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July 26, 2006

act 12: get along little dogies!

even with the new site up & its internal links updated, there was still the issue of folks either using old links or being directed by search engines to the old site.

Windrive 

herding stragglers over to your new site is a totally subjective area & depends largely on how much time & effort you want to expend. it’s prolly also directly proportional to things like…

  • the amount of truly useful or compelling information you have on your blog
  • the amount of “regular” traffic you have
  • how much your previous address was disseminated
  • how much your old site shows up in search engines

at a minimum…you want to make it very obvious that your site has moved to a new location.

but realize that…

no matter how much cleanup you do…

count on a good 35–50% traffic loss right off the bat. them’s the breaks, folks.

in my case, i changed the site settings in blogger to only show 1 post at the old funcave. i then drafted & published a final post at the old funcave about the move. i made nearly everything in that post into links, any of which will immediately transport someone over here to the new site when clicked.

that took care of anyone still using the main address of the old blog, but what about visitors coming from search engines?

i decided on a two-pronged approach…

first, i made some heavy modifications to the sidebar elements of the old funcave’s site template, basically turning everything in the sidebar into redirection links. since the sidebar shows up on every page, regardless of how old the post actually is, it’s prolly the best tool you’ll have to capture traffic coming in from search engines.

second, since i had a good number of multi-post series which seemed to garner a lot of traffic…

i again used the stats generated by sitemeter to actually map out the most popular multi-part content on my old site.

once more…blogjet swooped in to save the day.

blogjet enabled me to quickly batch update the key links in those posts on the old site so that they now point to the new site.

at most, someone might read a single post in a given series on the old funcave now, before getting transported automagically to the new location.

but…

if i had simply set up my original blog under my own domain from the very beginning…

99% of everything that is discussed in in acts 10 through 12…

and basically 100% of the cleanup work in blogjet

would have not been necessary at all!

so get your stuff under your own domain from the very outset…seriously.

that’s an important enough point to bear repeating more than a couple of times…

begin act 13

|| posted by chris under migration, wordpress || comments (1) || ||

July 24, 2006

act 11: wherein the hero enters

blogjet was a godsend…

BlogJet

once i had identified the posts i needed to modify on the new site, that is.

using the site statistics generated for the old site by sitemeter made it a snap to figure out which posts & links people were using, and therefore actually needed modification.

the amount of time & effort flying the friendly skies with blogjet saved me during the migration paid for the registration cost many times over.

obviously, the previous step of matching the link structure played a key role in streamlining this process.

still, blogjet played a crucial role by letting me batch load posts, open the one i needed to edit, search and replace link text in the raw code to update from the old site to the new site, then publish.

clean & fast…woohoo!

that all took care of any intra-site links transporting folks back to the old funcave.

easy-peasy.

begin act 12

|| posted by chris under migration, thumbs up, utility belt, wordpress || comments (2) || ||

July 22, 2006

act 10: a perfect match

it’s crucial that you set your wordpress link structure to match blogger’s.

this can absolutely mean the difference between preserving your sanity in the next step, or not.

Gears

you will want to make sure that wordpress creates permalinks that, for the most part, totally match the links your old site created. obviously, since the domain has changed, the very first part of the links will be different. but your goal is to make sure that the last part of your new links matches the old links exactly.

this will make any cleanup & redirecting work much easier.

to modify the link structure of your wordpress blog to match blogger’s, you’ll want to do the following:

  • click options
  • click permalinks
  • choose custom
  • in the custom field, enter this: /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html
  • click update permalink structure

voila!

obviously, if you are using a different blog service, that custom field value may be different.

begin act 11

|| posted by chris under migration, wordpress || comments (1) || ||

July 22, 2006

act 9: ode to joy

this should be the absolute best & easiest part of this whole grand escapade, assuming you’ve got a solid foundation.

Wpimport

you can simply let the wordpress import tool do the heavy lifting of actually copying your old blog to the new location.

seriously, it rocks.

so sit back…

let it do its thing.

and get rested up for the cleanup.

begin act 10

|| posted by chris under freebie, migration, more cowbell, utility belt, wordpress || comments (1) || ||

July 22, 2006

act 8: trust, but verify

before you start migrating anything, publish a couple of test posts to verify your wordpress installation.

  • make sure your template looks & acts the way you want it to.
  • see how elements like links, text, etc. look against the background.
  • have some pals give you some feedback.

you just need to verify that you actually do have a solid installation in place before you start the migration.

otherwise…

you might have to blow your wordpress install totally away & start from scratch.

begin act 9

|| posted by chris under migration, wordpress || comments (1) || ||

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