How to move from TypePad.com to WordPress.com
The title for this post stems from one of the search phrases found in my stats, so I thought it would be fun to set up a step by step tutorial, especially since I have been through this myself, with all the pains and pleasures it entailed. It was a hard learning process, and a steep learning curve, but in the end I am very happy with the result.
Step by step
The steps below work for both domain-mapped and non-domain-mapped blogs. Domain-specific instructions are given in each step where applicable.
The basic idea is to a) set up a blog in WordPress, b) import from TypePad, c) edit your blog to make sure it fits the new format, d) download all blog images from TypePad and reinsert into them into WordPress and e) re-map the domain if you are using a domain.
1. Set up your WordPress blog
Go to http://www.wordpress.com and sign up for a blog. For easy reference I suggest you use the same or similar name as you use on Typepad, but that’s up to you.
2. Make your WordPress blog “invisible”
The reason for this is to give you time to get to know WordPress better after you have imported your blog and make sure that your blog looks and behaves the way you want before you go public. In TypePad this would be similar to password-protetcting your blog.
In the WordPress dashboard, go to Settings > Privacy, select “I would like my blog to be visible only to users I choose”, click “Save Changes”, then type your user name, then Add User. This way only you can see your blog; it is not visible to the public nor to any search engine. Now you are ready to import your blog from TypePad. Alternatively, you can use the 2nd setting, making your blog accessible by the public, but not searchable by Google or other search engines. That works fine, too.
3. Explore WordPress
Play around with the dashboard and get to know WordPress, make some posts and pages and familiarize yourself with as many WordPress functions as you can.
4. Export your TypePad blog
Go to Weblogs > Manage > Import/Export. Then click the export link at the bottom of the page.
A new browser window will open with your export file. Wait until it has finished loading, then use File > Save As to save it to your computer.
5. Import your blog into WordPress
In your WordPress dashboard, go to Manage > Import > Movable Type and TypePad, then select your TypePad export file from your computer, click “Upload File and Import.
WordPress will start the importing process…
Finally, everything has been imported…
After importing your blog is ready to display. Everything looks in order, but it is not really in order, that’s why we need the next two steps, step 6 and step 7.
Only posts and pages have been imported. If you used sidebar widgets (TypeLists) in TypePad, these must be set up again using WordPress’ widgets. No scripted widgets will work in TypePad, only HTML-based widgets. However, WordPress has a wide selection of ready-made widgets for you to use.
6. Update links
This is the hard part. Now you need to update your internal links. All links that you have made on posts or pages linking to other posts on your TypePad blog still link to your TypePad blog, which means that you must manually edit post by post and set the links to point to the new URL on WordPress.
7. Update images and other media
This is the really hard part. After importing your blog you may think that all images have been imported. They’re not. They’re still pointing to their original URL on TypePad. If you click on your thumbnails you will soon realize that. his means that every single image needs to be oploaded into your WordPress blog manually. This is the most time-consuming part of moving, but unless you’re in a real rush to close down your TypePad account, you can do this at your own pace. After all, the images are working, they’re just not in the right place.
The same goes for other files you may have on your TypePad blog, such as .pdf or .doc or any kind of linked files. They all need to be uploaded again. The same applies here as above, there’s no rush, if you don’t really need to close down your TypePad account.
If you have embedded YouTube videos on your TypePad, none of these will display in WordPress as is. They must be re-inserted using the WordPress shortcode.
Simply right-click the image and then click “Properties” to see if they really are on WordPress or TypePad.
8. Make your TypePad blog non-searchable
Now it’s time to take your TypePad blog away from the prying eyes of search engines. Go to Configure > Publicity and select “No” to “Publicize this weblog”.
9. Make your WordPress blog public
See step number 2. Go to Settings > Privacy and select the public setting. If you own a domain, now it’s time to move the domain. If not, skip ahead to step 11.
10. Map your domain to wordpress.com
If your TypePad blog was mapped to a domain, you need to un-map your domain from your TypePad blog and map it to your WordPress blog. Remember that it can take up to 24-48 hours for domain names to resolve and propagate through the Internet, so this is best done during the weekend or other periods of low traffic.
Note 1: Leave the domain-mapping setting on your TypePad blog on until after your domain redirects to your WordPress blog.
Note 2: I discovered this by accident, but it seems that all your “old” domain URLs will automatically redirect to your “new” WordPress URL. Links to your TypePad posts will go straight to the same posts in WordPress. Links to other parts of your TypePad blog, like your archives or category index pages will go to your Page Not Found default page. I will discuss this peculiar behavior in a later post. So don’t worry, no incoming traffic will be lost because of broken links when you move.
11. Sign up for Google WebMaster Tools
This is so that your WordPress blog is indexed faster by Google rather than wait for Google to find it. If you have already done so for your TypePad blog, simply add your WordPress blog to your list of web sites. If you haven’t heard about Google Webmaster Tools, you should sign up for it.
In order to “verify” your site with Google you need to upload a html-file. In WordPress you cannot do that; here the trick is to create a page, and give it the name of the html-file you are supposed to upload. This link will show you how to Get your WordPress.com Blog Google Verified.
After your WordPress blog has been verified and the indexing has started, you should request for your old TypePad blog to be removed from Google’s index.
That’s it. Enjoy your stay at WordPress!
Please feel free to ask any question or report any problems in the comment field below and I will answer as best I can, to help you and other “migrants” on their way to WordPress. And please don’t forget that you WordPress has a forum where you can ask questions.