We're in the process of migrating a site from an existing CMS system into WordPress. The existing CMS system has no direct integration tools with WordPress.

I'm looking into the option of creating my own script/application that will migrate the content between the two systems. Would it be better to migrate directly into the database (inserting the rows myself) or to generate a WXR file (or multiple) and let the WordPress import module handle things for me?

  • @Dillie-O What is your existing CMS? Oct 7, 2010 at 7:29
  • We're currently using Ektron CMS. They have a weird way of storing their content in XML format in the database. We were on the road to self-maintenance and I had written my own management tool, but the logistics (especially across multiple sites) were getting crazy, so the WordPress option came to light since I've done a few side projects with it.
    – Dillie-O
    Oct 7, 2010 at 15:12

2 Answers 2


If this is a standard CMS (not something you came up with yourself), I would say that a WXR solution is the way to go. It might take some extra work, but it will be a good learning experience and a nice way to build up your Wordpress skills. The WXR route will be an automated solution that's reliable and repeatable.

You might want to consider doing this as an open source project, soliciting help from the community to get it done. The end result will be a useful tool from which others can utilize, improve, and extend. Open source contributions are always nice to list on the resume, too.


It depends ...

It all depends on your CMS, its data structure, what data is vital to your specific migration, and whether or not you intend to do this in the future. If this is a custom CMS you're migrating from, chances are good that you won't need to do it twice ... and building your own WXR mapping system is overkill. If you will potentially be migrating several sites from this CMS, then a custom WXR map would be a good idea.

That said, there are certain things you can't import to WordPress, even with a WXR file. Things like user accounts, blogroll links, etc. aren't added automatically. So if those are important to you, it might be easier in the long run to move data directly within the database.

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