Do you often move Google Docs to WordPress posts? Google Docs adds lots of unwanted styles to content, and stripping all of the styles out of a Google Doc can be time-consuming.
We decided to test out Word Pigeon to see if it could help move content from Google Docs to WordPress with clean HTML. The results were surprising.
Read on to see a real example of Word Pigeon exporting content to WordPress.
How Do I Upload a Google Doc to WordPress?
Most people assume that you can copy content directly from Google Docs to WordPress.
In fact, this can introduce tons of styling problems that make blog posts and pages look out of sync with the rest of your site. That’s because Google adds its own styles to content, and when you copy it, you copy the styles too.
Google isn’t alone in adding styles; Microsoft Word is probably an even worse culprit. But the popularity of Google Docs for bloggers means that it’s more of an issue when getting ‘clean’ content out easily to WordPress.
There is a feature in some Google products to remove formatted text. But you don’t necessarily want to strip all Google Docs formatting. There are some elements, like links and headings, that you’ll want to keep.
When we write blogs for customers, we typically send them as Google Drive docs. We liked the idea of having an easy way to convert them to WordPress posts. Word Pigeon looked like a great solution, and we decided to give it a try.
Word Pigeon Review: Google Docs to WordPress Test
In this test, we moved a blog post with links and headings from Google Docs to a WordPress post using Word Pigeon.
We wanted to see if this would reduce all of the formatting issues we normally get.
And ideally, we wanted to avoid:
- Manually removing styles
- Finding and replacing styles
- Reformatting all of our headings in Google Docs.
This test was carried out on an eCommerce website. We’ve broken it down into steps.
First, let’s look at how much Word Pigeon costs.
Word Pigeon vs Wordable Pricing
Word Pigeon’s biggest competitor in this space is Wordable, so let’s quickly compare them on price. We’re just going to focus on the cheaper end of the price tables.
|Free plan||5 exports per month (recurring)||3 exports (does not recur)|
|Unlimited exports, 1 site||$17.99/ mo||$19/ mo|
|Unlimited exports, 5 sites||$17.99/ mo||$49/ mo|
|Unlimited exports, 15 sites||$37.99 /mo||$99/ mo|
To be clear, ‘export’ means 1 transfer of a post or page from Google Docs to your WordPress site. If you make a mess of an export, you’ll have to repeat the process, which will use up another credit.
So it’s clear WordPigeon is cheaper than its main competitor, Wordable. But for the sake of fairness, we’re not going to look at Wordable’s UI here, and there might be more features that we haven’t seen yet.
One important things to note is neither tool supports post types other than posts and pages. So you can’t use these tools to export Google Docs to a WooCommerce product, or with any custom post type you might have created.
There are workarounds, like copying and pasting from a blog post to a product, but it’s just something to keep in mind.
Installing the Word Pigeon Plugin
Word Pigeon is a standalone site with a companion WordPress plugin. The site is pretty minimal, and there’s a horrible GDPR popup that simply won’t go away no matter how many times you dismiss it. (It was so annoying that we decided to leave it in the homepage screenshot so you can see just how much space it occupies.)
Word Pigeon makes it easy to get started, but the process could be a bit better explained. It’s important to note that you’ll need to sign up to WordPigeon using the Google account that your docs are saved in.
This sounds obvious, but it would be easy to sign up with the wrong one if you didn’t think that through in advance.
Setting that aside, signing up is simple. And after you sign up for Word Pigeon, you’ll need to install the WordPigeon plugin on your site.
This gives WordPigeon access to send content directly to your WordPress posts and pages.
Once it’s installed, you’ll need to enter your API key. The field for the public key is tucked away in WordPress under Settings > Word Pigeon Options.
How to Start with Word Pigeon
When you first make the connection with your Google Drive account, WordPigeon will use the account you join with to look for files.
Next, Word Pigeon will ask you to nominate a folder where your WordPress drafts are stored in Google Drive. This is a good example of a screen that’s a bit confusing until you figure out what’s going on.
You can either nominate a folder or have Word Pigeon create one.
Either way, you can’t easily move a document into it if the document was shared with you. That’s because the Move feature in Drive only creates a shortcut to a shared document, but Word Pigeon can’t see shortcuts.
You could copy each document from the shared doc to a new one and move that over to your WordPigeon folder. But it’s an extra step in the workflow that you’ll want to avoid. The idea is to get Google Docs to WordPress easily – not introduce more hassle.
So the best solution is to use the link import feature below the folder settings. In Google Docs, you can create a sharing link in the usual way, then paste it in to import the content. This gets around all of the folder headaches.
Setting WordPress Post Options in WordPigeon
When you select a post for export, you get some options for WordPress import.
We’re always a bit hesitant about using settings like this. There’s always something you need to do in WordPress that you can’t do in the third party interface, so sometimes it just duplicates the normal checks.
Thankfully, you can skip over these settings if you want to.
One thing we definitely wanted to set here was the author name, because it’s an essential field in WordPress, and it’s also a field that’s easy to forget about.
This is where we ran into an issue.
Choosing a WordPress Author in Word Pigeon
By default, Word Pigeon pulls in every single customer account as a potential author.
And we were testing it on an eCommerce site.
So on the Smug site, only 2 accounts actually have permission to publish blog posts. But Word Pigeon offered us an unsorted list of more than 500 accounts.
(The list also isn’t in alphabetical order, and there’s no way to search it.)
Word Pigeon is clearly very GDPR aware, and has GDPR policies all over the dashboard, so we were pretty surprised to see masses of personal data appear in the author box here.
Now, Word Pigeon probably pulls in all of the accounts to get around issues with custom roles for writers. But really, you should be able to choose the user roles that show up in the list to avoid the problem of pulling in hundreds of customer profiles.
Results: Google Docs to WordPress with Word Pigeon
The most important option in the whole process of moving a Google Doc to WordPress is the styling. You can see that we had 3 options:
- Sanitize styles
- Retain essential styling
- Don’t sanitize the styles.
We chose the first option in the dropdown.
Word Pigeon was then able to instantly export the document.
The results of our test were successful.
In fact, the process of actually moving the content over was effortless.
When we logged into the WordPress admin dashboard, we found that the post was created as expected, and left in draft as we had asked. This is important since you’ll inevitably want to tweak the layout once it’s been moved over to your WordPress site – you don’t want to send out any real time push notifications for a half-finished blog.
We inspected the HTML and found that the output was flawless. Admittedly, our draft didn’t contain any images, so we haven’t tested that. But as you can see, we switched from the visual editor to the HTML view so you can see the output and it is completely clean.
The tricky issue with Google Docs is usually header and paragraph styling looking strange, and WordPigeon did a really good job of stripping everything out. We didn’t see any formatting issues, like extra line breaks. And the original post was intact with all of its links.
The only slight problem we saw was curly quotes. This is minor, but if you go in and edit your content, it could look messy.
By default, our site uses straight quotes, but Word Pigeon has used curly ones. You can easily see a mismatch here:
But in terms of the actual export to WordPress, that was the only problem we had.
While setting up the rest of the metadata for the post, you’ll want to convert the classic block to the block editor so you can add in your images.
Is Word Pigeon Worth It?
Yes, Word Pigeon does a really good job of moving blog posts from Google Docs to WordPress.
We definitely found content creation easier with Word Pigeon, and it removed that slight feeling of dread and apprehension when moving a Google Doc to WordPress manually.
We also prefer this method to Jetpack, which is too big and bloated to install just for this purpose.
And I think it’s worth using WordPigeon’s free plan, rather than going to the trouble of setting up Wordable just for 3 articles.
Word Pigeon isn’t perfect, and if we could suggest some improvements:
- The user account issue definitely needs to a re-think so you’re only seeing roles with content creation permissions
- The tool would be easier to use with better contrast; yellow text on white isn’t a good idea
- The interface as a whole could benefit from a redesign
- The folder import is a pain when you’re working with shared documents and needs a rethink.
From a content management perspective, it’s still very helpful to have the option to handle Google Docs to WordPress exports. For example, if you trust the content writers you’re working with, you could have them quickly send blogs to Word Press using WordPigeon so all you have to do is review the draft post and publish it.
How to Import Articles from Google Docs to WordPress Manually
If you prefer not to use tools like WordPigeon or Wordable, you can use scripts (or an addon) to clean your HTML and then copy and paste it over manually to your WordPress site. GDoc2HTML is one tool you might want to investigate.