Migrating Sigg3.net to Drupal

Finally, I’ve started on the smallest baby-steps towards migrating the entire Sigg3.net empire to Drupal! And why not? The leader of the American Empire‘s on Drupal as well! You may think Drupal’s a bit over the top for a blog, but you’re only seeing the top of the iceberg. I’m like, seeing, the whole of it. It’s like right there on my annual bills from my hosting company.

So yesterday I sat down with my GNU/Linux Mint powered laptop (I’m just testing it) and installed LAMP, step by step, in accordance with what info my hosting company and Netcraft could provide about my server. Things gone changed on me. Today you need to know the difference between Apache and Apache2. I’ve downloaded an entire copy of my blog’s database phpmyadmin, and things gone changed on me there as well. It’s all user-friendly and stuff. Of course, with the knowledge that my host provides backups in case of emergency, I feel more adventurous as well. Just for the heck of it, I downloaded the entire database into an Open Document Spreadsheet that I opened in LibreOffice. That’s just weird.

My plan is this:

  1. Setup an offline duplicate of Sigg3.net on my laptop for testing 
  2. Remove custom fields from my b2 database 
  3. Migrate to WordPress version 2.1.3 
  4. Upgrade step-by-step to current 
  5. Find the easiest possible way to migrate from WP to Drupal 
  6. Test, test and test 
  7. Salvage permalinks so that they stay truly permanent 
  8. Perform the above on the online Sigg3.net 
  9. Bask in the glory of Drupal 7 goodness* 

* Not sure if it’s too early to go for Drupal 7 just yet, but since I’ll be starting with just the Sigg3.net blog first, I can change to a version 6 variant. But then I’m just postponing the inevitable.

None of the above would have ever worked without Michael Park and Aral Balkan who have migrated to WordPress years ago using the steps above. And of course, I’m standing on the shoulders of giants here: Drupal, WordPress and b2 just being the start of it. You need to count in both GNU and Linux, the Apache foundation, the MySQL project, PHP and the list goes on. It is true that most of the Internet would not exist without Free and Open Source Software. But Sigg3.net would not exist AT ALL without it.

But this is just the beginning, and I’ll keep you posted on how my offline work progresses. There are three things in particular I want to preserve for future generations: my posts, your comments, and the permanent links. The rest though very helpful and convenient is not data I would kill myself over. Keep your fingers crossed!

Please note that I will try and keep things more or less identical to what they are now for the time being. As seasoned web developers will tell you, a migration period is NOT the right time to test out your new design.

2 thoughts on “Migrating Sigg3.net to Drupal”

  1. Actually, step 6 should be repeated after every completed step starting with step 1. And I sincerely hope you’ll remove all non-data tables in your markup.

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