirection. Then go back to the blogger account, click Template from the sidebar menu. On the bottom of the page, click Revert to Classic Template. Paste the code from the plugin.
One more thing, go to Settings>>Other in the blogger account, setup Post Feed Redirect URL by clicking Add with the WordPress site’s feed address e.g. http://www.itcheerup.net/feed.
AWS offers cloud web hosting solutions with low-cost ways to deliver the website. AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) is the first thing to setup on your free tier account. IAM helps you securely control access to AWS and your account resources. The security group and key pairs give you another level of security control on website’s traffics. The Akismet Anti-Spam plugin on WordPress offers prevention from publishing malicious content by checking comments and contact form submissions. Therefore, the switch from the blogger to WordPress provides the flexibility to manage the website such as customize the appearance, setup advanced SEO, and add the useful plugins.