How to Migrate from Joomla, Drupal, LiveJournal and Blogger to WordPress

How to migrate from Joomla, Drupal, LiveJournal and Blogger to WordPress

WordPress based websites are rapidly growing each day for a good reason. Each server account allows users to maintain the best features of social blogging along with more elaborate design concepts that a personal website offers. The software offers several plug-ins that allow for other social integration as well, such as Facebook and Twitter commenting and sharing. The free software also allows for things such as custom menus, pages, image galleries, and shopping carts.

Because you are hosting the website, you may be able to do things with the website that would normally be restricted or banned when going through a blogging host site like Blogger or LiveJournal. The interface and basic setup is also more convenient and user-friendly than Joomla or Drupal is for people with little or no programming knowledge.

How to migrate from Joomla, Drupal, LiveJournal and Blogger to WordPress

Switching to WordPress Has Never Been Easier

Switching over to WordPress is actually quite easy in comparison to completely building a website using traditional coding such as HTML. When some move off of their cookie cutter blog sites and onto a site that requires more programming, they often struggle with installation and confusion using MySQL. With the WordPress structure, the ability to combine templates with their own coding and add custom plug-ins to create their sites with ease, rather than just being reliant on coding. This is also excellent from a design perspective, as browsing the templates and available plug-ins can often spark the imagination.

Before making the switch from any server, creating a backup of previous work is imperative. Most servers will allow a backup to be performed easily, the procedures are just slightly different. By creating a backup onto a hard drive, the integration can be compared again and again.

Though WordPress is the top choice for many bloggers, those thinking about integrating should also review the major blogging services available to them and ensure that WordPress is the best option for their blog.

Comparing Blogging Services

Making the decision to migrate to WordPress should not be taken lightly. Some benefits are available with each blogging website that may not be available once fully integrated into WordPress. 

Blogger

Blogger is a continent choice for users who want to casually blog using services provided through Google. A major benefit of this is less accounts to remember and easier troubleshooting. The blog is fully compatible with Google Docs and Google +. Blogs through Blogger, though limited, can be set up in under five minutes. Another major benefit is that Google will do a large amount of marketing using their search engines and there is a Google Ads feature that allows popular blogs to begin making money quickly, rather than having to go through a secondary company, such as Commission Junction, to create revenue.

Blogger

The limitation on the account, however, is that templates are much more basic and limiting in comparison to WordPress. While layouts can be changed using a drag and drop format, it is much more difficult to find a unique template on the website. WordPress offers thousands of templates that can be further customized. They also feature better previews on how the blog will look once the template is implemented. 

Joomla

Joomla is a content manager system, or CMS, that helps bloggers to organize their content. The software offers interesting features, however, its website can be quite scary and wordy to a new blogger. Much like WordPress, the software will require installation onto a server. The account set up is slightly more lengthy than that of WordPress, simply because many hosting sites such as GoDaddy offer WordPress installation with the click of a button. Joomla, on the other hand, needs to be installed directly onto the website’s server almost every time.

Joomla

Aside from that, Joomla is not specifically designed for blogging like WordPress is. The site certainly allows for it but will require a special blog plug-in to be installed into the website.

Drupal

Drupal is another open-source, community based content manager system. Drupal’s “Open and Ready to Use Blog”, is the easiest comparison to WordPress. The tool, much like Blogger, allows for easy blog creation, social networking integration, and advertising capabilities. Each piece of information, such as a blog post, is stored in a particular block, which is placed according to the layout.

Drupal 

Both WordPress and Drupal offer a wide variety of plug-ins that are community created. So far Drupal has the largest community for plug-ins, but WordPress is much easier for new users to understand and see the plug-in’s practical uses before installation. 

LiveJournal

LiveJournal is another blog host that is completely focused on blogging. Unlike Blogger, the site has stricter rules regarding content and its user base. For example, LiveJournal strives to keep a family-friendly atmosphere within the site’s community. This is one reason birthdays are recorded among registration and blog posts and comments need to be flagged if they contain mature content. While the site is very user friendly and blogs are relativity easy to set up and search, users who do not want to face these restrictions need to look elsewhere for their blog hosting.

LiveJournal

Much like Blogger, the site allows for quick and easy setup, but limits the users to templates that can be customized. While some of the templates are only available for paid accounts, the site offers far more templates than Blogger, but still not to the level that WordPress does.

How to Backup Blogs

There are several paid services that will backup any blog to a local disc drive effortlessly. BackupMyBlog, for example, is a service that checks the blog it’s assigned to and copies the blog posts, photos and comments along with any special coding that has been added, such as HTML, allowing for the backup copy to be displayed properly. A free service alternative is BlogBackupr, which creates backups for any blog that uses an RSS feed.

Backup 

Manual backups are also relatively easy with practice, although the procedure is different based on the type of blog server being used. 

Blogger has a very convenient export feature that creates a back up copy of the blog and places it onto the hard drive. To access this feature, simply click on the settings tab on the back panel. Under the section marked “Basic”, there will be an “Export Blog” link that creates the default XML backup.

Joomla, like WordPress, uses a MySQL database to store its contents. Most people will have to use a tool to aid in the backup process, such as Akeeba. The backup creation will then have to be taken from the server and placed onto the hard drive via download. 

Drupal also uses a MySQL database to store files. Because of this, a tool such as phpMyAdmin can be used to create the backup, and then it can be downloaded onto the hard drive.

LiveJournal is very user-friendly and offers a couple different backup methods. The first method is via the Direct Backup Page. Another method is to use the tool LJ Book or LJ Archive which downloads the journal onto the hard drive as a PDF.

One more fool-proof method for a blog back up is to copy and paste the blog texts into a word processor and save them. While this will eliminate many of the basic designs and possibly any coding for the site, this is a useful method of backup for users planning on completely recreating their blogs. Comments can be copied using this method as well but they will lack the same formatting that can be seen with a direct backup using the methods above. Smaller blogs that do not add HTML or any other coding can greatly benefit from this method.

Making the Switch

Creating a New Blog in the WordPress Directory

Manual installs through the directory can be done using the command prompt. Use the following command to create a blog within the chosen directory:

mkdir blog
cd blog
svn co http://core.svn.wordpress.org/tags/3.4.2 .

The most important piece of the above code is the period at the end, which indicates that the blog be created within the directory, rather than creating a new directory unintentionally.

The initial migration onto WordPress will either be very simple or very complex depending upon how the previous blog is moved. After the backup is complete, take the following steps to complete the process and convert your blog to WordPress.

Blogger, LiveJournal, and RSS Feeds

Both Blogger and LiveJournal have very easy integration into WordPress, and the process is the same for each one. The methods can also be used on any other blog that uses an RSS feed, which is compatible with Joomla and Drupal.

STEP 1: Sign into the WordPress website dashboard. 

STEP 2: Click on the “Tools” section on the left side menu. There will be an option for import.

Import

STEP 3: Click on either the Blogger or LiveJournal link and a pop-up menu will appear.

Install

STEP 4: Select the “Install Now” option highlighted in red at the top right of the box.

STEP 5: When the download information appears, there will be an option to “Activate Plugin & Run Importer”. Once clicked, another screen will appear. Click the “Activate” button.

Activate Plug-in

STEP 6: The browser will connect to a login screen. Fill out the login information for the account that needs to be connected, and submit. Then, grant access for WordPress to access the account.

Authorize

STEP 7: WordPress will then display how many blog posts and comments are available for import. They will not be added to the WordPress website until the “Import” button is selected.

Activate Import

Drupal Migration

Complete Drupal migration into WordPress is much more complicated then LiveJournal or Blogger. The method involves some programming knowledge, including knowledge using MySQL and PHP. Integration can usually be done in three steps. 

STEP 1: Install the WordPress server in the database where Drupal is installed, allowing for both to be installed and running side-by-side temporarily.

STEP 2: If need be, enable PHP using the /drupal/admin/settings/filters path on the Drupal portion of the database.

STEP 3: Change the location of the Drupal database on the server. 

Joomla Migration

Joomla uses a plug-in option to integrate into the WordPress website. This is very convenient and operates in a similar fashion as the LiveJournal and Blogger integration noted above. The only difference is that rather than going to the tools section in the dashboard, simply download the plug-in from the following WordPress Plugins site.

Fixing Design Flaws

Most blogs will integrate seamlessly, requiring only a few minor design changes that can be done from within the WordPress dashboard. Because WordPress is a very user friendly system, there usually isn’t the need to tweak the template codes in order to incorporate the basic functions of a blog. Advanced functions such as social media integration are usually done instantly with plug-ins.

If the blog posts are not displaying correctly due to very minor details such as individual headers or lack of locally stored photos, these posts can be edited individually using the post’s “edit” function. These posts can be displayed visually or in HTML format.

Basic template changes can be made to the template by completing the following:

STEP 1: Login to the WordPress dashboard and click the appearance section on the left to expand it. Different templates can also be selected and applied to the blog under the “templates” section of the menu.

Themes

STEP 2: Custom templates can be modified using the “editor” function available in the expanded menu. 

STEP 3: On the right hand side, different sections of the template code will display. Select the section individually for editing.

Edit Theme

The code modifications can be done using basic CSS and HTML. PHP and JavaScript can also be modified using this method. One plug-in that can aid in the coding process is the “Advanced Code Editor” which will highlight areas of the code so that users can see sections of the code easier and help to eliminate human errors in the code. 

Conclusion

WordPress integration can range in levels of difficulty, but is only limited by the user’s programming skills. As long as the previous blog is successfully backed up, the process can be attempted again and again until it is perfected. By upgrading to the WordPress interface, users will not be as limited in their blog creations.

Comments

    • TheAL,
    • December 21, 2012
    / Reply

    Why would you ever want to migrate from Drupal to anything else, let alone WordPress??!

    Ok, I kid! I actually love both. I’m more of a “keep a foot on each island and pray they don’t drift too far apart” kind of CMS’er. In all, nifty article. I know plenty of people looking to get away from Joomla, and I usually suggest WP to them.

      • Filosopha,
      • December 21, 2012
      / Reply

      If you don’t mind me asking… why are people looking to get away from Joomla? I am a graphic designer getting into web design and development to add to my skill range. I chose CMS/Joomla option to begin with… did I make a mistake?

        • Richard Pigden,
        • December 29, 2012
        / Reply

        You shouldn’t be concerned about choosing Joomla, it’s a fantastic CMS, just as WordPress is. People aren’t trying to get away from it and why should they? This article is just focused on WordPress blogging, which even WordPress aficionado’s would argue it does far more than, just as Joomla does.

        in my opinion, not that it means much, Joomla allows for far bigger, complex websites whilst WordPress allows for quick simple sites. So don’t be worried about choosing Joomla it’s very much here to stay as are Dripal, Concrete5, WordPress, LightCMS and I’m sure many others! Enjoy Joomla and look forward to what is coming in Joomla 3.5 and beyond!

          • Newbie,
          • January 12, 2013
          / Reply

          Hi there, Ive set up an online newspaper using Joomla CMS 2.5. Its doing great, but the layout isnt as good as WordPress templates for newspapers.

          I want to create a mini social network on the site, using one plugin where users can comment on articles but also create forums, profiles etc. Should I stick with Joomla or transfer to WordPress?

          Ive heard of Buddypress that works on WP but its not clear if that transforms the entire CMS into a social network or whether it can be used as a plugin on top of my news site.

          so really what I want is the equivalent of the New York Times but with a mini facebook network attached, one log in, possible with forum capabilities. (Would I need a forum if I had Buddypress?)

          Can anyone please give me advice?

  1. / Reply

    i think wordpress is the best option for blogging but anybody who want to use any CMS should be careful about installing heavy plugins cause could lead to server overloading and hosting issues. anyway thanks

  2. / Reply

    no doubt WP is the ultimate choice for bloggers, and this article sells the idea of switching to it just perfectly. Good job done :)

  3. / Reply

    Interesting post, the information about migrating is very useful. I think, and this only my opinion, that the article would have benefited from more information about the other CMSs. The first 1/2 of the article feels like a promotion for wordPress over other CMSs, when in fact all have strong points and areas where they are [more suitable. I work with Drupal, Joomla and WordPress and pick the right tool for the job. I have even integrated WordPress and Joomla where a client needed a really strong flexible blogging engine.

    So why not write a companion article with an objective look at all the popular content management system, not to state ‘which is best’ but to discuss which is most suitable for different types of project.

  4. / Reply

    I also vote for WordPress. It is very reliable and easy to use. With it I have peace of mind and many opportunities to succeed.

    • Marian,
    • March 7, 2013
    / Reply

    Hi everyone!
    I’m also interested in wordpress switching. I’m running Joomla based site and it’s really tough. I know that Wp is more user friendly…This article is very useful and will definitely help somebody. But I was looking for the easiest solution to migrate content and I was recommended to use one tool, it moves data automatedly..

    cms2cms you may find some interesting info there..I think i’ll switch to wordpress with this service…

  5. / Reply

    I have a LiveJournal blog that I’ve been using since late 2000; the blog has thousands of posts and about 34,000 comments.

    The LiveJournal to WordPress importer works, but if you have more than a couple hundred posts or comments, it tends to randomly attach comments to the wrong posts. It appears that there is a subtle error in the importer that will sometimes mis-read the LiveJournal comment identifiers.

    I’ve encountered several other people who have the same problem, and repeated queries to WordPress tech support have not resolved the issue. So be aware that there is a gotcha, and if you import a large number of blog entires, check your comments carefully! (I still have not found a solution to this problem short of manually reassigning about 1100 comments to the correct posts, something I’m really not willing to do.)

  6. / Reply

    I had a blog in WordPress which I migrated to Joomla making use of JConverter, it did worked perfectly and smoothly. Actually there are many such extension available in Joomla which one can make use of to have migration of their blog.

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