I’m a Systems/Software Engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area. I moved from Columbus, Ohio in 2007 after getting a B.S. in Physics from the Ohio State University. I'm married, and we have dogs.

Under my github account (https://github.com/addumb): I open-sourced python-aliyun in 2014, I have an outdated python 2 project starter template at python-example, and I have a pretty handy “sshec2” command and some others in tools.

I moved addumb.com into GitHub pages

March 07, 2016

It was kind of fun :) Believe it or not, I actually have a couple other pages under addumb.com aside from shitty blog posts:

Those were all really easy to move. Moving my shitty blog from wordpress.com into GitHub pages was a little more complicated than all the guides make it seem. At a high level, you’ll do these four big steps:

  • Do the normal shit for GitHub pages (make a new repo, setup a jekyll site)
  • Import your Wordpress blog.
  • Fix all the stuff that just broke all over the place

GitHub Pages

The GitHub docs on this are pretty straightforward. You should end up with a site with a directory structure like this:

$ tree -L 2
├── Gemfile
├── README.md
├── _config.yml
├── _includes
│   ├── footer.html
│   ├── head.html
│   ├── header.html
│   └── sidebar.html
├── _layouts
│   ├── default.html
├── derp.html
├── index.md
├── posts.md
├── sitemap.xml
└── vendor
    └── bundle

The contents of CNAME here is just “addumb.com” for me. Don’t do that for yours. Gemfile only contains 2 lines right now: “source ‘https://rubygems.org’” and “gem ‘github-pages’”. README.md is just a regular GitHub readme. _config.yml has some annoying pieces you may need to dig up, particularly this:

markdown: kramdown
  input: GFM
  force_wrap: false

Then the _includes are just your site template pieces, _layouts just has a default for now which is basically empty:

<!DOCTYPE html>
{% include head.html %}
  {% include header.html %}
  {{ content }}
  {% include footer.html %}

You should be able to run this to get your jekyll site running locally:

$ bundle exec jekyll serve

The Wordpress.com Import Stuff

Now that you have a fancy new GitHub Pages site up and running, it’s time to move your shitty blog over to it from Wordpress.com. The steps are very similar for other Wordpress setups, so try to read between the lines.

Warning Make a new branch in your repo, you’re going to totally fuck shit up.

Okay, then follow along here…

  1. Login to your wordpress.com account, then your “site”, then export it all as a single XML file.
  2. Add the jekyll-import dependency to your Gemfile where you should already have github-pages:

    source 'https://rubygems.org'
    gem 'jekyll-import'
    gem 'github-pages'

    Don’t try to add this at the outset. Install github-pages, and then jekyll-import. They have a fake version conflict.

  3. Now run this to get your import started:

    bundle exec jekyll import wordpressdotcom --source-file ~/Downloads/addumb.wordpress*.xml

    This will spew all kinds of unhelpful gem dependency failures for a while. One by one, you’ll need to fix them. This step is total bullshit.

    Whoops! Looks like you need to install 'hpricot' before you can use this importer.
    If you're using bundler:
      1. Add 'gem "hpricot"' to your Gemfile
      2. Run 'bundle install'
    If you're not using bundler:
      1. Run 'gem install hpricot'.

    This is pretty straightforward:

    echo "gem 'hpricot'" >> Gemfile
    bundle install
    bundle exec jekyll import wordpressdotcom --source-file ~/Downloads/addumb.wordpress*.xml

    and repeat until you don’t get a Gem error.

  4. Okay, now you have a steaming pile of malformatted “.html” files under _posts. Each one has “frontmatter” at the top of the page, which is put between YAML comment markers: ---. The frontmatter is just YAML describing some specifics about each post. Go through each one and clean up the garbage left over, when you’re done it should look something like this post’s frontmatter:

     layout: post
     title: I moved addumb.com into GitHub pages
     date: 2016-03-07 11:26:00.000000000 -07:00
     type: post
     published: true
     status: publish
     description: Moving a blog from wordpress and website from AWS to GitHub Pages.
     keywords: github pages, aws migration, wordpress export
     - Tech
     - Tip
     - Tech
       login: addumb
       email: [email protected]
       display_name: addumb
       first_name: 'Adam'
       last_name: 'Gray'

    You should have removed garbage like this:

     _publicize_pending: '1'
     _edit_last: '16162427'
     _wp_old_slug: '1'
     original_post_id: '1'

The Layout(s)

The import created a bunch of _posts which reference a layout called post. What is that and how do you create it and make it somewhat useful? (I cannot give any advice on making it truly useful.)

You might want to make the post layout so that your posts aren’t rendered plainly, like this. Here’s a starter, just plop this in _layouts/post.html:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    {% if page.title %} {{ page.title }}
    {% else %} {{ site.title }}
    {% endif %}
    <h1>{{ page.title }}</h1>
    {{ content }}

That will just make a web page with your post’s title in the title bar of the browser along with a big header up top, then your unadulterated goodness underneath.

Next, you may want to list your posts in a few different places. Here’s how I made the sidebar/bottombar list of posts here. I made a file in _includes named sidebar.html and it’s this:

Other posts...
  {% for post in site.posts %}
  {% if page.url == post.url %}
  <li>&raquo; {{post.title}}</li>
  {% else %}
  <li><a href="{{post.url}}">{{post.title}}</a></li>
  {% endif %}
  {% endfor %}

Then you can update your post.html layout to include this on the right-hand side however you’d like.


Ha! I have no idea what I’m talking about here, but generally do these things:

  1. Make a sitemap.xml.
  2. Add descriptions and keywords to your site and to each post. Check the head layout on this site: _includes/head.html
  3. Add some jQuery, that helps, right??
  4. Bootstrap something, is that still fashionable?

Walk Away

That’s it! That’s how I made this thing. It was fun :)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. :wq