Migrating a pMachine Website to WordPress

Anyone who has used or is still using pMachine for their website and forum knows that its outdated and a pain to use. Today, there are tons of alternatives to content management, blog management, and forum management that you can find the best tool that works for you. A few years back, EllisLab replaced pMachine with ExpressionEngine, which from the little that I’ve used it and heard about others using it, is way better than pMachine. But, being a WordPress fan, I wanted to use that instead of ExpressionEngine. That and WordPress is free, which is a plus. The WordPress developers have also come up with a great forum engine, called bbPress, so I decided that would be a great replacement for the pMachine forum.

So now I know what software I want to use, but the first thing I had to figure out was how easy would it be to migrate our pMachine data over to WordPress. No good importer for pMachine comes with WordPress, so out to my good friend Google I went for answers. Pretty quickly I found two articles about migrating pMachine to WordPress 1.5 here with some actual PHP code to import the pMachine blog here. So, I was off to a good start.

Since bbPress can integrate directly with WordPress, I needed to use WordPress version 2.5 so that the cookies between the two applications would work. Apparently WordPress changed their cookie implementation in newer versions, so until bbPress gets an update, we’re stuck with the old WordPress version. There aren’t any known security risks with WordPress 2.5, so we’ll be ok. I installed both applications and then went to importing my pMachine data.

Based on the PHP scripts I downloaded from the article mentioned above, I ended up writing a bunch of my own PHP scripts to import all of our user data, post data, comment data, and forum data into WordPress 2.5 and bbPress. I didn’t want to install WordPress 1.5 first, so I took the code snippets I needed and went to work.

It took the better part of a week to import and test everything out and make sure all of the proper relationships between users, posts, and comments were set up properly. I’m currently packaging the PHP scripts up to release to the world under some public license so everyone else can who was in my position will have a solution. I also want to get the final version of GhostDroppings up and running and make sure my users are happy with the migrated data, but so far everything looks good. So check back in a bit to download the code!

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