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Migrating Posts From Cutenews To WordPress

For seven years before discovering the wonders of WordPress, I used a piece of blogging software called Cutenews. CN was a flat text file news system, which ultimately fell by the wayside after CutePHP started charging for the formerly free software. I can only assume that people, like myself refused to pay so we ended up with an insecure outdated news system, so, like many I made the jump to WordPress.

Migrating the seven years of blogs on Cutenews to WordPress was another matter, for a few years I ran a non-editable version of Cutenews in a subdirectory to display the archives, but eventually it stopped working completely throwing a 500 error after moving webhost. I looked around for an import plugin/script, but nothing worked 100%, some worked partially, some just broke the WordPress install.

I won’t take credit for someone else’s work so I will simply link to Greg Freeman’s article about migrating from Cutenews To WordPress. But I had to create an install of WordPress on my local machine as the production server does not have support for phpTidy which the import script relies on. I personally used WAMP server, you will need to enable phpTidy, simply left click on the WAMP system tray icon, navigate to PHP » PHP extensions » and put a checkmark next to php_tidy. Create a database/user in phpmyAdmin and download WordPress, extracting the files to a new folder in WAMP’s www directory.

Copy your Cutenews files to a subdirectory of your local WordPress directory, create a new php file and copy the code from Greg Freeman’s article into that file, changing the paths to WordPress and Cutenews directories, save the file to the root of you local WordPress installation, making sure to select “All Files (*.*)” in the Save-as type box and ending the filename with .php. Open a browser and point it to the php file you just created, it’ll be localhost/wpinstall/importscript.php and all being well you should have imported your Cutenews posts. However it did throw an error for me, but the import still worked brilliantly and I now have my seven years of archives back as part of my current WordPress installation!

Now you can export the posts from your local test installation of WordPress and import into your live install, just as a precaution, I’d recommend making a database backup, just in case the worst happens!

I prepared my Cutenews install by changing the news.arch files to news.txt running the following DOS command “ren *.arch *.txt”. I then merged the renamed arch.txt files into a single .txt by running the following from the DOS prompt “copy *.txt news.txt”. You will need to CD (change directory) into the directory where your archives live on your hard disk. This action created a large single import .txt file.

I make the assumption that if you are attempting this sort of migration, you have a good working knowledge of computers, how to set up web/database servers and basic php knowledge, good luck!

One thought on “Migrating Posts From Cutenews To WordPress

  • Jaime commented on June 29, 2016 at 04:53

    Jason thank you very much for your article, I need to make the same change and hope your experience will help me

    I try it in localhost

    Best Regards

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