How to Transfer Intense Debate to WordPress with File Size Error plus WP Plugins for Immediate Installation

How to Transfer Intense Debate to WordPress with File Size Error 2MB Maximum Picture

I exposed how I solved the importation from Blogger into WordPress with authorization error on my last article.
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.


How to Transfer Intense Debate to WordPress with File Size Error 2MB Maximum Picture


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

– First export from Intense Debate all your comments and you’ll have a XML.file.


IntenseDebate - XML Export Tool Image


– You’ve 2 plugins to Install on your WordPress system to convert your comments:

IntenseDebate Importer

IntenseDebate XML Importer (Blogger to WordPress)

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
Please Retry

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!


XML Document Splitter Demo Picture


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.


Simulation IntenseDebate XML Importer (Blogger to WordPress) Before Importing Picture


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.


GASP: GrowMap Anti Spambot Plugin

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.


Simple Trackback Validation with Topsy Blocker WordPress Plugin

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.


MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer

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 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 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!


Part 1:  Guide How to Import Blogger to WordPress with Error in Your Google Account and Can’t Authorize

Technorati Tags: blogging, intensedebate, wordpress


    Gera is a techie & foodie passionate about how to succeed in social media. He focuses also on successful blogging tips and food connections. You can connect with him on Google +. Subscribe to his Free WPulsar Newsletter about WordPress Plugin & Theme Reviews, Blogging and Social Media.

    Kristi Hines

    Wow, it sounds like you had to overcome a lot of issues to get your site here, but I’m glad they all worked out. This should come in handy for anyone else who runs into similar problems – great documentation!


      Hi Kristi,

      Yes, I haven’t had a smooth experience with the migration, first from Blogger and then the extra steps with Intense Debate to WordPress.
      But finally I’m here in WP, with the blog up and running 🙂
      I expect that these two technical posts will help other bloggers with similar issues.

      Thanks for stopping by!


    Hey Gera what a ton of work! Thanks for the plugin list. I didn’t have MaxBlogPress but I do now thanks to you. Really happy things are finally working for you, missed you 🙂


      Hi Kathy,

      I’ve been working a lot behind the scenes but happy I ended, at least, that part.

      If you edit frequently posts this plugin MPO can be very useful 🙂

      Thanks for coming by!


        It will be most helpful to me with the way I edit and WP pings! I also use WP Optimize to help keep my database and post edits cleaned up.


          I use also WP Optimize – very useful to cut the size of the DB and post reviews. I didn’t mention in these cases, because I only put the plugins related to the first stages of the transition.


    Whew!! what a mess you had to straighten out. It goes to show how loyal you are not only to your blog, but also to your commenters. Most of them will appreciate all of the hard work you put in, I know that sure I do. Thanks for sharing the story Gera. I’m glad it’s all behind you now and I’m sure you won’t regret the move to WordPress. Cheers!


      Hi Ileane,

      Many people wondered why it took so long – here there are all the technical reasons of this long delay..

      If people take time to comment on the blog, I needed to try my best to recover most the comments as a way of respect to them.
      It was complicated the move to WordPress, but it’s evident all the benefits when everything goes ok 🙂

      Thanks for all your feedback!

    Kevin Martineau

    Hi Gera:

    Wow! You did a lot of work and research to make your switch from blogger to wordpress!

    I still have not been successful in trying got migrate my ID comments to my new WordPress blog.

    My issue is not the size of the file as it is only 1.5 MB. I am not sure what the problem is.



      Hi Kevin,

      I tried to cover all the aspects before moving, but many different and unexpected problems appeared, most of them luckily solved.

      It’s a pity that you’ve still the issue to migrate your IntenseDebate comments to WordPress blog.

      – Have you contacted to Intense Debate support to analyze that file and why isn’t working?

      – Try to split it in small files and test some of them, perhaps some can work. I noticed that small files often worked better than bigger ones, even without overcome the max limit of 2 MB.

      Other option, in my case it didn’t work but perhaps was the size of my file, is to convert it from XML to WordPress.WXR and later import like to You can use that application (explained in detailed in the first part).

      Kevin, let me know how it goes with some of those options!


    Hi Barbara,

    Yes you avoided those potential problems – much better for you 🙂
    In my case the normal transition was “spiced” up with those extras, that turned out in an explosive long delayed migration.

    I expect some of these solutions will help other bloggers.

    Enjoy an excellent weekend!

    Fran the Online Writer

    Hi Gera

    Wonderful blog you have. You just started it and have added so much information here. Traffic and web link is awesome.

    You have done a lot of hardwork for yourself and your commentators too.

    Have a happy Easter Sunday

    FRan A


      Hi Fran,

      Thanks so much! I tried to put all the information about my importation with the problems I’ve faced. I know it took more than expected, but well finally it is ended.

      I can dedicate my time to other tasks – also tech ones – that were programmed before my transition.

      Have also a great Easter Sunday!

    Suresh Khanal

    Uhh! The deep breadth!

    It’s really a pain process and feels sorry to read all those hurdles you’ve been through. But Congratulations at the same time, for being success to fix everything and for the great learning you’ve earned throughout the process.

    It become a good lesson to everybody and the post stands as a great resource. Thumb Up!


      Hi Suresh,

      Really it was a long process full of hurdles, first all the complications with the importation from Blogger to WordPress with the access – error and later with the Intense Debate problem of the maximum limit of the file. Ufff now solved.

      Many thanks for your visit and enjoy a great week 🙂


    Yes it was a lot of work and with this tutorial, I expect to help others in the same situation – Thanks for stopping by!


    Thanks Johanna!

    I know it took more than expected, but the issues weren’t planned too. I hope that the 2 articles related to the transitions can be useful to others.


    No It’s possible the transfer, the only point is that if you’ve luck in few days is over, but if not, here are my solutions for that cases. Thanks for the visit David!

    Tony McGurk

    I have just installed the GASP & TB Validation plugins so hopefully that’ll keep the little rotters out. I was once using Intense Debate but kept having problems with comments disappearing so removed it & stuck with the WordPress standard comment form.


      Hi Tony!

      Great you’ve installed both plug-ins, you’ll notice the difference. Sometimes human spammers appear, but robots practically are stopped.

      Moving out of ID is the best you can do, all the comments will in your own files and not out there.

      I appreciate your visit and comment 🙂

        Tony McGurk

        Well I got home from work this afternoon & not a single spambot or unwanted trackback link to be seen anywhere, I’m impressed.


          Before those plugins I’ve tons of spams – now is very few like your case 🙂 These are great news!


    Wow, this is a “bible” for anyone who suffered the same problem. I know I did when I moved from Blogger to WordPress about a year ago. Sadly, there was nothing to get information from and so within the process I lost a lot of comments. Problem was I shifted from standard blogger commenting system to JS and then to ID.. not sure what I was doing that time 🙂 Great, and if I ever run into someone who needs the heads up about this, I’ll make sure to send them over here.


      I followed your tutorial to migrate to WP and was very useful! Thanks Francisco!
      Indeed is linked in the first part of this series.

      But I know things can not turn out as planned. Your case, was my case with several different platforms each adding more problems.

      On my case in particular, both transitions were out of plans…and this complicate the ending, delaying of all the tasks pending. I lost also lot of comments, on Blogger and in InteseDebate, but I knew before I did it – this was the cost we needed to pay for being on this superb WP 🙂

    Mitch Ribak

    I have also suffered in hands of Intense Debate but luckily that website was pretty new and had not too many comments. I have had better experience with the WordPress comments and Disqus. Though, Disqus sometimes, also seems too heavy to me.

    Comments are closed