Converting from CityDesk to Movable Type

Having recently moved from CityDesk to Movable Type, I captured some notes on the technique I used to move my weblog entries over.

In summary, I created a CityDesk template to dump all articles into a text file, then imported it into Movable Type. The text file needs to be in accordance with the import file format.

Create the CityDesk template using these steps:

  1. Create a new HTML file at the root level, naming it ‘export.txt’ (see below for an example)
  2. Publish (or preview) the CityDesk site
  3. Grab the export.txt file and review it carefully, making sure that all articles are included and that the format looks correct
  4. FTP the file to the correct location on your MT site and import it
  5. All entries should now be added and set to draft mode; use MT power-edit mode to review all and publish them

Some more tips:

  • Case matters on category names; make sure they match or you’ll get duplicates.
  • The template below sets the articles to draft mode rather than publish mode. I used this to double-check everything.
  • When importing into MT, I chose the “import entries as me option” and also specified the author as ‘brian’ which was probably redundant.
  • I specified a default category of ‘other’ in case any entries did not have a category
  • I deselected “start/end html title tags” because they weren’t necessary in this case
  • The MT power edit mode is really handy for fixing categories, changing draft/publish status, etc.