A Philosopher’s Blog began in March, 2007 and was hosted on WordPress.com. This free service served the needs of the blog quite well, mainly because it was free. However, I decided to move the blog to a new host so as to gain more control over such things as plug-ins, layout and advertising. My blog had been suspended once in the past, which stuck in the back of my mind. But, I still recommend WordPress.com for people starting blogs and who want to have a quality blogging site for free.
I spent the past few days exporting all of the original A Philosopher’s Blog and importing it. This process was…an ordeal. Here is a quick guide to exporting from WordPress.com.
In theory, the process should be simple. Go to your WordPress.com Tools and select the Export option. You have the option of doing the process yourself or paying WordPress.com to handle it for you. If you elect to pay WordPress.com, you will have a limited selection of hosts. If you elect to handle the export yourself, you can use any host you wish, provided that you can install WordPress.
The first thing to try is to export everything. You will get an email from WordPress.com with a link to your download. It will be a Zipped file containing one or more XML files containing all your WordPress data (posts, comments and such). Once you have WordPress set up on your new site, install the import tool for WordPress (if needed) and then go to Tools to import the file(s). Sites typically have a file size limit for imports; if your exported file(s) are too large, here is a guide on how to split them. In my case, the export files were already split and under the import limit of my new host.
If all goes well, everything will import into your new WordPress site and you can resume blogging. In my case, problems arose and only a fraction of the posts were imported. If this happens to you, then this is the start of the trouble shooting grind. If you are competent with editing XML files, you might be able to go into the files to find and fix what might be causing the problem. If not, there is the brute force method. Which is what I did.
My approach was to go to the Export tool and export the pages in 5 year groups. Then I tried to import these files. This worked in some cases, but in some cases there was only partial success. I suggest activating the Archives widget for your site, that way you can quickly see which months have imported. After determining what had not imported, I split the exports down to one year per export and then tried importing these files. Once again, this was a success for some years and a partial success for other years. After checking the archives again, I tried exporting the missing months and this met, once more, with varying degrees of success. For a few of the months I had to import each month individually. I never determined exactly what the problems were; but it seemed that everything eventually imported successfully.
Once you get your new site setup, you need to decide whether you want WordPress.com to redirect your site. If you do not want to abandon your readers, this is a good idea. WordPress.com, as of this writing, charges $13/year to provide this service. This redirect will, well, redirect visitors to your new site. It will also redirect search results and so on. To use an analogy, it is rather like forwarding your postal mail.
If you see that a post is missing, let me know and I’ll endeavor to rescue it.
Congratulations on making the transition!
When trying to comment before, my post didn’t go through. Firefox really didn’t like cross site scripting. Also wasn’t keen on an “insecure” self-signed cert.
OK, that one worked, having directed an exception fo this site. 🙂
Michael LaBossiere says
Firefox knows how sketchy philosophy is. 🙂
I didn’t realize you had moved. I noticed I wasn’t getting emails about new articles from you so I had to Google your blog to see what was up. I’m shocked you decided to move your blog. Why did you get suspended from WP? I’ve never been suspended and I can only imagine I have written much more controversial stuff than you have. Seems like an awful lot of work to move everything over to a new page. Why not just leave the old WP site up as an archive and start a new blog from scratch?
Michael LaBossiere says
I got suspended for having a link in a post WordPress.com flagged.
While moving it was needlessly difficult, I didn’t want to simple abandon the blog and let it fade away. I did consider a fresh start, but that would mean starting from nothing again. I might do that eventually, though.
Wow. What was the link to?
Michael LaBossiere says
I recall that it was to a commercial site; I was using Zemanta at the time to easily add links and images. Apparently, one of the links was compromised or something. So, down goes my blog.