SABWhen I started this blog a few months ago I decided to try out the free, hosted version of WordPress (at wordpress.com). With things beginning to grow, however, it feels like the right time to switch back to my preferred CMS – Movable Type.

You’ll find the site at its new home at scottandrewbird.com. Pull up a chair; make yourself comfortable.

Why switch at all?

Most of my sites are running on Movable Type – and have been for several years. A large part of the decision to switch was simply based on the fact that I’m comfortable with MT. This certainly isn’t a WordPress vs Movable Type thing.

Transferring the content

No doubt there’s a simple way to transfer data from a free, hosted installation of WordPress to Movable Type 3.x . After spending a few hours looking for it (I like to automate things like that), I ended up just copying the data across manually. This didn’t include the comments; they’re still available on the old site if necessary.

A couple of thoughts for anyone who’s considering the WordPress -> Movable Type Move :

Currently, WordPress and Movable Type use very different formats for their exported site data (for backups). I haven’t yet taken a good look at the beta of the upcoming Movable Type 4.0 (which boasts far too many improvements to take in at a glance), but the WP 2.x vs MT 3.x situation is :

WordPress 2.x exports posts in a slightly customised XML format is calls WXR. The files exported here can be easily imported into other WordPress installations, but require a fair bit of tweaking before Movable Type 3.x understands them.

Movable Type 3.x by contrast still makes use of formatted text files. As with the WordPress files, there’s no problem importing these files into other MT 3.x installations; the challenges begin when the destination application changes.

One solution to the WordPress -> Movable Type problem is provided here; unfortunately that is aimed solely at self-installed versions of WordPress; not the freely hosted environments provided at wordpress.com. If anyone knows of a similar script to convert local files prior to import, I’d love to hear about it.

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