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WordPress XML Import Only in Text Files

started by on Feb 23, 2017 – Last touched: Apr 01, 2017

Feb 23, 2017 02:56    

Thanks to help from Support on Twitter, I got my WordPress xml file imported and loaded as posts on b2. However, the import will only allow all text and it imported all my images as text posts (no image, just the file name). I hoped the HTML would be in the post, but it is not. So I can't just change the links (in the imported posts) and import the images so they fall into place.

I'm working with a test site so there are only two posts imported. But, I want to move a few big sites over once I get the test site figured out.

Feb 25, 2017 17:07

Did you correctly upload all your images into the import folder prior to running the importer?

Did the importer print out any error or warning messages?

Feb 25, 2017 17:25

No warning or error messages. I had put the file in the wrong place but b2 support on Twitter helped me fix that.

I wondered if it is the XML file from WordPress. I tried other file types and that did not work. Tried other sources for getting the XML file exported but no luck there either.

I also tried using Open Live Writer to see if I could import that way. But, it does not have quite the right options. It's made for creating and editing individual posts. But, it does work for posting to b2 - very well.

I am looking at content scraping today to see if I can find a way to use that to import everything to b2. Yesterday I was looking at WP Static HTML Output, the plugin. It might have worked but it uses a different file type.

But, I am in over my head as far as my skills and knowledge of code/ files/ etc.

Should have included the link - http://laurabrown.ca

Feb 26, 2017 14:50

All right you're going in 10 different directions at once.

Can we focus on solving the Wordpress XML import issue?

From what I understand, exporting Wordpress to XML and then importing that XML into b2evolution works fine except for images (which are not imported).

Do I understand this correctly?

If yes, then my question to you is: Did you correctly upload all your images into the import folder (next to your XML file) prior to running the b2evolution XML importer?

Feb 27, 2017 02:07

No. The problem is that the upload does not have any HTML formatting. All the paragraphs from my text are gone. All the images HTML links are gone. Everything HTML is somehow stripped from the XML file when I upload it.

It is the exact XML file which WordPress gave me from the Tools/ Export option. I did include images, I checked the box for everything. As far as I know I uploaded it to the right folder via FTP on my b2evolution domain.

I tried uploading an XML file from Blogspot to see if that made a difference. But, it is the same. As soon as I upload the file b2 calls it "Basic export (text only)".

Feb 27, 2017 17:53

OK, do you want to share your XML file with us so we can analyze it and test it to find what's wrong?

Feb 27, 2017 20:18

Could not send it as the XML here, either as an attached file or cut and pasted as text in this window. So I have cut and pasted it into a plain txt file and attached it.


Attachments:

Feb 28, 2017 02:15

DO you have a link to the original wordpress blog you are trying to import, so we can see what it's supposed to look like when everything is imported?

Looking at the file you attached above, there seems to be very little text content in your posts indeed. Look at the XML file yourself: most of the <content:encoded> tags have no content after them. Is this normal?

On the contrary now, the XML fiel references a lot of .png files. If you don't upload those png files to the server prior to upload, they cannot be imported.

Feb 28, 2017 04:27

No. I picked that blog to move first because it was light on content and I thought that would make it easier. Also, I wouldn't really lose anything I couldn't replace. The only thing still on the domain now is b2. The WP software is gone along with the database I had it on.

I can try another site - petfree.org. It is still standing, on WP. I will get a fresh XML from it, try it and write back here tonight, soon.

Feb 28, 2017 04:36

This time I'm getting a user error. But the file had the same Basic export (text only). The original site is http://petfree.org. I deactivated all the plugins before the export, that might keep it smaller as a file.

Feb 28, 2017 17:02

OK cool.

1) We'll fix the error you screenshoted. Thanks.

2) Please leave petfree.org running on WP while we make sure we can properly import your XML.

Also please note that the XML file only references images by filename. The XML files never includes the image data. So, no matter what, you will need to copy your image files into the import folder along with the XML file. Is this clear for you?
(This applies to all of your sites where you have images embedded in your posts)

PS: the current import script does not work properly for wordpress attachments, even if you copy the files to the import folder as explained above. We are fixing it as we speak.

Updated manual page: http://b2evolution.net/man/xml-importer

Update: The screenshot below shows you the files the importer (of b2evo v6.9.1) is trying to import but cannot find if you don't upload them into the import folder: (note: versions of b2evo before 6.9.1 do not display this)

Mar 01, 2017 19:31

Yes, I get that about the images. But, if the HTML for the link is still in each post it should be just a matter of moving the images to the new database and then changing the link with search and replace to direct them all to the new source. Image names would be unchanged, just need the right location.

Thank you so much for your time and help. I've been missing posting to my sites but did not want to add posts while I'm moving them. I'm looking forward to working with b2evolution. I tried several other CMS but of them all I decided on b2 as the best one for me and my sites. Most of all, it seems far more user friendly than WordPress has ended up being. I think it's going to be the next Movable Type.

Update: So moving the image files over before the XML import could make things easier. That way I would have them in the right file to connect with the post links. Or, near enough that I could make the changes.

Mar 01, 2017 20:46

From - http://b2evolution.net/man/xml-importer

/blogs/media/import/some_folder/your_export.xml

some_folder would be the name of the collection the images/ content is being imported into? That will make managing image files much easier, and tidier.

Mar 02, 2017 01:07

But, if the HTML for the link is still in each post...

If it's an HTML link there is nothing to do BUT you have attached images in wordpress which are NOT HTML links within the posts. They are referenced image files that you have on your wordpress hosting space.

... it should be just a matter of moving the images to the new database

The images are never in the database. They are always files on disk.

I tried several other CMS but of them all I decided on b2 as the best one for me and my sites. Most of all, it seems far more user friendly than WordPress has ended up being.

Thanks for the compliment!

some_folder would be the name of the collection the images/ content is being imported into?

some_folder would be any folder name you want in the import folder. It's only used during the import. During import, the files that are really used in your XML are automatically copied to their real location in /media/blogs/name_of_your_blog/....

Mar 03, 2017 17:22

Hi Laura, we worked out all quirks as best as we could and you'll find the enhanced importer in b2evo v6.9.1.

However the XML/ZIP file you sent does NOT match the content of petfree.org so we cannot make a complete validation. Your XML especially doesn't include all posts and doesn't include proper post titles and proper post texts.

Mar 03, 2017 22:41

Thank you. I will have to figure it out from there. At least it will all load so I can change over from WP and fiddle with older posts and images as I learn more about using b2.

Mar 13, 2017 16:09

1) Why do you have asciiartist.xml AND asciiimages.xml. Why do you not have a single XML file that contains everything.

2) Why do you have a WPASCIIimages.zip in addition to the previous 2 XML files. You should have either a single ZIP file that contains everything or no ZIP file at all. Can you show what is inside your ZIP file?

For these 2 issues : did you create those multiple files one by one and did you create the ZIP file yourself or did you somehow download those 3 files from wordpress directly as they are?

Thanks.

Mar 13, 2017 21:08

I started with the single xml file then tried it with just posts in xml and images in another xml - all downloaded from WordPress. The zip file I made myself with the xml file the images files (png, etc).

I removed those files and have the xml which has everthing, as-is, from WordPress again. But, I still get the same error about no attachments and the import fails.

Mar 15, 2017 21:00

Again, please read the instructions here carefully: http://b2evolution.net/man/xml-importer

You need 1 xml file containing a full export and 1 folder for your images.

The folder MUST have a correct name!! for exampel if you have an abc.xml you must have an abc_files folder. If you have a petfree.xml you must have an petfree_files folder. You CANNOT use any name for the images/files folder or it will not be recognize.

If you do this, you will see the xml files you can import and instead of "(no attachments found)" next to them, you will see the name of the images folder that has been recognized.

I also recommend that at this point you use NO ZIP file because it makes things more opaque.

If this doesn't work for you, please post one screenshot of the import screen showing which file you are selecting, and then a screenshot of the top of the import log and the first errors you get.

Mar 16, 2017 14:53

I didn't understand that. I thought the file names were just an example for the instructions. Thank you. I will do it with the right file names this time.

Mar 17, 2017 00:32

The only thing I did not do exactly was use blogs/media/import because that file directory does not exist in my installation of b2. I tried to create that directory but it would not work that way. I have media/import and that is where my files are imported to.

Mar 19, 2017 18:22

I'm going to try something else for this site. Will see if I can get another site up and working on b2.

Mar 19, 2017 20:22

@thatgrrl Thank you for the screenshots. You did everything correctly there. We will double check why the attachments folder is not found.

Thank you.

Mar 20, 2017 19:55

It did work for another site which is actually my oldest and biggest.

The only differences were that I did not try to edit the image files as they were on WP. With ASCII I had pulled all the images files into one main file and deleted all the extra junk images WP had created. So my images went from almost 3000 down to under 900. Maybe not having the exact file structure was a problem. But, with wordgrrls.com I left them all, close to 10,000 images which I waited 24 hours to upload and they still have not all uploaded and there are missing files in my posts on b2 of course. So I will be working on matching images and editing them down but at least it will be from inside b2evolution.

Also, not sure if b2 hasn't posted my draft posts. But, I will pull them out as I work on the images so that isn't really a problem.

The other difference which seems likely to affect the upload is something with the UTF, an error which b2 warns me about but with ASCII I fixed the error before importing the files. With wordgrrls I left the error and imported anyway. I don't know a lot about the UTF but it does have something to do with how files are read/ language. So, you could look into that. Adding a screenshot below:

Mar 20, 2017 19:58

So glad to have the site up. Even though it took longer than I planned and I have some fixing to do I don't at all regret moving to b2evolution. I could not have asked for better tech support and I think I am going to be very happy with the software. The learning curve isn't too steep and I've started looking at what I can do myself for a new theme.

Thank you :)

Mar 20, 2017 20:03

Maybe the UTF is a good error. I'm going to leave it as an error and move more sites over this week. I'm Canadian, people say we say 'sorry' and 'thanks' more than we need to. But, sincere thanks and appreciation for the software itself, for keeping it active and available all these years, and your personal help with working on this import with me.

Mar 22, 2017 13:15

Draft posts are ok but I did not get any categories or tags. The images finally finished uploading via ftp last night.

Started working on them this morning. But, b2 seems to be hotlinking them all from what is left of my old site rather than importing them into the posts. Every image I imported looks like a hotlink in the code. A lot of image files are broken, even when I still have the original image in the WP files. I am finding it is easier to import the images one by one manually rather than trying to work with what I have imported to b2.

Mar 22, 2017 14:30

Also, when I tried to append the import to existing posts (hoping that would add the imported images) all my posts were doubled. I thought that would not happen with the append to existing content.

Anyway, will let you know of more adventures as they come along. :)

Mar 25, 2017 20:19

With ASCII I had pulled all the images files into one main file and deleted all the extra junk images WP had created.

This is new information. If you edited the XML file by hand, then indeed its very easy to break it. On second look, the b2evo importer actually displays "There was an error when reading this XML file."

I would recommend that you never edit XML files by hand. Just export from WP and import straight into b2evo.

Draft posts are ok but I did not get any categories or tags.

We'll need to double check that.

Every image I imported looks like a hotlink in the code.

If the original image was not exported along with the text content in the XML file, b2evolution will not be able to find it and will keep the hotlink that is in the export file.

when I tried to append the import to existing posts (hoping that would add the imported images) all my posts were doubled

That is normal.

For all issues except the last one, feel free to send me your XML file + image folder and we'll test the import process to see if the error is in the exported XML or in our importer.

Mar 25, 2017 21:09

I did not edit the xml file. Just the folder which contained the actual images (the png files, etc.). I left image folder as-is for wordgrrls.com but it took more than 48 hours to load via ftp (just the image folder, I loaded the xml before that). WordPress created a LOT of extra image files. For most original images there are at least 2 additional images I do not need or want. For the ASCII site I removed the images which WordPress generated and kept my originals in the folder. (I did nothing to the xml but upload it as it was.)

On top of the time for the download of all those images - none of them actually imported into b2 as part of the posts. Instead of direct links they are all hotlinks to the old site. It seems no matter how I import the images I am going to have a big clean up. Is it possible to just import the xml file and not require the image folder? So, just the ascii.xml and no ascii_files?

Maybe there is a search and replace which would work to attach the images once the xml is loaded and working? Something based on just the image file name - image000.png - for example, would match up with that same file name in the imported post.

Anyway, if the tags and categories were working that would help. Those should have come along with the xml file (which I did not edit, at all).

Mar 26, 2017 16:46

Is it possible to just import the xml file and not require the image folder? So, just the ascii.xml and no ascii_files?

Yes. You can upload & import ascii.xml without uploading the ascii_files directory. B2evolution will import and tell you for each file that it is missing, but it will import nonetheless.

This is probably already what happens btw because, despite you uploaded all the I belive b2evo doesn't find what it wants where it wants. But you sent me no import log. I believe b2evo gave you tons of info during the import.

On top of the time for the download of all those images - none of them actually imported into b2 as part of the posts. Instead of direct links they are all hotlinks to the old site. It seems no matter how I import the images I am going to have a big clean up.

I guarantee that it can work. We have done it for other wordpress exports.

Maybe there is a search and replace which would work to attach the images once the xml is loaded and working? Something based on just the image file name - image000.png - for example, would match up with that same file name in the imported post.

b2evo is already doing that... if b2evo can find the images.

Again, I think you should share your exports with us so we can re-run them. We can download the huge folders directly off your server if you give us FTP access to your import folder (no need to give us FTP access to the rest of your site).

Mar 29, 2017 09:52

I don't know where to find another import log. The only thing I keep getting is the same import fail as I posted in a screenshot on #25 above. Tried again tonight. I can not import just the xml file without getting the same error. (#25).

I don't think it is a fault of b2 that this is a problem. Seems more likely to be something coming from WordPress. That is why I tried to remove a lot of garbage image files (thumbnails and resized duplicate images). WordPress plugins generate a lot of extra code as well. Likely there is something in the xml from WP, one way or another, which is causing a problem.

Mar 29, 2017 22:42

http://ontarioexploration.com/ imported today and everything is there. Categories, tags, comments, images and the post formatting too. I was putting off moving it but it is done and had no problems. This was a new domain, a newer site.

Mar 31, 2017 00:21

Your asciiartists.xml contains illegal 0x0 (NUL) characters that should not be there. This is a wordpress export bug but we'll see what we can do to get passed them.

Below is a screenshot of the next b2evo version that shows more details about the error.

Mar 31, 2017 00:23

Regarding tags and categories import, we found a problem only when tags contain a space. Does this match the issue you're having? If not can you give me an example of a missing tag or category you have (and where I can check the associated XML file)? Thanks.

Apr 01, 2017 11:55

Likely it is about spaces for the tags and categories. Only sites which have had any trouble are the ASCII art and wordgrrls. I've done a few others now and had no trouble at all.

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