Import a Vox blog into WordPress (or almost anything else)

Six Apart is closing the doors on Vox, a blogging service they launched three and a half years ago. You have until September 30th to export your content from Vox, or you’ll lose access to it. Yikes!

They helpfully included a link to WordPress.com’s importer help page. WordPress.com has a Vox importer. What isn’t immediately obvious is that you can use WordPress.com as an intermediary on your way to a final destination. That is, you can import your Vox blog to a temporary WordPress.com blog, and then do an export from WordPress.com. Now you’ll have gold: a WordPress export file. You can take this file and import it into a standalone WordPress site, or a plethora of other blogging tools or services.

I recommend that everyone who has Vox content they want to save do this. Mark your WordPress.com blog as private if you don’t want that to be its final destination — just do it (and soon!) so that you have a copy of your site in a useful and portable format.

Tip for merging two WordPress blogs

WordPress’ built-in export/import functionality makes it a snap to merge two blogs into one. You simply export from the blog you’re going to retire, import into the blog you’re going to keep, and then forward the old domain to the new one.

Here’s my tip: do not select an existing blog user to “own” the imported content! Instead, create a new temporary user just for that content. Here is why: the imported posts may need some manual cleanup, like integration into the new blog’s category structure, or adding/removing tags. By importing into a new author, you’re creating a way to view only the posts imported in that batch. Simply go to the Users → Edit screen and then click the number of posts next to the temporary import author. Boom, you’re looking at only the imported posts. Then, as you clean up their categories and tags using 2.7’s bulk edit or quick edit features, you can simultaneously reassign the posts to their proper author. Once there are no more posts for that temporary import author, delete that author, and you’re done!