moving from typepad to blogger

Why?
Cost - Well, for a start Blogger is free. Obviously there is a cost for free. Blogger is part of the evil Google empire and then there is this. However I love the internet (especially blogworld) and believe on balance the world is a better place for it. But I didn't think that I was getting a superior product from Typepad. Or that it was any less evil for costing me money each month. Which could amount to a heap of money if I continue to blog for the long term. The account I had cost about $20 a month for unlimited blogs, group blogs and the ability to customise your design. All things I can have using Blogger. For free. Possibly the only thing you don't get with Blogger is personalised help. But that's what Google and the internet are for and it hasn't been an issue so far.

Features - Once Blogger introduced embedded comments, pages and the new template designer, Blogger as a platform moved so far ahead of typepad that it's not funny. The new template designer is super easy to use and I love how you can apply css and see how it will look before you apply it. I also like the way you can edit page elements directly from the blog itself. When you have lots of blogs that's far, far easier than managing Typepad's tedious typelists. There are also some nice gadgets like the blog list with an rss feed. Actually the way gadgets work is far easier than with Typepad's notelists. The edit posts page is easier to use. Blogger is also way faster, especially with Google chrome. Basically Blogger is now much more sophisticated and user friendly than Typepad. And it's free.

Look - These days I think Blogger blogs even look better than Typepad ones. Less cluttered, more spacious. You can have a nice wide fixed width template. Big enough for photos 640 px wide. And photos via flickr look far better than anything on Typepad. I don't know what Typepad does to photos, but even the ones hosted on flickr look crappy compared to Blogger.

How?
Well, because Typepad and Blogger use a different format, you can't just create an export file from Typepad and upload it to Blogger. However, there is an app called the Google Blog converter that will take a Typepad (or Moveable Type) export file and convert to a Blogger friendly file which you can upload to a new or existing Blogger blog. Any images or other files hosted on Typepad need to be moved manually and obviously internal links  are gone. Also Blogger reads paragraph breaks differently so there will be big gaps between paragraphs. So there is a bit of clean up to do and images to re-insert. But all the posts, labels and comments came across perfectly.

The Google blog converter documentation says that it will only convert files of under 1MB and I did find that with the small blogs that the conversion was super easy. I downloaded a Typepad export file, saved it to my desktop, uploaded it to the Google blog converter and then uploaded the resulting file to the shell blog I had set up.

However when I went to convert the large blog (muppinstuff) which became this one, I broke it up into several smaller blogs. No matter how small I made the file, I couldn't get the conversion file to upload to Blogger without errors. In the end I created a Wordpress export file, uploaded it to a Wordpress blog, downloaded the wordpress file and then put the whole thing through the converter (even though it was apparently too big). It produced a file of at least 5MB which then imported into Blogger without a problem.

I've chosen not to look for a way of migrating all my images automatically. For the last year, I've been hosting them all on Flickr anyway. I'm also not worrying about post URLS, or even some of the old out of date links. Given that it's a personal blog, this issue is not that important for me and the google bots will find me soon enough. I'll be tidying up each post by hand (which also means I can make the labels more consistent) and uploading photos from before I started using Flickr to Blogger. Even if it takes a few month to finish, eventually I'll be able to delete the Typepad account.

Links
Here are some useful links and accounts from others who have made the move away from Typepad
Classical Bookworm, How to move a Blog from Typepad to Blogger
Mashable, Blogger finally allows Imports and Exports and the link to the Blogger Help Page
Embracing Chaos, Escaping from Typepad to Wordpress
FolioVision, Moving from Typepad to Wordpress 

2 comments:

  1. hi there! i need help i think! i want to set up "categories" on my blog, but i don't know how; i'm a writer, not a techie and i feel absolutely lost when it come to RSS and Atom and FeedBurner (which isn't working, btw). how did you get your "home, about me, flickr," etc. on the top? i'm overwhelmed. i'm thinking about leaving blogspot because all the "writers" are on wordpress or typepad, but like you, i like to blog and i would like to do it for a while and so paying for support when i just don't know if i'll be making $ on it is sort of not intelligent for me to do. advice! help! -molly

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