Last month I combined two of my blogs into one. I was frustrated with the process and with finding good information on the best way to merge the blogs, so I created this step-by-step tutorial to save others from the same fate.

For the sake of consistency, I’m going to refer to the blog that you’re moving as the “old” blog, and the blog you’re moving that content to as the “new” blog.

Note that this process worked for me and should work for you, but I can’t make any guarantees.

Why merge or combine blogs?

There are a couple reasons you’d want to combine your blogs. Maybe you’re tired of running multiple blogs and they’re close enough in subject matter that it makes sense for them to be together. That’s what happened with me. I added everything from my personal blog to my climbing blog, since pretty much everything I wrote about on my personal blog was about climbing.

I also liked the idea of getting more traffic to the climbing blog from those extra posts. I’d rather have Z (X + Y) traffic on one blog than X and Y traffic on two different blogs.

Note: I’ve since created a new personal blog if you’re interested.

[Click the images for the larger versions.]

1. Change the permalink structure on your old blog

You want the permalink structure (Google “wordpress permalink structure” if you don’t know what I’m talking about) to be the same for your old blog as for your new blog. If they’re already the same, that’s great. If not, you’re going to want to change the permalink structure of your old blog.

Do this by logging into WordPress and going to Settings > Permalinks.

2. Export your old blog

If you haven’t already, login to WordPress on the old blog. Then in the WordPress dashboard, go to Tools > Export.

Export old WordPress blog

Export the old WordPress blog

On the export page, select which things you want to export. You have three choices: All content, Posts only, and Pages only:

The stuff on the Export page

The stuff on the Export page

Once you’ve made your selection, hit the Download Export File button and save the file to a place where you’ll be able to find it later.

Note that this only saves your text and does not save your images! That’s in a later step.

3. Import your old blog to your new blog

Login to WordPress on the new blog and go to Tools > Import:

Import the old blog to the new blog

Import the old blog to the new blog

Once you’re on the import page, select the WordPress option:

The import page

The import page

A screen will pop up that will instruct you to download the WordPress importer plugin:

Install the plugin

Install the plugin

Click the orange Install Now button.

Then click Activate Plugin and Run Importer on the next page:

Activate the plugin

Activate the plugin

On the next page, which looks like this…

Choose what you're importing and import it

Choose what you're importing and import it

…click the Choose File button, select the export file that you saved in step 2, and press the Upload File and Import button.

This will take you to the Assign Authors page. Create a new user. I’ll go over the reason for this in a bit. Also check the Download and Import File Attachments button, and then hit the Submit button.

You’ll then see a page that says, “All done. Have fun! Remember to update the passwords and roles of imported users.”

All of your text (posts, comments, and/or pages, depending on what you chose to import) from your old blog is now on your new blog. Woo hoo!

4. Download (via FTP) your images and other media

Use an FTP client (I use Filezilla, which is free) to download the content in your http://www.YOUR-DOMAIN.com/wp-content/uploads/ folder. Unless you’ve specified differently, this is where all of your media (including any images, PDFs, video, or audio) has been uploaded. Download the whole /uploads folder to your computer.

How to use an FTP client like Filezilla is beyond the scope of this tutorial. If you don’t know how to do it, Google “ftp YOUR-HOSTING-COMPANY.” So for example, if your web hosting company is HostGator, Google “ftp hostgator” and you’ll find the info you need. You can also call your hosting provider to get more information.

5. Upload (via FTP) your images and other media

Now you’re pretty much going to do the reverse of what you just did. In Filezilla or whatever you use, upload the /uploads folder of your old blog to the /wp-content/ folder of your new blog.

All of the media from your old blog is now online at your new blog. The problem is that any posts with images, etc. in them still look to your old blog’s location (the old blog’s /uploads folder) for the images. In the next steps, we’ll make it so that the source of the images (and other media) is the new blog, not the old blog.

6. Download, install, and use the “Search and Replace” plugin

In the WordPress dashboard of the new blog, go to Plugins > Add New. Search for the “Search and Replace” plugin and install it:

Install the Search and Replace plugin

Install the Search and Replace plugin

Once the plugin is installed and activated, in the WP dashboard go to Tools > Search and Replace.

In the “Search In” section, check the box next to “Content.”

Below that, you’ll see “Search for” and “Replace with” and then a form field after each. In the “Search for” field, type in http://www.OLD-BLOG-DOMAIN.com/wp-content/uploads and in the “Replace with” filed, type in http://www.NEW-BLOG-DOMAIN.com/wp-content/uploads.

Everything filled out

Everything filled out

Obviously, you want to insert your domain names there. If you’ve got your blogs to show or not show the www. when you go to them, make sure you include (or don’t include) that www.

Then hit the Go button, and you should see a page that looks something like this:

Successful search and replace

Successful search and replace

Congratulations! All of the stuff from your old blog is now over on your new blog! But there’s still some housekeeping to do…

7. Tidy up imported posts

In the WordPress dashboard of the new blog, go to Users > Users. Remember how you made it so that all of your imported posts have new different author? This is why: We’re going to go through the imported posts and make sure they’re in the right category, have the right tags, etc. If you don’t care about the categories that your new posts are in or the tags they have on your new blog, you can skip this step because you’re done.

So on the users page, click the number at the far right end of the “new” author/user:

Click the number to the far right end of the user's name.

Click the number to the far right end of the user's name.

This will take you all of the imported posts. Use the Quick Edit feature for each post and change whatever you need to (category, tags, etc.). Or maybe there’s a post or two that you need to delete. Have at it.

Final words

Whew, it’s over! Hopefully that all worked out for you.

An optional final step would be to use one of the redirect plugins on your old blog so that anyone looking for something on your old blog (like if they follow a link to something on your old blog), they’ll get redirected to your new blog. You could also contact the site owners of any sites that linked to your old blog and ask them to change their links.

Good luck!

  • What other tips do you have for people who are merging blogs?
  • Have you ever combined blogs? If so, was it a painful process?
  • Do you plan on merging blogs in the future? If so, why?

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