Technical question

By Michael J. Smith on Friday September 7, 2012 05:42 PM

I'm getting pretty tired of the software (Movable Type) on which this blog is based, and the hosting for it is surprisingly expensive. Anybody have any suggestions about migrating it to another platform?

Comments (10)

Well, I've been running my blog with WordPress on a domain I own myself (I got the domain in '98, migrated from a old-style static site to a blog format in late '09). A lot of folks run their blogs via -- including my comrade Isis, at The Liberty Lamp -- although I like having my content under my direct control, locally. I'm funny that way. Looks like you already own a domain, so all you need to do is check with your hosting company to see which blog platforms they support; I'd be surprised if they didn't support WordPress.

Getting my blog set up the way I liked -- even using a pre-fab template -- was painful, but once I finally beat it into submission, it worked like a champ. This may not be a problem for you, but I was frequently exasperated by WordPress' constant assumptions of high profiency in CSS (after 3 years, I'm still banging my head on CSS and getting nothing but a headache). WordPress' support forum was a huge help while I was setting up.

It also helps that WordPress is one of the most widely used and supported; for once, the fact that a piece of software has a large "market share" is a good thing. I considered a few others, but none of them had been recently updated, and users were pretty much on their own as far as support and user communities were concerned.

I also have a backup mirror of my blog at, but while many folks run their blogs through blogspot/blogger with no problems, I can't recommend it owing to myriad issues with Google.

WordPress is the obvious starting point. Should run pretty well on cheap hosting if you're careful with caching. Easy to administer, good spam control, good comment system. Extensive ecosystem of plugins and themes, mostly free.

I'm intrigued by Squarespace, but don't know enough about their blogging module(s) to have a worthwhile opinion.


Sounds like finding a "fine wine "for under 8 bucks a bottle
My son in law put me up on blog spot
In 30 minutes
But I don't use comments
It's a sounding off journal


I go to economist view to battle in the comment trenches

Not into sectarian gobble babble and all that


Well this is my life comrade father mountain dew smiff's site
If like mjs
you have hill country roots
You always need a lazy blood hound resting on the porch
To feel at home in a shotgun set up like this



U lurking tribune of validy

Why don't you post. Here

God knows u got more firmly held opinions then Odin


Second the motion on posts from JL. As for the software question, the main thing I'm wondering about is migrating the existing content to WordPress, or whatever, from MT. I seem to recall that I tried this once and it didn't work, but that was probably several versions ago.


Moses/Aaron of SMBIVA

U must not leave one word of this blog behind
Not posts or commentary

It is all


So I installed WordPress on a little Linux server to which I have access (interested parties email me and I might tell you where it is). The import process from Movable Type went quite smoothly and didn't complain, but there appear to be about 300 missing posts (out of around 3000). In particular, there's nothing after November 10 2011, though these posts are in the 'export' .txt file Movable Type created. (If you want to look at that monster, I'll be happy to mail you a gzip'd copy.)

I'm kinda scratching my head over this. Ideas, anybody?

I also tried wget -r -k over the whole site, and that produced a perfectly nice static replica. Guess I could always just use that as the archive and save myself some trouble.

One irritating thing: WordPress insisted on converting all newlines in the export file to paragraph breaks, which leads to some nasty formatting. Any way around this? I couldn't find it.

anne shew:

oh .. . the economist.. . what a delight ful shiny rag to read in the waiting room .. . , that was in my teens , i have no idea on what they are up to there now .. . , sorry haven't finished reading here yet , need to get back to a snail mail from a jon l. here .. .


Update: It seems that there is a hidden size limit on MT 'export' files that WP can 'import' (even locally, on the server side). Just as an experiment, I carved the MT 'export' text file's 300-odd most recent posts (which WP did not import) out and divided 'em up into two smaller files, each less than 2 MB, and then uploaded 'em into the 'import' tool on WP. Success!

Now if I could just get rid of those damn paragraph breaks for every newline in the original. That's *really* annoying.

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Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


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