Migrating blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org tips

See also my Speeding up your WordPress site post

Well, I got tired of the limitations in the hosted version of WordPress (i.e., WordPress.com) and decided to host a WordPress blog myself. Since you can export a blog, it was pretty easy to migrate most of my blog, but there were a few gotchas.

First, your theme may not be available. For me, I was able to find the theme and upload to my new WordPress site, but it wasn’t exactly the same and I just gave up and switch to a different one.

The second issue was that when I imported the data file, I kept getting errors like the following:

Failed to import “John Smith – 2010-12-26 05:43:27”: Invalid post type feedback

I eventually determine it was because the WordPress.com site includes a contact form plug-in automatically. On the new site, you have to install it. Well, it turns out that it’s part of something called Jetpack which I believe is a bundle of basic plugins you can install. It comes from the WordPress folks so it is a standard of sorts. My new WordPress blog automatically suggested that it be installed. One of the things it does is add a Feedbacks item on the main settings page. That’s the tip off that you’ve got the right plugin.

Once I had Jetpack installed and activated, I re-imported the data and the errors went away. It is important to note that you can re-import and WordPress will ignore anything already imported. Nice!

If you added widgets to your old site’s theme, you may also find that they don’t exist in the new one. Again, this is due to plugins being already there in the WordPress.com site and not the new one. You’ll need to search for them, install and activate them.

I’m kinda glossing over the details of what I had to do, but this should give you a head start if you find issues migrating your site. All in all, it was pretty easy and I’m excited about the greater functionality of my new site. Also considering I was paying $30/yr to customize my site and $13 to redirect my domain name, the $4/mo I’m having to pay on HotpointDomains.com for my WordPress site isn’t that much more expensive.

UPDATE 2012-06-04:

One BIG bummer is that your stats will start all over :-( Seems to be no way to migrate those.

If you had a domain name redirected to the WP.com site, set Permalinks to Day and name (e.g., http://SeriouslyTrivial.com/2012/06/04/sample-post/). This is the way the WP.com sets up links to particular posts. This way search engines can still find the posts on the new site. It’s under Settings > Permalinks.

Nikon D7000, my new toy

I’ve been looking for a new hobby for a very long time and I don’t know why it never occurred to me, but photography is perfect; it’s just the right combination of tech and outdoors.

I wanted to get an entry-level prosumer DSLR and narrowed it down to the Canon 60D and the Nikon D7000. I really liked the 60D’s articulated screen, but in the end, the D7000 just seemed to be more professional and higher quality, albeit slightly higher in price. Choosing your first DSLR is really an important decision since it sets the path for all your future lens purchases–there, unfortunately, is no standard in the lens mounts.

I wanted a do-it-all lens to start out and splurged on the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens. I was also looking at the Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM Lens, but the slightly better aperture and supposedly quickly focusing of the Nikon lens gave it the nod. I figured why skimp on the only lens I’ll have for a while. I also toyed with the idea of a used lens and even found an open-box one, but for my first set-up, I wanted everything to be new. (Yeah, I’m a bit spoiled :-)

I’m pretty excited! The last serious camera I owned was a Pentax 35mm SLR many years ago. Developing film always seemed to limit my use of that camera, so now with the digital SLR, I’ve got no excuses. I’m really looking forward to learning this beast and getting good at operating all of the features. It’s damn complicated compared to my old 35mm that’s for sure.

I also put a lot of thought into what camera bag I wanted. I wanted something light and not cumbersome. It had to hold my D7000 with zoom lens attached and also have enough space for a second lens and some extra goodies. I didn’t want a backpack because you have to take those off to get to stuff and I didn’t want just a regular shoulder type. What appealed to me was the slings. I suppose it’s partially due to their generally non-symmetrical design. I’m always attracted to things like that.

I was nearly decided on the Case Logic SLRC-205 SLR Camera Sling, but ended up going with the Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag. It just seemed to look less like a camera bag and had a softer less cumbersome look. The Case Logic is probably more functional, but the Lowepro is cooler and coolness counts!

So far, I’ve only skimmed though the D7000 manual and played with the features a bit. I’ve got the PDF of the manual on my iPhone and I plan to take the D7000 for a spin tomorrow out in the Hill Country!