Thinking Of Moving From Blogger To Squarespace? Here Are 12 Pieces Of Advice
At the end of October I moved this blog from Blogger to Squarespace. After spending 5 years writing posts on the Blogger platform, I was ready for a change. Although blogging is still purely a hobby for me, I am slowly trodding down the path of wanting it to be something more. Wanting it to be something I can expand into a little side business in the near future and Squarespace was offering the professional look and other integrated options to help me make this happen. I preface with this because it won’t be for everyone. It took a ton of work to setup, you have to pay for it and it actually takes me a little longer to format blog posts. For me, it’s worth it for the end result.
There are so many resources available on the web to help you carry out the process smoothly. This post in particular by A Girl, Obsessed rounded up a selection of very useful blog posts on the topic. As well as this, Pinterest and Squarespace’s help sections were a massive help. And then there was good ol’ fashioned Googling when times got rough.
Use your 14 day free trial wisely. In this time, explore the different template themes available. I actually setup an account with another theme to begin with and spent hours perfecting that to my liking. At the last minute, I decided to change to this; the Rally theme.
Think about what your design needs functionally first. Especially if you’re building a blog. I know that a large percentage of entry points to my blog are on my homepage so I wanted something that showcased a lot of content options on first glance as opposed to a pretty splash page.
Do not under any circumstances transfer your domain over to Squarespace until you’re ready to put your website live (and you’ve become a paying customer). I did most of the work behind the scenes over a week and left my blog on Blogger whilst I did so. Although I wasn’t updating it, it was still accessible.
If you bought your own domain under Blogger (with GoDaddy) the linking process is pretty straightforward whilst following the instructions. 30 minutes after configuring my GoDaddy hosted website to look at my Squarespace website instead of Blogger, the switch was made. I setup a password protected coming soon landing page for a day in order to check things were working correctly.
Squarespace suggest that instead of linking domains you transfer them entirely (meaning you’d be paying for your domain name through Squarespace instead of (as in my case) Google’s GSuite. This is not something I've done but it hasn't been a hindrance.
Delete unwanted blog posts on Blogger first before importing. It’s such a pain to delete posts in Squarespace. You cannot bulk delete. I’m glad I took the time to only import the posts I really wanted. And even then, I ended up deleting some other old ones that were just a bit pants.
Imported blog posts will import images as HTML. In Squarespace, any piece of content in a blog post is made up of a block. You have text blocks, markup (html) blocks, Image blocks etc. Because the import uses HTML, it creates images as a ref link from Google Drive (if on Blogger) instead of inserting them in an Image block.
This isn’t an issue for the most part. These images will look perfectly fine. However, I found two issues with this:
- If you resized your images to be smaller on Blogger, they don’t reformat to their original size and then get reformatted by Squarespace. This means that on some of my older posts, the photos don’t take up the width of the post and are half the size.
- If you’ve connected your Squarespace with Pinterest and use a hover “pin it” button, it won’t work on these imported images because the website sees them as HTML not an Image block.
- This is fixable but requires you to have the original image to hand and to go through each post and update them with Image blocks.
When you transfer your domain, your blog posts will have the URL slug /blog appended onto the front. I’m not sure what I did wrong but mine has blog// instead of just blog/. This is fixable but be sure to setup 301 redirects in the URL mapping section to reflect the changes.
It’s easy to set one up to have all of your posts permanently redirect from yourdomain.com/post-name to yourdomain.com/blog/post-name. However, if you want to edit them all to remove the year/month date options in the URL of a post, you will have to individually map each blog post. I didn’t have the time to do this so just changed to most recent 15-20 posts to remove the date element. This can be useful to help content look more evergreen. However, it’s not essential and is really a personal preference.
Internal links need to be changed manually. This means, any links you’ve included in a blog post that link to another post on your website need to be fixed. This could mean including the /blog slug in the URL, removing the secure Squarespace website domain appended to the start of the URL or both. For me, this was both and honestly I haven’t finished doing this yet.
For SEO purposes, I’d suggest getting this sorted as soon as you can so you stop getting emails from Google Console about crawl errors. I’m going to try and finish it this weekend whilst listening to an audio book. Sometimes, you just have to power through with the boring manual tasks.
To add “no follow” links you have to use a markup block for that piece of text. This allows you to add the <a href="website.com" rel="nofollow">visible text goes here</a> correctly.
Don’t write blog posts directly into a fresh Squarespace blog post entry. It does not autosave. I’ve started using Google Docs instead to ensure I don’t lose my work. I’ve also found it better for my writing to just freely produce content and work on formatting and editing later.
For SEO purposes, adding captions to your images (you can hide them) is useful as well as adding a good “excerpt” for each post. The captions you add to images will show up as your description when you pin them to Pinterest.
It’s very easy to integrate Google Analytics and Disqus with your blog. However, all Disqus comments on blog posts will no longer show up once you’re in your fresh Squarespace home. They’re still visible on your Disqus account though.
Squarespace is designed so that you don’t have to code a thing on your website. That being said, it is possible to add custom CSS tweaks but it’s not something I’ve dabbled with yet. If there’s something particular you want to do, research your chosen template to see whether that’s possible.
Squarespace’s analytics are a lot more in tune with Google Analytics (unlike Blogger) but they provide generic reporting. Meaning, you won’t get to see every blog posts total pageviews. If you haven’t already set up GA, do this first. The most interesting stats for me were showing what queries were typed into my search bar above and the totals of RSS feed subscribers that aren’t just Bloglovin’.
PIN ME, PRETTY PLEASE: