VoxPress?A couple months ago, I wrote about a new ability developed for WordPress.com that allows you to export your Vox blog to a WordPress blog. I was really excited about this at the time, because I’m always in favor of services allowing you to take your data with you when you want to leave – nothing is more frustrating than devoting time/energy to a project/blog/site and then finding yourself with the choice of either staying locked-in to your current situation or giving up all your work and starting over fresh.

At the time, I mentioned that the only way to port from Vox to a self-hosted WordPress blog (i.e. on your own domain, not a WordPress.com sub-domain) was to use WordPress.com as an intermediary – exporting from Vox to WordPress.com, and then exporting a WXR file and importing it into your other blog.  While this technically works (I tried it out), it’s a little messy and leaves all the pictures hosted on the WordPress.com domain site, instead of pulling them into your self-hosted site.

Brian Colinger, a developer of WordPress.com and WordPress plugins, contacted me a few weeks ago to let me know that he’s now developed a WordPress plugin that you can install on your self-hosted domain that will do the same export functionality as before, but this time directly to your self-hosted blog.  Yep, now there’s a Vox exporter to self-hosted blogs!

The process itself is pretty easy, and Brian’s post gives step-by-step instructions, so I won’t repeat them here.  You have to install the WP_Importer base class plugin first, and then Vox Importer plugin.  Pretty soon, you’ll be pulling all your posts over to your own self-hosted WordPress blog!

Just like the ability on WordPress.com, this importer should:

  • Imports posts AND comments.  Comments are captured exactly as left on Vox, and the link to the commenter goes back to their Vox blog URL.
  • Imports photos from Vox into WordPress.  Yes, photos will be native to WordPress, so they won’t just link back to a photo hosted by Vox.
  • Imports tags from your blog.  No option to turn this off, but all tags are carried over and used as tags on the WordPress blog.
  • Imports ALL posts, not just those made “public”.  Adjust privacy settings before or after you import to account for the fact that WordPress doesn’t have all the privacy modes that Vox does, but you get all your content carried over when you import!  NOTE: If you don’t want a post to be public on your WordPress blog, make it visible to “YOU (hidden)” only before you export/import.  Then it will show up as “Private” on your WordPress blog. All other privacy settings (neighborhood only, friends and family, etc.) will appear on your new WordPress blog as public, accessible-by-anyone entries until you change their privacy level from within WordPress.
  • Maintains formatting from your Vox blog – bullets, numbering, centering, font colors, etc all carry over 1:1.  This may cause some minor issues on your WordPress blog if the layout doesn’t support (e.g. white font on a white background), but you can edit this after the fact to suit.

Hat’s off to Brian for another job well done! Stop by his blog and leave a comment for him on the post if you end up using the plugin, and let him know how it went.  Also, if you have any further questions/bug reports, be sure to let Brian know so he can fine-tune this plugin for all the folks out there that had no choice but to remain with Vox, lose their work, or laboriously copy it by hand to another platform!