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My Blogger Update – Internet Jim Live Online Import Export Blog

This is a how to guide for importing and exporting your Blogger blog to other Blogger blogs. Carefully follow the import and export online documentation below. Procedure works for Blogger Classic (HTML), Blogger FTP Publishing, Blogger New (XML), and Blogger Custom Domain Names.

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On my online post for Blogger Dashboard – Hide Show All Problems – Missing Blogs; as of 12/14/2008 I discovered a do-it-yourself fix for this peculiar dashboard problem. I made a discovery when doing some Google Searches for free blog editors for Blogger that started me thinking of a possible solution for my particular missing blog in the dashboard problem.

I found this one article that talked about the new features of Blogger Beta, with one of those features being that of importing blog postings from other blogs that a person owns and has the publishing rights to. Other blog platforms such as WordPress have for some time been able to import postings from other blogs, but until recently Blogger did not provide that feature. When I read the write up about this new Blogger feature, it was the old proverbial light bulb going off in my head. I thought, this might be a solution to the missing blog in the dashboard.

Some background information is required for understanding the Blogger technical problem to begin with. When I first created this blog, www.jimwarholic.com, and posted it the first time on the Internet, I believe I did it strictly under FTP publishing, and did not assign a Blogspot.com to the blog at first. I created the website, www.jimwarholic.com back in the year 2006, and started publishing directly with FTP publishing at my webhosting domain using my own domain name.

It was the later part of the third quarter of 2008 in which Blogger did an update to their system, and my blog disappeared completely from the dashboard area. It wasn’t in the hidden mode, or the cookies were not causing it to be hidden as some suggested, it was just gone. I could still gain access to it from the quick edit buttons when logged into my Blogger account, and navigate backwards into the back end of the template settings and publishing setups. I tried everything I could think of to get it to show up in the dashboard, though it was always displayed on my profile page. I assigned another email address for writing on the blog as an administrator. However, the blog would not even show up at the dashboard of the other profile account. I was scratching my head for months on trying to figure it out. I posted information at Blogger Help Groups. I searched online for solutions. I tried to leave a message for Blogger, but they no longer have a contact page online. But, I could not find a fix, that is until 12/13/2008 – 12/14/2008 rolled around.

Sometimes you have to take Internet matters into your own hands. Importing and exporting blogs to Blogger is now a mouse click away on the settings area of each blog control console. You now have three options available to you. Import a blog, export a blog, and delete a blog. To import posts and comments from a Blogger blog, you must first have exported the blog to your local computer desktop or folder on your PC.

I must warn you here. Take some precautions before you attempt to export and do an import of your complete postings and comments from another blog, especially the blogs that are missing from the Blogger Dashboard area. Note also, that if you export your content from one Blogger account, and then import your postings and comments to another Blogger account, with a different name on it, you will end up having all your posts republished with the new Blogger account name.

Additionally, I would recommend before doing the online procedure is having two windows open in your browser, or better yet, having two different browsers (Firefox, Google Chrome, or Internet Explorer) open when exporting a blog from one Blogger account, and importing it to another Blogger account.

*Very important note here. It is highly recommended to have an Internet quick link from your desktop to the old Blogger missing dashboard blog, to that blog’s setup page. To do this, you can use Google Chrome, and create what is known as “create an application shortcut” to your desktop. Once you do that, then you can click on the Internet link in the future to gain access to your blog. Or you can use Firefox and drag the tab to the desktop to the specific page for the postings, settings, and template area of the old blog that has been navigated to with the quick edit links in the postings themselves. You could also do a bookmark or Internet Explorer favorite link too. However, I would not trust just one way only. If you do not do this link step, you will have no way of getting back to the old Blogger blog that remains hidden from the dashboard area. You will be lost forever. The reason for this is that once you publish using the new blogspot.com address, and then change it to your old FTP published address and click publish, your quick links will now be linked to the new blog instead of the old blog. Which means the old quick links used to navigate to the settings tab for the old blog will not work anymore.

Here is what I did for my particular FTP export and import blog solution.

This procedure is written for Blogger FTP publishing but most of these steps should work for other non FTP blogs such as blogspot.com address and custom domain names for Blogger too. The new XML Blogger template files can also be exported and imported too and you should export your HTML Blogger Classic template or XML template file too.

  1. First read the Blogger information on, How do I import and export blogs on Blogger? Read it twice and make sure you comprehend all aspects of how to do it before proceeding.
  2. Created favorites – bookmarks, and quick launch buttons using Firefox and Google Chrome on the desktop to the old blog setup page to be safe.
  3. Saved old HTML template file on to my local computer from the old blog website. I used the following procedure for saving the old template file. Opened Template, Edit HTML, and copied entire html text to a notepad plain text file. Notepad is part of the default Microsoft Windows Operating System simple text editor programs available from the lower left of the screen. Go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, Notepad – and Don’t forget to do this and remember where you have saved the file!
  4. Opened Firefox and Google Chrome Browsers next to each other. It’s nice to have a bigger screen, but not required.
  5. Logged into one Blogger account in Firefox. Logged into the other Blogger account in Google Chrome. Though I used two different Blogger accounts, you can do the same thing with a single Blogger account and have two windows, tabs, or two web browsers open at the same time with the same Blogger account but with different blogs in each tab or window.
  6. Navigated to the control area of the blog, using the quick edit links in the old blog postings, and followed the links to the settings tab for the old blog.
  7. Exported the old blog to the desktop or folder on your computer’s hard drive which creates a (.xml) file.
  8. Created new Blogsopt.com webblog. Went to the other browser, and created a new Blogspot address using the “Create a Blog” link from the Blogger Dashboard. I used http://internetjim.blogspot.com as the blogspot.com website. You can create your own name for your blogspot.com website. Note, it is going to change to your own domain name in the next steps.
  9. Verified the new virgin site was live online. (I may have done one test posting to begin with, but am not sure on this point.)
  10. Changed the new site title and description to reflect the name of the old blog. Note: I changed the title slightly to quickly visually verify on which website I was on at the time. Because, once you do the import of the posts, comments, and HTML template file, you will not be able to tell the difference from one blog to the other.
  11. Switched to FTP publishing on the new blog by first switching back to classic templates mode.
  12. Opened both the old and the new blog tab areas and copied the FTP publishing information from one settings are to the other. Went right down tabs: Basic, Publishing, Formatting, Comments, Archiving, Site Feed, Email, OpenID, and Permissions. It is important to get everything the way it is on the old blog to the new blog. Keep the publishing, archiving, and site feed absolutely the same, otherwise, you could end up with new urls, which won’t match up with the search engine results or result in broken links back to your website.
  13. Copied from the HTML text in the Notepad template file previously saved in step number 3 and pasted the old HTML text into the new Edit HTML section of the new blog. (This makes the new blog look like your old blog, but not completely until you publish FTP publish it. Important! Don’t publish it yet. Wait till the next step. If you publish before the next step, you will write over all your postings at the hosting server for your blog for a period of time until you repost with the imported posts and comments.)
  14. After double checking and comparing all of the settings with the old to the new, it was now time to do an import from the saved (.xml) file located on the computer desktop. Note, there are a couple of options on the import. You can either choose to import and automatically publish all posts immediately or import and save them as drafts to be published later. Your choice at this point. I automatically published at this point in the import process.

    Import posts and comments from a Blogger export file. Imported posts will be merged with any current posts, sorted by date.

  15. Success! At this point in time, I verified all my posts were properly posted to the server. I navigated to each online to verify. The new blog was now showing up in the dashboard area.

Blogger Notes and Observations

I was still trying to figure out how my blog went missing in the first place. I still think it had to do with when I first created the blog without a blogspot.com address. I went straight to FTP publishing. Another possibility, is I may have created this blog at about the time Blogger still allowed you to use a different email address or Blogger account name other than a Gmail account. Blogs under the old Blogger accounts required a different login screen and are part of the legacy claim for claiming old blogs to be part of your new Google account name. I had however, claimed my blog under this legacy link a long time ago.

Somehow, when the most recent changes occurred with the Blogger Dashboard area, was when I first noticed my blog had disappeared. It seems as though a few other folks have experienced the same problem too. I haven’t heard of a fix from Google as of yet about this particular situation. It may be part of a database glitch for old FTP blogs that were created without a blogspot.com address to begin with that got overlooked when Google Engineers updated the Blogger system and dashboard areas.

Another important point to note when doing an import from one blog to the other, is that if you posted any of your old posts at the old blog account, and then changed the title of the blog postings and re-published the blog at the same spot, the URL would not have changed on this old posting, but when you import the blog postings into a new Blogger blog, the URL is updated to reflect this change. That change in the URL creates a small problem however.

Let’s take a look at a web page example. Let’s say I published a blog at the old account titled “This Is a Test Example” for the title of a new article. The URL at the old account would be the following: www.jimwarholic.com/2007/02/this-is-a-test-example.php. If however you changed the title at the old blog to “Internet Testing at My Online Sandbox Beach” or simply “Test” the new title in the Blogger Title Field would be updated on the old blog posting, but the URL would remain the same. This would not affect any links to that particular posting. But, when you import the name, “Internet Testing at My Online Sandbox Beach” or “Test” for the title of the posting to the new blog, the resulting URL would change to www.jimwarholic.com/2007/02/test.php, which is completely different than the original URL and will break hyper-links to that specific page, unless you create some permanent redirects (301 Status Code) in your (.htaccess) file. If your website hosting provider provides the easy-to-use cPanel website control panel for setting up redirects, or other website hosting control panels that provide for quickly configuring permanent (301) redirect solutions, then each URL can be quickly entered into an online input form. Otherwise, you must manually write a new .htaccess file by including the redirects for each particular file that needs to be redirected to the new URLs. Once the redirects are established online, after a period of a month or two, then you can remove them to make your website run more efficiently, and speed up the web page renderings. I suggest a search on Google for more information on .htaccess files to understand some of the finer points in configuring temporary (302) and permanent (301) redirects.

For the moment, I am a bit leery of deleting the old blog by using the “Delete Blog” from the settings page. However, I changed the FTP publishing user name and password, so it would not publish if I accidentally happened to click there for some reason. I also gave myself a note on the HTML template area to reflect what the status of that blog is. I might have missed a redirect, and if I saw an old page and thinking it needed to be edited, the old edit quick edit link will still be in affect for the old online posting. You would not want to republish from that old blog, otherwise you will change all your Internet postings back to what they were in the past.

I know this is a rather long Blog posting, but I feel it’s important for everyone out in Internet land to understand what is going on online with your web site, when a procedure like this is implemented on the Web.

Good luck everyone. If you happen to take the plunge into importing and exporting, take your time, and think about what you are doing. Print out these instructions if you wish. Feel free to post your comments or questions to either the comments section of this post or email me directly using the appropriate comment or email form below.

Best regards,

Jim

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Blogger Import Export Blog Update 12/18/08

After serious consideration about a few things related to possibly maintaining the old blog online, I decided it was in my best internet interest to delete the old blog completely from the Blogger system. There were a number of very good reasons not to save the old blog. For one, if I forgot to do a redirect of an old Blogger posted page, a commentator would still be able to post a new comment to the old blog. This would not be good, since all the old comments were exported and imported into the new online blog, and I really want people to comment on the new blog, not the old blog. Additionally, I found myself accidentally logging in to the old blog through quick edits, on web pages that I forgot about. By deleting the blog completely from the Blogger system, I will no longer have to worry about that. If I forgot a page or two on the permanent redirects, the Search Engine Spiders will eventually figure it out, and gather the proper pages to add to the online search directory database.

Warning about deleted Blogger Blogs!

I was however a little nervous when I went to delete the old blog from my Blogger account. I did not want to accidentally delete the wrong Blogger blog. It paid off and was good that I had two slightly different names for each of the blogs for identification purposes. There is no recovery if you accidentally delete the wrong blog in your Blogger account. Deleted Blogger Blogs are gone forever and Google will not be able to get them back for you.

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