Just a bit to offset the hosting bill at most.
January 16, 2011 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Tips for migrating my livejournal blog to personal hosting?

I have a blog I post to on occasion. A long time ago, in the distant past of 2004, I had a b2evo blog, which was eventually overrun by referral spammers and an infamous xml-rpc exploit. What can I say? I was young and clueless. I didn't really know how to work within shared hosting, as my Debian desktop had trained me that all things should be upgraded via apt-get. Since it was hosted on a friend's plan, we took it down and I returned to being an internet nobody.

Years later, I decided many tech blogs people forwarded or posted to reddit were annoyingly clueless and unhelpful. I saw that a couple of the "good" ones were using Livejournal, so I started up a free account, and made some neat posts. Livejournal takes care of fixing security patches for me, and in theory does a better job of stopping spam. I don't really use the LJ friends features or other not-just-a-blog stuff. I might have a few posts with lj markup but it's easily fixable.

A bit over a year ago I bought a Linode, and dug into apache and website hosting again. I've got a small front page that archives a few personal activity feeds into a single web page, and several subsites: gallery2, svn, etc. I'm slowly setting up Google Analytics, and I'm thinking of moving my blog to self hosting, certainly with Analtyics, and possibly AdSense.

My question is, how do I keep any traffic to the current blog when I move to the new one? Do I need to worry about duplicate content harming search engine rankings?

I haven't decided yet on a specific blog system, but anything that ties into apt-get and adequately fights spam is great.
posted by pwnguin to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
From your description it doesn't sound like you have any significant traffic to worry about. Do a post on LJ pointing your readers to the new blog and move on with life.
posted by COD at 11:06 AM on January 16, 2011

You aren't going to find a blog system in apt. Debian and Ubuntu packages focus on user-land, sysadmin and development. Web applications don't even register on their radar. Your best bet is to try WordPress, which is easy to install, frequently updated, and popular. In terms of "off-the-shelf" solutions, it's the dominant player, and you won't need anything it can't provide.
posted by sonic meat machine at 11:44 AM on January 16, 2011

Best answer: Huh? Wordpress is in the Ubuntu Universe repository. It's nevertheless true that one is better off with their "5 minute install." The provided Akismet plugin does a good job of fighting spam.

It's been a while since I used live journal, but I think you have some theming abillity, right? If you want to try to move traffic over to your new blog, I'd suggest exporting all your posts (and comments, if possible) and importing them into Wordpress. Then turn off comments on all your livejournal posts, and modify the theme to put a link in to your new blog, ideally story by story, so that people might click through to your new blog.
posted by Good Brain at 12:25 PM on January 16, 2011

Response by poster: I once installed Wordpress from apt for work. NEVER AGAIN. Wordpress is okay, but the Debian package is crazy and bad. It's certainly an option, but I'd like to give hyde a look first.

Judging by my server logs, I get about a thousand hits per post via Planet Ubuntu when there's images hosted on my website. I can fix that traffic easily. Some of the posts without images might have high rankings on google, hard to say. I think cleaning up some of the straggling links to LJ on the internet might help too. And now that I think about it, Google still knows pages that link to the old b2evo site, so it might be worth getting a 301 redirect set up.

I suppose it doesn't hurt to leave the LJ blog up for a while after import and see where / how it's harming the rankings or traffic once it's been up a while. And set up the old page to link to the new one.
posted by pwnguin at 3:43 PM on January 16, 2011

Response by poster: An update:

pwnguin: "Do I need to worry about duplicate content harming search engine rankings?"

The recent google algorithm update basically wiped my old domain from the internet, because I was syndicating my LJ to it wholesale. Whoops.

The LJ export feature is terrible. I wound up writing a python script to pull posts out of my RSS feed's database and passed them to a surprisingly robust HTML-to-Markdown generator for use with Pelican.

Also changed the "previously" links from stories to their new authoritative home on both sites. Next step is to turn off comments and post a notice on each entry to the new site. I wonder how jwz did that. Mass update?
posted by pwnguin at 7:53 PM on March 8, 2011

Response by poster: One final update, with results: Given the content duplication problem, I took a page from jwz's migration and replaced all the LJ content with a notice and link to the new site. 13 percent of my new site's traffic comes from that LJ blog now. I can't really say much about what percent of the old LJ blog traffic I'm capturing, but I suspect it's quite good.

And comment spam is virtually zero.
posted by pwnguin at 7:35 PM on May 2, 2011

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