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The Content Wrangler Moves to WordPress

by Tom Johnson on Sep 10, 2009 •
categories: bloggingtechnical-writingwordpress

It seems like everyone is moving to WordPress lately. A few months ago, David Farbey moved his blog to WordPress. Scriptorium recently converted their site and blog to WordPress. One die-hard Movable Type interaction designer at my work is moving to WordPress. And now The Content Wrangler has moved to WordPress.

I actually helped Scott transition his site from Expression Engine to WordPress. Converting the site was not necessarily easy, because WordPress doesn't automatically import Expression Engine databases (like it does with Blogger, Movable Type, and other platforms). You have to run a manual script to convert the entries over.

And while we used a theme from, we customized it, hiding the featured panels, changing the widths of sidebars, customizing the banner, adding in share-this-post buttons in the post headers, customizing the display of podcasts,  adding a mobile view, integrating an asides column, including author pages, adding the sidebar ads, adding the big subscribe buttons in the upper-right corner, and making other tweaks here and there.

The Content Wrangler on WordPress
The Content Wrangler on WordPress

I find that when people want to move to WordPress, it's easiest to find an existing theme that best approximates what they're looking for, and then customize it from there. WordPress is a bit complex to begin entirely from scratch (think of the comments features, the handful of theme files -- index, single, archive, comment, search, etc -- all the PHP tags, and more). If you do start from scratch, almost everyone uses an existing WordPress theme framework, which is basically a stripped down theme.

A while back I also helped Rahel Bailie move her Expression Engine site to WordPress. Her theme actually started out as the Brownline theme, and we customized it with her blue and gold branding to look as it does now.

Not to make a bandwagon appeal here, but if you a blog on another platform, you might consider moving to WordPress. WordPress has a tremendous momentum and community behind it right now. It's hard to compete with it. And the user interface is usable and easy to learn.

On the other hand, all technology is transient. Content is what matters.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.