WordPress FAQ: How Do I combine Blogs?

This article will take approx 2 minutes to read.

This morning, one of our bloggers posted a question in our internal forum. She was seeking guidance on how to take a few (three) blogs and combine them. I provided three solutions for her and decided, in the process, that I would kick start my braindead blogging (lately) into a mini-series of WordPress FAQ questions. Feel free to email your question to me at aaron [at] b5media [dot] com.

The question is:

I’ve wanted to have a personal blog (and really collate my 3 personal blogger blogs into one) and I’m looking at WP but I don’t want to have the “*blog*.wordpress.com” attached. Can I do this with a free blog, or do I necessarily have to buy one?

There are three different possible solutions I see to your problem, Grace. Each one, naturally, has a different difficulty level based on your technical confidence. As is always the case, the most cmplicated solution will probably give you the most flexibility long term. In all three cases, you’re looking at having to use WordPress.com as a go between to bring Blogger blogs in, then export as WordPress-formatted XML file, then import into WordPress via the built in WordPress 2.1 importer (or use mine if you’re on 1.5 or 2.0).

Combine all three blogs into a homogenous blog

The first solution would be to simply import all your blogs into WordPress and get all your content into one place. In my experience and observation, this will give you a solid platform that is still easy to use while giving you some probable SEO benefits. It seems that search engines tend to like WordPress blogs more than Blogger blogs.

Difficulty Level: Easy
Pro: Simple WP install, simple maintenance, familiar WP usage.
Con: You concede the ability to separate out the blogs as individual entities within the blog.

Single Blog, Broken out by Category

This is a similar approach to the first. You essentially bring all your content into the new WordPress blog. However, this time, instead of just having a lump amount of posts, assign a category to each post from each blog (i.e. Blog1, Blog2, Blog3). In this way, you will be able to massage your template using WordPress’

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in_category()

tag to determine what gets shown on each page. While this does not directly preserve each blog (all the content is part of the single WordPress install), you can achieve the appearance of multiple blogs and have the ease of the single WordPress admin.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Pro: Simple WP install, single WordPress admin, template flexibility
Con: Blog content is still managed as a single group of posts separated only by category iearchies.

WordPress MU

WordPress MU is the multi blog format of WordPRess. It supports multiple blogs and multiple administrative bloggers. In essence, you can power all three of your blogs from one single install of MU. If you need the actual flexibility of actual separate blogs, this is probably the right choice for you. However, it does have significant drawbacks.

Difficulty: Hard
Pro: Extreme flex. Lots you can do, lots of added perks from standard WordPress. Probably good for blog network level stuff or when five or more blogs are being managed.
Con: MU is quite tricky to setup. It has made significant strides in recent months, but it is nowhere near as polished as WordPress itself. It also requires some digging in the WPMU forums to find answers to questions like how to make MU respond to top level domains (i.e. http://example.com as opposed to http://example.mysite.com). Also will require a degree of systems level knowledge and comfort.

Whatever you choose, I’m confident WordPress is the right choice for you. Obviously, we have a system here that sings along on individual WordPress installs and we have had great success.

What questions do you have? Email them to me. Keep them WordPress related. :-)

Comments

  1. says

    So the question was:

    “I’ve wanted to have a personal blog (and really collate my 3 personal blogger blogs into one) and I’m looking at WP but I don’t want to have the “*blog*.wordpress.com” attached. Can I do this with a free blog, or do I necessarily have to buy one?”

    So how come you avoided the question and only commented on the side issue of importing the 3 blogs into one?
    I don’t ask this as a rant against your post, I found it informative and learned something that I think I will find of use in the future, but I just wanted to make sure you realized you hadn’t actually answered the question, now shown without the side point:

    I’ve wanted to have a personal blog and I’m looking at WP but I don’t want to have the “*blog*.wordpress.com” attached. Can I do this with a free blog, or do I necessarily have to buy one?

  2. says

    Forgive my snarkiness, steve. I’ve been up all night in an ER. I think you’re pretty much trying to pick a fight or something because the answer is in my answer. WordPress is free. All three solutions are WordPress based. Therefore, it is free. Obviously there is hosting and domain but as far as I’m concerned, you already knew that, so I’m not sure what your point is. Please feel free to enlighten me.

  3. says

    Sorry to hear that you have had a rough night, I have gone back and re-read my first comment and I can see where it could come across as being a little aggressive, apologies to you for that. My comment:

    “So how come you the question and only commented on the side issue of importing the 3 blogs into one?”

    This was not meant to imply you were evading the point, there would be no need to avoid it on your part, at least none that I can conceive of, it was just badly worded as I posted on the fly, never a good idea! ;-)
    As for our difference of opinions as to the central point of the question, I have sent you a reply e-mail that I hope clears up the way that I read it and may lead to another article at some point.
    I enjoy your blog and wish you success with this new mini-series on WordPress FAQ questions.

  4. says

    Aaron, good stuff! But I’ve gotta side with Steve on this one… I’m pretty sure she was asking if she could get a domain-level blog (something other than “*blog*.wordpress.com”) for free… and also wondering if it’s possible to merge the three existing blogs into one. Like Steve said, you answered her side issue without addressing the main question (“Is there a free domain-level hosting plan that I can run a blog on?”)–which isn’t a problem, per se. Just an observation.

  5. says

    Aaron, I’m wondering if you could ellaborate on the second option, or point me in the direction of resources that would help me with it.

    I would like to run one WordPress install, but with two separate topics. One personal, the other being articles on a given topic. However, when people arrive at the root address, I only want my articles to appear. To get to my personal, one would have to click ‘Personal’ or something in the sidebar.

    Is this possible, or is it just easier to have two wordpress installs, one at mybusiness.com and the other at mybusiness.com/personal ??

  6. says

    Actually, I think I’ve come up with a solution – a plugin called Ultimate Category Excluder. I’ll try it out, but I’d appreciate it if you can enlighten me on any method that may be better.

  7. says

    Using

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    query_posts()

    to set the parameters of your Loop. For instance,

    1
    query_posts('cat=-11')

    will construct the contents of the Loop to exclude category 11

  8. says

    At the moment I am using wordpress and blogger and using the same domain. How am I doing? Well blogger allows for you to use a cname record in your hositing so I have pointed my www to blogger and then installed my wordpress blog into my root directory giving it the domain address with out the www. Two different blogs working separate from one another but all stats counting for one domain.

    What I would like to do is run both the wordpress blog and blogger blog on one site. Is this possible?

  9. says

    Greetings, I am part of a group of players for an online mmorpg game. *many players that interact in an online gaming enviroment* We are wanting to create a Website for our Group aka Guild that allows each one of us to have our own “blog” yet we would like for each persons blog to exist under one roof. In short, our own private myspace. I found that I can setup categories and have each member or user assign their post to their own category and I found the information on combining blogs using WordPress MU. My question is can there be a Primary Admin for all the blogs, and would it all be just as effective as using a cms system like Drupal. It is our hopes that in the future we can expand our Guild Blog Site to not only have Authors writing posts on their own page under the Guild Website Banner, but also have a higher level that will offer access to other Guilds similiar to the old idea of web rings. So 1 primary site that says here are the Guilds of this server and each Page/category has an introduction to the guild with the ability to delve deeper into that Guild and see posts from each member. Im comfortable with creating my own blog templates to some extent and I am very comfortable with CSS, Xhtml, and some js and php. I looked into Drupal but it seems almost to big for what I what, has a much harder learning curve for the users, and almost seems like overkill. Plus it will take extra plug ins to make posts easy to formate. This is what I love about WordPress. OUt of the box it is perfect and simple for those that are not so internet savvy.. Any direction and words of advice would be greatly appreciated thanks!