Migrating from Drupal 6 to WordPress

It’s been long overdue.  I’ve been hating Drupal for several years now, but I had cobbled together my own podcasting/class platform using CCK and Views in Drupal, and it just seemed like to big a job to migrate.  But Drupal forced my hand by making there be no easy upgrade path to Drupal 7 (and now 8 is about to come out).

So I followed this handy guide from Another Cup of Coffee on migrating Drupal sites to WordPress.

Some challenges and things I learned:

  • Following the guide:
    • The guide has directional (curly) quotation marks in it, so you’ll have to fix the queries before running them.
    • Even if you want to have custom table prefixes, stick with wp_ for the migration, and then change the prefixes.  Otherwise, you’ll have to manually fix every single query.  Same with the database names.
  • Migrating the Drupal vocabulary was the hardest part.  In the end, it would have been easier to simply convert everything to a tag and then use the WordPress Plugin Term Management Tools to turn the individual terms I wanted back into categories.
    • As I did it, converting the vocabulary probably took four hours, while the rest of the migration took about 30 minutes.
    • When I finally got done, the categories were associated with the correct posts, and they were available to assign to new posts in the author screen, but you couldn’t see any of them in the Categories screen in the dashboard.
    • To solve the problem, I had to set the parent value of all the categories to 0, and then re-assign the parent relationships in the dashboard.
    • Term Management Tools is very inconspicuous.  The only way you’ll know it’s installed is if you click the bulk actions drop down in Tag or Categories in the Dashboard.  It will let you merge multiple terms together or convert from Tag to Category or Vice Versa.  It will also let you set the parent term.
  • WordPress and Nginx do NOT get along well when WordPress is installed in a directory. The main site will work just fine, but wp-admin will likely generate infinite redirect loops.  I installed it that way so that it would be alongside my Drupal installation for migration purposes.  Typing wp-admin/index.php should prevent the redirect loop.
  • If you upgrade WordPress and get a completely white, blank screen, you probably erased the default theme or didn’t install the new default theme.
  • The Fruitful theme is awesome.  Their demo website’s humor is also a nice touch.
  • By default, WordPress menus only let you add (static) pages, categories, links, and custom.  If you click the screen options at the top, it will let you add posts, tags, and formats.
    • Actually, if you’re thinking to yourself, “WordPress should be able to do…why isn’t that an option?  Look in the screen options at the top.  A lot of functionality is hidden by default (I guess so as not to overwhelm the casual user).
  • If you want to have a hierarchy of pages, using WordPress pages is much easier than trying to configure nesting categories. For example, if I want patheyman.com/nursing/patho-pharm-1/intro
    • create a page (not post) for nursing
    • then create a page for patho-pharm-1 and have its parent be nursing
    • then create a page for intro and have its parent be patho-pharm-1
    • You might need to preview or publish the page to get the path to “take”, but it will be vastly easier than getting subcategories to work right.
    • Another perk of using pages rather than posts for this job is that pages have an order attribute, so you can sort them.
    • The only downside to this technique is that your parent page won’t automatically link to the child pages, but there is a workaround for that.
    • Making nested drop down menus out parent/child pages is trivial.
    • You’ll probably want breadcrumbs for your pages too, and that can be accomplished by plugins or by modifying your template.
  • I put this move off way too long.  WordPress is just so much easier to maintain and post.

December 2009 Newsletter

IMG_0697a_thumb.jpeglogan.jpegWell, we’re at the end of yet another year. As our parents always told us, time speeds up as you get older. I still think things that happened three years ago happened only a few months ago. It’s been a while, since we have sent out an official newsletter/update, so it’s about time. (This newsletter will only cover 2009, but I’ll go back and retroactively add in some past newsletters later.)

Family Stuff

God has continued to bless us this past year with our continued health, steady jobs, good friends, our loyal doggy…and we’re having a baby!!!!! Jen is seven months pregnant with our firstborn who we’re told will be a boy. His tentative name is Logan Matthew Heyman. Jen’s due date is March 24. We have a wishlist/registry available if you would like to contribute to the welfare of a minor.

Trip to AlaskaThis June, Jen and I got to take a fabulous (in Jen’s words), week-long Alaskan cruise aboard the Norwegian Cruise Lines Pearl.  We visited Seattle, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria, and Seattle again.  This was our first “real” cruise as married folk, and Jen highly recommends that you take one if you are looking for a true getaway vacation.

We had incredibly good weather—not a cloud in the sky the whole trip and temperatures in the 70s and 80s. We saw Orca (Killa) whales, saw several glaciers, ziplined through the Tongass rainforest, met some nice people, met some weird people, and overall had a lot of fun. Jen has now decided that she loves cruises and wants to do them more often. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan, but it is nice in that there is absolutely no honey-do list. I think cruising with other friends would be more fun…so if you’re in the market to go on a cruise (and can arrange for a sitter) look us up.

We also took a trip to Washington, D.C. (see below for details).

Pat’s Stuff

The year started off the same as any other year. I am still working at Palm Beach Atlantic University as a nursing professor. I am trying some new innovations in my teaching methodology, and last year, I recorded all my lectures and put them up as podcasts for the students to listen to. The idea was that I would no longer lecture, but go over big picture stuff and application, more quizzing, etc. For the most part it was successful—I am currently making improvements based on the new website (which I’ll cover later).

thumb_IMG_0492-edited.JPGI was promoted to associate professor (from assistant professor) and had the opportunity to present at a technology in nursing/education conference in Washington, D.C. (The unfortunate thing that I’ve discovered is that most people at these types of technology conferences don’t really love/understand technology.) Jen got to come along with me, and we did the tourist thing—neither of us had ever been to Washington before. While we were there, we got to eat dinner with Matt Leopold (my old roommate), and his wife, Kim, and daughter, Ava.

In the past few months, I installed Drupal (a web management program) and have been using it to overhaul the website. You’ll notice that there are a lot more updates now than in the past. Part of that is thanks to Drupal. For example, I now have a little block on the left hand side that shows articles that I have been reading lately. So if you want to see part of what goes on the mind of a Pat, make sure you read those articles. (I only put articles that I find exceptional on there.) You’ll also notice a wishlist for me. Other fun things that I have planned include reviews of the books I’ve read and am reading. I also hope to have a nifty way to add scheduling of food for people who want to bring us meals after the baby is born. Finally, I’m using Drupal to re-organize and improve my delivery of the nursing lectures I talked about above (still a work in progress).

About two years ago, I finally acted on a lifelong dream and purchased my first gun. This year, I purchased a shotgun. It is incredible the amount of information out there to absorb when planning to purchase a gun. So I wrote a series of articles on choosing a shotgun, what options to choose when buying a Remington 870, and am planning to write one on recommended modifications to the Remington 870. I also took a shotgun class with Randy Cain (one of the best gun instructors in the U.S.). You can see my writeup of the class along with some class videos.

Jen’s stuff

Jen is still working at the VA Medical Center as a clinical pharmacist. She is now assigned full-time to the HBPC (home based primary care) program for veterans who can still live at home but have trouble getting to the doctor’s office. As part of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, she reviews the patients’ charts and makes recommendations for pharmacological therapies and what not. As satisfying as this position has been for her, she is planning on transitioning into a more flexible position after the baby arrives as a CBOC pharmacist processing orders for CBOC (community outpatient clinics).

Jen has been spending most of her free time lately looking for deals on baby stuff and coordinating the reorganization of the house in getting ready for the baby. (I, of course, am the muscle behind the project.) She also still enjoys working out and spending time with our vicious man-killer, Glory.