Blog Moved to WordPress

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We’re rearranging our IT infrastructure so we don’t have to manage our own servers for easily hostable activities like e-mail, blogging, version control and web hosting.

As part of that activity, we moved our blog here.

Not that it was painless. Our blog was running an ancient version of WordPress (1.5.2), so I had to install a plugin to enable me to dump the old contents out in XML so I could read them into wordpress.com. Alas, the first thing I tried didn’t even come close to installing, but then I tried Aaron Brazell WordPress XML Export plugin, and it almost worked. It installed (gee, PHP is easy — just drop in and go), but then threw a SQL error. Luckily, WordPress has an interface for editing the PHP, so I squinted and chopped, and it worked (just needed to remove a field from a query that didn’t exist in 1.5.2).

The only problem was that my export was 5MB and they only took up to 4MB. Ouch. So I trolled the XML and realized it wasn’t just bad markup, it was spam. So I went in and moderated the spam away, dumped it out, and miraculously it started again on the WordPress side.

The only thing that’s messed up is links. Before, they used to be ?p=50 and now they’re descriptive (search engine optimized, I suppose). The old numerical links still work, but they’ve been renumbered to be continuous. So the links are broken. And somehow they put in a backslash before “Carp’s Blog”, but that was easy to edit. I had to copy the blogroll by hand, but that wasn’t too big.

Let’s hope comments work better here. The spam was killing us, so we basically just turned off comments on the old blog. The only problem is that there’s no way (I can find, anyway) to turn on comments for all of our older posts. They all showed up with comments off after the import.

Update 23 January 2008: Doh! We forgot about redirecting users who are hitting our RSS feed, blogrolling our top-level site, and linking to individual entries. That required figuring out RSS redirects, HTML redirects, and Breck writing a little Perl CGI to handle the fact that the old WordPress used URLs with properties, so we couldn’t just use static redirects.

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