How I moved my blog to the Orchard Project

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For the past several years have been using BlogEngine.net to host my blog. I really like the blogging engine and I would have been okay with staying with that platform except that I wanted to get familiar with the Orchard Project and I figured the best way to do that was to use that platform for my blog.

You should know that as I write this, I am not an expert with Orchard platform. As a matter of fact, I am pretty much a newbie, with the exception that it, like the sites that I build, use the ASP.Net MVC 3 platform. However, to that fact, I haven’t needed to know anything about MVC to actually use Orchard.

Initial Setup

To set up Orchard, the first thing I did was to backup my existing blog site and then download and try and get it working locally since it wasn’t working on my remote, hosting site.

Once up the next thing to do was to create an export file so I could transfer my current posts to the new site. Fortunately both BlogEngine.Net and Orchard both have blogML import and export functionality. BlogML is standard blogging xml format that allows you to import from one blog platform to another blog platform.

be_export

Basically all I had to do was click the export button and allow the site to create an XML file that I could later use to import into the new site.

Initial Setup of Orchard and WebMatrix

One of the new nice things that Microsoft has done is provide a small website engine to help setup websites really easily. I used the “Install Web Components”, and selected the Orchard project.

The first time I downloaded, I tried to set it up locally, first, but after doing that and then uploading the application it didn’t work. So I abandoned that application and deleted it from my hosting site and decided to install a new Orchard site again.

This time I downloaded and immediately uploaded to my remote site using the deployment features in WebMatrix.

 

web_matrix

Once the site was uploaded I tried to access it again and immediately it came up and asked what type of database I wanted to use.

orchard_get_started

I selected the SQL Server compact edition and then seamlessly the site came up and it worked! Yes, after three months of being down my site was up! Well sort of. My posts were not there and the site basically just said welcome.

The great thing about Orchard is it has very good extensibility modules that you can plug into your site and add functionality. You can go to the Gallery and pick the modules you would like to add to your site. To import my saved blogML xml file, I needed to add the BlogML module. Once install, I imported my posts and just like that my new site had my old posts. How easy was that?

The categories that were on my old site were not loaded, but I had my tags so that was good enough for me. I also noticed that the links to my old images were now invalid so that will need to be fixed.

In a later post I’ll share some of the modules I added to the site to give it more functionality than just that ability to display my posts.

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