December 13, 2016 - VitoMd and the Evil Machine

Migrating this blog from Wordpress to Jekyll - Part 1


I wanted to move my blog from Wordpress to a static site. I had some problems with my hosting provider, that made me rethink if I really needed a hosting. I found that Github could host static sites using Jekyll and my site and blog are mostly static files.

Also I aimed to something faster, lighter and with better github markdown integration. My options were Jekyll and Hugo. Both are really good so you can’t go wrong with any of them. I choose Jekyll because it’s seems a little more mature and it have some interesting tools to choose, also because the Blog theme that I liked was a Jekyll one.



I searched themes here:

I found this nice theme and the installation was really easy (make sure you have ruby on rails installed)

It was just:

   Fork the repository
   git clone
   cd lagom
   bundle update && bundle install
   jekyll serve

Note: I had an error An error occurred while installing json (1.8.1), and Bundler cannot continue when doing just bundle install .I added bundle update to solve the problem.

Then I just added my personal info in the _data/theme.yml file, changed the logo, favicon, little css tweaks and it was ready.

Migrating data from Wordpress to Jekyll

There are multiple ways to import your data, I will talk about two. Using the migrating tool (import a xml file) that I highly recommend and the second using the Wordpress migrating tool (import a database dump), that I don’t recommend because it’s slower and more error prone.

Using tool

I used the importer version (even when my Wordpress blog is hosted) because is faster and really good for what I needed.

I went to my Wordpress admin page -> tools ->export post. This will download an xml file with all the posts, I called it wordpress.xml .

First install some required gems: gem install jekyll-import hpricot open_uri_redirections

And then run the command to import the wordpress.xml file

ruby -rubygems -e 'require "jekyll-import";{
      "source" => "wordpress.xml",
      "no_fetch_images" => false,
      "assets_folder" => "assets"

This will import all the posts to the _post and _draft folders. Have in mind that this method will not import tags and other metadata, I didn’t have problems with that so I used this method.

The generated URL for the post was rather messy like /coding/2012/04/21/hello-world.html instead of just the old coding/hello-world/ so I wanted to keep the same url.

It was a simple change adding this line permalink: /:categories/:title/ to _config.yml . The only problem was that if the post had multiple categories the url looked like cat1/cat2/cat3/post . I wanted just the first category, so I modified each post to have only one category but multiple tags (In case I add some feature to filter by tag).

The post metadata ended looking like this:

- Coding
tags: [Coding, Javascript, RiotJs, Testing]

Deploying to Github

I had problem with the relative paths, because locally I access http://localhost:4000 but in production the address is , so I had problems with the blog part. The solution was to add the variable baseurl: /blog to config.yml and then use it in the urls

<a class="more_about" href="">More about me</a>

and locally call the Jekyll server like this: jekyll serve --baseurl="".

The process is to run the migrating tools that will connect to a database and import the data, but my hosting provider didn’t have an easy way to connect to the database from outside so I decided to export the database and load it locally. I will talk about the problems that I found , at least when doing it in Ubuntu 16.

I have problems with missing gems (mysql2 and sequel) and also I had to install sudo apt-get install libmysqlclient-dev because mysql2 installation was failing

First install the required gems: gem install unidecode sequel mysql2 htmlentities I went to my hosting provider and exported my blog database (mySql), to a file called wordpress.sql.

Then I imported the database locally, and did this steps:

Install mysql server with a password sudo apt-get install mysql-server

Access mysql server, it will ask for the password mysql -u root -p

Create the database CREATE DATABASE wordpress;

Select the database to use USE wordpress;

Execute the sql script (mine was wordpress.sql) to import the database source wordpress.sql

Now we run the script with the dbname, user and password. I removed the option "socket" => "", because it gave me errors

$ ruby -rubygems -e 'require "jekyll-import";{
      "dbname"   => "",
      "user"     => "",
      "password" => "",
      "host"     => "localhost",
      "table_prefix"   => "wp_",
      "site_prefix"    => "",
      "clean_entities" => true,
      "comments"       => true,
      "categories"     => true,
      "tags"           => true,
      "more_excerpt"   => true,
      "more_anchor"    => true,
      "extension"      => "html",
      "status"         => ["publish"]

After importing I saw that there was some problem with the encoding, probably because I didn’t create the database correctly but it was a good way to test the problems that you could find if you choose this approach, so I don´t recommend it.


In the next post I will talk about, importing comments, adding SEO, using a custom domain and writing my first Jekyll post.

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