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Moving a massive site to WordPress

This past weekend I was finally able to get Google Earth Blog moved from Movable Type (the old blogging software it was on) to WordPress.  It was quite an adventure, but the end result came out great!


While we’ve moved dozens of sites from other platforms over to WordPress over the years, there were two major challenges with this one:

1: It’s huge

Google Earth Blog has been around for about eight years now, and has more than 3,000 blog posts and over 17,000 comments!  With better than 200,000 monthly visitors, this big site had to be migrated in a clean and concise manner.

2: The owner is sailing around the world

Frank Taylor, the founder of the site, is currently a few years into a circumnavigation aboard the Tahina (he’s near Malaysia right now).  While he’s often able to get online with quality internet, there are many times when he can’t.  We had to plan this migration at a time when he’d be available to assist with it.

How did we do it?

The bulk of the move was done using the normal Movable Type import plug-in and the site is running a StudioPress-powered theme.  We used WP Page Extension to help maintain the “.html” on some of the pages, and the Redirection plugin to help capture and correct any 404 errors that pop up.  Beyond those we used most of our favorite plugins to add additional functionality to the site.

Life is much easier now

Being a WordPress guy, managing that site while it was running Movable Type was a challenge.  Now that we’re on WordPress it’s easier to manage, easier to backup/maintain, comments can flow more freely, it works better on mobile devices (it’s responsive, of course) and it’s simply a better experience.

Have you ever moved a site to WordPress from a different platform?  How did it go?

About the Author

Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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