How to transfer your old blog posts to WordPress

Transfering Blog Posts to WordPress

Though WordPress is generally accepted as the word’s most popular blogging platform, there are plenty of other great spaces to host your blog as well.

Each platform offers different benefits and challenges, depending on what your particular needs are – and as those needs change with the growth and evolution of your blog, there may come a time when you’ll be looking to hop from one platform to another, without losing all of the precious posts you’ve already made live.

This topic is particularly timely in the wake of Posterous’ announcement that the site, which was purchased by Twitter in 2011, will be shutting down forever at the end of the month.

In their official statement, Posterous said:

On April 30th, we will turn off and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit… you need to back up your Spaces by April 30.

The announcement sent Posterous users scrambling to find a suitable blogging alternative, with many turning to the reliability and strength of WordPress’ CMS as a solution.

Whether you’re entirely new to WordPress, or you’re an experienced WordPress user with another blog hosted on Posterous or another WP competitor, transferring your previous posts to your WordPress blog doesn’t have to mean hours of copying and pasting between systems. In fact, if you’ve started employing this archaic method stop right this moment. There is an easier way.

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You can transfer your old blog posts to WordPress from all of the major blogging platforms – but since the demise of Posterous is imminent, let’s use Posterous as an example.

Moving your Posterous posts to

  • First, back up your Posterous site. Go to http://posterous/#backup and request a backup of your blog by clicking the ‘Request Backup’ button next to your blog name.
  • Make yourself a cuppa. And maybe a sandwich. If you’ve been blogging with Posterous since the site’s launch in 2008, you’re likely to have a whole lotta content to back up. It could take a while, but be patient.
  • Wait for the confirmation email signaling your backup has been successful.
  • Return to http://posterous/#backup and download the provided zip file (so you have a copy of all of your raw content data).

Now, let’s assume you already have a WordPress blog for the sake of this tutorial… but if you don’t, go ahead and install WordPress yourself or by using one of the available auto-install tools, and set up the basics of your blog. You can read more about installing WordPress here.

  • Log in to your WordPress blog and install the Posterous Importer plugin.
  • Next, go to the Tools tab in the left-side navigation and click Import. You should see a list of various blogging platforms you can choose to import from, including the likes of Tumblr and Blogger.
  • Select Posterous and enter the requested information. When the import is complete, you’ll receive a message to confirm.

Though the Posterous Importer plugin takes almost all of the hard work out of the transfer for you, you’ll still need to go through your migrated posts to check for formatting errors and to tidy up any kooky-looking files, as recommended by WordPress user Anna Connell when I put the question to Twitter.

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Finally, remember that changing to a new blogging platform is a learning experience, and you’ll need to take a little time to get used to the ins and outs of the WordPress CMS if you’re not already familiar with it.

Transferring your old blog from a platform other than Posterous? There are plenty of other importer plugins available for WordPress users, including Tumblr Importer, Blogger Importer, Moveable Type and TypePad Importer, and LiveJournal Importer. For detailed instructions on importing from each platform, check out this post from WordPress Codex.

Nikki is a professional freelance writer and story teller with a passion for the web and technology. She writes for WP Dev Shed and amongst a roster of other clients.

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