By BoLOBOOLNE payday loans

Escape from Typepad to WordPress

It took a long time, but EmbracingChaos has finally escaped form Typepad.  About a year ago (just before the end of the previous billing cycle) I started trying to move this blog to blogger.  I like Google’s pace of development and wanted to hop on the blogger train and get automatic upgrades for everything they do.  But ultimately I didn’t because I couldn’t make blogger meet all of my requirements for migration:

  • Keep all blog posts and comments
  • Keep all posts at their original URLs
  • Maintain all category pages at the same URLs

The first one’s easy.  Google released some migration tools which cover that quite well.  But, at least when importing from typepad / movable type, they don’t preserve permalink URL’s.  So anybody who followed a linked to a specific page on my site would get a 404 page.  Weak.

I spent a lot of time on this.  Basic problem is that Typepad doesn’t include URL information in their export file format. It would be very easy for them to do this, but then why would they want to make it easy for you to leave?  Actually the answer there is easy.  Because by trying to lock in users, they create angry vocal opponents of their service.  I’m not angry, but I would advise against anybody considering Typepad as a blog host, specifically because of their tendency to lock people in.

<rant> Don’t keep my data hostage.  It’s my content.  I created it.  You’re just delivering it.  Do not try to lock me into using you as a service provider.  You might get some more money out of me, but every dollar I give you after I want to leave will contribute to my dis-liking you.  As the internet matures and consumers become more sophisticated and better able to share their experiences with each other, they will increasingly choose the service providers who are open.  (Echoing Jonathan Rosenberg’s recent diatribe on openness.)  I really appreciate Google’s commitment to Data Liberation.  My current provider, Dreamhost, also does a splendid job of giving me control over my data.</rant>

It turns out that getting a full-fidelity export out of typepad is possible with some work.  I followed these instructions from FolioVision which provides a custom export template that does include URL’s.  If your blog has more than 100 posts, then you need to change the first line to

<MTEntries lastn="100">
… run the export, then change the line to
<MTEntries lastn="100" offset="100">
… export again, change it to
<MTEntries lastn="100" offset="200">

etc. and merge all these files together into one big export file that has URL’s.  Then I tried to get blogger to honor the import file with permalinks but I couldn’t.  I do believe blogger is capable of doing this, but what ultimately turned me away from it was that it doesn’t seem to offer any way to honor links like for category listings.  Which I like and get a lot of visitors on.  So I went with wordpress.

FolioVision helpfully posted a custom wordpress import plugin to match their typepad output template, which makes it all go.  Once that’s done, you have to move all the attachments hosted at typepad, and then there’s a bunch of wordpress configuration, and moving your analytics and favicons and finally switching DNS.

So here we are.  Please tell me if you notice anything amiss with the new site.

  1. Nuthatch says:

    Thanks for this tip, which wasn’t clear to me when I began the process. I’ve posted detailed instructions on the whole migration on my site.

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