Importing Jekyll site to micro.blog

I successfully migrated my blog archive from Jekyll to micro.blog. I haven’t seen much written about this, so let me share how I did it. This definitely requires a bit of hacking but the result worked very well. I followed the general pattern that Manton Reece shared in his Timetable migration to micro.blog post.

You can grab the code and use it as a starting point. The script won’t win any prizes for elegance, but it only needed to work once. Here is the Python code as well as the Jekyll template for JSONFeed that I used.

Get Content Ready

Technically Jekyll is just a collection of Markdown files and image assets. it seems like it should be easy. However, Jekyll markdown files all have a variety of Front Matter metadata that is only meaningful to Jekyll. You almost certainly have Liquid Tags in the content as well. So, let’s make Jekyll do the work of helping us out of its issues.

I already had a JSON Feed endpoint. I removed the post limit from it so it would generate a JSON Feed with all blog posts instead of just the most recent 10. I then told Jekyll to generate the site jekyll build and I was pretty much ready. I now had a full JSON Feed file with every blog post with no Liquid Tags either.

I didn’t want to bring categories or tags over, but if you did you could easily add that to the JSON Feed export and catch it in the import.

Content is in HTML

The JSON Feed file is great, but the content is in HTML and I need Markdown to give to micro.blog. Pandoc and pypandoc did an awesome job at this. I created a Python 3 script to open the JSON Feed file as a JSON object and then iterate through the posts. I used Pandoc to convert each content_html element into Markdown. Note I for sure would use Python 3 for the sensible handling of UTF-8.

This one line of code just made me gleeful.

md = pypandoc.convert_text(i['content_html'], 'md', format='html')

Images

Now that I had Markdown I was getting really close but I have thousands of linked images to import as well. I need to get the images uploaded to micro.blog, and then I need to update the URLs.

I created a regular expression (magic!) match to all image links that pointed to my own website. I could key this off a well defined path, /assets/. Since I was working out of a generated static site those images were all on the local file system so I parsed out the path from the URL, checked to make sure the file was found and uploaded it to micro.blog. I then used the generated URL returned from micro.blog to update the old one in the Markdown. Markdown made this a lot easier without all the HTML cruft.

urls = re.findall(r'(?:https://www.thingelstad.com)?(/assets/[\.\w\d\/\_\-]+)', md)

Testing if the file exists was a good validator. I found a few issues with my regular expression and a couple of badly formatted blog posts that failed and was able to fix the formatting before importing. Also, since I only needed to run this once for some of the issues it was easier to fix the JSON Feed source instead of coding around it.

Import!

With all posts successfully converting via Pandoc, and all images matching on the file system, I ran the script with a polite sleep(2) wait in the loop to make things easier for micro.blog servers and it all worked like a charm. Imported over 1,600 posts and 800MB of images.

I still have broken links internally. I don’t think there would be any way for me to fix internal links between posts because everything is changing for those, but I’ll use Integrity to scan for broken internal links and fix them manually.

Jamie Thingelstad @jthingelstad

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