SEB makes the jump to WordPress.

After many hours of work and some 22 export files with an average of 300 entries per file (highest was 500, lowest was 150), I have successfully migrated SEB from ExpressionEngine to WordPress. I will be writing a post about how I did this which will include the templates a I used and details on all the problems that cropped up along the way. It’s far from perfect, we’re currently missing approximately 323 entries and 4,471 comments that I’ll have add in later and there were all sorts of snags along the way, but it works so long as you’re dedicated to the process. This blog is eight years old and has now transitioned from MovableType to ExpressionEngine to WordPress and there was a fair amount of crap in the older entries that needed fixing along the way.

Expect the theme to change on you over the next few days as I look for something I feel good about to use until I can find the time to learn how to whip up my own WP theme. Also if you’ve ever submitted an entry when SEB was under ExpressionEngine then you already have an account created under WordPress. The trouble is that WP doesn’t seem to have bothered to import your email addresses into your account so I’ll have to go through and edit all 91 of you to put in your email address. The account was created using whatever your Screen Name under EE was, not what you used to login to EE. So DOF, for example, already has an account as decrepitoldfool. If you think you have an account already try using the recover password option with the email address you registered with as that’s what I’ll be putting in so you can recover your passwords.

Another thing you’ll have to do is resubscribe to any entries you want to receive comment notifications from. WP doesn’t have a native comment subscription option so I’ve added a plugin that gives that functionality. You do have the option of subscribing to an entries’ RSS feed as an alternative if you don’t want to have to leave a comment to subscribe.

I’ll probably be adding more plugins over the days to come as I figure out what other functionality would be useful. If you have suggestions on themes or plugins you think would make a good fit, let me know. Or if you have an account already and want me to put in a different email address, again, let me know.

86 thoughts on “SEB makes the jump to WordPress.

  1. It IS an interesting change of pace for SEB, ain’t it? I figured I’d lure people in with a false sense of serenity.

    Actually, I started with this theme because it has a shit load of options that can be changed. It may be possible for me to make it look close to the old site without ever editing a template file directly.

  2. Woot!

    And the theme is sooooo very purty. Actually kinda like the black print on white background as a change in pace. Upon consideration, “raspberries” is an apropos theme for SEB.

    (Wait, the raspberries are gone. Well, there were raspberries there.)

    And, yes, one of the cool things about WP is how easy it is to play around with a theme without actually getting into the code. In fact, with a well-designed theme, you never have to.

    You know you can do the category and date archives as drop-downs, right? Just to save some precious sidebar space.

  3. I miss the black and the orange. Flowers and “Stupid Evil Bastard” don’t really match up.

  4. This is just a temporary theme, folks. Something to get us started. Hell, it’s probably one of several temporary themes I’ll go through before I figure out how to make my own.

    ***Dave, I can’t seem to locate the raspberries theme. I have figured out how to do the archives and categories as drop downs, but I have space to spare at the moment. At least until I get around to putting other stuff in the sidebar.

    Good news: I found the missing 223 entries and got them added in. Though somehow we’re still missing about 50 comments. Not sure where they got lost from, but if I can find them I’ll tack them on.

  5. Double dipping ’cause Neil snuck in on me. Yes, your account login uses whatever you had for a screen name under EE. Alas WP doesn’t allow editing of user names by default, but I have found a plugin that will allow me to change user names. Which I plan to use as I’m not keen on leaving the default of “admin” for my account. So if you want my to modify your user name at all then just let me know and I’ll adjust it accordingly.

    Now I’m going to play around with this theme a bit as it offers all manner of ways to customize it. I may even get it somewhat close to how SEB used to look.

  6. Trying out the Mystique theme. I like that it has a method of quoting people you’re replying to, but it’s a tad thin for my tastes.

  7. Well that’s sort of scary…

    I wasn’t prompted for a password anywhere and there is my picture next to my post.

  8. BTW, I don’t know anything about this technical stuff, but my wife says if you want to avoid problems down the line check out these two WP plugins:

    Bad Behavior

    She says they’ll speed up browsing for your visitors and reduce bandwith problems for you.

  9. Seph, WP uses Gravatars which are based on your email address. You must have set one up awhile back. Also, you technically have an account pre-registered here. I’ve put your email address into it so you can use the password recovery to change the password and gain access to it.

    Buffy, thanks for the suggestions. The folks at EngineHosting tell me that I shouldn’t use any caching plugins at all as they’ve already load balanced the servers to take into account any WP installs running on their servers. The Bad Behavior plugin is one I plan to look into more closely now that I’m running on a platform it’s native to, though so far the Akismet plugin is working pretty well on its own.

  10. It can take upwards of five minutes or so for it to change. They’re using a distributed server network these days to keep outages down to a minimum, but it means changing your Gravatar takes longer.

  11. Have fun playing around – it’s a lot easier for me to read, though – the dark background is not as legible on the iPhone I use during the workday.

  12. 1. The main problem with threaded comments is figuring out what’s been added since the last time you visited. I find I don’t care for them much, though I have them added in.

    2. There were raspberries in the header picture. I swear. They seem to rotate (the pictures, not the raspberries).

    3. I’ve not found a need for WP-Cache. I’d wait on it until you notice performance problems. I’ve also not found I need anything spammy more than Akismet and Registration/Re-CAPTCHA for unregistered commenters. The plug-ins I use are at

  13. Hell, I’m just hoping this doesn’t play holy hell with me having to worry about switching up with my other, more mundane online identities.

  14. I love flowers: but this is just so wrong for the SEB. Unless you were able to choose special flower pictures: like this: Aconitum (pronounced /ˌækəˈnaɪtəm/ A-co-ní-tum[1]), known as aconite, monkshood, wolfsbane, leopard’s bane, women’s bane, Devil’s helmet or blue rocket.
    I do like that you’re using the reCaptcha program.

  15. Well we are all under on roof again. I kinda like Word Press so far but then I don’t know dodlely squat about it yet. You keep working on it and I’ll keep asking dumb questions about it and together we’ll get it done.

  16. In my experience, threaded comments get really awkward if they’re heavily used. There’s only so much nesting a template can take gracefully. If it’s a per-user setting in the profile options, then go for it. Otherwise, meh.

  17. double-dipping.

    More lost features: Comment edits. BBCode/pmCode. Image tags in comments. Ignore user.

  18. Joy, I’ll be writing up an entry on the process. As far as I could find there isn’t a plugin that’ll do it. I used a couple of custom templates in EE to export everything into a WordPress WXR format file as it allowed me to transfer not only the categories, but the tags I had been using from the Solspace Tag module. It’s not exactly easy, but it’s not overly difficult to do.

    Moloch, you don’t have an account yet. You’ll need to create one. Accounts were only created for people who had submitted an entry under EE, not for commenters.

    MM, why would it do that?

    Susan, the pictures will be changing as soon as I find something else to put in there. The logo will as well. Part of the reason I chose this template is because it has an amazing amount of easy customizing built into it by the theme authors. It’s possible to change just about everything without ever touching the template files. It’s a bit overwhelming how customizable it is so it’ll take me a bit, but things will become a bit more SEB-ish in time.

    Momma, that approach has worked pretty well so far.

    Elwed, threaded is an all or nothing option. We’ll leave it off for now as the consensus seems to be to avoid it. And I’ll be looking into ways to restore some of that lost functionality. For example, there are at least three plugins that allow users to edit their own comments for a short period of time. Once I figure out which of the three I’d like to use I’ll be adding it in. I also have found about a half-dozen BBCode plugins. I’ve not found anything that replicates the ignore function yet and I’m checking into how to allow images in comments.

  19. Let me know what you come up with for editing comments.

    The IMG tag restriction might require editing the templates themselves, unfortunately — though different template sets have different ways of handing it. I’d recommend keeping the template updates to a minimum, since they complicate installing WP updates.

    I don’t recall having seen the ignore capability anywhere. Considering how it would need to be implemented, it would be a substantial tweak.

  20. Yes, I just installed the WP Ajax Edit Comments plugin by Ajay D’Souza. Not only does it allow users to edit their comments, but it adds a lot of options for the Administrator as well such as the ability to move the comment to a different thread if it was posted to the wrong one. You can choose whether unregistered users can edit or just registered and you can set how long they have to do so. I’ve bumped the time to 15 minutes.

    As for the img tag in comments, according to the folks who make the Atahualpa 3 theme I’m using, that’s a function of WP’s comment filter and not the theme. In the little digging I’ve done so far it seems WordPress uses the kses XHTML filter to determine what allowable code can be used. It appears I can either edit that file by hand to allow additional codes in comments or there appears to be several plugins that’ll also work.

  21. And now I’ve installed Urban Giraffe’s plugin ‘HTML Purified’ which allows the admin to define what HTML tags are filtered. It should now be possible to put images into comments.

    Edited to add: And, as a bonus, it allows you to use BBCode style tags as well.

  22. You can always just use Sandbox and then create a CSS or alter a CSS theme for it. That is what I do for our family site…easy peasy to change too as sometimes you just want to change one little thing. It can also be temporary until you figure out how to do exactly what you want to do with it.

    I didn’t read all the comments so I don’t know if anyone has said that yet. 🙂

  23. Testing One! Two!… I couldn’t get it to recognize my old user name so I re-registered… Well, I may have just completely misunderstood what I was supposed to do.

  24. If WP doesn’t do ignore, there’s always greasemonkey. The only question is whether to use jQuery (slow page redraws) or do it the hard way (insta-redraw) 🙂

    Oh yeah, EMOTICONS.

  25. Well Moloch, if you’re not happy I will totally understand if you decided not to hang around here anymore.

    Sandy, I’ll take a look at that theme as well, though I must say this one is stunning in it’s flexibility.

    Brooks, don’t think it made an account for you. Did you ever submit anything to be published under EE? Only folks who had a published entry got accounts made for them.

  26. Hmmm. The WP-Ajax-Comment-Edit plugin is making things jumpy so I’m turning it off for now. Let me know if anyone notices any problems. I’ll try one of the lesser fancy comment editors in a bit.

  27. Sandy said she had a couple of errors while posting a comment. Anyone else noticing any problems?


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