Migrating from blogspot to Movable Type

A while ago I decided to migrate my existing blogspot blog to an own domain and webspace again. My reasoning was mostly, that blogspot lacked some features, which I’d like to have in my blog.
Additionally, my requirements have changed a bit since I originally moved to blogspot and, last but not least, Blogspot was a compromise anyway.

So I started re-evaluating a possible software platform for my blog. In my numerous previous attempts to start blogging (there were several blogs of me in the internet since at least 2006), before I moved to Blogspot, I used WordPress. But there were quiet some reasons against it, one of the biggest concerns being its security history. Also, while I worked a lot with PHP in the past years, I have developed a serious antipathy against software written in PHP, which I couldn’t just ignore.

In the end, the decision fell on Movable Type, because its written in Perl, which is the language I prefer for most of my projects, because its features were matching my wishes (mostly) and because I heard some good opinions about it. Also it is used by my employer for our company blog.

So the next question was: How to migrate?

I decided to use Movable Type 5, although, at present, it seems not to be the communities choice. At least the list of plugins supporting MT5 is really short. Foremost there was no plugin to import blogger posts, which, after all, was the most important thing about the migration.
Luckily there is such a plugin for Movable Type and so I basically did the following:

  1. Install Movable Type 4
  2. Install the Blogger Import Plugin
  3. Import posts (it supports either the export file of blogger or directly importing posts via the Google API)
  4. Upgrade to Movable Type 5
  5. Check the result
Check the results, or: The missing parts
Obviously such an import is not perfect. Some posts contain images or in-site links. The importer is not able to detect that and honestly it would have a hard time to track that anyway.
So as soon as content is migrated, its time to look for the missing parts.

The process to find missing parts is basically very easy and common among the various missing parts:
Just search for your blogspot URL via the Search & Replace option in the Movable Type administration.

Now how to fix that? For links its quiet easy (although I forgot about them in the first run), as long as the permalinks have kept the same scheme.
In my case that is the case, since I decided to use the Preferred Archive option „Entry“ in the blog settings for the new blog and the default (if there is an option, because I don’t know)
in Blogspot. The importer does import the Basename of the document, so fixing links is just a matter of replacing the domain part of the URL.

For images its some more work. One has to get the images somehow and upload them in Movable Type. Eventually it then boils down to search and replace, but I decided to do that manually, since I only have a very low number of images in my posts so far.

After that I did everything else, which is not specific to the migration, like picking a template, modifying it to my wishes, considering the additions of plugin etc.
And here we are. There were some issues during the migration, which I haven’t handled here. I will blog about them another time.


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