Migrating Blog from SPACES to WordPress

Early this month Microsoft told us that the days of our Blogs on SPACES.LIVE.COM are numbered. They are closing SPACES.LIVE.COM in March 2010. Fortunately all was not lost as Microsoft had made arrangements to migrate our blogs to the well-known blogging platform of WordPress.Com. The tools necessary for this migration were made available on the SPACES site. Though it appeared to be a straight forward process I decided to be cautious and approached it in following step by step process.

  • The first step was to get familiar with WordPress. Getting started was easy. Just choose a User Name and register at WordPress.com. I created a sample blog on the site.  WordPress presents you with a bewildering array of choices and menus. The post creation/edit screen is very minimalist with a tiny area to enter your material. I remembered Windows Live Writer 2011 and switched to it.
  • Live Writer 2011 supports WordPress blogs. I registered my newly created blog and created a sample post. I published it on WordPress and switched to it to try out all the options available. The layout “Theme” scheme of WordPress is very flexible.
  • After playing around with my blog with all the options available on WordPress I developed enough confidence that it is indeed a workable and better alternative to SPACES.

Migrating Dnyankosh Blog

  • I decided to migrate my Dnyankosh blog first since it had a small number of posts.  I downloaded a backup to my hard disk before attempting the migration. This consists of all the images embedded in the posts and the posted matter in html format. All photos and videos on SkyDrive are not backed up. As an additional backup, I retrieved all posts from my bold through Live Writer and saved them my hard disk as drafts.
  • With backup done I proceeded to migrate my Dnyankosh blog to WordPress. The complete process took less than 5 minutes as I had about 19 posts only. Now that the blog was on WordPress it had to be customised and checked for transfer accuracy.
  • Customisation involved choosing Theme, Widgets, Privacy settings etc. I used Live Writer 2011 for making modifications to posts to adopt to the new layout. These were mainly changes in Fonts, Table Widths, Text alignments etc. The Live Writer 2011 provides two useful links for inserted Photo Albums from SkyDrive – View Slide Show and Download All.  I reinserted all Photo Albums to get these links in my blogs.
  • WordPress uses Serif fonts by default. I changed the fonts to San Serif for the posts I modified.
  • Apart from this no other changes were required for the migrated blog. However without Live Writer 2011 it would have been an impossible task.

Migrating KelkarFamily Blog

  • Now that one blog was successfully migrated to WordPress I had enough confidence to tackle the much bigger KelkarFamily blog. The difference was mainly in number of posts and number of embedded Photo albums from SkyDrive.
  • After taking a backup I skipped the earlier step of saving drafts of the items posted and went straight to transferring the blog to WordPress from SPACES. The transfer was actually very quick taking less than 10 minutes.
  • The customising took time as I had to prepare a composite collage of all my family members for the blog header.
  • The relinking of Photo Albums from SkyDrive went smoothly, though it took time.
  • Both the blogs are now online on WordPress at http://kelkarfamily.wordpress.com/ and https://dnyankosh.wordpress.com/

Conclusions

  • Overall the WordPress experience is much better than SPACES.
  • The Editing and Posting tools provided by WordPress are totally inadequate. Use of Windows Live Writer 2011 is highly recommended. Most of the work I had to do while migrating would not have been possible without Live Writer 2011. Also you can keep a backup of all your posts on your computer when you use Live Writer 2011.
  • WordPress provides only limited storage space for free accounts. Using SkyDrive with 25GB free storage space in combination with WordPress provides an unbeatable combination for your Blog – Best of Both The Worlds!
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