Moving to WordPress without breaking links

Some time back, I decided to migrate this blog to WordPress. Until today, I’ve been using a self-modified version of bBlog. It worked well, but WordPress has more to offer and has huge community support, so I’ve made the change. A few new things you will notice are the recent comments list, the search box, the blogroll, and limited html support in comments.

The change was delayed while I figured out how to handle old links. I didn’t want to break existing links to old blog entries, or to the blog home page; and I wanted to make it seamless for existing subscribers. In the end I did three things:

  • Installed WordPress into the same directory as the old blog
  • Modified index.php to redirect requests that point to old blog entries
  • Modified rss.php (the old feed url) so that it delivers the new WordPress feed

In other words, I’ve kept bBlog running in the same location as before. This trick works because the two systems only have one filename collision, which is index.php. The result is that links to old blog entries still work.

If you subscribe to the blog, you don’t have to change anything. The only annoyance is that you’ll likely get some duplicate posts, but I’m hoping that is better than having to re-subscribe.

I’ve only migrated a few recent posts and comments to the new blog. I might do the others, but it’s more likely that they will remain in the archive blog.