By BoLOBOOLNE payday loans

Moving from Typepad to Blogger

For a while now I’ve wanted to move this blog from Typepad to something else like Blogger.  I keep finding more reasons to do this as Blogger improves and Typepad stagnates.  Some reasons include:

  • Better WYSIWYG editing in Blogger.  (I can’t change any font characteristics in Typepad without going into raw HTML. Ugh.)
  • Typepad’s lack of support for Chrome, Google’s awesome new browser
  • The awkward and limiting way Typepad assigns human-readable URLs to posts
  • Blogger is free, while Typepad costs >$100 per year
  • Cool new features being added to Blogger like Followers
  • Adding new features in Typepad is a p.i.t.a. (i.e. I’m too old to be messing with perl-based templating languages.  Did more than my share of that in 1996.)

Typepad has long supported an export feature, which dumps out all the posts, drafts, comments, etc into a text file.  And now blogger has an import feature, which takes an XML file that looks kinda like an Atom feed.  I looked around for a tool to convert between the two and found only others asking the same question

So I thought here’s a chance for me to contribute something to
society and help myself at the same time.  Converting one text file to
another shouldn’t be that hard.  So I rolled up my sleeves and started
playing with it.  I realized one problem fairly quickly — the typepad export format
doesn’t include the URL for each post.  I really don’t want to break
all the previous inbound links because
that’s how people get to my content.  But I’m going to need to crawl
the old blog to get those old links.

Since the blogger format looks like a regular Atom feed, I thought I’d try to just grab the Atom feed off the blog and import it into Blogger.  Well to that, blogger said:

Blogger does not currently support import files generated by TypePad.

Fine.  But what are the differences?  The blogger format includes a bunch of fake "entry" elements which are really configuration — like a giant "layout" node and a bunch of other settings.  So I tried grafting the two together — just taking the legitimate "entry" nodes from the typepad feed and putting them into the blogger export that includes all the layout and settings.  By converting everything to look like the blogger format, it imports, but that also loses information.  So I set about looking for the minimal set of changes that will work.

One that definitely breaks it is a side-efect of being hooked-up to feedburner.  There’s extra stuff in there like the feedburner:origLink tags:

    <feedburner:origLink>http://www.embracingchaos.com/2008/12/repairing-a-deg.html</feedburner:origLink>

These break the import, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise since the feedburner: namespace isn’t defined in the Blogger export.

I gave up looking for today because blogger was having too many server errors on import.  They’re intermittent, so I was happy to refresh through them for a while.  But at some point 90% of my imports gave me funny error codes like bX-gxxw6w so I’m giving up for now. 

I wrote a stub of a python program to do the merge.  I called it typepad2blogger.py and happily donate it to the public domain.  It’s definitely not done and is useful only insofar as it shows one way to approach the problem and has enough stuff in place that somebody else should be able to get a running start.  I’ll hopefully continue work on this at some point.  But even a couple hours of work on it has triggered my RSI so I’ll have to take a break.  If you want to pick this up, let me know and we can coordinate efforts.

  1. Donna says:

    Mr. Ulster, Your method works. Movable Type does make a converter specifically for WordPress files, and that is how I finally got my TypePad account converted. I exported the Typepad account, imported it into a WordPress account, then used the Movable Type WordPress to Blogger converter, imported that into Blogger, and it worked like a charm. I did not have any luck at all with the initial trial of converting Typepad using Movable Type.

    I’m so much more at home with Blogger for some reason. Thanks to all who came before me and figured out this conversion jazz!

  2. leodirac says:

    Considering giving this another try. I just found this file which I might try if Mr. Ulster's technique doesn't work.

    http://skull.piratehaven.org/~epu/python/typepad2blogger.html

  3. Mr Ulster says:

    I had same issue, and have a relatively simple solution (alas you lose embedded html). The process is essentially: 1. TypePad export .txt file; 2. import to WordPress account; 3. WordPress export .xml file; 4. clean up .xml file via MovableType2Blogger conversion utility; 5. import to Blogger account. For me, worked flawlessly, retained all post text, comments, and tags/labels. (I just have to reinsert the Flickr and Vimeo embeds.):

    http://www.mrulster.org/2009/08/how-to-import-typepad-blog-into-blogger_21.html

    Post comments at mrulster.org and I'll try to help. This long-time TypePad user ultimately got fed up. Posterous is where it's all going.

  4. leodirac says:

    Alas, not yet.

  5. matthead says:

    Hey Leo –
    Any luck on getting your TypePad blog converted to be Blogger-importable?
    I've got a memorial-tribute blog that I don't want to lose, but I also don't want to pay $5/mo for the rest of my life for it either!

    http://matthead.typepad.com/pk/

  6. Have you considered switching to wordpress. I have used both wordpress and blogger and I prefer wordpress. It has improved a lot in the last year.

  7. leodirac says:

    Thanks for the pointer, Brian! MoveableType uses the same format as TypePad, so this is actually a huge step. There's still the URL problem, but we're part way there.

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