Migrating Wordpress to Nikola

I recently migrated three sites from a self hosted Wordpress installation to Nikola. Nikola is a static site and blog generator written in Python.

Although I use both reStructuredText and Markdown, I decided to migrate my Wordpress content to Markdown.

This is by no means an exhaustive Wordpress to Nikola migration guide but it should provide enough clues for anyone else wanting to do the same. The following was done on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

Export the Wordpress content. Tools -> Export -> All Content

Use xmllint to find any errors in the Wordpress XML export and fix them.

Nikola 5

UPDATE! I’ve added the instructions for install Nikola 5 since fist publishing this post.

Install Nikola 5 in a virtualenv using virtualenvwrapper.

cd ~
sudo apt-get install libxslt1-dev libxml2-dev libjpeg62-dev python2.6-dev
wget http://nikola-generator.googlecode.com/files/nikola-5.zip
unzip ~/nikola-5.zip
mkvirtualenv -i markdown -r ~/nikola-5/requirements.txt --use-distribute nikola-5
cd ~/nikola-5
python setup.py install

Nikola 4

Install Nikola 4.0.3, in a virtualenv using virtualenvwrapper. Nikola 4.0.3 spits deprecation warnings with doit>=0.16.1 hence the use of sed.

cd ~
sudo apt-get install libxslt1-dev libxml2-dev libjpeg62-dev python2.6-dev
wget http://nikola-generator.googlecode.com/files/nikola-4.0.3.zip
unzip ~/nikola-4.0.3.zip
sed -i 's/>=0\.16/==0\.16/' ~/nikola-4.0.3/requirements.txt
mkvirtualenv -i markdown -r ~/nikola-4.0.3/requirements.txt --use-distribute nikola
cd nikola-4.0.3
python setup.py install

Import the Wordpress content.

nikola import_wordpress wordpress.linted.xml

Use html2text to convert the HTML markup in new_site/posts/*.wp to real Markdown.

Use the Disqus Wordpress Plug-in to migrate Wordpress comments to Disqus.

If required, generate a list of the Wordpress URLs for Nikola redirections.

grep "<link>" wordpress.linted.xml | sed -e 's/<link>//g' -e 's/<\/link>//g'

I migrated from several sub-domains to one top-level and the Wordpress URLs I was using can’t be presevered with Nikola. I use a combination of Nikola redirects and nginx configuration to handle the redirections.

At this point the bulk of the migration is done. I tweaked the Nikola conf.py to use .md files instead of .wp, added some assets to the Nikola files directory, configured deployments and updated the theme. I also decided to axe some obsolete blog posts.

Migrating to Disqus has been very frustrating and although my comments have now been migrated the Migrate Threads has yet reflect the new URLs of my posts. There is no visibility of what, if anything, is happening when you execute the Disqus URL Mapper. This is not a Nikola issue.

I am extremely happy with Nikola itself and it has proved itself flexible and I can now capture my notes in a familiar format and in a familiar environment, Python. Next steps are to integrate Nikola with Dropbox so I can publish from any device with ease and add a search facility.


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