17 January 2015

How to Migrate your Blog from Blogger to WordPress



Your blog (abc.blogspot.com) is hosted on Blogger and you would now like to move the blog from Blogger to WordPress (self-hosted) with a personal domain name like abc.com. What is the easiest way to switch from Blogger to WordPress without losing Google search traffic, page rank and your existing feed subscribers?



WordPress provides an easy one-click option for importing blog posts and reader comments from Blogger into a new WordPress blog but there’s more to migration than just transferring content. For instance:



  • Some of your articles on the old blogspot blog could be ranking very high in search engines for certain keywords but once you move these articles to a new WordPress blog, you will lose the organic search traffic since the permalinks (or URLs) of your blog posts will change.

  • People come to your blog through search engines, browser bookmarks and referrals from other web sites that have linked to your blog pages. If you migrate to WordPress, Blogger will not automatically redirect these visitors to your new website.

  • When you switch from Blogger to WordPress, existing readers who are subscribed to your Blogger RSS Feed may be lost forever if they don’t manually subscribe to your new WordPress feed address (and most won’t).


The Importer tool available inside WordPress will only transfer content from Blogger to WordPress but if would also like to take care of the various issues listed above, follow this step-by-step tutorial. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete and you’ll also be able to transfer all the Google Juice from the old blogspot.com address to your new WordPress blog.


How to Move your Blog from Blogger to WordPress


Before you start the migration, it may be a good idea to backup your Blogger blog including the XML template, blog posts and comments just to be on the safe side.


If you need assistance with the Blogger to WordPress migration, please get in touch with me using the contact form at ctrlq.org. This is a paid option.



  1. Register a new web domain, buy web hosting and install WordPress on your new domain.

  2. Open your WordPress Admin Dashboard and under Tools -> Import, select the Blogger option. Authorize WordPress to access your Blogger Account, select your blogspot.com blog and within minutes, all your Blogger blog posts and comments will be available on the new WordPress site.

  3. Open the WordPress themes editor under Appearance -> Editor and open the functions.php file for editing. Most WordPress themes include a functions.php file or you can upload it manually into your WordPress themes folder through cPanel or FTP. Copy-paste the following snippet of code inside your functions.php file (at the beginning of the file) and click the “Update File” button to save your changes.

    <?php

    function labnol_blogger_query_vars_filter( $vars ) {
    $vars[] = "blogger";
    return $vars;
    }

    add_filter('query_vars', 'labnol_blogger_query_vars_filter');

    function labnol_blogger_template_redirect() {
    global $wp_query;
    $blogger = $wp_query->query_vars['blogger'];
    if ( isset ( $blogger ) ) {
    wp_redirect( labnol_get_wordpress_url ( $blogger ) , 301 );
    exit;
    }
    }

    add_action( 'template_redirect', 'labnol_blogger_template_redirect' );

    function labnol_get_wordpress_url($blogger) {
    if ( preg_match('@^(?:https?://)?([^/]+)(.*)@i', $blogger, $url_parts) ) {
    $query = new WP_Query (
    array ( "meta_key" => "blogger_permalink", "meta_value" => $url_parts[2] ) );
    if ($query->have_posts()) {
    $query->the_post();
    $url = get_permalink();
    }
    wp_reset_postdata();
    }
    return $url ? $url : home_url();
    }

    ?>

  4. Open your Blogger Dashboard and choose Templates. Scroll down the templates page and choose the “Revert to Classic Templates” option to switch from the XML-based Blogger templates to the classic Tag based templates.

  5. Copy-paste the following snippet into your Blogger template editor but before you do that, replace all occurrences of labnol.org with your new WordPress site URL. For instance, if your WordPress site is located at example.com, replace labnol.org with example.com and paste the modified snippet in the Blogger template editor. Save the changes.



<html>
<head>
<title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>
<script>
<MainOrArchivePage>
window.location.href="http://labnol.org/"
</MainOrArchivePage>
<Blogger><ItemPage>
window.location.href="http://ift.tt/15ibh5s;
</ItemPage></Blogger>
</script>
<MainPage>
<link rel="canonical" href="http://labnol.org/" />
</MainPage>
<Blogger>
<ItemPage>
<link rel="canonical" href="http://ift.tt/15ibh5s; />
</ItemPage>
</Blogger>
</head>
<body>
<MainOrArchivePage>
<h1><a href="http://ift.tt/1y8XIR3;
</MainOrArchivePage>
<Blogger>
<ItemPage>
<h1><a href="http://ift.tt/15ibgOY;
<$BlogItemBody$>
</ItemPage>
</Blogger>
</body>
</html>

We are almost done. Open any page on your old Blogger blog and it should redirect you to the corresponding WordPress page. We are using a permanent 301 redirect on the WordPress side and therefore all the Google Juice and PageRank should pass to your new WordPress pages. (video)


The above method works for regular blogspot.com URLs and also country-specific Blogger domains like blogspot.co.uk, blogspot.com.au or blogspot.in.


The Blogger Import tool moves only posts and comments from Blogger to WordPress but not images. And that should be fine because the image URLs in your imported WordPress posts are still pointing to blogspot.com (where the images were originally hosted) and therefore nothing would break.


Also see: Move Blogger on Custom Domain to WordPress


Switch RSS Feed from Blogger to WordPress


When you move from Blogger to WordPress, the URL of your RSS feed will change as well. Go to Blogger -> Settings -> Other and choose Post Feed Redirect URL under Site Feed. Here you can type the web address of your new WordPress RSS feed here and the existing RSS subscriber will automatically move to your new feed.


If you are using FeedBurner, just replace the source from Blogger RSS feed to your new WordPress feed.


Migration to WordPress Complete – What Next?


Now that your new WordPress site is up and running with all the old Blogger posts, here are a few important things you should do:



  1. Add your new WordPress site to Google Webmaster, verify the site ownership and and also submit a XML Sitemap listing the URLs on your new site.

  2. Follow these WordPress optimization tips, install some of the essential plug-ins and pay special attention to improving the security of your WordPress site.

  3. Follow these blogging tips and take your blog to the next level.




The story, How to Migrate your Blog from Blogger to WordPress , was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 16/01/2015 under Blogger, WordPress, Internet.

14 January 2015

Updated Google Drive App for Desktop



Google updated the Drive app for Windows and Mac. The latest version (1.19.8268.4572) brings new features: the Drive menu shows the latest synced files, there's a new three-dot contextual menu that shows the previous items from the standard menu and you can limit bandwidth for both downloads and uploads from the settings. It's interesting to notice that all these features have already been available in the Dropbox app.












{ Thanks, Eston Melton. }

Word Lens in Mobile Google Translate



Google Translate's mobile apps are about to get a major upgrade. The latest version of the Google Translate app for iOS and Android adds support for instant translation with Word Lens and improves the conversation mode. The iOS app also adds support for conversation mode and camera translation, which were already available in the Android app.



"While using the Translate app, just point your camera at a sign or text and you'll see the translated text overlaid on your screen - even if you don't have an Internet or data connection. This instant translation currently works for translation from English to and from French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, and we're working to expand to more languages," informs Google. There's already camera translation, which works in 36 languages, but the new Word Lens is smarter and easier to use. Google bought Word Lens last year and this is the first tangible result of the acquisition.






Conversation Mode is smarter too: the app will now recognize the languages automatically, so you don't have to tap the microphone button. "Starting today, simply tap the mic to start speaking in a selected language, then tap the mic again, and the Google Translate app will automatically recognize which of the two languages are being spoken, letting you have a more fluid conversation. For the rest of the conversation, you won't need to tap the mic again - it'll be ready as you need it," explains Google.









The new version of the Google Translate app for Android and iOS is rolling out over the next few days.

Chrome Starts Enabling New Account Switcher



A few readers noticed that Chrome's stable version started to enable the account switcher added back in August to Chrome Beta.



"Get started by clicking on 'You' in the upper right corner of your Chrome window and then clicking 'Sign in to Chrome.' You'll be able to switch devices and pick up where you left off with all of your tabs, bookmarks, and history automatically kept in sync. If you share a computer, click 'Switch person' to add your profile and get your own bookmarks, apps, and theme. Switching lets you keep your stuff separate," explained Google.









There's also support for guest mode. "With the new 'Guest mode,' you can let others use Chrome without letting them see your stuff. And after they've closed out their tabs, their browsing information is deleted from your computer as well." That's the main difference between incognito and guest mode: guest mode is treated as a separate profile that doesn't have access to the data from your main profile.






You can also enable these features in chrome://flags:



1. copy this text in the address bar and press Enter: chrome://flags/#enable-new-profile-management

2. select "Enable" in the dropdown below "Enable new profile management system"

3. scroll down to "Enable fast user switching in the avatar menu"

4. select "Enable" in the dropdown below "Enable fast user switching in the avatar menu"

5. click "Relaunch now" at the bottom of the page to restart the browser.



Pick "Disable" instead of "Enable" to turn off the new avatar menu.






With features like guest mode and account switcher, Chrome looks more and more like an operating system. After all, these features were borrowed from Chrome OS.



{ Thanks, Konstantin Yakovlev, Fede and Karol Kobos. ]

Google Domains No Longer Requires Invitation



Google Domains is now available to everyone in the US. Until now, Google's service required an invitation.






Google added a lot of new features:



* 60 new domain name endings like .company, .florist and .coffee



* a simple dashboard to manage your domain, website and email settings



* Blogger integration



* better integration with website builders



* better search suggestions



* dynamic DNS: "setup your domain and keep it pointing to the same computer even when the IP address changes".








Find Maps in Google Drive



Now that custom Google Maps are available in Google Drive, you may wonder how to find them. "My maps" is not included in the list of file types from the advanced search, but you can use the "opens with" feature that was added in the new Google Drive interface. Just click the arrow from the search box, select "Google My Maps" from the "opens with" list and click the search button. Google Drive will display all the maps you've created in Google My Maps. Another option is to search for app:"google my maps".






You can add some keywords to the query to find a map.

Disable Google Package Tracking



Google uses the notification messages you receive in Gmail to display useful information in Google Now, Google Search and other Google services. For example, Google shows details about your purchases, reservations, flights and more.



Google Dashboard has a new section for package tracking. If you scroll down to the package tracking section, you'll probably see this information: "Package tracking data is accessible (e.g. in Google Now and Google Wallet)." Expand the section and you'll see a button that lets you opt out: "By clicking the button you will opt out of Package Tracking in various Google applications and data will be removed. You can opt in again via Google Wallet or Google Now."






I'm not sure why package tracking is singled out and Google doesn't let you disable from Google Dashboard the other features that use data from Gmail.

Google Now History



Google Now has a history page that shows the number of cards served each day, the type of cards and it lets you delete historical data. For example, you may find out that Google Now displayed 9 cards on January 8th: articles, updates, packages, music, stocks, time at home, birthdays and 2 other cards.






Unfortunately, Google doesn't show the actual cards and you can't see the card history in Google Now's interface: there's only a link to the history page in the settings. That's one of the issues with Google Now: once you dismiss a card, you can't get it back.

12 January 2015

The Best Screen Recorder for Android 5



With Android L, you can easily record high resolution videos of your phone or tablet’s screen without having to root the device. Android Kitkat too allowed screen recording but with Lollipop, the process has become almost as easy as recording screencasts on your desktop – you launch an app (there are several alternatives to choose from), hit the record button and everything that’s on your screen, including touches, will be captured as a MPEG-4 video.


Record Android Screen


The Perfect Screen Recorder for Android


A quick search on the Google Play store returns a dozen Android apps that support screen recording for Android v5 or later.


Some apps are free while others are paid but they mostly offer a similar set of features. You can record the screen as well the on-screen touches so the viewer has a better idea about how you are interacting with the apps. They can record the external microphone audio but none of the apps I tried allowed recording of internal system audio. Maybe that is a limitation of the Android platform.


The most popular option is Mirror that will not only record your Android screen but it can also mirror your phone on to your desktop using AllCast Receiver, a free app for Chrome. There are no complicated settings to choose from, the recording is smooth but the big downside is that the app adds a fairly big watermark and you do not have option to disable it.


Shou.TV is another app than can record and also live cast your phone screen to the desktop without the watermark. It is the only app that can save the video in multiple formats including MKV, AVI and MOV. There’s however a definite lag when casting the screen on the desktop that makes it less usable.


iLos and the screen recorders from Rivulus and Misty let you record the Android screen in multiple resolution including 1280×720 and 1920×1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. The recorded screencast can display touches, there are no ads and you can record videos of unlimited length. These apps do however add their icons in the notification window while the recording is in progress.


Another app in the category is SCR that offers a unique feature – it can add the picture-in-picture effect to your screencasts. That means it can use the front camera of your phone and overlay a live video of yourself on the screencast. The app is freemium and you need to upgrade to remove the watermark or to increase your screencast length which is limited to 3 minutes.


I also enjoyed using Rec. that has a very clean interface and allows you save your settings as separate presets. You can turn off the screen and it will stop the current recording session. You do however need to upgrade to show the screen touches and for recording the microphone audio.


This screencast video was recorded on an mobile phone running Android v5+ and rendered as an animated GIF

This screencast video was recorded on a mobile phone running Android 5.0.1 and rendered as an animated GIF



To conclude, as you may have noticed, most of the screen capture programs for Android are very similar and it is thus difficult to pick an absolute winner. Still, if I were to choose one, my vote would go to the Unlimited Recorder for creating screencast movies and Mirror for mirroring the Android screen on to the desktop.




The story, The Best Screen Recorder for Android 5 , was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 12/01/2015 under Android, Screencasting, Software.