Importing Links into a New WordPress Blog from Another Blog

While changing over from a “practice blog” to the real deal for a client, I came to realize there was no easy way to export the existing blogroll from the old blog. A link import function is available from Write/Link on the WordPress main menu, but no link export exists.

Import Links found under Write/Link menu.

Well, without an export of the existing links you’re left with a lot of copy-n-paste to-do. Copy the name and URL and specify the category for each blogroll link. That’s ok for a couple links, but more than a few links could take a while.

The solution I found to get around this manual labor was to use this great little script that creates an OPML file of all your old blogroll links. Thanks, Kasia! Read her blog post about the solution and give it a try.

Just make sure to point your browser to “…links2opml.php” for importing the link list. Made short work for me!

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.

Installing WebCalendar via Fantastico

Keeping your schedule manageable is probably only going to happen when you have some type of calendar for recording the various activities that consume your days. You might have a million things to do and different places to be on different days at different times, so how do you keep track of it all?

A great solution is found in WebCalendar, a free and open source software program that you can install on your computer or onto your Web site. WebCalendar has a ton of features and most importantly, if you need to work with a group, WebCalendar lets you share your calendar with others.

If you’re running CPanel, WebCalendar is installed easily via your web site’s CPanel interface. Sign in to CPanel and select Fantastico near the bottom of the screen.

Fantastico script installer.

Fantastico is a script installation facility and we’re going to use it to install WebCalendar in just a few clicks. Near the bottom of the screen under “Other Scripts” click on WebCalendar.

Installing WebCalendar.

Click on New Installation to bring up the first of three installation screens.

Specify the directory where you want to install WebCalendar and give yourself, as the administrator, an admin username and password. Under ‘Base configuration’ specify the admin name and email address and select your preferred language. Change “Run cron job every 15 minutes” to 30 minutes to reduce the server load.

WebCalendar Install.

When you’re ready, click on the Install WebCalendar button.

The next screen specifies the name of the MySQL database and MySQL user that will be created and used for WebCalendar. The installation domain and directory are verified onscreen and the access URL is noted. If all details are correct, just click on the Finish Installation button to make it so.

The last screen indicates the full URL for your installation of WebCalendar and shows the admin login details for administering the calendar. Make sure to enter your email address underneath “Email the details of this installation to:” and then click on Send E-mail.

Now you can take your browser to the access URL, sign in as the admin, and start entering your important dates and events. The WebCalendar User Manual may be very helpful in that regard.

Blog Posts by eMail with WordPress

It’s not that hard to get to the Internet to sign in to your WordPress blog in order to make a post. If your browser is set to remember your password, all you have to do is go to the wp-admin page for your site, click on ‘Write a New Post’ and you’re off and running.

At times you may find yourself wishing to be able to write an email and have it appear in your blog. Well, with WordPress 2.5 you can blog by email!

To specify your email address for blogging by email, click on the Settings Tab and then on the Writing sub-menu.

Blog by email feature is reached via the Writing Settings page.

About half-way down the page you’ll see the heading “Post via e-mail.” A word of caution here is important to mind so that your blog isn’t hit by spammers posting via a compromised email address. From WordPress:

To post to WordPress by e-mail you must set up a secret e-mail account with POP3 access. Any mail received at this address will be posted, so it’s a good idea to keep this address very secret.

Obviously, the key here is to keep your blogging email address a secret. Enter your POP3 mail server, a non-easily-guessed login name and password, and your chosen default mail category on the Writing Settings page. Click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to keep the new settings.

Enter a secret POP3 email address username and password to blog by email.

Now, you can send an email or text message to yourself at your secret email address and the content of your message will appear as a blog post.