Wordpress to ExpressionEngine

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Over the last few months I’ve been debating about moving my sites from Wordpress to ExpressionEngine. I’ve really enjoyed working with Wordpress the last 4 years. It’s a fantastic CMS, but I always felt a little handicapped when it came to custom designs.

Wordpress to ExpressionEngine

Hearing over and over again that ExpressionEngine is the designers' CMS, I decided to give it a try. After wrapping my head around the completely different language and tags, it was pretty easy to jump right in.

Getting started with ExpressionEngine

Before I took off on a client or personal site I started off by completing two tutorials over at Train-EE, building a small business site and building a church site. Both were fantastic intros on how EE works, language, tags, and how to think about structuring your site.

Ryan Irelan’s ExpressionEngine screencast series was also an invaluable resource. I certainly don’t mind reading a tutorial, but if I can sit back and watch a video…I’m in. Ryan’s series goes through just about every single step you’ll run across when building out a site as well as getting the CMS ready to hand off to the client, which was what sold me.

Here is a list of the episodes:

What about all my old content?

Switching from one CMS to another can sometimes be a painless process. Switching to ExpressionEngine didn’t appear to be that way, at least from what I read. A post from rousette.org, Transferring from WordPress to ExpressionEngine gave me a lot of good insight. The MTImport format seemed to be the best way to get my WP content into EE.

You’ll want to build out your new EE site with all your custom fields before you import your content in, but once all that is ready it’s a piece of cake. Once your templates are ready, login to the EE control panel and go to Admin > Utilities > Import Utilities and click on Movable Type Import Utility. Chose which fields you want your content to be pulled into and you’re all set.

Although I was concerned about the comments because nothing was mentioned on the import page about how they were treated, they were all imported into the site seamlessly.

One problem that I did run into had to do with the links that were in my existing content. Since the exported content in the MT Import format was just text, it stripped out all of my links. The site that I was importing only had 40 posts so it wasn’t a huge deal to go back through and update the content. Obviously if you had a lot of posts this would be a problem.

I am still researching how to get around the link issue. If anyone has any ideas, please post them in the comments below.

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