Welcome! The new home is still not completely set, I am working on it but the basics are setup. I will continue to work on the interiors whenever I get time in the coming weeks. Please bear with me till it gets stable.
This is where I have landed from my very first blog. WordPress.com is an excellent service, it was just that I wanted to try more. However, the fact is that I have been spoiled by my earlier blog which was auto-managed (atleast for me). Now I have to look at a host of things, right from SEO to statistics to plugins. It is still very satisfying to create my own theme which targets my requirements. Being able to customize WordPress completely gives a lot of conviction.
Moving content from WordPress.com
I think this will be useful to others who are trying to move their blog. I exported the content from my WordPress.com blog by using the Administration menu Manage -> Export. This will export all your content, which includes posts, pages, comments and categories, in a WordPress eXtended RSS (WXR) format – a XML derivative. If you already don’t know what XML is, you don’t need to know it at all.
Once my self-hosted blog was setup, I tried to use Administration Menu Import but realised that it did not include an option to import from a WordPress blog (for WordPress 2.0.3 and 2.0.4). I tried the RSS option and it failed miserably. The posts were imported, but without comments. All the pages were imported as posts, and there was a post entry for every file uploaded in the older blog. Not importing comments would have been a partial import and manually moving over 200 comments would have been a nightmare. So, I dug around and found that the development branch of WordPress already included the code the importing from WordPress blogs. It should have been obvious since WordPress.com already supports it.
Getting the import-from-Wordpress code
Unfortunately, for getting this code you will have to be familiar with some technical aspects. The WordPress development branch code is accessible through Subversion. You will need the subversion client which you can download from the website. Once installed follow the instructions given in Subversion access, especially the command to checkout the latest WP codebase. Once downloaded, find the file
wp-admin/import/wordpress.php. This is the WordPress importer.
The above mentioned method is preferable, as you will always get the latest code. If you feel it is too much of a hassle, I can email the file to you. Upload this file to your host in [wordpress root folder]/wp-admin/import/ directory. And bingo, you will see an entry for importing from WordPress in the Import menu. Use that and you will be through to importing posts with comments and creating categories.
As I am writing this, I came across a plugin by Aaron. I haven’t tried this but from the comments it seems that it works great.
There were a couple of bugs in the WordPress import that I used. It imported pages as posts. If you are not very keen on retaining the pages, you can just delete them. I wanted to keep them, so I used the database access provided by my hosting company to set those specific posts as pages in the database. Find out IDs of the posts that are supposed to be pages and for each do:
WHERE ID=’<supposed-to-be-page ID>’
(wp in wp_posts is a configurable prefix for tables. It will change if you are importing into WordPress Multi User (WPMU) platform or if it has been specifically modified.)
As I mentioned earlier, the WordPress.com exporter add post entries for every file that I had uploaded. You can choose to delete it from the original XML file or delete the posts once they are imported in your blog.
That’s it and you are done!
The independence of being able to use any theme makes you try many themes. I tried K2 and Squible themes. They are amazing, but unnecessarily bloated as they have to be inclusive. Also, I don’t think blog themes have to be AJAXified. So I have created this theme with following points in mind:
- The theme should have a mullet style design – only the first post will be displayed in full, all others will be displayed with excerpts.
- I am using asides or quick posts or segmental posts, but I don’t want them to be shown on the home page. The theme excludes them. Instead of requesting posts and then flitering them, the theme requests posts from all categories except the one for asides.
- I wanted to three types of content – main, sidebar and a bottom bar.
- It should be widgetized, this theme supports drag and drop of widgets in either the sidebar, left bottom bar or the right bottom bar.
- Last but not the least – the theme should be valid XHTML and CSS. You can use the correponding links in the footer.
Besides these, I had my own qwirks and some things that I cannot express in words. Currently the theme is still in beta and I am testing it. I will work on it and make it stable soon. Please bear with during this time, but feel free to give suggestions or even point fingers at me if you find any mistakes.