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WordPress Install

January 1st, 2011 Comments off

I decided awhile ago to switch I/O from Movable Type to WordPress after doing the same on another site of mine. The other site was a clean install with no content carried over and took about 30 minutes from WP download to being content with the results. Making the switch here took a little longer since I wanted to carry over my content (not much here, but I still wanted it to make the transition). I also had redirections to worry about since my “Zimbra External Directory Sync” article gets a lot of traffic and I know from experience that 404 errors suck when you’re searching for something.

The Why

When I first decided to start I/O I used MT, mostly because I was familiar with it and liked the comfort level. Then I made the mistake of starting with MT4. Up until then, I had used versions 2 and 3. For some reason I thought 4 would carry on with what MT had achieved in previous versions. What I got was an entirely new interface and a lot of headaches. I tried to like it, but eventually gave up on it which is why the previous post here is from August of 2009. I recently moved another site to WordPress, fell in love with it, and decided to do the same here as soon as I could.

The How

Otherwise known as “The Easy”. Downloading and installing WordPress takes all of 5 minutes – WP isn’t exagerating when they call it the “Famous 5-minute install”. Set your database connection info, run the installer, and you’re done. So easy, even a caveman could do it. Before I started this process, I exported what little there was in my MT install using the built in exporter. It churned out a text file which I used with the Movable Type/TypePad importer WP plugin. *POOF* – seconds later, here’s the content. Again, very easy. Granted, there wasn’t a lot here to import… I’m sure a larger content site would take longer but the ease of use here is great.

Finally it was time to handle the redirection aspect of this endeavor. MT’s permalink structure is different from WP’s – even after I changed the WP permalinks to match what MT had been using, I still had an issue. MT used hyphens to handle spaces in post titles and WP uses underscores. Not wanting to go down the road of hacking WP files for one high traffic article, I started looking into using mod_rewrite. Here’s where my eyes glazed over and I lost a couple of hours in reading and trial and error. Yes, hours – I like learning about methods I’ve never used before and mod_rewrite fits the bill. Unfortunately my ability to harness the power of the mod_rewrite voodoo left me with redirects that weren’t working. Thankfully, one thing I’ve learned about WP is, there are plugins for damn near everything. Enter the “Quick Page/Post Redirect Plugin“, which was the first plugin I looked at. This plugin had my redirect up and running in seconds.

The End

The transition is complete, users coming here via links to the external sync article should get to where they’re going, and when I finally click “Publish” on this article, it won’t take minutes to actually publish. I will miss MT a little. It’s what I started with years ago. But WP looks like it’s going to suit my needs a lot better for the immediate future. The only other thing I have to work on is the theme – not sure if I like the current one, but that’s something that can wait for another day.

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