Import WordPress

that page has been hanging around the admin panels in these parts for way to long to be doing this little good. I’m migrating my less professional posts off of my archGFX blog, and onto a less professional ‘posterity’ journal. turns out it’s more difficult than the simplicity of the instructions would lead you to believe.

Every other time i’ve tried to import posts on, i’ve lost comments, lost categories, had server timeouts that require restarting the entire process, and it’s generally been a pain. So i tried a new approach. I opened up my WXR export file in a text editor, then opened up a WXR from this blog, and compared them. [NOTE: the file generated by is now a *.XML file, which firefox 2 formats and asks if you’d like to subscribe to. how helpful. i switched to Opera for the remainder of the import.]

Opera 9 - Your Web, Your Choice

<!-- generator="wordpress/2.1-alpha3" created="2006-10-14 18:10"-->

that’s the first line of the local export file, for reference. It’s actually generated by whatever revision was current in SVN on the 14th, if that matters. there are plenty of differences in the files, but i went straight for the problem tag: <category> (from the WXR generated by <category> doesn’t exist in the file generated by SVN. instead, it had <dc:subject> which is a much more professional, and crossplatform sort of field name. nonetheless, i did a find and replace. replaced 6000+ instances. i don’t know if that’s because i use UTW on archGFX, or what. (i have approximately 500 entries on archGFX).

Next, i went through and did a find and replace on all the authors, changing them over to sunburntkamel. (these are the authors on archGFX: adam, melanie, and administrator). This is because while uploading 500+ entries does take time, it doesn’t cause server timeout errors. normalizing authors does. Last time it happened, i petitioned the almighty PODZ for help, and it seems i got it (no 408 errors this time, w00t!). importing still prompted me to change the author ‘sunburntkamel’ to ‘sunburntkamel’, but at least it worked.

And after all that, and more than a few test runs on a test blog, i ran the final upload in opera. firefox, for all it’s brilliance, sees a script take that long, and throws the ‘unresponsive script’ error. Opera FTW, bless it’s little heart, plugged away at that script for damn near 20 minutes.

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13 thoughts on “Import WordPress

  1. britgirl

    NICE blog… is this that theme that was right justified? It looks great! I used the importer to export my articles to my new blog I’m setting up and it worked fine – on the second attempt. Exported all my posts comments and pages (using the wp importer plugin). I did get an error at first but with some help it turned out o.k.

  2. adam Post author

    left justified, yes. (example of tarski on a hosted blog)
    the reason i originally lobbied for the theme to be installed here is that there was an options panel allowing you to flip the sidebar, as well as justify or center it. there were also 3 alternate styles and 6 alternate headers. And my personal favorite feature, asides.
    automattic’s solution to the complaints about the justification was to switch it to a centered version (not to be rational, give people what they asked for, and reimplement the options panel). these days, when a theme gets ‘normalized’, that means ‘have all of its options removed’. thusly, i am no longer lobbying for fauna to be updated.
    importing to blogs seems to be running a little smoother, since that’s the direction that it was planned for people to migrate. it’s definately still a beta (hell, alpha) feature, so you should definately test it out before running it on your main blog. you said you got an error the first time, and it took me a good half dozen tries to get it running.

  3. britgirl

    Hmm, the Tarski looks so much nicer here. I still think with the left justified version it has so much white space on the right. This is really nice though.Shame about the “normalizing,” didn’t know that. I was fortunate with the exporter/importer. All my posts are on the .org blog now – except for the most recent ones. But I did have to do some tweaking of my db to get the pages to appear. I think I will cut and past the most recent posts though as I don’t really want to import all over again – and mess up all my painstaking work. The new blog’s at
    a WIP.

  4. adam Post author

    very cool… what exactly did you have to do to get your pages to show up?

    my pages didn’t import to, (although i didn’t notice until right now), so i’m just curious.

  5. timethief

    A perfect post for the anchor spot in the importing and exporting wordpress blogs meme category. 😉

  6. adam Post author

    perfect, memes are why i started this blog 😉

    good to hear. it didn’t even occur to me that it was a bug, since the workaround was so painless.

  7. britgirl

    @adam – it was a bit of trial and error. I went into my database and set the pages to static. For some reason they were showing as “published”, but I knew all pages were static, so changed this. I also had to update my permalinks – when I imported the permalink structure was using page =?id, but I changed it to date and name based. I also played around with the page menu order – had to manually type the order (the default is 0) to the order that I wanted. I also had to make sure the page was created in the theme itself…
    It worked. BUT – my pages had imported into my sql db, but just were not showing on my blog. So I knew they were there. I had thought they hadn’t been imported at first.
    I was experimenting with the Cutline theme today – and if I want to use it I have to make changes so the navigation and pages show… I understand it, as Chris Pearson has some guidance on his blog, but I think i will fiddle with that later… I like the theme I have at the moment :). But if you’re interested here’s the link. I know it is for CL, but it occurs to me that the logic might apply for other themes…

  8. adam

    interesting. that’s probably something that could be tracked down in the *.WXR with a find-and-replace. i’ll have to check it out.

    cutline is strange that way, it seems chris did it in a non-standard way so that when you’re on your archives page, that menu item isn’t a link. it’s probably something that should be submitted to trac as a way that all page-based menus should work.

  9. adam Post author, the final resting place of all bugs.

    and actually cutline relies on you having archives at ‘’ and an about page at ‘’, which you do, so you should be fine. if you want your other pages to show up in the menu, that’s when you have to start hacking.

  10. adam Post author

    because it renders everything soooo differently than firefox, opera, and safari. i spend about half the effort of designing a webpage actually designing, and half the effort making IE render it somewhat similarly to the way i designed it.

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