Aaron Sumner


How I migrated my blog to Jekyll

As I mentioned last night, I’ve moved this blog from using WordPress on the backend to Jekyll, my new favorite way to publish on the web. Jekyll’s made web publishing fun for me again. It’s a throwback in many ways to the ways we used to do things back in the early days of the web–lots of command line and text editors–while providing modern conveniences like an intelligent templating system and local server for development. If you’re frustrated with WordPress security or performance issues, or think that other content management system offerings are more complex than they need to be (or at least more complex than you need them to be) I recommend giving Jekyll a shot.

I’ve been using Jekyll to publish some sites for work for a month or two now, but those were fresh sites that didn’t have content to carry into a new system. For this blog, I had posts and comments to move over, ideally in a way that would preserve as much content as possible. Henrik Nyh wrote a good post on migrating from WordPress to Jekyll that provided much of the detail of the migration process for me, but I learned a few things on my own:

Markdown oddities after import

After importing content from the WordPress database, my posts with images or other embedded media in them caused Jekyll to error out when trying to generate my site. I was able to resolve these, at least in the short term, by changing a given post’s markup to HTML. I’m not religious about my markup/markdown methods so I doubt I’ll change this unless necessary.

This one wasn’t a big deal—the default permalink structure for Jekyll is different than how I had my permalinks set up in WordPress. This conflicted with the comments I’d transferred over to Disqus (and, theoretically, any standings I had on the search engines). Easy fix: Make a note of your WordPress permalink settings, and edit the permalink value in your Jekyll _config.yml file accordingly. In my case this was just a matter of setting it to

/:year/:month/:title

I’m not sure what you need to do if you’re not using search-friendly URLs in your blog, though.

To do

I still have things to sort out as I have the time:

Anything else you think I should do?

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