Move Your Blog or Website – Three Design Considerations

It’s time to move your website or blog from HubSpot, Drupal, TypePad, Blogger or Tumblr to WordPress.

Three Ways to Move

1) Just export the data – posts, comments, pages, categories, tags, images, videos, meta data etc.

Some projects need just the data moved  from one platform to another. For example, the client may have already started creating a new custom theme, the project may be focused on merging a blog into an existing website in one installation of WordPress or the focus is strictly on getting the data off of the old platform for archiving purposes and so design is unimportant.

Don't feel Lost. You have Three Design Choices

There can be challenges.  For example if the site owner selected a new platform or theme and doesn’t use live data to test the construction he can run into surprises after the data is moved. After all the hard work creating the custom design the client may feel that there must be something wrong due to the migration. Unfortunately, integrating the theme is not part of the specific scope of work that they chose. This kind of website move is for more advanced developers who are comfortable troubleshooting and custom programming.

We have completed this kind of projects for an NFL team, city university, print and online magazines and more.

There are many situations where no satisfactory export function is available to exit the current platform. This is the main reason we are contacted. We run across this most when there is not a content management system (CMS) in use and in proprietary purpose-built platforms like HubSpot.

Even Blogger does not handle exports seamlessly.  The images in a Blogger blog are stored in Picassa web albums and use file names and directory structures unrelated to the blog post they appear in.

These project will need at least two to three weeks to complete. The reason is that these are usually enormous migrations with tens of thousands of posts and comments and coming from a platform that does not store data in the database in a similar way to WordPress.


2) Export all the files and duplicate the existing design and create a custom WordPress theme

This kind of project has a very clear scope that allows us to start the switch-over and move quickly.  We fully duplicate the existing blog or website with the same design “look and feel” once it is transferred to WordPress.

We have completed this type of project for a marketing blog, financial planner, non-profit, educational institution, agile consultant in Cambridge, residential realtors in MA and FL, small businesses, bloggers and more.

These project may need two to three weeks to complete.


3)  Migrate and create an entirely new design and make a custom WordPress theme

This scope of work expands considerably beyond the two options listed above to include really enhancing the design to more closely align with achieving business goals.  This type of move is chosen because a more up-to-date design may be required or business goals may have changed and the website needs a new layout to reflect this change.    Additional time will allow for the design and approval process before we begin to build the custom theme.

We have completed this kind of project for a personal coach, non-profit marketing organization in Boston, a tree trimming company in Texas, speaking coach in New Zealand and a political blogger in Tennessee.

The timeline on these projects is driven by the client’s ability to make and adhere to decisions on time. Four weeks is normally enough time for a small to medium-sized website or blog. This type of project can be the most cost efficient when a new design is in the near future.

We can complete a project in a week, but then you may also be charged the moon.


Three Ways to Move your Blog

The quickest and most troublefree move for you could be any of the three above. The clients that were focused on completing the move really fast and who didn’t want to handle the integration chose option two.

So, whether you are going to move from BlogSmith, HubSpot, ActiveRain, TypePad, Blogger, Drupal or straight HTML and CSS think about which approach will best fit your organizational needs and give us a holler. There is always an option that will work for you.

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7 thoughts on “Move Your Blog or Website – Three Design Considerations

  1. More of a question than a comment. I am interested as to why one would move from Drupal to WP. Thoughts please? (I am considering going the other way from my beloved WP to Drupal/Joomla so your post is timely)

    1. Based on client experience there are a few common themes that I hear as to why people move from Drupal to WordPress. They are 1) They are more familiar with WordPress and feel hamstrung in Drupal – these are owners and managers, not a tech team, 2) Drupal development typically costs at least twice as much as hiring similar talent to work on the WordPress platform 3) The keeping up with the Jones’s effect – everyone else is using it. Some also feel that there are SEO advantages on WordPress.

      In general, WordPress is becoming more and more capable and in some ways more complex in order to provide those capabilities. At the same time Drupal is finally conducting user interaction studies, reviewing their nomenclature, including usability best practices and generally making Drupal easier to use. I tell folks that WordPress was developed for Writers while Drupal was developed for Developers. That sums up the story of which one is easier to use, for me. I told Dries (the founder of Drupal) that I thought that the two platforms were converging in a way. He agreed and noted that there will always be room for both.

      I think that most experience a shorter learning curve for WordPress than Drupal and there is a much larger ecosystem of information, support, developers, designers and so on for WordPress. However, it is interesting that Drupal folks will proudly point to the many “Drupal shops” and complain that they don’t know of a single WordPress design or development firm with say at least five people in the company. That point may backfire and incidate WordPress’s ease of use. Or it may point to much more complex site development on Drupal.

      You might find the information in this 2 year old post interesting – It makes a range of comparisons between major platforms.

  2. Thanks, I appreciate all your valued comments. I have found WP goes creaky about 1000 pages (NOT 1000 posts) and I have problems with its cache. For that reason I was considering change. I agree with you on its strengths and that in most respects it is user-friendly. My jury is out, thanks again.

  3. I’m a WP fan and appreciate your comments! I’m now starting to see some migration from WP to SquareSpace – are you seeing this?

    1. Thanks for the question Lindy.
      I am aware of SquareSpace and their fans. I have not had any requests to move there nor have I heard anyone talking of SquareSpace. I will have to keep an eye out form now on. Thanks.

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