Thursday, May 23, 2013

Migrating from Graffiti CMS to Blogger

I set this blog up in 2008 and have blogged on and off for the last 5 or so years on technology. I selected Graffiti CMS after Rob Howard from Telligent, its creator, gave a talk at our local AZ Groups .Net user group and he gave out a bunch of licenses to a this product which was then going to be sold at $150. It has since become open source.

Graffiti CMS has treated me very well and is a remarkably good product. However, these were the drawbacks that made me decide to move my blog off Graffiti:
  • Very small number of users and one very kind and competent developer maintaining it.
  • I hosted it on my dedicated server. This meant that it was eating up resources that other web apps needed.
  • I had to upgrade it and maintain it and patch it myself and a security vulnerability might impact other applications on the server.
I moved it to Blogger because I already have a blog on Blogger and as such I'm familiar with the tools but I'm sure that other blogging platforms like Wordpress would have had as much as I needed as well.

The migration process went like this:
  • Found some code that someone had written to export the blog into BlogML and tried it out. This failed as Blogger couldn't read it in.
  • Spent a few hours modifying the code to get the export format I wanted but was unsuccessful. Knowing that I don't have much time on my hands to do this type of thing I threw some money at it and asked the Graffiti developer to create an export for me.
  • He kindly did this and here I am, 300 or so migrated posts in Blogger.
The original blog ran off (no www) and I've migrated it to so that I can redirect to the new url pattern. I've written a web app which is now sitting at the non-www version and when it gets a request it then reaches into the database and pulls out the date for that post and generates the new url. This is then used for redirection to the new (this) site.

What's still to be done?
  • Some of the URLs did not migrate in the predictive fashion I'd expected. I'm logging those and will make changes to the redirection code as I go along.
  • Images have not come across so I'll do that manually as I find time.
  • There are references to the non-www version in the new www version and even though they will redirect correctly they should be fixed as eventually I'd like to get rid of the redirector. I'll do this by checking the referrer header and if it's from the www version I'll log this so that I can find the posts with those links.

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