Converting from Blogger to Movable Type

I’ve received several email questions about converting from Blogger to Movable Type, especially with an IIS server, so I thought I’d go ahead and pass along some information at my weblog.

Movable Type and an IIS Server

Changes for .cgi extensions (to .pl):

An important difference between IIS installation and other servers is that you’ll probably need to change the .cgi file extensions to .pl file extensions along with any references to them.

IIS and Server Permissions:

Server permissions need to be set; however, your ISP will probably need to set those for you. This hasn’t been a problem at all with my ISP, and if your ISP uses IIS they ought to respond quickly to your needs for permissions and other things requiring them to do something on the server side.

Broken Trackback URLs:

I also had to tweak the code a bit for the trackback URLs to work. I found the answers at the Movable Type Support Forum, where there’s an explanation of what to do and the code to copy/paste. As soon as I tweaked the code and slightly changed the trackback URL format it worked fine.

Strategies for Exporting your Blogger Posts

Tutorials and tips for exporting Blogger posts to import into Movable Type:

These two tutorials are very helpful in addition to MT’s documentation:

Consistent Markup

Consistent markup is a huge help with importing your posts to another weblog tool. Movable Type will create titles for each post, either based on your title tags or using the first few words of text if you haven’t used titles. Blogger will export your posts to a plain text file. I backed up a copy of it and then did a few global search/replacements to make sure the markup was consistent, clean and lean. Just like painting, initial preparation can make all the difference in the outcome.

Try Importing A Few Posts First

I also imported just a few posts to see how Movable Type handled things before I started importing more. Movable Type, however, choked on my file with posts dating back to 2000, but it seems to handle importing a few months' posts at a time OK.

Blogger Anchor Tags, Standard Export Template

I found a tip to include Blogger’s anchor tags for each post, too, a detail that isn’t mentioned in Movable Type’s instructions. If you use the standard template to export from Blogger, your anchor tags for each post won’t be included.

A Better Export Blogger to Movable Type Template

I can’t find the reference anywhere, but here’s the export Blogger template I found online that includes a field to export the anchor tag for each post. MT didn’t like the code, so I’ve uploaded it as a plain text file:

Note that if you don’t have any titles in your posts you can eliminate the TITLE field from this template.

You’ll find more templates at this site’s section, Reference: Movable Type Templates, Miscellaneous Templates.


There are plenty of helpful plugins to add features to Movable Type. Check out my Movable Type Links for some terrific plugins, templates, tips, and more.

Comments Feature Added

I’ve got a lot of work to do before I’m settled in using Movable Type, especially with over 2-1/2 years' of archives, but the recent posts are online and Comments/Trackbacks are working. You’re welcome to stop in and leave a comment or question for this post or any others, but please excuse the dust and lack of design for the moment—I’ll figure out the design after I’ve worked out more details.

05:24 pm, pdt 9 July, 2003 Comments, Trackbacks (4) ·';}?>

Categories: Colophon, Design, Development, Movable Type, Standards, Weblogs


Comments, Trackbacks: 4 so far. Add yours!

  1. Just a heads up that there may be a few bumps in the road during the next week or two while converting my posts from Blogger to Movable Type. Well, I?m doing a lot more than that, though, with setting up much easier archiving, comments and trackbacks, ...

    08 Sep, 2003Trackback from Brainstorms and Raves

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  2. Great post. Thank you very much—you provided the gravel for the pavement for the road to MT.

    07:50 pm, pdt15 October, 2003Comment by Andrew Boardman

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  3. Any information about how to export blogger comments for importing into MT?

    12:43 pm, pdt17 August, 2004Comment by Mark Carey

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  4. Mark,
    I converted my Blogger entries over a year ago before Blogger included a Comments feature, and I didn’t have any add-on Comments at that point, either. So I didn’t have this part of the conversion to figure out at the time. I ran a couple of Google searches just now and found some info that may be helpful for you:

    1. MT: Importing from Blogger, via King of Fools weblog. This post includes info for importing Blogger entries AND comments, and it seems to include the latest Blogger version. That might be your ticket right there. :-) Be sure to read down the page to "Step 2: Massaging Your Export File" about massaging the template for categories and for comments.

    2. Import Content from your Blogger Weblog, via BlogHarbor. Similar info as the above.

    3. Movable Type Import Format, via Movable Type’s Manual. This provides a great deal of helpful information, including lots about importing comments.

    4. Import Comments from BackBlog(or any other source) into MT, via Jivha - the Tongue. Be sure to check out all the links there, as they lead to some helpful information, templates, tips, etc.

    5. Importing YACCS comments in Movable Type, via Phil Ringnalda’s site. As Phil writes, "If you have YACCS comments from a Blogger-powered blog that you would like to import into Movable Type (and if your server runs PHP, since I don’t have Perl version of the script written yet), read on..." Even if you don’t have PHP you can pick up some helpful tips there with the Comment template for importing, exporting, and other tips.

    I hope those help. Good luck!

    04:45 pm, pdt17 August, 2004Comment by Shirley Kaiser

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This discussion has been closed. Thanks to all who participated.

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