After using DasBlog (.NET & Lucene.NET based Blog Engine) for over 7 years I decided to move to the most popular blogging software in the planet – WordPress. I like DasBlog for its simplicity – it was flat file based (just XML files for content and images stored in file system) so no Database configuration/maintenance, most of the common configurations are available from the Admin panel and more complex changes can be done by editing the ASP.NET source code, it supports AKISMET comment filtering, MetaWebBlog API for blogging from Windows Live Writer & above all just works out of the box. But in the recent months it was showing its age with no upgrade for nearly 3 years, comments pages were becoming slow to open, search was not powerful, no scalable tag cloud, categories can be managed once created and so on. So it was time I had to move and migrate data.
After Windows Live Spaces closed and migrated my blog backup which was in there to WordPress.com, I got familiar on customizing and using WordPress. In the recent years in my firm (Vishwak Solutions) our LAMP developers have been doing many WordPress projects for our clients so I had access to resources who knew about this well. All this made me comfortable to touch something that was working for 7 years, so I went with WordPress. After some searching I found these two blogs (Reeves, Vasanth) which gave step by step that has to be followed. Along with my PHP developer I followed the steps given there and it worked. Thanks to both of them.
WordPress opens up enormous choices and benefits just due to its huge community following & benefits of network effort. I love the power of the Plugins and the choices you get, you will find a plugin for anything you can imagine. The plugin for SEO Optimization, Sitemap.XML generation, Recaptcha, WordPress Stats (JetPack) are all gems. The sheer choice of plugins can also be confusing (just like App Store) as you have tens of choices for the same task and not sure which one to choose, but a bit of Bing! or Google will help you find the right one. The WordPress app for iOS makes it a breeze updating my blog from my iPad and its free!
After the migration we had to fix some rough edges around permissions, redirections & theme.
1.I wrote the following two redirections on top of what Reeves had recommended, which I have given below:
2. I had problems with all the URLs which had a Non-English (Tamil) text in them, I went to editorial console to change all of them to English text
3. WordPress gives more categorization options, including hierarchical categories and Tag clouds. I used those to reorder most of my 1000+ posts for better visibility and SEO benefits
4. I submitted the new SiteMap.XML to Google & Bing Webmaster site, then I am now monitoring the errors that are shown in Google Webmaster tools & Bing Webmaster tools and fixing those links (where possible doing regex redirections):
5. I had deleted the old ASPX/ASMX, XMLs and DLLs of DasBlog but retained the images in the same folder that were used by DasBlog & Windows Live Writer. This way all the image references (URIs) continues to work in WordPress. If I had tried to migrate them to WordPress then I suppose I would have had to write a custom program and do it, which I didn’t bother.
In the end all turned out well. For my blog of over 1000+ posts over 7 years it took less than 2 days of work. Performance is great & overall I am quite pleased with the move.