Configuration

Import »Coming from Blogger?

Welcome, Blogger blogger (heh). We’re really glad you’ve decided join WordPress.com!

To get you back on the blogular path, we’ve put together this “Get Started Quick” guide. Let us pull your content over to WordPress.com, customize your new site, and start blogging again ASAP.

Import your content and set up your domain

WordPress.com’s import tool has one simple way to transfer your content from Blogger:

  1. Export your content from Blogger into an .xml file, then import the file to WordPress.com.

The import transfers your posts and comments — including text, photos, videos, and other embedded files — but not your theme, custom domain, or personal settings. You’ll set those up on WordPress.com yourself (we’ll help).

Manually exporting from Blogger

When you’re logged in to Blogger, go to Settings → Other and click “export blog.” This generates an .xml file with all your blog’s content. Save it wherever you like to save stuff.

Manually importing to WordPress.com

To find the importer, head to your new site’s dashboard. Not sure where it is?

Go straight to your dashboard by entering http://yourblognamehere.wordpress.com/wp-admin in your browser’s address bar. Enter your WordPress.com login information.

Log in to WordPress.com and click the “My Blogs” tab to access a listing of all the blogs you own or administer. Under the blog’s name, you’ll see “Blog admin.” Click it. Voilà: dashboard.

You’ll see tabs running down the left-hand side. Second from the bottom is “Tools” — hover over that one, select “Import” from the menu that appears, and pick Blogger.

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Click “Choose file,” find the .xml file you just saved, and select it. Then, click “Upload the file and import.” Easy peasy!

Linking a domain to your new WordPress.com blog

If you have a custom domain name, use Domain Mapping to connect it to WordPress.com. Domain mapping is a paid upgrade that costs $13.00 per domain, per year, and is a three-step process:

1.  Update your nameservers to point to WordPress.com.

Right now, your domain is linked to Blogger, so you’ll need to update your domain’s nameservers — specifically,  the DNS settings. If you bought your domain from Blogger, log in to your GoogleApps account and find the “Advanced DNS Settings” console. Otherwise, we’ve got instructions for doing this with the most popular domain registrars.

Set your DNS to ns1.wordpress.comns2.wordpress.com, and ns3.wordpress.com. (If you have trouble, your domain registrar can help.)

2.  Add the Domain Mapping upgrade to your WordPress.com blog.

Navigate to Store → My Domains. Enter your custom domain name, and click “Add domain to blog.” If your DNS settings are correct, you’ll be prompted to pay for the upgrade. If you try to finish your domain mapping but can’t, wait a while and try again – DNS updates take up to 72 hours to apply.

3.  Set your newly mapped domain as your blog’s primary address.

When the purchase is complete, go back to Store → My Domains, check the button next to your custom domain y, and click “Update Primary Domain.”

If you use an email address with your custom domain, there are a few more steps. First, you’ll need an email host, like Google Apps or Zoho Mail, and then you’ll need to create some custom DNS records — find detailed instructions here.

Note: the mapping cost is unrelated to the amount you pay your registrar to own the domain itself. You must continue renewing your domain with your registrar even after you map it to WordPress.com.

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Customize your blog

Pick a theme

A theme is a template for your site, like on Blogger. We have over 210, with new options added weekly. Explore your options in the Theme Showcase, where you can sort themes by appearance and feature — minimalist themes, grid-based themes, themes for photographers, themes for wedding sites, three-column themes, you name it. You can also preview themes from Appearance → Themes in your dashboard.

The preview opens the Customizer, which lets you experiment with fonts, colors, and other theme options. Custom fonts and colors require the $30 Custom Design upgrade, as does the ability to edit CSS.

(There are lots of things you can customize without an upgrade. Add a header or background, upload your logo, create a static home page — all with free features. Check out what these three bloggers did.)

Add some widgets

Like on Blogger, widgets add more functions to your blog and let you pull in content from other online hangouts. WordPress.com has dozens of widgets — check out the full list. To add one, go to Appearance → Widgets, and drag and drop a widget to your sidebar; it’ll update on your blog immediately.

Many widgets have configuration options like “number of items to display” (e.g., the Recent Posts widget) while some will need or other information from you (e.g., a link for your Flickr stream). Others, like text and image widgets, are free-for-alls. If you tweak a widget, be sure to click “Save” to cement the changes.

Go mobile

We assume you want your blog to look good on mobile devices, so we’ve taken the liberty of checking off the “Enable Mobile Theme” box, found in Appearance → Mobile. People using a mobile device will see either:

  • A responsive version of your theme, if the theme you’ve chosen is responsive. Every new theme is responsive, and a number of existing themes are, too — see which ones.
  • Minileven, if your theme is not responsive. Minileven is a version of our Twenty Eleven theme designed to be clean and quick on phones. Readers can click the “Full Site” link to see your regular theme.

Feel free to turn the mobile theme off, but be aware that disabling it will make your site slower to load on phones and tablets, and it might not look the same (or very good).

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Connect to other social networks

You’ve got a tool called Publicize that lets you automatically share new posts on FacebookGoogle+TwitterTumblrPath, and LinkedIn. Use the valuable minutes you save to get a head start on your next post, or to bake us some cookies (we like oatmeal raisin).

To enable it, head to Settings → Sharing. Click “Add new X connection” and follow the prompts to approve the connection:

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Once you’ve enabled at least one service, you’ll see Publicize information when you write a new post in your dashboard. You can opt out from any of the services for a particular post, or include a custom message (the default is post title). Get all the details here.

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Post some new stuff

On WordPress.com you can publish posts in a few ways — from within the WordPress.com Reader, from your dashboard, from a mobile app, or by email. (If you want the full monty on posts, pages, and uploading media, head to the tutorial.)

Posting from the Reader

When you’re logged in to your account, click the “New Post” button on the top right of the toolbar. Choose a post format – Text, Photo, Video, Quote, or Link — and start adding your content. (Text also allows a combo of text and images).

Along with your post, add a title and some tags – tags group related posts together on your blog and in the WordPress.com Reader, which makes them easier to find. When you’re ready, click “Publish Post.” You’ll see a confirmation screen in a few seconds.

Note: when you’re posting from the Reader, you won’t see Publicize options. Your post will be shared, but you won’t be able to de-select any connections or put in a custom message. For that, post from the dashboard.

Posting from the Dashboard

Head back to your dashboard, hover over “Posts” tab, and pick “Add new.” This opens the Visual Editor, a robust tool for writing, inserting media, and configuring post-specific settings like Publicize. You’ll also have a Text Editor, if you prefer to write in HTML (here’s more on the difference).

You’ve also got a powerful Media Manager to upload, edit, and manage images, audio, and video files; click “Add Media” to open it. Drag and drop files from your desktop, edit images, collect them into galleries, and more.

Posting from an app

There’s a WordPress app for just about every device. Pick your flavor, learn more, and download:

Install the appropriate app, and log in with your WordPress.com username and password. To post, tap on the “+” sign. You’ll be able to add a title and tags, upload photos from your library or take a new picture, preview, and publish your post.

Posting by email

To post by email, create a unique email address in WordPress.com. When you email it, your subject line becomes the post title and the email text becomes the post content. Create your address in the dashboard: click on “My Blogs.” Next to your blog’s name, click “Enable” to generate your address.

You can also add formatting and images to posts by email:

  • If your email client that supports HTML, your post will have as much of your formatting as possible (the Post by Email system will strip unnecessary HTML tags so that your post is displayed correctly). Most email clients support this.
  • To include photos or other images, attach them to the email. Multiple images will be displayed as a gallery. If you have the VideoPress upgrade, you can also send video clips.

If you post by email frequently, there are a variety of shortcodes you can include to further control your post — change your image gallery to a slideshow, edit your Publicize settings, delay publication, add tags, and more. Learn more about post-by-email shortcodes.

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Engage with the WordPress.com community

When you become a part of WordPress.com, you’re getting two awesome services for the price of none: your blog, plus your Reader, which brings every WordPress.com blog together in one easy-to-search place. In the Reader, you can:

  1. Find great reads.
  2. Catch up with blogs you follow (once you’ve found them).
  3. Reblog posts you love.

Find great reads

For a jump start, our friend finder will check out your Google, Facebook, and Twitter contacts and spit out a list of blogs they write on WordPress.com. To explore a bit more, check out our hand-picked content — Freshly Pressed are editors’ picks, while Recommended Blogs collects great blogs by topic.

To head into the unknown, use the topic list in the Reader  – the list of terms running along the right side — to search for whatever you want. We’ve pre-populated it with some of the more popular topics, but you can add and delete topics at will to create a custom listing.

You can also follow non-WordPress.com blogs — Blogger, Tumblr, whatever. Click “EDIT” next to “Blogs I Follow,” and put in the URL of any site you want to keep up with.

Catch up with bloggers you follow

When you follow a blog, you can decide how you want to get new posts — they’ll all be collected in the “Blogs I Follow” tab, or you can get them via instant, daily, or monthly email. You might choose the instant email option for blogs your particularly love, or the daily email for a blog that posts multiple times a day. If you’re committed to inbox zero, you might opt for no email at all.

To change or update your email delivery settings globally, head to Manage Delivery Settings.

Reblog posts you love

One of the best parts about blogging in a community is interacting and sharing with other bloggers. You can show your appreciate for a post with a Like (although we encourage your to elaborate with a comment), and you can share finds with your readers by reblogging.

Reblogging is a quick way to share posts published by other WordPress.com users while allowing the author to control their content. When you reblog a post, an excerpt shows up on your site along with a link to the original and any commentary you’ve added.

You can reblog from within the Reader or from an individual blog. (When you’re logged in to WordPress.com, you’ll see a reblog option in the toolbar that’s always at the top of your screen.)

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Apply to be a WordAds publisher

WordAds is WordPress.com’s in-house advertising network. If you become a WordAds publisher, we’ll place ads on your blog and share the revenue. Like other networks you may have used (BlogHer, FoodBuzz, etc), we handle all the negotiation, administration, and technical aspects.

Our WordAds team partners with major online advertisers like Google AdSense, and we’re always evaluating new ad partners. Working together, we develop high-quality ads that don’t detract from your site and bring in maximum revenue. We also optimize ads based on geography, which means ads that are more targeted for your readers (which increases payouts).

Any WordPress.com site that meets these three criteria is eligible for WordAds:

  1. It’s family-friendly. (Would you be comfortable with a child or co-worker seeing the site?)
  2. It has a custom domain (e.g., myawesomesite.com).
  3. It has meaningful traffic (Advertisers don’t pay to appear on sites with minimal views.)

If you think you might want to be a part of WordAds, check out this Q&A with our Ads Team Lead, or visit WordAds.co. (Since traffic is one of the criteria for involvement, you’ll want to establish yourself on WordPress.com before applying.)

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That’s it! We’ve cherry-picked the bits and pieces of WordPress.com wisdom most important for a smooth Blogger import here — there’s more to learn, but you should be ready to go. To see the full version get-started tutorial, visit Learn.WordPress.com. Happy blogging!

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