If you are just making the move to using WordPress (self-hosted) and want to know how to import blog content from one blog to a WordPress blog, then this tutorial is for you. This is a common need for existing bloggers who have just anguished over the Blogger vs. WordPress as a blogging platform debate and WordPress won. At some point when you make the switch to the WordPress platform you are going to want to move your content there. Please note that this blogger’s opinion is that it is all good if it gets you blogging.
What Can You Import Into WordPress?
Most import plugins will allow bloggers to import from WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad and Tumblr. Some users may be moving from a WordPress site at WordPress.com when they decide to self-host, or they could be moving content from a development site or multi-user site. WordPress takes the liberties of listing these popular importers in addition to a Blogroll importer (to import links in OPML format), RSS importer (to import posts from an RSS feed), and a Categories and Tags Converter (to convert existing categories to tags or tags to categories as needed).
It is recommended that if you need to import from another platform you should search the WordPress plugin directory. The great thing about WordPress is that developers are consistently keeping up with the needs of users. If another site has gained as much popularity as Blogger or Tumblr, then someone most likely will have a need to import posts or comments from that site into their WordPress blog and someone will have developed a tool to meet that need.
Installation Of The Common Importers
In the WordPress dashboard, find and click the Import link under the Tools panel in the left sidebar. The list of most commonly needed importers along with the Categories and Tags Converter is listed for use.
Click on the hyper-linked name of the importer you need (Blogger is shown in the example image above.).
Review the Install importer pop-up box for a description of what will be imported and note what items will not be imported. This is important as you will want to make a list of what blog content you need to manually add to your WordPress blog after the basic items have been added to your site.
Select the Installation tab in the top of the dialog box. Since you are importing content from other platforms there will be important tips on how to use the selected importer. Each importer will be a little different but they cover the same basic territory.
Before installing any plugin check out the FYI feature area to the right to make sure your version of WordPress is compatible. If all is agreeable, click the Install Now button.
Importing The Content
Once the importer of choice is installed, WordPress automatically downloads, unpacks and installs the plugin. Click Activate Plugin & Run Importer to get started.
As soon as you click WordPress displays a custom import page for the importer that allows you to authorize access to another site if applicable. Give access and fill out the prompts as applicable to your WordPress site.
Important Note On Importing
If you didn’t immediately import the content after installation of the plugin or are importing from more than one site, visit Tools – Import again and click on the desired importer in the list. The page prompting the start of the import process appears with instructions and initial prompts. Unfortunately there is no quick link to begin the import from the plug-in page. Since the Tools panel is under-utilized by most users they don’t even know it is there. Some plugins link you back to the settings area for the particular plugin but the importers do not.
Post Import Reviews
After the import, do not forget to check the content. Verify that links work, images are found, and formatting is as expected. Sometimes you need to re-size embedded videos and images to fit a different WordPress theme.
Hopefully you will be happy with your new WordPress blog. Feel confident that even if a little clean-up work is necessary, the hefty work is done using the appropriate importer tool.