Google is mandating that all Blogger blogs now be hosted on Google's servers. With that, I've decided to move forward with the migration process which is something I've been dreading since first learning of it back in early February. However, with the deadline vastly approaching, I needed to knock it out with enough time to troubleshoot any potential problems.
Like so many other users, I am not at all happy about Google's recent decision to remove FTP publishing capabilities from Blogger. Google is mandating that all Blogger blogs now be hosted on Google's servers, which is something I believe to be a huge mistake. Eliminating FTP capabilities will only limit the options that users have when managing their blogs. In my mind, eliminating options is always a bad thing. However, according to Google, having FTP capabilities is a significant drain on their ability to improve the platform.
"Only .5% of active blogs are published via FTP — yet the percentage of our engineering resources devoted to supporting FTP vastly exceeds that. On top of this, critical infrastructure that our FTP support relies on at Google will soon become unavailable, which would require that we completely rewrite the code that handles our FTP processing."
I'll just have to take Google's word on this, and assume they had no other option but to completely cut-out their FTP program. Well, that's not true. I could have jumped ship and went to another blog provider, but I've been dedicated to the Blogger platform since day one and would really hate to leave now. I'll just have to roll with the punches for the time being.
My Blogger Migration Experience
Last Friday, I decided to move forward with the migration process. I had been dreading it since first learning of it back in early February. However, with the deadline vastly approaching (May 1st, 2010), I needed to knock it out with enough time to troubleshoot any potential problems I might run into. I also wanted to make sure I had enough time to assist my company and clients with their migration efforts too.
Surprisingly, the process itself was not at all difficult. The Blogger team created what they refer to as a "Migration Tool", which made the whole experience extremely easy to handle... even for non-programmers. This tool handled all of the file transferring from my current hosting to Google's hosting. More importantly, the tool also handled all of the necessary page redirects using rel=canonical and meta-refresh tags. This means that all the SEO value that I've built up from the past 5+ years of blogging won't be disappearing. Blogger also created a secondary tool / option to assist users with correcting links, files, and images that may become broken during the migration process.
I'd say that from start to finish, the Blogger migration process took me somewhere in the neighborhood of about 45 to 60 minutes - 90% of that time was sitting back and waiting Blogger to do its thing. I imagine that times will vary depending on the size of your blog.
In addition to the Migration tool, Google also provided some very helpful resources to assist with the migration process. They created a video walk-through, a blog, and even a forum to address specific problems one might be having. I found each of these resources to be extremely helpful, and would encourage everyone to keep them handy.
Overall, I'd say I'm very pleased with the migration process the Blogger team has put together. While migrating itself isn't something I completely agree with, they made the whole experience fast and easy. Kudos to you, Blogger. However, in closing, I will say that I have yet to see a major difference between the 2 styles of publishing. Other than being able to instantly publish with zero wait time and a few minor design issues I'm dealing with, not much has changed. And you know, I'm not sure that's such bad thing either.