Converting From Movable Type 3.1x to WordPress 2.0

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I am in the process of migrating this blog from Movable Type to WordPress. If you see any errors or missing pages, please leave a comment. Thanks! The rest of this entry is not money related.

I wanted to document this conversion as I haven’t seen any that have done it just like me. I had an older Movable Type 3.121 blog which was not dynamically generated. It created static html files, which mean every time I wanted to update something site-wide, I have to rebuild every. single. file. I’m almost at 1,000 posts now, so it was takng forever. Lots of other reasons to convert to WordPress 2.0 as well, to be added later. This post is a draft that I am just updating as I go because I already published it.

1) Installed WordPress in alternate directory.
2) Converted MT Theme to WordPress. CSS. PHP. Long and painful. Internet Explorer needs to follow CSS standards better.
3) Imported entries using WP script. Actually very easy.
4) Manually changed all post names to correspond to the old ugly ones. Loooooooooong.
5) Tested the clone site extensively.
6) Changed the permalinks to root directory, overriding old links but allowing old directory structure to remain intact.
7) Tada! Looks ok, now for the bugs to pop up.

I had hoped this would take one weekend, instead it took 8 days. Ah well.

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  1. You’re switched over already right? If so, congrats! Looks good.

  2. Well…looks the same but that’s a good thing 🙂

  3. Oh boy, i was getting those ping back so i saw the transition.. then I noticed the post name.. “I sure hope he got some script setup to convert”

    guess not. awesome shift though, can’t even tell the difference.

  4. Thanks – Yep I’m pretty sure I have carpal tunnel now.

    Yawn… 5am and I think it looks okay now.

    I promise to write something more coherent tomorrow. Zzzz…

  5. Looks good. I can’t tell the difference.

  6. I wouldn’t have know you switched it, except I received a WP pingback and thought wtf?

    Are you redirecting your old urls to the new permalink structure?

    Looks great. (Actually, looks the same, which is good.)

  7. I know how it is getting started on such a project and having to finish it.
    Unfortunately for me I was really anticipating the 0% bank transfer update. My first card (Chase Rewards Plus) went well for $10,000 with the 0% cash now at Emigrant Direct earning 5.15%. Now I have two offers via snail mail from Citi Professional, one with 3% cash back and one with 5% both with no BT fees and 0% APR on BT’s. Haave to really scrutinize the fine print to figure out which one to use. Plus I will need a system to track these as the card list gets longer.

  8. Good job, Jonathan! Looks great! Remind me to ask you how you have your comments with another color background. I’ve seen that around but haven’t looked into implementing it.

  9. Old URLs have the same link name as the old one, simulating html files. I didn’t want to bother with redirecting forever. This way it’s done and I can move forward.

    New URLs should have the nice long descriptive URLs.

    For comments, I’m basically checking if it’s my e-mail (and/or other quality), and giving it a different CSS class that changes the background color.

  10. Gotcha — missed that part about renaming posts. Ouch! That must’ve been killer to go through your archives. But at least it’s over and done with, and no risk of losing search engine traffic.

  11. BTW, given the quality of the spam filters available for WP (I’ve used both SpamKarma and Akismet, and have been happy with both) I hope you’ll consider turning off the comment moderation.

  12. It would be great if you include the full text of your blog entries in your RSS feed, rather than just the leading text. This is easily done in WordPress. Like others, I do much of my blog reading offline (on airplanes, for example), and if I can’t read the full entry I have to mark the entry to come back later when I am online to read the whole thing. The amount of bandwidth saved by including only partial entries should be negligible these days.

  13. Looks seamless to me. Impressive! I’m still struggling with PHP and CSS going from Blogger to WP. But I’ve been distracted…

  14. The calculator on this page is not working for me anymore. I don’t know if it was because of the upgrade or not, but i just wanted to let you know. Thanks and good work!

  15. Thanks Seth, it looks like all my javascript calculators are broken. I probably won’t have time to fix it until tomorrow, but I’m on it!

  16. Actually, that wasn’t so bad. Javascript calculators fixed.

  17. Adam – Thanks for subscribing to my RSS feed. The reason I don’t go to full feeds is not bandwidth concerns, but to limit the copying and re-syndication of my content without attribution which is already occuring. I hope to make some sort of compromise later on.

  18. Jonathan: perhaps consider providing an authenticated RSS feed with full text. Presumably the undesired syndication without attribution is done by robots that would not bother to figure out a username/password, even if you publish the username/password on your blog. In any case, if anyone is that determined to copy your content without attribution, they can simply do it by scraping it from the website rather than the RSS feed.

    You could also enforce your copyright against unauthorized uses. If you register the copyright before or shortly after publication, you would have the significant threat of statutory damages and attorneys’ fees. A strongly worded letter to the sites copying without attribution (or to their ISPs in the form of a DMCA takedown notice) might be sufficient to solve your problem for good without unnecessarily limiting your intended audience’s access to your content.

  19. “You could also enforce your copyright against unauthorized uses. If you register the copyright before or shortly after publication, you would have the significant threat of statutory damages and attorneys? fees.”

    I can’t imagine a bigger waste of time then opening yourself up to free and easy scraping, dealing with all the copyright issues to protect yourself, and then trying to track down and punish the offenders.

    You want Jonathan to provide full access to his content via RSS for *your* convenience while suggesting that he goes through an ungodly convoluted process to do what a summary feed takes care of in the first place.

    Are you serious?

  20. I’d like to make my feed look like it did before, with the short entries in their entirety, and the long entries with an extended excerpt. Basically what my front page looks like. But I also want all the links and images intact.

    Is there any way I can do this, WordPress gurus out there? 😀

  21. Jonathan, I think you are looking for this.

  22. That helps with the ‘more’ quicktag, but how do you make the rss feed cut off at that tag, rather then after a specified length? I would love to implement this, as well.

  23. I think Jonathan figured out how to get the proper excerpts to appear in the RSS feed. Although I don’t regularly use WordPress myself, I believe you do it simply by labelling the part you want to be the excerpt as an excerpt (otherwise it is just grabbing the first arbitrary number of words).

  24. Editing the RSS template was a bit troublesome, but I found a plugin that does the job nicely, I think.

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