Migrating a blog from one platform to another is like taking a trip to the hardware store. It’s easy enough if you go solo: just grab your keys, throw on a hat and you’re there and back in under an hour. But if you are bringing a lot of content with you it’s like taking the wife with you on your trip because she wants to stop at Target, then you have to take the kids, too. Bringing the kids means packing diaper bags, the stroller and snacks, and making sure you have a video in the car for the trip there and back. Before you leave you have to make sure everyone has gone to the bathroom. Before you get home you’ll probably have to stop at least once for someone to use the bathroom. You’ll have to stop and grab something to eat at Wendy’s because kids are always hungry. You’ll definitely go to more than “just” Target – probably IKEA and Sam’s or Costco, too. By the time you finally get home (many hours later) you’ll realize you never even made it to the hardware store and you can’t even remember why you needed to go there in the first place.
Following are the tools, articles, widgets, plugins, etc. that I have used over the last couple of weeks to move my site from Community Server 2007 to Graffiti 1.3. I don’t know that I could create the list in any kind of chronological or other order that would make sense. Nor do I think that I could narrate the experience and have it be anything less than “way too much to read”. So instead I’m just jotting down everything with some notes on how/why I used them.
You don’t necessarily need all this stuff to create a blog with Graffiti. My issue is that I carried a lot of baggage with me to the hardware store… I mean to the new site. My blog has been around since 2004 and I decided to move everything over rather than start fresh. Therefore I wanted to redirect all the old urls to the new ones so I didn’t lose any Google juice. Since I’m using the site primarily as a blog I added a lot of plugins and widgets that are useful for blogs. Everyone’s needs and experiences will be different but these tools can help.
The Graffiti CMS space on CodePlex for the Graffiti 1.3 source, discussions, etc. http://graffiticms.codeplex.com
The built-in Migrator tool to import your Community Server posts/comments to Graffiti. http://graffiticms.com/support/managing-content/migrating-posts-to-graffiti/
Rich Mercer’s redirector for redirecting Community Server style post/tag urls to Graffiti urls (like http://danhounshell.com/blogs/dan/2006/08/some-old-post.aspx to http://danhounshell.com/blog/some-old-post/). http://richmercer.com/graffiti-plugins/
James Avery’s Graffiti Redirector – good for creating redirects on the fly using regular expressions. This is useful for posts that are not named (that Rich’s plugin do not catch like http://danhounshell.com/blogs/dan/2006/08/345.aspx to http://danhounshell.com/blog/some-old-post/) and anything else that shows up in my logs as 404s. http://code.google.com/p/graffiti-redirect/, http://averyblog.com/net/announcing-graffiti-redirect-0-1/, http://averyblog.com/net/graffiti-redirect-0-2/
You could also use something like ISAPI ReWrite or build something custom in IIS7 for redirecting from old to new urls.
Graffiti Blog Extensions Plugin (used to be available in the Graffiti Marketplace, will soon be a “core” extension in Graffiti) used for pingbacks/trackbacks. http://code.google.com/p/graffitiblogext/, http://jeftek.com/210/using-the-graffiticms-blog-extensions-plug-in/
The Graffiti Xtras Package. http://graffitiextras.codeplex.com/
Scott Cate’s Graffiti 404 Manager – great for finding all those links that used to work that are now showing 404s. When something shows up here a lot you can add a redirect for it using James Avery’s Graffiti Redirector. http://scottcate.com/blog/graffiti-404-manager/
Add disqus support for comments. ScottW provided good instructions as well as details on how to have older posts keep displaying their built-in comments. http://simpable.com/code/disqus/
Adding support for tags RSS feeds. ScottW again: http://simpable.com/code/rss-feeds-for-graffiti-tags/ – but RSS feeds for tags are now baked into Graffiti 1.3 so no need to use Scott’s solution if you get the latest from CodePlex.
I based my site theme on the Seven-Five Wordpress theme. http://www.press75.com/v4/the-seven-five-wordpress-theme/
favicon.ico issues with Graffiti, discussed by Andrew Tobin. http://grrargh.com/blog/your-favicon-and-graffiti/
I added a bunch of social streaming type widgets to my new home page, you can find a list of articles explaining each one here: http://danhounshell.com/blog/tags/jquery/
I hope the above list doesn’t scare you away from Graffiti. It really is simple to use and could be as simple to setup in some cases as getting the source from CodePlex, building it and running it. If you are planning on migrating your baggage from another platform(s) to Graffiti you’ll find them useful.