How To Upload an Existing Blog to WordPress, version 2.5

Perhaps you have to change hosting companies or have a practice blog that you need to upload to a client’s live blog. In that case you need to do two things…first, get a copy of your existing blog, and second, upload that copy to your new blog space.

Using phpmyadmin and exporting a .sql file is not the way to go. Just let WordPress take care of things. You’ll have to export the existing blog to a file and then import that file into the new blog.

On WordPress versions 2.3.3 and 2.5 the Import/Export functions are located under Manage on the main menu.

Exporting an old blog saves an XML file to your computer.

Exporting an existing WordPress blog creates an XML file that you download to your computer. WordPress calls this an eXtended RSS or WXR file, which will contain the posts, comments, custom fields and categories of your old blog. Basically, all your previous blog input should be in the WXR file.

One feature is available on the Export screen and that is to restrict the export file to a single author. Might come in handy if an author really gets into blogging and wants to break off into their own blog.

Choose an author or leave the spin box on “All” and then click on the Download Export File button. Save the file to your computer. It will have a name similar to wordpress.year-month-day.xml and probably be stored in a temporary folder, so keep a copy elsewhere in case you can’t import it right away. When I exported and saved the .xml file, Internet Explorer opened up to show me the file contents. I didn’t expect that, but the comments at the top of the XML file indicated just how to import it into a new blog.

Here are the import steps given by WordPress 2.3.3 in the XML file comments:

  1. Log into that blog as an administrator.
  2. Go to Manage: Import in the blog’s admin panels.
  3. Choose “WordPress” from the list.
  4. Upload this file using the form provided on that page.
  5. You will first be asked to map the authors in this export file to users on the blog. For each author, you may choose to map to an existing user on the blog or to create a new user.
  6. WordPress will then import each of the posts, comments, and categories contained in this file into your blog

When you go to the Manage/Import page in WordPress (both versions 2.3.3 and 2.5) you’ll see several blogging platforms listed. That means that you can actually import an XML file from all these places:

Blogger, Blogware, Bunny’s Technorati Tags, Categories to Tags Converter, DotClear, GreyMatter, Jerome’s Keywords, LiveJournal, Movable Type and TypePad, RSS, Simple Tagging, Textpattern, Ultimate Tag Warrior, and of course, WordPress.

Click on WordPress, or whatever system you are importing from, then browse to the XML file on your computer that you previously exported from the old blog and click on the Upload file and import button.

Import the exported XML file into the new blog.

On the Assign Author page you’ll be given a chance to either create a username for each of the authors from the old blog or map their content from the old blog to an existing user on the new blog. Submit the authors and you’re done!

Well, almost done…you still have a couple things on your to-do list, like arranging widgets for your blog theme and importing links from the old blog.

4 thoughts on “How To Upload an Existing Blog to WordPress, version 2.5”

  1. I am trying to link a blog (created through WordPress’ new blog.com site) to a Facebook fanpage so that every post in either one of them will be replicated and show up in both. I’ve been half successful…it was fairly straightforward from the Facebook fanpage “Notes” section to import the blog’s content. Going the other direction though, was a different story. I have an RSS feed for the FB fanpage. To import it, the blog asks that I create an .xml file, then upload it using the import tab. I tried to do that, but it says, “Importing post…Couldn’t get post ID.”

    Any advice?

  2. Dylan,
    I haven’t tried to interface anything between FB and WP so I can’t help you with your question. Perhaps someone else reading this will?

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