After blogging on Live Spaces for a 517 days, I’ve made the difficult decision to move to my own domain here to Sev17.com. As an aside, the meaning of Sev17 is described in the About section. All of the content and comments have been migrated from my old blog to this site. Moving to my own site has been surprisingly easy and I must say I’m really digging the WordPress platform. Having gone through the exercise of moving from Live Spaces and migrating the content I thought I would take this opporunity to describe the steps:
Exporting Live Spaces Content
Unfortunately Live Spaces does not provide a native way to export content and comments, however there is an automated Python script called Live Space Mover that worked very well for me. All 85 of my posts including comments were succussefully exported. The Python script works by parsing the HTML from Live Spaces to generate a WordPress export XML file. There are a few setup tasks to prepare for exporting your Live Space data as well as detailed instructions on the entire process described on the Live Space Mover site. I followed instructions and won’t rehash them here. A few notes on my experience are listed below :
- Although the instructions reference 2.5, I’m using Python 2.6 from ActiveState.
- Don’t worry I don’t know how to write Python scripts either, but fortunately you don’t need to.
- One of the components used in Live Space Mover is another Python script called Beautiful Soup, I made the mistake of grabbing a later version than referenced in the Live Space Mover instructions and had issues generating the XML document. So, I then grabbed the 3.06 version which worked correctly.
- I hit the date format issue described in the Live Space Mover instructions, but after specifying the Python script date parameters it worked fine
- Per the instructions I changed my Live Spaces theme to “Journey”
- The Python 2.5 bug referenced in the Live Spacer Mover instructions has been fixed in 2.6.
And with that a WordPress eXtended RSS (WXR) file is generated which includes all posts, comments,and categories from my Live Spaces blog.
Importing and Tidying Up
Importing to my WordPress blog was simple, I just selected import from wp-admin site. After I imported I then spent a couple of hours verifying each blog post and updating any post links with links to previous posts to now point to sev17. As side effect of going through each post pingbacks were created for any blogs I referenced. This was a pleasant surprise as Live Spaces doesn’t do pingbacks and even when I tried to do them manually the ugly URLs Live Spaces creates (http://chadwickmiller.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!EA42395138308430!201.entry) were often grabbed by other blogging platforms.
I’ve moved over everything, the only issue I have is with images that still point to Live Spaces. It would be nice to move these to Amazon S3 storage, but I’m not going to worry about them for now.
I owe a big thanks to Brent Ozar (@BrentO) for rescuing me from Live Spaces and helping setup this blog. Brent also patiently answered my questions on WordPress. Brent has a great two part blog series on getting started with blogging that I wish I would have seen before creating a Live Space blog. If you’re just getting started with blogging, don’t make the same mistake I did–Read Brent’s posts and if you have questions, ask.
I love it when you can find a script that someone has taken the time to share with community and provide detailed instructions. My thanks to Wei Wei, the creator of Live Spaces Mover. It saved me hours if not days of time. BTW– I did make a small donation to the Live Spaces Mover project. The only reason I bring this topic up is that many people may not be aware of what is the right thing to do with open source software. My feeling is that if I get some good use out of it and they are seeking funding, then I’ll put a few bucks in via Paypal. This reminds me there are a few other open source software packages I need to support…