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10 Tips when changing Blog Platforms




After recovering from the backup disaster last week and after switching into a new blogging platform from Expression Engine (EE) to WordPress (WP), I realized ti would be nice to share some of the things we learned from that migration process.

So here’s my 10 Tips when changing Blog Platforms:

  1. Double check if the new blog platform you are migrating to has the features you actually need or wanted. If you are still unsure which one to use or if you want a second opinion, go check the Blog Comparison Chart here. It lists down some of the more popular platforms you might want to consider – TypePad, MovableType, Blogger, Blogware, WordPress and Expression Engine. For a more comprehensive list of blogging platforms, check out the Google Directory for Blog Publishing Tools.
  2. How much are you willing to shell out for your new blog software? While most of them are free (like WP, TP, Drupal) others require you to shell out as much as $149 for Expression Engine and $99.95 for MT’s personal unlimited license. I recommend you go for WordPress.
  3. Make sure your new blog platform has an import utility tool that supports the old platform. WordPress has several built-in import utility tools for b2, MovableType, Blogger, Greymatter, LiveJournal, TextPattern and RSS feeds. Otherwise, you may be forced to write your own import scripts, hire someone to code it for you, or worse, manually copy and paste all your blog entries.
  4. Backup your blog before migration. There are half a dozen ways to do this. Your cPanel has one, use it and download a full copy. If you know your way around phpMyAdmin, export all the databases into a zip file and keep a copy in your local PC. This is a good method if you have other scripts installed, like a photo gallery or WordPress hacks and plugins that use the database. Install a WordPress DB backup plugin (if you are running WP). This way you can download a backup everyday with little or no effort at all. (see related entry on How to Survive a Blog Crash)
  5. Compatible permalink structure. Check if the new blog platform is able to duplicate the permalink structure of your old blog. You don’t want to loose all that traffic from search engine do you? If you are using MovableType or TypePad with their static and truncated pages, WordPress might not be able to duplicate it since it’s using standard/custom URLs. Expression Engine, TextPattern, WordPress and Drupal seems to be compatible with each other on this aspect.
  6. Seek professional help if possible or at least ask someone more experienced to assist you just in case you screw things up in between migration. That’s self-explanatory.
  7. Check out the support forums for both the old platform and the new one. Look for other bloggers who have gone thru the same process before you. They could provide valuable first-hand tips and information that you’ll need. You could also get feedback if the stock import utility you are planning to use runs perfectly well or still has some bugs that needs fixing. That should tip you off for a possible work-around.
  8. Schedule your migration well. By checking your monthly stats, you will have a good idea which day of the week and what time it is best to do the migration. Map a timeline from the start of your export to the time of your import and make an estimate on how long it will take you to do the whole process.
  9. Make sure you have reliable and fast internet connection. While broadband is widely available, there are still a lot of people connected thru dial-up. It would be agonizing to do the migration when you’re on dial-up so go get some broadband first or ask a friend if you can visit them one day and use his PC & DSL line.
  10. Inform your host about the migration. The migration process could shoot up the server’s load especially during cPanel backup/restore. This way, they are aware of it and could even give you some slack or an extra hand. Some web hosting providers put a cap on how much load you can put on their shared servers (somewhere between 10-20% if the CPU resources)
  11. and they could suspend your account if that happens.

Always have a Plan B. If the migration fails, you can always restore back from your backup, review your process and see where you got it wrong, and do it some other day. This is to minimize your blog’s downtime which could cost you more in lost of revenue.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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17 Responses

  1. citeblogger says:

    I always do a test upload before the actual migration. And yes a backup is a must.

  2. hoop says:

    If I might add…

    12. Pray Murphy’s Law doesn’t prove itself today.

    :D

  3. liberal says:

    this is a very useful set of advice. thanks and keep it going!

  4. connie says:

    Does anyone know how can I export my wordpress posts to another wordpress blog? Or probably to a different platform like blogger then back to wordpress.

  5. taorist says:

    Exacto! I was pondering for the last few weeks if I will be going on to a new blogging platform.

    Many thanks for the info!

  6. KenWinston Caine says:

    Hi:

    Am considering moving a very huge Expression-Engine-based blog to WordPress. Am really glad to hear that you successfully migrated EE to WP.

    Any particular pointers. WP doesn’t have an import feature for EE, does it?

    Thanks,
    kwc

  7. Connie says:

    Been trying to migrate to Drupal for a long time but I can’t get the pretty permalinks to work. I set up a trial blog and it’s still on trial stage after 6 months. Sigh.

  8. JCO says:

    this was very helpful..i’m planning to register my own domain then setup a new platform and was at a loss. thanks for this post though.

  9. blankPixels says:

    thanks for these tips. i was wondering if i can migrate all my blogs from blogger to my own host using wordpress. i’m planning on doing that in the future and thank goodness i came upon this blog.

    and i agree with your comment @ my blog. thanks!

  10. whew! nice tips..

    thanks for the infor.

    ang galing2 mo talaga. ^^,

  11. shopescape says:

    good read. I am planning to migrate to WP sometime next week. =)

  12. frances says:

    hi! i just want to know how can I start blogging to earn some money this vacation? Please help me. thanks

  13. Dennis says:

    Finally, a good post about this subject! I can not believe I had to go thru like 20 blogs just to come across this excellent post. All their content together still can not equal the content of this article. I have learned a lot and will bookmark your web page. Maintain up the good job!

  14. Very informative post. I am also planning to change blog platform from blogger to WP. I think WordPress has a lot of features to offer in terms of this blogging thing.

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