Now it’s time to show you, how I resolved the migration from Intense Debate to WordPress. My blog had part of the comments in Blogger and other in the Intense Debate comments system.
Let’s move on with this second part and the motives why I moved out from IntenseDebate:
I’ve explained the reasons of the moving from Blogger to WP and in several other opportunities, the problems I’ve had with Intense Debate like double area of comments, comments lost, mysterious sky-pop up always on top, disappeared an URL field on comment area.
And finally an oldie but it affected recently in the migration: thousands of duplicated comments waiting to be deleted by support, since several months ago for a glitch of the Intense Debate system.
I couldn’t wait anymore (Hey about 6 months waiting the deletions of that duplicated comments is enough, isn’t it?) so I’ve deleted – one by one – by hand, exactly 3553 comments! You can guess all the time involved and how my hand suffered..
Why did I need this paramount step? The reason was to have a healthy and the smallest-possible XML.file to use in the Importation process.
It’d have been easy the Importation to WP from IntenseDebate just install a plugin, run it and done…but nope, again!
Well, enough rants, let’s go to the point.
Moving Comments from Blogger plus Intense Debate system to WordPress.org
– First export from Intense Debate all your comments and you’ll have a XML.file.
– You’ve 2 plugins to Install on your WordPress system to convert your comments:
Of course, I run both and FAILED! Where is the catch? The size of your file!
The IntenseDebate Importer requires a file less than 2 MB. Mine it was bigger, exactly 2.4 MB.
And with the second plug-in, I received the following message:
Uplaoded file was not a valid XML file
There was some error uploading the file
Error Code: 1
Once more another roadblock.
Learning from my experience of splitting the files with the tools used, when I switched from Blogger to WordPress I tried those steps, but in this case, the conversion from XML to WordPress.WXR for splitting them later – didn’t work.
Although we’re speaking of XML files on Blogger and also on IntenseDebate, but it seems they are a little different.
This is a social blog with a foodie point view – for me it’s unacceptable to lose ALL – thousands of ID comments. This is not negotiable – I needed a solution. I contacted IntenseDebate support again to see if they can split the XML file in smaller ones, but they said this was a very risky step that can mess up all WP installation.
Possible solutions suggested by them, all a little complicated and completely uncertain, (anyway thanks to ID support):
1. Increase the setting values in php.ini (e.g. upload_max_filesize = 64M ; and post_max_size = 64M ; ). Many hosts may not allow this.
2. Increase the setting values via .htaccess (e.g. php_value upload_max_filesize 64M and php_value post_max_size = 64M). Many hosts may not allow this.
3. Increase the setting values via ini_set lines in wp-config.php. Talk to your host for the correct values.
4. Ask your hosting provider if they will temporarily increase your uploading maximum.
Anyhow, I tried the risky-way split the XML file! Googleing I found a program to split but it didn’t work. After several days I found another solution here, a XML Document Splitter demo. I’ve downloaded this little program – it was experimental and I could split the file into 10 files. Woohoo!
You can control it by Element Count: 100 means put the number of files you want and look up in some folder your results. I couldn’t control by size or also either the destination folder.
Having smaller files, I tried IntenseDebate Importer again – but it didn’t work with few small files – zero importation.
The second plug-in IntenseDebate XML Importer (Blogger to WordPress) has an important feature: you can run a simulation before truly importing the comments. And after testing several simulations, I saw that most of the comments would be imported.
So here the result is: the majority of the comments are included today – it WORKED and without potential disasters.
Just with the last tiny-file of my 10 files I got an error in the simulation, hence I didn’t import that file in particular – just in case! and I restored the comments by hand of the last file, on some posts.
Ending the importation of posts more comments of Blogger and IntenseDebate into WP, you should retain your PR and Alexa rank, if you redirect correctly your old posts in Blogger.
Conclusion: On both migrations of comments from Blogger and Intense Debate I lost comments, a lot tough. For some key posts for me, I’ve rebuild them one by one, because those posts must have their comments. If you find in archives some post with zero comments – you know the motive!
Immediate WordPress Installation Plugin Takeaway
I want to share these advices, after just installed WP on your host, because I’ve been bombarded almost immediately, really in a blink of an eye! with floods of spam, spammy pingbacks & trackbacks.
In barely less than 24 hours, I had tens and tens of spam coming, coming, …said coming? and it’s impossible to focus in the strict transition while you see a spammy-river in the middle of your blog.
Even you decide to start the process to import your post / comments, I recommend installing these plugins to minimize lot of noise, they aren’t strictly related to the migration, but they will save time and future headaches.
It’ll almost stop automatic spam and reduce to a few randomly. I suggest setting the “Maximum number of URLs allowed in comment text” to “1” and label as spam, because lot of spammers put several links in the comment area.
You’re seeing in action, on the comment area, because you need to check the box “Confirm you are NOT a spammer” (default message). Bots can’t do it till now and hope for long time 😉
The other “Maximum number of words allowed in name field” I think is correct no more than 4 or 5, useful if your using KeywordLuv plugin also.
I received tons of spam-trackbacks few days after installed WP! Filtering them if they are valid trackbacks or not, can be time consuming. So, getting to the point: read the article of Justin on how to prevent wordpress trackback spam.
In – all – those cases when I received trackbacks were spam, so this is paramount to cut the spam coming. After installed the Simple Trackback Validation plugin, with the option of delete – I never received more spammy ones.
If you still are confused about pingbacks & trackbacks and you wonder, what the hell the difference is, well Ana explains it: trackbacks-vs-pingbacks. In that way, you can have a clearer landscape when you receive them and how to sort out the spammy ones.
I needed this plugin urgently, when I was editing my old posts. Why? In Blogger you can edit all your post, publish again and your feed doesn’t change, but in WordPress isn’t the case. This is a flaw of the WP’s pinging system.
Every time, you change something in a post and press “Update”, you ping everybody! As I like to share useful links to other blogs or sites in most of my posts, every change was several pings!
Really hope that those pings services didn’t include me in a black list for that motive – I’ll find out as soon as starting posting regularly….It was strange to see on my stats people editing pings – it was a tech-nightmare …not precisely a kitchen-nightmare of the Chef Gordon Ramsey program.
Back on track! Therefore after you’ve imported your posts, you’ll see tons of broken links (sorry for the bad news), even with other plugins trying to fix them, you’ll need to touch by hand many of them..so the problem of pinging will arise.
The method to obtain the plugin is a little non-conventional; you need to subscribe to their newsletter and follow their instructions. In settings, I suggest to have disabled “Enable pinging” until you consider that you’ll not need to edit more posts or links. Also in “Limit excessive pinging in short time” set it to 30 mins or more, to avoid “over-pinging”.
They last shocking pearl with the ping spamming: In my case, I was one day editing many posts, with multiple links to other blogs, then other bloggers received those pings.
Reactions: I know some deleted them, other consulted me if this was ok but others…directly labelled me as spam, and if they were using Akismet, I guess now I was labelled as spammer for that motive.
Few comments done on other blogs after the incident and in most of cases my comment, after press submit vanished immediately – sign of sent to spam arggg.
Using Akismet plugin? Please take a look my comments in the future and if I end in the spam folder, please put me on white list or similar. The worst scenario if you’re using Akismet and it’s wrong settled – my comments can be deleted! automatically even you can notice. Check out Gail’s article why Akismet is deleting comments.
Now with the MPO plugin installed I’m safer to avoid future episodes, but I need to fix, still, the Akismet – issue…I contacted Akismet’s support explaining the situation and they told me that it was fixed. I’ll see as time goes by…
I’ve gained, unwanted experience, in my move from Blogger + Intense Debate Comments to WordPress.org that allows me today, to guide others in similar cases.
- Have you had some of the importer problems mentioned?
- Have you found different solutions?
- Share your experience, your success or failures in the process – I want hearing from you!