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Easy way to import posts from WordPress.com hosted blog to local WP Blog.

  1. That was a long title! Anyway, here's what I did:

    1. Click on the RSS feed link for your blog. A page will come up with a bunch of XML and some kind of message at the top talking about a missing style sheet.

    2. Save the page to your hard drive. (I put it on my desktop with a generic name, but you could save it with a date-specific name if you wanted this as a backup in case you needed to restore posts to your blog.)

    3. Go to the import tab in your blog dashboard, and browse to and select the saved xml file.

    4. Import that puppy, and you're in business.*

    *The only bug I've found is that it added one day to the posting dates of my messages, so posts that were originally made on March 7th show up as March 8th. The one day addition doesn't make that much difference to me; I just wanted to keep the chronology and categories intact.

    Hope this helps!

    Andalee

  2. This is something I have been wondering about, since I am about to move my blog to my own domain, where I shall use WordPress.

    Query: when I check the "Import" Tab in the version I am using on WordPress' servers, the only options available are importing from Moveable Type or Typepad, and importing from Blogger. I presume that the downloadable version has another option allowing me to import from WordPress. If not, how did you do it?

    This is a function of RSS feeds I was not aware of. I am scheduled to ask Leo Laporte a question about RSS feeds in a couple of weeks on Call For Help — it just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser!

  3. Yes, the downloadable version has an RSS importer which can be used to pull in RSS feeds created by any software, including wordpress. RSS was never designed for import/export, which is probably why you haven't come across it being used in this context before, but it's a decent workaround if there's no other export format available. I'm not sure why RSS import isn't enabled here; maybe they're worried people would rip feeds from other people's sites and use them to create splogs.

    (btw, I'd guess the date thing is down to timezone differences, but don't quote me on that.)

  4. Does this method move everything in the blog, or just the actual public posts? I am wondering about such things as pages, links, categories, archives, stats . . .

  5. It would only import what the feed provides.

    In most cases that would only be post content and possibly in post images.

    There are no RSS feeds that have an output that would include "links, categories, archives, stats . . ."

  6. Feeds do include categories, though not having tested RSS import I don't know how well they carry over (for example, whether it would recognise subcats as such, or just import them as a standard category). Comments have a separate feed.

    AFAIK there is no RSS feed for pages, and although you can import blogroll links from sites such as bloglines, there seems to be no way of exporting them. So you will inevitably lose some information.

  7. Yet here's a glitch:

    I installed a fresh new copy of wordpress on my domain, then used the above method to bring my posts over.
    On my blog I have 47 post, 12 pages, 14 comments, 22 categories. The RSS transfer performed exactly the way it is described above, except that most of the infomration failed to import. It transferred the titles of 11 posts, 1 comment and 8 categories. The RSS feed had more information that that in it, mainly anything down to the "more" code, but none of that imported.

    Any thoughts?

  8. In your dashboard, under 'Options/Reading', you need to check that the number of posts under 'Syndication feeds' is set to the number of posts you want to carry over, and that the feed is set to 'Full text' before saving it as an .xml file.

    If you've done that and you're still experiencing problems, you could try breaking the file up into smaller ones. That said, I wouldn't anticipate server timeouts on a file of only 47 posts unless the posts were unusually long.

  9. Thank you! That did it. All the posts and categories and dates came through correctly, including photos. Amazing. Now all I have to do is import a few pages, and set up my links.

    The learning curve is pretty steep on such fully designed software. I am certainly grateful for everyone who takes the time to help beginners, and I hope to be in a position some time to follow your example.

    Beyond that, I note that there are several import facilities for bringing in items from other blogging systems. It would make sense to include WordPress as one of those.

  10. Feeds do include categories, though not having tested RSS import I don't know how well they carry over

    They carry over but you have to move them around underneath each other afterwards.

  11. Can we expect in the near future WP.com team implementing the export tool ... so that we can export "ALL of the blog content" created to other WP hosted domain?

    Though I actually don't require such a feature as of today, but this seems to fit well just to have a complete backup of blog on another domain .... in case of some big disaster (I really hope this doesn't happen)

  12. Upon further examination of the Comments, which I imported using the Comments RSS feed, I note that they came over as posts. A Dashboard search for comments reveals none.
    In DrMike's comment above, he says that

    They carry over but you have to move them around underneath each other afterwards.

    How do I get inside to
    1. change the order?
    2. change the post status to Comment attached to the appropriate post? — I imagine there is a FAQ or article that covers this somewhere, but I have not been able to find it.

  13. Regarding the rest of the material not covered by RSS, I was able to bring the Pages and links over using a clipboard program (in this case Corel's Clipbook) which facilitates saving and organizing multiple clipboard entries. A bit time consuming, but worth it to get the job done, and certainly easier than using a pencil . . .

  14. What about the opposite direction? I have a localized WP install and want to convert to the online. (It's a small personal journal and I'm tired of the upkeep of the extra box at my house.) It was installed for a hobby, but I think moving over to wordpress.com would just simplify things for me right now.

  15. I'd search for an plugin that'll export your posts in MT format, then import the resulting text file into wordpress.com. There's a couple available; the wordpress.org forums are probably the best place to start looking.

  16. The MT exporter is the one that was written for 1.5. It does not work for 2.0. That's the one I rewrote a few days ago. Still can't get the categories to work correctly though. (ie only exports one per post)

  17. Well I thought this was going to be easy but it didn't work so well for me. The status after I imported said that everything imported successfully but now I can't get into my dashboard anymore (error 404) and it wiped out my theme on my new domain...the info is there but it's all messed up. I may have to do a fresh install all over again but I'm not going to want to try this move a second time.

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