The Story of Migrating From Serendipity (s9y) to WordPress

As I posted a couple of days ago, I’ve moved the blog from Serendipity to WordPress. The reasen for this was detailed in the other post, as I simply weren’t too happy about how s9y worked in regards to pingbacks/trackbacks and the general quality of the code. Anyways, this is a general post for those who wish to make the same move, and are wondering about how.

After installing WordPress, delete all the existing posts in the database and reset the AUTO_INCREMENT value (needed if you want to keep your old links working). If you do not do this, your ID values may be skewed by 2 or more. Download and install the Serendipity importer for WordPress. After installing it you’ll have a new option under “Manage” -> Import that enables you to import your posts from s9y. Do the import, and check that your posts got the same IDs as they had under s9y.

Then you’ll have to do some fiddling with the .htaccess file, so that mod_rewrite knows about your old URL scheme. These rules worked for my installation of s9y, your milage may vary (and please, if you find any problems, post a comment or a pingback to your fixes). Add the following lines together with the existing WordPress rules:

RewriteRule ^archives/([0-9]+)\-[a-zA-Z\-_]+.html$ /index.php?p=$1 [L]
RewriteRule ^feeds/index.rss2$ /feed/ [L,R=301]
RewriteRule ^feeds/index.rss1$ /feed/ [L,R=301]
RewriteRule ^feeds/index.rss$ /feed/ [L,R=301]

This should also keep most of the RSS-readers out there happy, but you might want to change the feed addresses if you have several different formats of the RSS available. This does not include the category/ etc. links from s9y, but those will be reindexed at a later time by any search engine anyways. The most important thing is to ensure that people who are looking for your old posts still are able to find them.

6 thoughts on “The Story of Migrating From Serendipity (s9y) to WordPress”

  1. How did you export your Serendipity blog for this? Was it the raw rss feed on the export link or did you do a database dump using your PHP Admin tool?

    I too have been unhappy with Serendipity lately. While it may seem user friendly at first- the ability to change themes, export large files and keep the thing updated to the latest version is a pain unless you are some sort of php master. Which I’m not.

    I can design webpages like a champ, but serendipity and cludgy with this.

    Anyway, I am curious what sort of file you used to import. (I have well over 500 posts, some with extended entries.)

  2. Utopia, how did things turn out? I have been struggling with this for two weeks now, off/on. Not being a developer nor willing to pay 1000s to deal with php, I need to move. Technosailor’s importer did not work at all for me, so I am trying to RSS20 route; here is a link that sounds helpful:

    If this doesn’t work, I will be taking my lumps and pasting/losing all the links and references

  3. If I remember correctly (it’s been a while since I did this), the import plugin reads the posts directory from the database used by s9y. This requires WordPress to be installed on the same host (or you’ll have to export the database through phpMyAdmin and then import it on the same server as WordPress is running from).

    Hope that helps!

  4. I actually don’t agree with your guys… I *am* the technical sort and I find the quality and maintainability of s9y to be quite good. The biggest shortcoming is that it doesn’t have the ability to integrate with memcached… of course even drupal doesnt do this (unless you run pressflow of course).

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