The first thing to do is backing up the (heavily customised) XML template. This cannot be just posted in an article, as it turns out that WLW simply cannot deal with and properly escape the code. One possibility is to save it as an XML file, zip or rar (archive) it, then save it somewhere online and post the link here, but the problem is that most such free services will either go belly up or start charging soon, so posting it here is still preferable. I will thus encrypt it with the old address.
We have addressed this issue in the past: Moving a Blogger blogspot blog.
To get to the template code, I go into Blogger Dashboard, then into the blog’s Template section, where I click “Custom HTML” then copy and paste the code in the encryption text box.
Next, I backed-up both blogs, the blog to be “killed” first. To do so, go to the Blogger.com Dashboard, under Settings click Other, then in the “Blog Tools” section click Export Blog, followed by Download blog (see below blogspot-import-export). I saved each blog with an abbreviation of its original address prefix, to distinguish between them. After backing up the second blog (the “survivor”), I imported the soon-to-be-defunct blog into the survivor one.
Next, in the same Blogger Template page, I scroll down and choose “Revert to Classic Templates” to switch from XML to Tag based templates. I then copy and paste the following code into the text field.
For this to work, you need to host a PHP script (such as that shown at subtracting URL strings) while making the necessary substitutions.
You might also want to backup and then import your comments, if you are using a comment provider other than Blogger / Blogspot.
One last thing I would do is make the old blog unlisted and un-discoverable. This is done from the same Blogger Dashboard – Seetings –> Basic –> Privacy, although this is optional.
What is not optional, is editing your old articles in the new blog, article by article, to ensure that there are no links pointing to your old blog. You could do this manually or via a script. Unfortunately, Blogger does not allow “relative links” and having modified these links in the XML backup first would not have worked, as Blogger looks at a unique article ID and would have pulled the old version, replacing it. While you work that out, you might consider updating the 404 page on your “survivor” blog (if not both) with a message instructing your readers to make the URL substitution, just in case some misconstructed link results in a “page not found” error.
And there you have it – one less blog to worry about, and if anybody goes to the old links, they will be automatically transported to the new blog.
We can help you transition your blog as explained above for about $10 of setting up and script hosting / year – pricing may vary depending on your traffic and other factors particular to your situation. If you have purchased a domain from domains.wintegrated.com, or you have been a client of ours in the past, we might be able to offer this service to you for free.
You could also host your script with one of the many free webhosts. If using 000.., be sure to login at least once a year, otherwise they’ll disable your account.