October 17, 2020

I have more than 11,000 posts and just under a million views. Since you have made working on WordPress increasing unpleasant and difficult, I find it highly likely I will have to end our relationship in February. I would like to get a copy — a READABLE copy — of my posts, if not for the entire 8 years I’ve been blogging, but for at least the past three or four years. Is there any way for me to save my contents in a way that is readable and not a mass of coding, encryption, and pointers?

The answer arrived today:

Gabriel Maldonado (Automattic)

Oct 18, 2020, 10:50 UTC

Hello there!

You can export a copy of your content under Tools > Export . You can see further information about this here: https://wordpress.com/support/export/

This is readable if you open it with a text editor, but will also contains a lot of other stuff like image paths, types of blocks, dates, etc, … as is created in order to import/export content between sites. So the only way to have the content only would be to copy/paste these manually into a different document.

As an alternative, there’s also a number of “blog-to-book” services like FastPencil and BlogBooker, let you import your WordPress blog and turn it into a printed book:


Gabriel Maldonado
Global Happiness Engineer @ Automattic.com

The export from WordPress is useless, so my next goal is to see if the software works and is affordable! But for any of you think of leaving WordPress but don’t want to leave all your material behind, maybe this is a viable answer. I’ll see what more I can find out. I have 11,000+ blogs. Subtract a couple of thousand that are reblogs or all photographs, let’s say 8,000 and then subtract another couple of thousand that aren’t good enough to bother with … so maybe 5,000 when all is said and done? It’s still a lot of posts.

I suspect BlogBooker is the better tool. They don’t provide a lot of information — like how many pages it will handle, for example. And I can’t figure out if you need MS Word to use it or not. You’ll need to take a look at it yourself. WordPress doesn’t give you a lot of choices about how to download. You can’t select particular years. You can also select smaller amounts (drop-down menu). Mine is too big to do in one gulp.

I would like to have more choices, but that’s not going to happen. Nor am I intending to make this into a book, though I suppose I could do that too. That’s what these software packages are intended to do.

You may want to do some more searching and see if there are other packages that could work for you. Also the title length of the blogs is very long — too long to export from your computer to another, so I have to get back in touch and find out how to shorten those titles and make them exportable so they CAN be imported. Right now, it is beginning to look a lot like copying and pasting a LOT of posts. It’s a huge job. My headaches thinking about it.

Categories: Blogging, Computers, Software, Technology, Writing

Tags: , , , ,

20 replies

  1. I knew about blogbooker but fastpencil is new to me so thanks for sharing the reply you received. If you want to only print/save selected blog posts, you could use the print button in your sharing buttons with Chrome or another browser that has PDF printing built in. Just a thought…


  2. I did print my entries as i write them some years ago and eventually stopped. I realised I never read them and It was just more ballast to carry. My last cat left me for her tenth life a couple of months ago. I did no know what to do with my cat site, but have cancelled it, it will exist until it expires. My main site will also probably exist until I expire. I am managing OK with WordPress, it fulfills my needs. I have no aspirations for my thousands of blogs and one day they will no longer be here, but that will no longer be my problem.
    I regret very much that you will be leaving us Marilyn as you are a true blogging companion and I will miss you. I do not think I will have the energy to follow you further wherever you go, but we can still keep in touch. I have never met you or Gary in person, a regret that I have, it will never be possible for me to travel to the States or you to Switzerland. WordPress brought us together and will part us again. The world is changing and we are getting older. May you both stay safe


    • We will keep in touch. I don’t WANT to quit, but it has become such a burden to work here. They didn’t design this software for writers. It’s not good for editing, rewriting, or putting text down and coming later to add photographs, unless you only use one photo at a time. All the “fancy” stuff they shoved into the “new” format is useless for me and also requires that I know in advance what I’m going to say. But that’s not how I write or have ever written. I often don’t know exactly what I’m going to say until my finger hit the keys and often I haven’t even taken photographs until I’ve written the text and then I try to figure out what I need. Now that I don’t get out much — not that I got out a lot before, mind you — I am posting more text with fewer pictures because I can’t just go out and grab shots around town. I keep hoping WP will consider that you, me — all the writer, photographers, artists, cartoonists, book reviewers — need word processing software. Basic MS Word or even Google Doc would do the job. Instead, we have this over-complicated format with maybe half a dozen things I might use — maybe — yet still missing ways to get it to stop leaving empty holes in the middle of posts or for that matter, the simple ability to CENTER the text and leave wider margins on both side — or put a shaded background behind a paragraph.

      And all the fancy formats for galleries are non-editable. Once you’ve put them together, you can only delete them, not reconstruct them. I like to play with text and pictures so the visuals and the story flow together. You do that too, but you seem to have a better grip on what you a planning to say than I do. I don’t think without a keyboard and I never know what I need for graphics. AND I hate the colors — all those elementary school primary crayon colors — that make ugly borders for photographs.

      I could change my writing style, but I’m not sure that’s realistic. I’ve been writing professionally and personally since I could hold a pencil and it’s a little late now to try and reconstruct how I think!

      But we’ll keep in touch. Email is good that way. I wish someone would leave me money to travel. I’d love to see you and a few other people I have come to really love — and each of you lives on a different continent! I’m not sure I have that much flying time left especially since so many of our airlines are declaring bankruptcy. Don’t forget me! I won’t forget you either.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I also never know what I am going to write until I begin to write, but I have never really used galleries for my photos, just one photo at a time. I have your e-mail address and you have mine. I use the Facebok messenger a lot, generally for my No. 2 son and family who live on the other side of Switzerland. I will stay on WordPress probably until the bitter end. See you around I hope, I would never want to lose you


  3. I shudder at the thought of going through all my posts from 7 years of blogging and I haven’t written anywhere near the amount you have. Perhaps I’d just copy/paste the best ones if I did that.
    I love how WP can’t even acknowledge you by name. It is like a generic answer.


    • I’m going to be very selective, too. There are a lot of fun posts, but they aren’t great writing and have little relevance outside the blog. I figure in the end it will hundreds rather than thousands of posts. The hard part is going to be finding all of them!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Marilyn. I’m going to check out these sites as well. I’d love to have a printed version of the majority of my posts.


  5. It’s ridiculous but I am in the process of printing the posts I want to keep. This means going through ten years of posts but it’s a good exercise. And you should put your best posts into a book – the self-publishing tools are very user-friendly – I’ve done two little collections of favorite posts.


    • I know. It is just so much work. But I’m not going to save pictures because I have them saved on external drives, so it’s the better quality text docs. I’m hoping after I eliminate what I don’t want, it won’t be quite so daunting.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Why is everything so damn difficult?


  7. I was wondering about that, so you’ve given me the answer! IF the planets align properly, and I have the energy and motivation, I WILL be making my best posts into a book. We’ll see if I let anyone read it though… LOL


    • WordPress has a few little kinks to work out — like making the titles of the export posts a length that a computer can manage. Mine can’t move them — they are too long! I wrote to them. Again. As it stands, they are COMPLETELY useless!


    • It’s not so important to have a huge audience. I think, in the end, maybe a thousand people read my book, though oddly a few people still read it now. It is also old and life has changed SO much since I wrote it. Not the basics, but the world around them. It really IS time for a new story anyway if I can just get up the gusto to do it. I get tired thinking about it, but I suspect if I knuckle down and just start doing the work, it will be easier than I think. A lot of the stuff wasn’t great writing and I’m not going to try to keep everything. That would be unreadable. Mainly, we have to decide to just DO it and get started.


  8. Oh Marilyn, it is a headache.


  9. You can also convert the wordpress wxr to a blogger xml, should anyone want to move their blog to blogger. There are a number of converters, they are free, I don’t remember which I used, it was just an experiment since I didn’t have a wordpress blog for very long and there was nothing I wanted to save. It’s a thought…


    • There is a big problem, however, which I discovered last night. The files the export forms are too long and they won’t transfer. I have tried everything to shorten the names, but haven’t succeeded. As they currently stand, they are useless. Completely useless for any purpose. You can’t even more them off your computer to another. I’m going to have to ask them how to shorten those names to move them ANYWHERE at all.


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