WordPress and importing/exporting content

by Suw on December 17, 2006

Having decided that yes, I am going to look through all my old posts to see if any of them might possibly work in dead tree form, the next thing to do is figure out precisely how to do that.
My current preferred methodology is to have a local installation of WordPress on my Macbook, import all my blog posts, and then be able to go through and categorise them as 'yes', 'no', and 'maybe'. That way I can try to filter them on the fly until I have a collection that looks like it might work.
I spent quite a bit of time on Friday night trying to get WordPress up and running. Thanks to help from my friends on IRC, and the Maczealot tutorial, I got it halfway there. Everything worked apart from the final WordPress installation page. Then Dan told me that the version of PHP4 that OS X ships with doesn't actually support MySQL, which is somewhat less than handy. However, he pointed me at PHP5 which, once installed, made WordPress just work.
Having done it once, I will now be able to have as many WordPress blogs as I like on my Macbook, and I can set them up myself.
Now for importing all my various Chocolate and Vodka archives into WordPress. I tried importing my Blogware and Blog-City archives as 'RSS', but WP wasn't having any of that at all. When I try to import Blog-City XML archive as RSS, it says that it has been imported, but it hasn't – there's nothing there. Well, I sort of expected that as Blog-City has never played well with others, and so I'm about as unsurprised as you can be and still have a pulse.
Blogware, though, that should be different. I tried the RSS import, but nothing. So I had a Google, and I came across a post by Chris Pirillo about importing Blogware archives, which includes a link to a WordPress plug-in that goes in the 'import' folder and gives you an 'import from Blogware option'. Unfortunately, it doesn't work.
I started off with the error 'The uploaded file exceeds the upload_max_filesize directive in php.ini', so I dug out php.ini and edited the upload_max_filesize to something absurdly big. Then reset Apache by stopping and restarting Personal Web Sharing.
Then I got a new error, 'Unable to create directory /Library/WebServer/Documents/CnVthebook/wp-content/uploads/2006/12. Is its parent directory writable by the server?', so I had to go and set the wp-content and uploads directories to read-writable.
OK, great, at least it's progress.
Then came the brick wall. When I try to import from Blogware I can browse to my archive file, select it, click 'import', and then I get a screen which just says 'Import Blogware'. And nothing else. Nothing to click, nothing to indicate that anything more is happening. Nothing. Nada.
A quick Google gets you a page on the WordPress forums that says:

In Firefox, I found that I receive “script timeout” errors that offer “Stop” and “Continue” — if you're using this browser or MSFT's IE gives you a similar error, keep hitting continue.

But I don't get these buttons at all, not in Safari or Firefox.
So now I have a nice shiny new blog, and nothing in it.
It's ludicrous that it should be so hard to export from one blog engine and import into another. These words are my words, and if I want to move them from A to B, then I should be able to do so. It annoys me no end that my words get stuck in XML files that I can't then import into the blogging platform of my choice.
I'm sure that I'll somehow manage to do this in the end. I'm sure that someone kind will write me some script that will tidy the XML I have into a format that can be imported by WordPress. But it shouldn't be this hard.

Anonymous December 21, 2006 at 4:31 pm

Is the import script php? If so, you're going to hit php's automatic timeout if you run it through a browser.
Try running it through php from the command line, as the timeout isn't
Alternatively, edit your php.ini and change the timeout value.

Anonymous March 25, 2007 at 6:47 pm

One thing we know for sure … WP is in a constant start of change and it is easy to let things go and come back and there is a lot of house cleaning that needs to be done.
I find it is easier to know what to clean out … if i keep current on the changes going on with WP and its Plugins.
I get free weekly PDF updates on most any subject i want. I watch for the WP update and keep it close.
thanks for such a nice resource …… I hope you get some more posts soon 🙂

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