Dec 21, 2010 at 12:24 AM

Let me start with a little introduction.  I've been blogging since the 90's, and before BlogEngine.NET I usually rolled my own code. I have been using BE.N since March 2008.  My first post after migrating to this platform was that the post tags were not imported properly from the BlogML file and that I had to go through all my previous posts and re-tag them again.  I know that post-tags have been bothersome with this project, but I think I have finally hit the point where I need to back out and start looking at another platform. Here is how it has worked so far.

Yesterday I tried to migrate from 1.6.? to  The migration process didn't work.  At all.  No matter what I tried, I kept ending up with errors.  So I exported out my blogml and erased the tables from SQL Server and restarted the install from fresh.  After a while I got it to work, but when I tried to import the blogml I was met with constant errors.  Ultimately the errors were down to there being a check that doesn't exist in 1.6, whose purpose seems to be to prevent duplicate titles.  Note that this doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere, and the error I received from the blogml importer was that my password was incorrect.  I tried uploading the blogml file and ultimately discovered the duplicate title bug.  I had many duplicated titles, but that has never been an issue in the past.  I have not seen any discussion on this, although I have to admit to not having looked too closely for it.  So, I de-duped the titles in my blog, which was a rather odious process taking several hours hacking around in an eighteen thousand line xml file.  Finally it was ready for import!

A quick sanity test on my local machine and I discovered to my dismay that the post tags are still not importing.  Now, I do know that there have been many bugs logged on this issue over the years, and my understanding was that the problem had been resolved.  Silly me, I should have known better.  FFS fix this bloody bug once and for all!  There always seems to be a spanner in the works in the importing of another blog, and that really should be a no-brainer. Pages don't get imported either, but I never expected them to.  We all want people to use this software, don't we? Much more to the point, we want people who have an established blog not to need to worry about migrating from Wordpress or some other platform to BlogEngine.NET.  It should be easy, but it isn't. Fix it.

Next thing is the admin back end.  Janko has done a wonderful job in styling it, but it feels a lot slower than 1.6 or before.  I don't know if that is an accurate statement or not, but that's my impression.  The posts and pages are serving as quickly as ever, which is great!  Ben and Ruslan I have the utmost admiration for your dedication to this software, particularly in light of the apparent disappearance of Mads and Al.  However, I would urge you to go and try to streamline the back end as much as possible before release.

We are, however, left with a potential glaring hole.  It is possible that there are others like me who have blogs which have evolved with the older versions of BE.N which have tags, and duplicate post names, and who knows what other pitfalls.  Those people are potentially in the situation where they will try to upgrade and be left having discovered that there is an incompatibility between the output from this program and the program itself. That would be catastrophic.

As for me, I think I will bow out of this struggle now. My hosting contract comes up for renewal in a few months and I think I'll try my hand with Wordpress or something else which has a more robust development and testing process.

Dec 21, 2010 at 2:33 AM

I feel your pain Dave. I almost gave up on BE a few weeks ago. The clincher for me was that I can customise BE.NET (being a .Netter) and I couldn't for Wordpress.

I would like to see Tags be changed so that they are treated with the same respect as Categories. I have lots of problems with them on my blog and fixing them is a massive PITA because of how they are stored. Cleaning up a tag mess is so annoying I've only done it once in several years.

I also have lots of problems with comments and email notifications.

It's not perfect, not as mature, but it is .Net so that keeps me hanging on (just).

The other thing is that you can contribute patches if you are able to which is a bonus just like you can for Wordpress as well. The main difference I see between the two is that Wordpress has a massive momentum behind it that BE just doesn't have. Maybe one day BE will achieve a critical mass where there are enough people contributing and testing it to make it a good stable platform.

Dec 21, 2010 at 5:01 AM

Hi Dave, and truly sorry to hear about your frustrating upgrade experience.  It sounds like you took the BlogML route after your first attempts to upgrade didn't work.  That's a logical choice.  But because of some the limitations of BlogML -- or at least the import process which is not allowing duplicate titles, etc -- and because it doesn't import pages, etc., I think the better approach (in hindsight) would have been to not do BlogML and get the upgrade to work.

I don't know what errors you ran into.  Also, I'm not sure if you had these Upgrade Instructions nearby.  I think those Upgrade instructions are pretty sound, but people may still run into some other issues.  A couple of common, recurring problems that have come up here since BE 2.0 RC has been out are with namespaces, where it's necessary to add a "using" statement to the top of widget & extension files.  I will be updating the Upgrading to 2.0 FAQs to include this information.

What probably would have been good is if you posted some of the initial upgrade errors you had here in the Discussions, so someone like myself could have helped identify the problem and solution.  A number of people have posted upgrade questions here, and sometimes the first reply to their message solves it and they can upgrade.  Sometimes a 2 or 3 round exchange of messages is required.

BE 2.0 added 2 new DB tables, and added about 4 new columns to existing tables.  The upgrade script adds these objects.  So when upgrading from 1.6 to 2.0, your existing database will still work in BE 2.0.  All that's needed to do is run the upgrade script and your DB is instantly BE 2.0-ready.  The hairier part of the upgrade is the webfiles.  The recommended approach taken by the Upgrade Instructions is to (a) start off with the BE 2.0 files, and then (b) add your theme files and connection string into BE 2.0.  This proved to be a much easier upgrade method, rather than trying to tell everyone all the individual files they need to add, delete or modify to their existing BE 1.6 (or 1.5) blogs.

I've seen that import error before where it says "password incorrect", but that is completely inaccurate.  Definitely having "correct" error messages would make a ton of difference.  This is a bad excuse, but I personally have probably only spent a few minutes ever looking at that import code since (a) I haven't personally had to use it, and (b) I haven't been involved with fixing any of the import code.

The new control panel seems to be working at the same speed as it did in prior versions.  At least, I've not run into any delays that made me think it was slow.  I also haven't seen anyone bring up control panel speed issues here in the Discussions.  This is the first I've heard of it, but if we hear about it again, then that'll be the 2nd time we hear of it!  Taking the fact that you were running into errors early on, it makes me wonder if something is not running right on your system (e.g. misconfiguration, etc) that is causing slowness.  If you watch the BE 2.0 video here, you can basically see how long it takes for a new control panel page to come up when the link is clicked.  Looking at it, it looks like the pages come up at the same speed that any other web page does -- about 1 second +/-.

What I take out of reading your experience is that we need to improve the BlogML import process.  Namely, displaying accurate error messages, allowing duplicate post titles and making sure the tags import correctly.  This is obviously valuable feedback from someone who has first hand fought with the importer.

I recently installed WP for the first time (just 3 days ago) ... not to use for my blog, but to get a WP theme running so I could adapt it.  I didn't do much with WP (only needed to get the theme running), but things ran well with it.  I had heard a few months back that the WP control panel was much better than the BE one, but compared to the BE 2.0 control panel, it's not that different.  It did have some cool stuff with having "featured images", and a media manager to manage images & files which was nice.  I did notice that it has a lot of import options -- where it can import a variety of different formats.  That's obviously smart.  The WP people definitely have more development resources at their disposal.  Both WP and BE are pretty easy to install with the Web Platform Installer.  That's good for people who are starting.  Upgrades are another thing.  I think WP has an automatic upgrade option, which would be a terrific feature to add to BE.  I think BE could automate (or partially automate) upgrades -- at least for the cases where the person hasn't modified files outside their theme.  Some people make lots of customizations outside the theme, and an auto-upgrade process probably wouldn't work well for them.

Dec 21, 2010 at 5:29 AM
rprimrose wrote:

I feel your pain Dave. I almost gave up on BE a few weeks ago. The clincher for me was that I can customise BE.NET (being a .Netter) and I couldn't for Wordpress.

Same reason I have jumped in on BE: It's .NET and runs on a .NET platform which I need to have various samples up and an running
My wife have three or four different blogs running on WP and it's really really easy to use/work with and one can concentrate on writing

As BenAmada wrote: If you have problems post it on the forums, the saying that too many chefs will spoil the food is not always true :)

rgds /Peter

Dec 22, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Thanks all for the kind responses. I was feeling a bit put out by the whole migration and maybe vented a little more than I should have.  Some of my points still stand though - there should be easy routes for anyone who has an existing blog to get that content into Blogengine. The upgrade process should just work.

Ben I did go through the upgrade docs and the tables were altered with the script some time ago. Just to be sure, I ran the 1.6 to 2.0 sql upgrade script anyway, so I don't think the problem was the tables missing columns.  I have a very recent copy of the database which I'm going to use to try the process again.  I obviously missed something, but I haven't figured out where. Yet. I'd rather go through the upgrade process than go back and re-tag eleven years of posts all over again!  Unfortunately I won't be in a position to go through this until next week at the earliest, so I don't expect to come back with feedback on the process before you release 2.0.  

Thanks all for your help and support, I hope you have a fun holiday and a great new year :-)


Dec 22, 2010 at 6:08 PM

The biggest problem with tags is that BlogML 2.0 didn't have them.  BlogML 2.5 (I believe) did have them, but the BlogML project seems to have gone dark as far as new development.  I ran into this when I wrote my WordPress to BlogML project (at - I ended up doing a manual migration from my WordPress blogs.  (I was having some stability problems with PHP; now, my issue is with memory, but I'm hoping 2.0 will be better about that.)

I also run BE under Mono on Linux, so I think that drove me to the manual import vs. using the thing I wrote - the converter couldn't connect to the site properly, but I'm not convinced that wasn't an error on my part.  I'm hoping this Christmas break will give me some time to try the 2.0 RC on my local machine - I've been looking forward to it!

Oct 24, 2011 at 11:54 PM
Edited Oct 24, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Any update on the BE to WordPress exporter?


Same problem with BE 2.5

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