Migrating from WordPress

Dotclear is quite different than WordPress, but offers some features to make life easier for people who want to move from WordPress.

  • WordPress import filter
  • Flexible post URL formatting


This will erase the categories, blogroll, entries and comments on the current blog. You may create a new blog and switch to it if you want to keep this content.

To get started, log into the Dotclear administration interface, click PLUGINS > Import/Export, and click WordPress import. Fill in the first 5 fields to identify your WordPress MySQL database (which you can copy from WordPress' wp-config.php file).

By default, WordPress' first category is "Uncategorized", and every post is in it. In Dotclear, you can just have no category, so the importer provides an option to ignore WP's first.

By design, Dotclear only allows one category per post, while WordPress allows any number; "Import all categories as tags:" & "Prefix such tags with:" make it easy to compensate by switching to tags.

WordPress can apply multiple formatters to each post, but Dotclear only uses one per post, so if you use something non-standard such as Markdown, you might need to specify that in the "Content filters" pop-ups (if you used a mix of formats, you might need to fix the ones which don't match the pop-up). Additionally, you might want to set the preferred formatter for yourself and any other users who write in formats other than Dotclear's default wiki syntax.

Once your content is imported, you may want to change the default URL naming scheme to match WordPress. This is configurable under PLUGINS > about:config, post_url_format.

Users are imported, but each imported user is given a new random password, so they will need to use Dotclear's password reset mechanism to reclaim their accounts.

Import includes posts, comments, users, categories, and blogrolls. It does not include themes or plug-ins, of course, although some themes are available for both WordPress and Dotclear. Notifications URLs ("pingers") are not imported; neither are earlier drafts of posts.

Akismet anti-spam keys can be manually copied into Dotclear's optional Akismet plugin; after installation, it's available under PLUGINS > Antispam.

In addition, there are some gotchas to watch for:

  • Dotclear only supports one category per post.
  • As of this writing, Dotclear can import from a live WordPress (MySQL) database, but not from a WordPress XML export (WXR) or MySQL export, although this is a problem, you could set up a temporary MySQL installation on the Dotclear server and copy the live WordPress database into it to import it into Dotclear.
  • Dotclear requires a post/ URL prefix for posts (in PATH_INFO mode) – WordPress doesn't. You should be able to work around this with URL rewriting, selective redirects for the base WordPress directory prefixes (years, in my case) to redirect to Dotclear URLs with post/ inserted. For example, in Apache httpd:
RedirectPermanent /2008 http://dotclear.org/post/2008

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