Today is my third blogiversary. I’ve written a lot in the past three years here, some times more than other times. I try to be useful to others with everything I write, and I hope I’ve done so. If you have a favorite article I’ve written in the past three years, let me know in the comments. If you want me to write about a specific topic, please also let me know. With gratitude, Philip Trauring
[Update 5 Feb 2014: The Blogger Importer plug-in has undergone a major overhaul, and has fixed a lot of problems and made lots of improvements. One of the major improvements is the importation of images, so at the very least Step 7 below can probably be skipped. Some other tweaks might also be unnecessary. It claims to handle internal links better, for example. In any case, check each step after the import below and make sure they’re necessary.] I’ve been using WordPress for a couple of years now on other sites I’ve developed, such as Genealogy.org.il (the web site of the Israel Genealogy Research Association), my other blog Lexigenealogy, Kanczuga.org (for descendants of the destroyed Jewish community of Kanczuga, Poland), and some others I’ve worked on, but I’ve always been hesitant to move this blog over to WordPress since I knew it would be a lot of work, and I liked that Blogger (Google’s blogging platform that I started with) was a very easy and inexpensive way to keep the blog running. However, as time went on I felt stronger and stronger that the site needed a redesign, and I never felt the Blogger platform allowed me enough flexibility to do what I wanted. Thus, this redesign on WordPress. I welcome your comments on how the new site looks, and if you see anything that seems wrong or out of place, please let me know. As you’ll see below, it’s not so easy to transfer a blog from Blogger to WordPress, and it’s very possible some things didn’t make the transfer 100% accurately. The rest of this post is to explain the steps I went through to transition the site, of interest to other bloggers who might be considering the same. If technical details don’t interest you, the rest of this post will be very very boring to you. For those who want to take a look at the original site, it is still live at bloodandfrogs.blogspot.com (but will not be updated in the future). Step 1) Install WordPress I won’t go into details here as there are plenty of places online to help you setting up WordPress, but I’ll give a quick overview. I have a web host that lets me quickly add domains to sub-directories of my main account, so I took a different domain, assigned it to a sub-directory, and installed WordPress in that directory. I set up a MySQL database on my web host, and configured this new WordPress installation to connect to that database. Using a new domain for the setup with very helpful as it allows me to have a live site working even before I consider switching the original domain over to the site. Before I can do that, I need to insure that all of the links on my original Blogger site will work on the new WordPress site. 2) Set up Permalinks Permalinks refer to the format of the web link to your articles. It’s the permanent link to the articles you post on your site, so someone can share or bookmark a specific article (instead of just the site itself). The default for WordPress is to just show the article id number, which looks something like: bloodandfrogs.com/?p=123 Not very pretty. However, WordPress lets you set the format of the link to include the year, month, day, article title, etc. in whatever combination you’d like. Thus with pretty permalinks the link to an article might be: bloodandfrogs.com/2013/09/transitioning-from-blogger-to-wordpress That format shows the year, month and the name of the article. However, there’s a problem, in that Blogger has a different permalink structure, which looks like: bloodandfrogs.com/2013/09/transitioning-from-blogger-to-wordpress.html In order to insure that all the links from the old Blogger site work on the new WordPress site, we need the permalinks to match. Luckily, WordPress lets you customize the display of permalinks, by specifying the pattern like so: /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html This custom pattern creates the text after the domain name in the exact same format as Blogger. Well, not exact exact. The problem is that how Blogger and WordPress determine how to format the name of the article is a bit different. Basically, Blogger cuts the number of words in a link, while WordPress lets you have as many words as you want (up to the maximum allowed in a URL). In order to insure the article title is formatted the same, you need to run a script to correct the imported articles. First we need to import the articles, however, so back to that in a minute. 3) Importing Posts and Comments from Blogger Wordpress offers an Import screen in the Tools menu of the Dashboard. In Import, there are options for many different blogging platforms like Blogger, LiveJournal, Tumblr, etc. If you click on Blogger, it will initially take you to a page to install a plug-in called Blogger Importer. Once installed, the same link on the Import page will instead take you to the settings page for the plug-in. Blogger Importer does some, but not all of the job. According to the plug-in description: Items imported
- Posts (published, scheduled and draft)
- Comments (not spam)
- Images (the images will appear in your new blog but will link to the old blogspot or picassa web locations)
I’ve started a second blog, called Lexigenealogy. This new blog is about my convergence of interests into Lexicography, Genealogy and Technology. I will be using the new blog to look into what it takes to build a dictionary of names, from the technology needed to organize research, to how to properly format it for printing. This will be a long process, and I hope people will find it interesting. For more information about the impetus for starting this new blog, see my first post there Combining interests in Lexicography, Genealogy and Technology.
I will continue to write for both blogs, but will keep the more technical and Lexicography-oriented posts on Lexigenealogy. I will keep the more Jewish-oriented and traditional genealogy posts here on Blood and Frogs: Jewish Genealogy and More. As the dictionary I am working towards involves Jewish given names, there will invariably be some overlap, but if something is particularly interesting for both sites, I will link between them.
So I invite you to go check out Lexigenealogy and see what you think. The current post looks at digitizing print books to make them accessible on your computer and tablet. It’s just the beginning, but I have much more planned.