WordPress Mitosis: Part II

As Dave at Pairodox Farm has pointed out it’s not exactly Mitosis because the two “daughter cells” no longer have the same DNA. It is more correctly “mitosis followed by what is referred to as a homeotic mutation.” If I hadn’t already settled on a new title, Dave’s comment would have likely given one. “Homeotic Mutations” has an excellent ring to it 🙂

So now one somewhat unfocused space has become two. Hopefully these spaces will have a bit more focus–at least that’s the intent. In Part I (the second-last post) it was noted why the original blog was created and why, 18 months later it made sense to bifurcate; to use the original material as source for two blogs. One, located at the original URL would be devoted to eLearning and the other–this one– titled as was the original,  to everything else.

In this post I will outline the steps taken to get to that place.

In general terms, here’s what was done:

  • An export file was created from the original blog .
  • A new WordPress blog was created.
  • The export file was used to populate the new blog with all of the content from the original. This left two identical blogs, in terms of content. Mitosis!
  • All of the “general” posts were removed from the original blog and it was re-titled “Not Banjaxed…Yet”.
  • All of the “elearning” posts were removed from the new blog and it was titled “Duck? Starfish But…23” which was the title of the original. Homeotic Mutation!
  • Links to the other blog were created for each.
  • The About pages on both blogs were edited.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the specifics.

I started with my original blog. It’s at mauriceabarry.wordpress.com and was originally titled “Duck? Starfish? But…23”

In the WordPress dashboard I selected Tools. Notice that a sub-item called “Export” was then available.

Start by exporting the original content.

Start by exporting the original content.

I chose Export (note that it’s available from the link on the right and from the menu).

Choose all content.

Choose all content.

From the next screen, I ensured that “all content” was checked. WordPress then created an XML file containing all of the posts, likes and comments. The browser saved the file in its default download location on my hard drive. For my windows-based device this was the \downloads folder but, of course, this is something that depends on your browser settings.

Next I created a new blog. The original blog was based on my name (as are my Facebook, twitter, tumblr and such) but I changed the title (not the URL) to Duck? Starfish? But…23 shortly after creating it. This meant that the blog title and URL were very different–a bit inconsistent and confusing. I decided to move the title over to the new blog and, so created a new WordPress blog at duckstarfish23.wordpress.com. I made the contents private while I worked on it.

The next thing was to populate it with all of the original content from the XML file I’d just downloaded. So I went to the dashboard of the new blog and chose Tools again.

Use Tools Import to populate the new blog

Use Tools Import to populate the new blog

This time I chose Import and, as you can see above, WordPress offered a lot of choice. I chose WordPress and then navigated to the file I’d just downloaded. WordPress showed a message that said it was working on the task and would send an email as soon as it was finished. I did not have long to wait and the email arrived within a few minutes.

I checked. All of the posts from the new site worked just fine. “What about all my images? Do I have to move them all over and (painfully) link them all up again?” The good news is, “No.” The bad news is that all of the images on the original site seem to be duplicated to the new one–a waste of space. I am not sure what happened as the XML file only contained the text information, not the multimedia. I will experiment to see if this is shared space or if the files have been copied over. Right now it looks as if the images are copied. Stay tuned.

The next thing to do was to remove unwanted content from each of the two blogs. Since the original had around 130 posts this could have been rather tedious. Fortunately filtering made it a whole lot easier.

Use a filter to make it easier to locate posts for deletion

Use a filter to make it easier to locate posts for deletion

I selected Posts, then All Posts and then clicked the drop-down that originally showed “all content.” (It’s circled above.) This showed the various categories that were used on the blog. I then selected categories I wanted to remove, checked them off and used “erase” from the bulk actions drop-down.

This was done for both blogs–and I was doubly careful to make sure that I was not removing the wrong stuff–and it only took a half-hour or so.

I wanted to make sure that visitors could easily navigate between both blogs and decided that “Links” would be the best way to handle this. I started by selecting Links from the dashboard then “Edit Categories.” There was only one–the (unused) blogroll category. I changed the name to ‘Alter Ego” on both blogs for consistency.

mitosis-05

Change Blogroll to Alter Ego

For each blog I created a new link to the other blog.

Link to other blog

Link to other blog

By default there were a number of existing links in the blogroll (now renamed as Alter Ego). I removed these, leaving just the link to the other blog, to keep things simple. To make them visible I selected Appearance, then widgets and finally the blogroll widget. I positioned it at the top right of both blogs, again for consistency.

The existing “About” page, initially identical on both blogs was better-suited to Duck? Starfish? But…23. I wrote a new About page for Not Banjaxed …Yet, though; one that was a little more focused on work.

The final step was to make the new blog public.

The blog has been up for a few days now and already has had several views, mostly existing from blogging friends. There may be a few more minor changes over the next little while, we’ll see.

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About Maurice A. Barry

Coordinator: Teaching and Learning Commons, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Parent & Husband. eLearning consultant/coordinator. Program Development Specialist - eLearning (Department of Education; Retired). Writer: over 40 Math/Physics texts/webs. Developer & Manager of web content. Geek. Not into awards but loves comments.
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10 Responses to WordPress Mitosis: Part II

  1. I’ve blitzed through all that because I know how to do it. It also explains why I apparently was following new blog and not this one. Anyway, you’ve done it now, so ’twill be sorted. Now I shall have to flit between the two and come up with more irrelevant comments.

  2. I have often thought about splitting Pairodox into a true photoblog and one dedicated to farming. If, some day, I decide to do so … I’ve got the instructions to do so right here. Thanks. D

  3. Found you again! I mean the “life blog”, which I really like…the expert blog content is interesting to read because I’m interested in learning in general, but have to confess some of it flies over my head 🙂 I think this was an excellent move. I have been thinking a lot about the focus issue myself. When I started my blog 18 months ago, I was planning to write professional articles (management, organizations) blended in with some travel adventures and humor. Very early I gave up writing professional stuff because I’m writing so much of it anyway and have my consultancy website separately,,,so I wrote “stories” and then more and more poetry and photography/photo art. Now I’m still wondering about the focus of my “life blog”. Anyway, thanks for the guidance on how to make it happen should I decide that more focus is necessary!

  4. elkement says:

    Thanks! WordPress should support this process with AI: Describe both child blogs in natural language – then an algorithm decides which post should go on which blog.

  5. So that explains it.

    It definitely makes sense in your case to split your personality focus your topics.

  6. Jane Fritz says:

    To echo others, thanks for this, Maurice. I, too, may find myself referring to your instructions!

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