[info]rusty_halo in [info]07refugees

Moving from LiveJournal to WordPress & InsaneJournal, and Cross-Posting to All Three Simultaneously

I recently moved from LiveJournal to a WordPress blog on my own server, with a backup on InsaneJournal. I'm *really* happy with it, so I thought I'd share my experience in case anyone here may be interested in doing something similar.

* I was able to copy my LiveJournal archives to WordPress using LJ Archive and WordPress' built-in LiveJournal importer. It copied all entries and comments, although the comments lost their threading. It didn't copy metadata (security settings, icons, tags, moods, music, etc) but I was able to restore most of that pretty easily. (Security settings with a simple MySQL query, tags with the SimpleTags plug in).

* I was able to copy my LiveJournal archives to InsaneJournal using LJ Migrate. It copied everything but comments; moods, tags, music, icons, you name it. I found LJ Sec useful for removing duplicate entries (I'd been manually cross-posting between LJ and IJ for a while.) I found [info]sherlock's tutorials invaluable.

* I installed a bunch of plugins to get my WordPress blog working like a LiveJournal clone (moods, icons, threaded comments with emailed replies, something resembling security settings). Here's a post explaining which plugins I chose. The only thing I haven't figured out is how to get OpenID working with threaded comments, so if anyone knows how to do that, please share.

* There are some areas where WordPress completely kicks LJ's ass. Like excellent statistics, drag-and-drop widgets for arranging your sidebar, tons of nifty themes (over which you have way more control), and awesome plugins for things like photo galleries and managing tags. I was able to duplicate friendslock functionality, but I do miss the ability to post to custom friends groups.

* There's already a plugin to cross-post automatically from WordPress to LiveJournal (or InsaneJournal, or theoretically any other LJ clone site): LiveJournal Crossposter. It's quite nifty, because it doesn't just cross-post new entries; it also allows you to edit and delete entries in WordPress, with the changes reflected on LiveJournal. The only thing it doesn't cross-post is icons, moods, and music, since you need plugins for those. It does cross-post tags, but you have to put them in WordPress as categories (which is easy).

* LiveJournal Crossposter doesn't have the ability to cross-post to multiple journals, though. So I, uh, I figured out a way: InsaneJournal Crossposter. If you install LiveJournal Crossposter and InsaneJournal Crossposter, you'll be able to cross-post to all three sites simultaneously. And you'll be able to edit or delete entries in WordPress, with the changes reflected instantly on all three sites. (Which is nicer than Semagic, because Semagic doesn't let you make simultaneous edits once an entry is posted.) You can also have different friendslock and comment settings for each journal; for example, I've set it to allow comments on my InsaneJournal entries, but not on my LiveJournal entries.

I made this by duplicating LiveJournal Crossposter but changing all the "LiveJournal" references to "InsaneJournal." (I'm kind of shocked that it worked.) In theory, you could also do this for JournalFen or any other LJ clone site, and cross-post to all of them simultaneously.

(I make no guarantees about this, but it's working so far and it's a great time saver.)

If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to answer. And if you try any of this, I'd be really curious to hear how it worked for you.

Edited to add: I've written up a proper guide on how to migrate from LiveJournal to WordPress. It includes a couple of custom plugins that I modified. You can read it here.


Is this for PC or Mac?
Either. I'm on a PC; it's possible that a couple of the migration tools I mentioned won't work on a Mac, but I'm pretty sure there are alternatives for Mac that will achieve the same result.
Awesome! I'm already on my own Wordpress blogsite. This is a great idea. Could you tell me where Wordpress's LJ importer is?

It's under "Manage" -> "Import" -> "LiveJournal."
Very cool, I didn't realise there was anything built in, but I have seen reference to it being possible import with threaded comments.. not sure where, let me go lookie..
There's plenty to like about WP, but I despise their web-interfaces for writing posts. Their Rich Text Editor is the most pathetic piece of crap I've ever seen. Admittedly, I haven't tried it from my winbox, but I can hardly see how that would make a difference. Also, there's their "help" pages/system. Try to find a decent tutorial, or any kind of serious explanations for posting from their web-based text editors -- just try it.

The impression I get is that it's like the traditional Linux community -- total geekcentricity not only rules, but nothing else is even perceived to exist. As if everyone on the planet is simply presumed to have hard core code-head skills, and if you don't, they act as if you're some rare mutant lump of protoplasm that crawled out of the lagoon. Bizarre. Same thing happens with Mac-heads who fart around in FreeBSD all day. They quickly forget that life exists on other planets.

Otherwise, I haven't gone looking for a WP client app for Mac. I expect I will soon.
Um. Okay. I've found WordPress extraordinarily user-friendly, and I'm not a huge geek. *shrugs*
Like I said, there's plenty to like. Most of it is more or less self-explanatory. But there are a few points where that ball was dropped and never got picked up.
In some ways I can see your point, because you do need to understand a certain amount of code to do anything unusual with WP, you certainly need to if you want to LJ-ify it. But I think LJ also attracts geekier sorts on the whole than other SN sites.
They got a real WYSIWYG editor for WP2.5, although I use the text editor almost exclusively everywhere. I expect WP.com and WPMU installs to upgrade to 2.5 in the near future.

Otherwise, you might like MovableType (regular or Open Source) better, it's not as pretty and manageable as WP but the interface was developed by real designers :)

Links people interested in WP might find useful:
* Automatic Upgrade plugin for easy code updates.
* WPStats, if you're like me and have WP on your own server; so you don't have to log in to your WP.com dashboard every time you cant to check your stats.
* WP Themer Kit for quick theme deployment. I'm right in the middle of customising it, but I don't like how the post templates are structured and I'm going to have to meddle with the PHP code. Compatible with 2.5, but beta-ish and not too well documented. It is immensely useful if you know your CSS and PHP, though.
Thanks. I'll take a look at those. I expect I'll go hunting for a good open source client befor long. MovableType, unfortunately, is owned by Six Apart, and I've had more than my fill of them for one lifetime. :-p
THANK YOU! Those first two are what I've been lacking for my self-hosted WP accounts, I'm not too savvy with the self-hosted thing yet (I dont' even know how to upgrade it myself -- my host has a one-click installation), and those will be super helpful.
I have yet to make OpenID work with my provider's servers, period. Or, rather, an old version partially works, but the spiffy new versions do not. *sighs*

But that's a great way to solve the multiple crossposting! In the spirit of offering tweaked plugins, here's my two cents, which includes a variation of Crossposter altered to work with the hide-or-cut plugin and translate WP cut tags into danga-code cut tags.

Reminds me, I need to upload the newest version of the gravatar re-write, which can pull icons from lj and clones, for commenters. *adds to to-do list*
Those are awesome! I hadn't seen them before.

I might have to try your LJ Crossposter Plus. And I hadn't seen Hide or Cut Post Text before. Maybe it would be a solution to the custom friends groups issue too? If you can hide text from users below a certain level...

The LJ icons and Gravatar plugin looks cool too. I've got Gravatar set up, but it would be way more awesome if it pulled in LJ icons....

Never mind

I found it! Yay :)
Very helpful, thanks!
You're welcome. :)
Interesting to know that Wordpress has all the features to make it look like an LJ clone - but when I tried it out earlier I had problems getting one feature to work, less alone all.

So I deleted it all and gave IJ a closer look ... although of course having a permanent home on your own webspace is something worth considering ... oh well maybe in 50 years when I'm in retirement and have the time to figure that stuff out ;) But for now I'm saving this to memories
It is *really* nice having my own blog on my own server. Whatever happens to LJ or IJ, I'm set. :)
Cool - I'm in the process of doing similarly but with WordPress MU. Thanks for this, I've garnered a couple of plugins to try that I haven't seen yet -MU is a bit trickier and more limited, but if I can get good enough functionality, I can then try and convince my freinds to get one and not have to start a new WP for anyone who wants one - they can do it themselvesbut have the same core functionality:)

I did do a trial install with regular WP and got a few things, possibly including open id with threaded comments, but when I installed MU I had to delete that test blog, and I can't really recall how I did it :( I can say I'm having problems with open-id now though :(

That's awesome. WordPress MU seems to have a lot of possibility for getting more people to migrate, since only one person would have to be techie enough to administer it....
that's the best bit about it - many people using LJ don't know, or don't want to know, anything about the back end of things!

I've written up a proper guide and linked to it from over there.
Great information. I setup a self-hosted WP blog after the first strikethrough over at LJ, thinking one day I may start using WP permanently. I can use your rec to extend the flexibility of my blog.

Using WPStats requires an account with WP.com, which is cool. You can surf for blogs of interest or surf using the Tag Surfer.


WordPress is definitely way more flexible than LJ. :)


Re: Moving

Some people get the concept that this post is about switching journal hosts. Not finding movers in Vancouver (http://www.bc-albertamovers.com/cities/vancouver).


I am planning on moving to Victoria, BC (http://www.movecomoves.com/en/)... Thanks so much for posting this. I feel like I really learned a lot!