The ever popular WordPress, is now powering over 5 million (yes, 5,000,000+) websites and steadily growing, and is becoming more and more attractive to those who use other content management systems, such as Drupal or Joomla and blogging/publishing platforms, such as Blogger and Tumblr.

So, you’ve finally decided that it’s time to switch to WordPress. Be it because of the abundance of WordPress themes and plugins available, its ease of use, or maybe you’re just following a trend (and a good one, for that matter) – its likely you’re going to begin with having a few concerns, the gravest of them being whats going to happen to the content that you’ve already created, and perhaps accumulated over a number of years.

Its nothing to worry about, really! Remember the plethora of WordPress plugins I mentioned? There are literally dozens of plugins that help move content from one platform over to WordPress.

Moving from Tumblr to WordPress

Tumblr Importer is the plugin that does a seamless job (can’t expect anything other than seamless from the people behind it – Automattic and WordPress core developers). Tumblr Importer imports media as well as text content (including drafts, pages, posts) as soon as the necessary credentials are supplied. It may take a while for your blog to be imported, depending on its size, but once the content is in it’s in for good. Tumblr Importer will even update you on the progress of the import at any time.

Moving from Blogger to WordPress

Blogger Importer imports users, comments and, of course, posts into WordPress. You’ll probably not lose any piece of information and should be able to continue writing and publishing without any difficulties.

LiveJournal, MovableType and TypePad to WordPress

LiveJournal Importer downloads posts along with LiveJournal-specific metadata, comments (with metadata) and even takes care of moods.

The MovableType and TypePad WordPress Importer plugin imports authors and posts.

Both plugins are written by the WordPress core developers, are well-maintained and will work perfectly in most cases. If some piece of data is imported incorrectly you can always reset and start from the beginning, having made the necessary adjustments for WordPress to better understand the structure of the content.

Moving from Posterous to WordPress

The Posterous Importer plugin imports posts, comments, tags, attachments and images.

Moving from elsewhere to WordPress

The WordPress plugin repository hosts three pages of various WordPress importers. There’s everything from Twitter timeline import plugins to less known blogging platform importers.

Moreover, this Codex page contains an endless list of importing plugins for platforms you didn’t even know existed.

What about Joomla? Drupal?

The Codex entry stated above gives some great links to plugins that help to move from Joomla and Drupal in most cases. Other cases may require additional setup and conversion, but ultimately, almost everything can be translated into WordPress.

Universal importing

What if there is absolutely no plugin for importing? Maybe you had a custom CMS that nobody has ever used or heard of. There are several advanced techniques that can help transform content to be imported by WordPress:

  • RSS Importer – is a general RSS feed parser that can be setup to parse almost any XML feeds.
  • The Importer API – an undocumented part of the WordPress core that can be extended and used to import absolutely anything with the right amount of knowledge and skill. All of the Importers by the WordPress theme make use of this class.
  • Manual importing – involves a lot of patience and determination, works best with a little amount of content.

Have you recently moved or helped someone move over to WordPress? Share your thoughts and experience. Don’t forget to subscribe and follow.