Posted 9 years ago by Devin Reams
In conjunction with WordPress.com VIP Hosting, Crowd Favorite migrated MacDailyNews‘ 28,000 posts and 750,000 comments from ExpressionEngine and re-launched the site on WordPress.com with a new look and feel.
We go way back…
The existing site had been hosted on ExpressionEngine for many years. We used a series of techniques to create a series of XML-based views of the current site content. It was then a matter of programmatically storing the content and handing it over to WordPress.com VIP to help with the heavy lifting. Over 28,000 posts and 750,000 comments were ultimately migrated to WordPress.
Touching up the design
Arguably, MacDailyNews has been serving its purpose for many years with its current design. There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. Since we were already creating a WordPress theme, it made sense to refresh the design. After a handful of rounds of revisions, we decided upon some slight tweaks to the typography to make reading easier and created new styles to the logo and navigation layout to make the site look a bit more modern.
Redirections are necessary
In the process of exporting the existing content, we made sure to capture the existing permalink (URL) of each article as a piece of post meta. We then implement a plugin that captures any requests to WordPress that result in a page not found (e.g.: WordPress doesn’t have a pretty permalink that matches) and we do a lookup to see if that URL happens to be stored in our specific piece of meta. If so, we send a 301 redirect instead of a 404. This makes moving off of old URL structures smooth and painless.
Another refresh step was to help make sure each article could be easily shared. Each article now has that ability through the Facebook Like button, Twitter’s Tweet button, and the AddThis button.