The WordPress Process: Parts 1 & 2

The WordPress Process is a series of posts at Newsome.Org, documenting my forced march from the comfort of Blogger to the uncharted territories of WordPress.

Recapping the latest developments:

1. FTP publishing via Blogger is dead, so I have to move Newsome.Org to either Blogger custom domain publishing or WordPress.

2. I moved Err Bear Music to a blogger custom domain, and the process was easy.

3. I still think WordPress may be a more robust platform, and have put out an RFP for someone to port Newsome.Org into WordPress.  I am close to a deal to get that done.

But I am also a coder and hacker, who would like to know the hows and whys of the process.  So last night I did a few things.

Installing WordPress

First, I installed a test version of WordPress on my server.  I started with the installation instructions, particularly the Famous 5-Minute Install walk-through.  Pair.Com hosts my server, so this post was also very helpful.  In sum, the process was pretty simple.  At the end of the process, I had a working version of WordPress installed.  It ain’t pretty, and God knows how I’ll import all of my blog posts.  But it’s installed.

Finding and Hacking a Theme

I briefly explored recreating my hand-made Blogger theme from whole cloth, but almost immediately that seemed like an insurmountable task.  I’m pretty good with code, and this is when I got my first inkling that maybe WordPress theme-hacking was going to be harder than it should be.

So I located a good 3-column theme, installed and activated it.  When I settle on a starting theme, I will be happy to pay for it (so I can hack it freely, delete the imagecredit links, etc.), but this free theme is a good place to start my WordPress learning experience.  Next, I wanted to modify the colors and content of the theme.  WordPress has a built-in theme editor, but at least initially, I am not impressed with it.  So I took the old-school approach and modified the files directly and uploaded them to my sever.

But, boy, are there a lot of them.  With Blogger, I have two files to be concerned with.  My template and my style sheet.  There are scads of files that affect the look and content of a WordPress blog.  That fact, and my general lack of experience with PHP, discourages me greatly at the moment.  I want the ability to manipulate the content, presentation and order of my blog, the way I can now via my Blogger template.  Perhaps you can in WordPress, but at this point it seems like it will be a chore.

So I did what any right-thinking person should do when faced with a confusing pile of code.  I went to bed.

Next Step

I’m going to need to spend a couple of hours learning the structure and purpose of these various files.  I hope and suspect that things will get easier with familiarity.  I sure hope so.

But at least I’ve taken the first step.

On to Part 2

OK, I now understand better the WordPress page and theme structure, and the editing capabilities are much better than I initially thought.  In fact, I got tired of worrying about all of this and did what I generally do when technologically uncertain: I said screw it and tried to import all of my existing posts to my WordPress blog. . .

Of course, it’s never that easy, even if you are willing to work without a net.

First of all, WordPress cannot directly import files from an FTP published Blogger blog.


Well isn’t that just great.

Never fear, I’ll just export my blog via the Blogger dashboard.


And run that file through the handy online converter, that will convert my exported file to a WordPress WXR file, that can be imported.

But NOOOOO. . .

Turns out that file is too big to be imported.


It just keeps getting better.  There is some discussion of modifying your php.ini file to allow larger uploads, the only problem being that I CAN’T FIND IT.  IT’S NOT IN THE DIRECTORY ON MY SERVER.

So here’s where we are at the moment.

image One, I believe I can hack together a WordPress theme that would serve my purposes.

Two, I’m willing to fly without a net and import my posts, and worry about the permalinks later.

Three, none of that frickin’ matters because I can’t import my blog posts thanks to some size limit I can’t find to fix.

At the end of the day, I could convert my blog to a blogspot hosted blog, and import it from there, but that just seems like too much brain damage.

So. . .

I’m going for a run.

2 thoughts on “The WordPress Process: Parts 1 & 2

  1. Kent–About the theme; does it support widgets? Widgets are very handy in WordPress, little plug-in-able pieces of code that other people create and you can dump into your blog when you've got widgets turned on. Your php.ini file may not exist; I'm told it goes in the public-html directory. So you can create a php.ini file in a text editor, then upload it via FTP to the public-html directory, and try again. You may also run into a memory limit in the mysql, which you can overwrite in the php.ini file. Check out this link to see what WordPress has to say about the php.ini location and memory limits.

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