I like WordPress.com – I recommend it to people who don’t want to get into their own hosting. You can pay to remove ads, and the service and value you get is tremendous.
But something recently starting causing me all sorts of trouble.
I needed to migrate a new client site from WordPress.com to our own servers so that we can add additional functionality not available on the SaaS offering.
In the past this has been easy – set up the new site with the same theme (if that’s the way you’re going) and appropriate plugins, do an export from WordPress.com and use the WordPress import tool in your new site. Simple!
Except, suddenly, it isn’t.
I have this problem – the user has uploaded many large images – like, 8MP images. I wish users wouldn’t do this, but they do. Still, so long as the inline images are resized all is well. And they are. Yet when they arrived on the new install they weren’t – we had massive massive images leading to very slow page load times. I thought at first that our server wasn’t resizing the images but then realised that the export has lines like this:
<a href="http://mayorofsandwell.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/tea-with-mr-bill-woodhouse-in-the-big-house/sam_0654-2/#main" rel="attachment wp-att-634"><img title="SAM_0654" src="http://mayorofsandwell.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/sam_06541.jpg?w=768" alt="" width="768" height="1024" /></a>
In particular, note the URL for the image:
Now what’s interesting here is that the URL isn’t to a resized image, and it comes with some extra parameter. Which the new WP install isn’t going to handle.
Also, the parameter is wrong – on wordpress.com the URL is actually:
See the h=1024? That’s missed on the export file. So that’s problem No.2!
What that means, then, is that we don’t have in our new content the resized image, but the original monster JPEG with a parameter in it… and a broken parameter at that.
In this case where the image is massive, the test install then has posts with oversized images in, which means very slow loading times. And that means we have a problem. At the moment the only fix I can see to the problem is to manually go through and re-insert every image on the site which, in local argot, is something of a ball-ache. Even if we reproduce the tool that wordpress.com is using for on-demand image resizing (and I can understand why they’d do this) we still have the problem that the export data isn’t properly formed.
I’m almost tempted to test their Guided Transfer service and see what their solution is – but I suspect there are serious limitations on what they’ll do for that money.
In due course I’ll raise this with WordPress.com, but for the moment I’m left with the possibility of getting somebody to sit and tidy up manually, which is painful even for a relatively small site like this one.
Do you know a better solution?