Importing a wordpress.com blog into an existing blog

I’ve merged my geek blog back into my main blog, so watch your step. wordpress.com readers may want to bookmark my feedburner feed, as i don’t think i’ll be triple-cross-posting for long.

Sometime last year i started maintaining a separate geek blog, where i was posting all the geeky sort of stuff about wordpress. What started as a list of hacks turned into something resembling a real blog, mainly because people were paying attention to the geeky stuff. When i started, i wanted to focus on writing more architecture/design related posts here. As it turned out, it was easier to bang out 5 minute posts on a new hack, or a new gripe with wordpress. Since i’ve barely had time to even post in one blog, this blog’s been a bit of a graveyard. To the point that i even started posting semi-design related things in the geek blog. So i’m giving up on the split.

However, i don’t want to lose all the lovely traffic that wordpress.com has brought me in the last year. Naturally, it’s not trivial to merge two blogs without breaking any links. but it’s the steps aren’t too bad one at a time:

  1. buy domain mapping on wordpress.com. once it’s been running for about a week, you can safely start the rest of the steps. the wp.com servers will start redirecting people from username.wordpress.com to username.yourdomain.com.
  2. export your entries. make sure to delete spam before you do. this shrank the size of my *.WXR file to a fifth of what it was.
  3. set up a subdomain with your host. most hosts do this fairly easily. bluehost definately made it a breeze. the process is going to be different for every host, though.
  4. install wordpress in said subdomain, immediately. until you’ve got wordpress set up, people are going to see an empty directory listing for every entry.
  5. import all your old entries into the subdomain blog.
  6. change your permalink structure to “date and name based” to match wp.com permalinks.
  7. install the Permalink Redirect plugin.
  8. in the “Old Permalink Structure” field, paste in /%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/, and check the “redirect hostname” box.
  9. somewhere around here you should double check that any links to your wp.com blog are landing on your new subdomain blog.
  10. import the same entries into the destination blog.
  11. change the permalink structure of the subdomain blog to match the destination blog.
  12. check that all the entries have similar url’s. if you have posts in multiple categories, wordpress my change up the order on you. since my geek blog was pretty focused, i trimmed everything down to one category (with a whole lot of tags).
  13. Last step: double check everything before you do this (expecially the checkbox on step 8): on the subdomain blog, in general options, change your Blog Address (URL) to the address of your destination blog.

That will make the permalink redirect plugin start sending everyone to your destination blog’s URL, with the matching permalink structure. The plugin only works for posts that exist, though. it can’t just make up category names (or whatever else is in your permalink structure). As long as you don’t change the WordPress Adress option, you should still be able to access the backend of your subdomain blog (should you want to make placeholder posts).

Anyway, i don’t know how much use this is to anyone else, since most people have the good sense to not try to write two blogs at once, but there it is.

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