migrating from LiveJournal – a technical love story

So if there’s one thing moving my blog from LiveJournal over to WordPress has reminded me, it’s just how much I absolutely, positively love WordPress!

This is something that I’ve been planning to do on and off for quite a while now, although it kept slipping off the radar due to other priorities.  Well, last weekend for whatever reason I was feeling particularly unmotivated with whatever I was supposed to be working on, so instead I decided to start digging into this new little project.  I found a theme that I liked … well, technically a couple of them that I ended up mashing together to get what you see here today … and after a few hours of hammering away at the initial theme setup, the question came – just how ugly was importing all of my posts from LJ actually going to be???

I was ready for the absolute worst (i.e. copying and pasting them one by one into new posts ad nauseam), but instead it turns out I was both lucky and happy to find that not only does a script already exist to pull in content directly using LJ’s API, it even already has hooks built into the WordPress core!  It was literally a 5-minute job – click to install the actual plugin to do the heavy lifting, enter my username and password, and then wait while it churned through some 2,000 blog posts spanning the last eight years of my life!

The only problem that’s still outstanding is for some reason the importer isn’t pulling the comments down after it finishes with the posts themselves – instead, it just says that I don’t have any comments and then finishes, whereas apparently I have about 800 comments!  So I still need to keep an eye on that – I already found where a WordPress.com user is reporting the same problem recently, so hopefully they’ll fix it sooner than later and we’ll officially be in business.

In the meantime, next steps are to finish polishing up the interface a little more, although so far I’m already very happy with the aesthetics, then for the blog side of things I do actually still have to go through each and every post manually – both because I want to refine my tags and also need to tag a good 80% of the older posts before I started using them, and also to address a few small issues where Flash videos, etc… didn’t actually get embedded like they should’ve.

So mostly small stuff, but still time consuming – once I can get everything sorted out so I know what all to look for, I’ll just pick 50 or so a night and slowly start pouring through them until they’re all done.  In the end, I do think that it’s going to make for a better site, and besides, being the nostalgic doof that I am, I never really mind pouring back through old posts that I wrote years ago all that much anyways… 🙂

So in summary, thus far probably my easiest redesign I’ve done in a long while!  I still have one more that’s on the docket to knock out later on this month before Thanksgiving, and I can only hope that it goes as smoothly as this one did.

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